Review: Nokia E66

4. August 2008 at 21:22

After months of rumours the Nokia E66 was finally launched in London and is the successor of the Nokia E65. The slider belongs to Nokia’s Eseries and is dedicated to business user but also to average and multimedia user. Continue reading for further information:

Main advantages:

  • Size
  • Built quality
  • Wi-Fi
  • Business features

Main disadvantages:

  • Camera
  • Fingerprint magnet

Sales package:

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The E66 comes in a little and handy box which’s formfactor I’ve never seen. This box may represent the size of the E66. However, the box includes:

  • The Nokia E66 (RM-343)
  • Battery with 1000 mAh (BL-4U)
  • Carrying Case
  • Charger (AS-5E)
  • microUSB cable (Ca-101)
  • Headset (HS-47)
  • 2GB microSD card
  • CD and manuals

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I do like the carrying case which looks pretty nobly and which protects the E66 really good. The charger and the headset fit perfect into the E66 whereby the headset isn’t the best. All in all, the deliverer is pretty generous, especially with the 2GB microSD card and the carrying case.

Built quality:

The first thing which came to my mind when I had the E66 in my hand was its awesome built quality. The E66 is indeed a well build device. It is build mainly out of stainless steel and a little bit out of plastic. The combination of these two materials causes that the E66 looks nobly but also really stylish. So it fits to almost every user – being the business man, average user or teenager. However, as it is that shiny it attracts fingerprints like nothing else.

Keys:

Right under the 2.4” display, you can find 14 keys.

  1. Left soft key
  2. Right soft key
  3. Red-end key
  4. Green-answer key
  5. Clear key
  6. Contact key (one-touch-key)
  7. Calendar key (one-touch-key)
  8. Messaging key (one-touch-key)
  9. Home/Menu key
  10. Up on the d-pad
  11. Down on the d-pad
  12. Left on the d-pad
  13. Right on the d-pad
  14. OK, the middle of the d-pad

These keys look really shiny and are big enough to hit every key without a problem. More over, the keys have a really good pressure point. One pretty nifty thing about these keys is that you can’t see the icons when the backlight is off. Till the backlight is on, the keys are totally blank ( besides green-answer and the red-end key) which looks pretty stylish in my mind.

If you slide the E66 up, you can see the numeric keypad with its rather big keys which are made out of plastic. The keys have a good pressure point and are big enough for safety and fast usage of the keys.

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Going to its left hand side you can not find a real key but a button for opening the battery cover, the infrared port, the 2.5mm audiojack and the covered micoUSB-port.

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On the top you find the red power button which actually doesn’t fit to the rest of the device. However, this button has three functions.

  1. Turning on the device
  2. Switching of the device
  3. Choosing a profile (eg. ‘’Outdoor’’)

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On the right hand side you find four keys. From the top to down it is the volume up, voice control/mute key, volume down and camera key. One of the four keys has a pretty bad pressure point. I’m talking about the volume up key. Pressing the other three buttons you can even feel a little “click” which you won’t find at the volume up button. However, although you can’t feel this click the button still reacts. Besides this key, the other three keys are well using. Unfortunately, you can not open the camera application by pressing and hold the camera key. So you need to open the camera application by using a short cut or by clicking on its icon. Using the volume up/volume down key you can zoom in and out and also adjust the volume of music and videos. Besides the 4 keys you can find also the other button for opening the battery cover.

The E66 is obviously a slider device with an indeed great slider. It isn’t wobbly and you can open it really easily with just one hand. Furthermore, there is no light leak at all.

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The one-touch-keys are indeed pretty handy and useful. So you can jump immediately to the calendar or you contacts book. But what to do when you don’t use the calendar or contact book? No problem, you can edit the entries and personalize the keys. So you can use the calendar key as the ‘music key’ or ‘clock key’. You can even select two functions for one key ( short and long press).


Size:

Although the E66 puts an huge amount of features under its sexy hood its still rather thin, small and handy. Its dimensions are 107.5 x 49.5 x 13.6 mm and weights 121g. So you almost don’t feel it in your pocket, being the tight business suite or the cool baggy pants.

Multimedia:

The E66 has 110MB internal memory and comes along with an 2GB microSD card which is enough for music, pictures, videos and other data. Of course you can also use other microSD or even microSDHC cards if you need more memory. In the test my 4GB microSDHC card worked without problems. The slot for the microSD card sits under the batterycover and is protected pretty well. E66’s 2.4 ” QVGA ( 240 x 320 pixels) screen displays the 16M colours very well. It’s really bright and you can read it also against sunlight. Thanks to the built in Accelerometer API the display rotates when you turn the E66. This is really useful for viewing pictures or for browsing. Here you can see a video showing this function:

More over, you can mute an incoming call easily by turning over the E66 on a desk or something else.

Camera:

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On the back of the E66 you can find a 3.2 Megapixel camera with autofocus. Next to the camera you can find a little LED and a little mirror for self-portraits. Although the E66 is a business device it still offers a bunch of camera preferences. After you opened the camera-application you can see a toolbar on the right side. In this toolbar you can find a bunch of icons – switching from camera to video mode and back, scene modes, flash mode, self timer, sequence mode, colour tone, white balance, exposure compensation and viewfinder grid.

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The icon “scene mode” offers you six pre-defined modes – auto, close-up, portrait, landscape, sports, night, night portrait. Furthermore, you can create your own mode and adjust and keep your favourite settings. So you always have the right mode for a certain moment. The close-up mode for example is the best mode to capture intricate detail of small objects. However, the camera quality is rather poor and doesn’t reach it’s full power. Maybe a new Firmware will fix this bug. Anyway, it’s still good enough for snappshots. Here you can find some pictures taken with the E66.

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The E66 can record videos up to 1 hour of length as well. With 240×320 pixels and 15 frames per seconds . This isn’t anything special but still good enough for uploading to Ovi, Youtube, watching on the PC or on the device itself. To improve or change the video-quality, you can choose between various modes. For example colour tones like sepia or negative, white balance like sunny or cloudy and finally scene modes like auto or night. However, other than other devices such as the latest Nseries the E66 doesn’t allows to open the camera application by pressing the capture button. This is really annoying since you have to open the camera application via a shortcut or via the menu. Hopefully Nokia will fix this bug also with a new Firmware.

Music:

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Since the E66 comes preinstalled with the music player we all know from the latest Nseries devices the E66 is also a pleasure for music-fans. It’s divided into Music and Podcast. In the folder “Music” you can find 6 other folders like ‘All songs’ or ‘Albums’. Unfortunately, the E66 has only a 2.5mm jack, thus you can’t use  your favorite headphones. However, using an adapter you can fix this problem. The music quality with the provided headset isn’t that good but if you use other headsets e.g. a Sennheiser headset (with the adapter of course) , the music quality is much better. Just like on your Computer you can create easily own playlists of all your favorite music on your E66. The usage of the music-player is really easy. All you need is the d-pad and the volume keys to adjust the volume. To improve the music quality, you have an equaliser with 6 modes – Default, Bass booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock. You can also playback the music through the mono loudspeaker sitting on the back of the E66. This one isn’t the loudest but loud and good enough for the living room, bath, class room or car. The music player supports following audiofiles: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), RealAudio 7,8,10, True tones and WAV.

Connectivity:

The E66 offers nearly every connection you need. From W-Lan (802.11b/g, 54 MBit/s), GPS, HSDPA, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPRS, IrDA to micro-USB everything is under this sexy hood. Anyway, in the test Bluetooth works fast and great with the G900, my computer and also with my SU-8W. When you insert the micoUSB-cable into the E66, you can choose between four modes – PC Suite, Data transfer, Image print and Media player. I usually use the Data transfer but if you like to have access to your internal memory you have to choose PC suite. Of course the E66 can receive and sent emails. The internal email client is good and easy to set up. Downloading the attached html file you can view the email just like you know it from your desktop; with all graphics and so on. More over, you can receive emails and with attachments like pictures, mp3 and other files.

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Thanks to S60’s excellent open source webbroser or 3rd party applications like Opera Mini you can have the full internet on your E66. Using GPRS or rather W-Lan you can enter the world wide web really fast and easy. The pretty nifty mini map helps you to navigate through the website. More over, you can zoom in and out the pages and download pictures from websites you like. To be up to date you can also subscribe to RSS feeds really easily and read them wherever and whenever you like.

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One of the things, upcoming user are looking forward to, is the built in GPS. The E66 comes , just like the N95, with Nokia’s own Maps application. So you can see where you are or where you friend lives- either in map, map3D, satellite or hybrid mode. Furthermore, you can see how to come to the train station or any-other place. This all is for free but live navigation, which most the user are looking for, isn’t. You have to buy licenses to use Maps as good as possible. A 7-day license costs about 6€, a 1 year-license 60€. Of course you can also install navigation solutions such as Route 66 Mobile 8 or Garmin. The GPS works good and in addition with A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System) you can get a faster GPS-fix.  It always depends on your location but you should get a GPS fix within 10 seconds. The GPS-ship sits on the top of the device to offer you the best connection. Nokia is offering a program calls Sports Tracker using the built in GPS of the E66 to give you information about speed, altitude and many more.

Usage:

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The E66 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. I have to confess, that I can’t judge this category that good because I’m a S60 user for some years. However, for a new user it’s pretty tricky to find into the menu. I’ve seen a lot user pressing the navigation key to get access to the menu which is the wrong way. After pressing the home key you can find plenty of icons and some folders. The icons already say what they stand for and furthermore you can read the application’s name. If you don’t like the menu structure you can create new folders, delete some, move the application as you like or change the menu view from Grid to a List. Furthermore, you can choose between several standard themes and hundreds more which are in the World Wide Web. For those with bad eyes you can also change the front size.

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For totally new S60 user the E66 has a really helpful tutorial application which explains a lot functions of the E66 and how to use them. Thanks to the huge amount of RAM and the ARM 11 CPU with 369 MHz you can navigate fast thought the menu and use a lot application at the same time.

Business and Organizer:

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The Nokia E66 belongs to Nokia’s Eseries which offers the user special business applications which work pretty well. In the menu you can find a folder called ‘Office’ in which you can find following business applications:

  • Active notes
  • Search
  • Calculator
  • Quick Office
  • Converter
  • Notes
  • Clock
  • Printers
  • Calendar
  • Zip
  • Adope PDF
  • Wlss keybd.
  • Dictionary
  • Intranet

Quickoffice enables Word, Exel and Powerpoint files. Unfortunately, you can’t create files or edit them without upgrading your version. This is indeed a shame since the E66 belongs to the Eseries. The E71 for example also belongs to the Eseries  too and has the full Quick Office Version pre-install which allows you to edit and even create files. So you have to upgrade your version or search for an alternative.

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To don’t miss any meeting you have the calendar entries on the Stand-By-Screen. You can create a to-do list, a memo and also some more. The calendar, the contacts and your bookmarks you can synch with the PC using the PC Suite. In the test it worked also pretty well.

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New text messages, E-mails, and missed calls can be displayed on the Stand-By-Screen too. If there is such a missed event the LED right under the d-pad starts to impulse pretty fast till you pressed a key.

Battery:

The E66 uses the BL-4U with 1000 mAh. Depending on the usage the battery least several days. Jump over to read my battery log. All in all the battery is really strong and ensures a long usage.

Other:

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The E66 comes with a bunch of total new or with new E-series applications. So you have the already mentioned musicplayer, as well as the Podcast application and the new Nokia Maps and Search. The total new applications are: Dictionary, Intranet, Modes, Encryption, Contact Search and a new Calendar. I like especially the dictionary, Contact Search, Modes and the calendar. Modes is a pretty handy application which allows you to easily switch between two different surfaces with different themes, backgrounds, shortcuts and enabled applications. The contact search allows you to easily and quickly search your contacts by easily typing the first letters. If you search for Norman John you just need to type in 6 or 5. More over there are some cool transition between the screen which look really smooth.

Verdict:

To sum up, the E66 offers everything from a 3.2 megapixel camera, WiFi, GPS, great business features and a lot more –  and all this under a sexy and handy hood. However, the camera didn’t convicted me at all but maybe this will be fixed soon. I just can recommend the E66 if you need a device which can solve every task, but not perfectly. If you look for a similar device you should take a look at the N78, E71 or 6220 Classic (without WiFi).

Previous articles about the Nokia E66: