Nokia e63 – a year later. And what’s next?

Nokia e63

Nokia e63...glorious red!

I’ve had my dream phone – the Nokia e63 – for 1 year and 4 months. Almost to the day. I lusted after the phone for about 6 months prior that. It is strange to think that I’m now ready to move on to the next big thing. Whatever that may be. (Probably the Nokia e5 for me) 

When I signed up for the e63 I had no intention of using even half the features and capabilities of the phone. I was happy with making and receiving calls and text messages along with being able to view my various email accounts. I still do all that and the phone still does it well. The 3 Mobile push email program is quite flaky from time to time but that’s not the e63’s fault.

Over the last year, the things that I want to use the phone for have greatly expanded. I now have Snaptu installed so I can send and read Twitter entries. I’ve downloaded bus timetable PDFs which I frequently refer to. I now surf the web on the e63 and read news stories, look up the weather etc. etc. I’ve been using the built in camera to take photos including products and prices at shops so that I can refer back to them. I hadn’t imagined doing all this stuff back in mid-2009 when I excitedly unboxed my e63.

I suppose you could say that I’ve grown into the phone’s capabilities and then realised that I’ve begun to outgrow them. Make no mistake, the Nokia e63 is still a fabulous smart phone – but I’ve begun to brush up against some of its limitations.

Chief amongst the limitations that are frustrating me is the lack of HSDPA. I had imagined this might have been short for Homo Sexual Direct Penis Access but no, it actually stands for High Speed Downlink Packet Access. Basically, it makes the internet access faster than regular 3G. The e63 doesn’t have it and I knew that when I signed up for the phone. It didn’t bother me because I wasn’t interested in using it for web surfing back then. However, times change!

3 Mobile’s mobile broadband connection and speed is erratic at the best of times – the lack of HSDPA in my e63 just magnifies the slowness from time to time. I’m ready for a phone that has HSDPA and can whoosh me around the word wide web without delay! The e63’s inbuilt web browser is also kind of clunky. I get a bit frustrated with it – I know I could download Opera (or is that Oprah?) and install it for free. But I haven’t bothered.

Next up is a slowness I’ve noticed in the responsiveness of particular menu functions. Sometimes you’ll select something and there’ll be a few seconds before the phone responds. As a now frequent user of PDFs on the phone, the slowness of getting into a PDF is driving me nuts. The phone also finds it difficult to draw and redraw PDFs (timetables being a perfect example) with any real speed. Zooming in also takes what seems like an eternity (but which, in reality, is probably only a few seconds).

While I’d never expect a phone like this to be a primary camera – I have my own digital camera – it would be nice if the e63’s camera was a little bit better in terms of picture quality. I guess my expectations of the phone’s camera quality have actually changed and increased and I now find it another limitation instead of being a benefit.

Those are the main areas where I’m a little annoyed with the e63 but they should in no way be taken as a ‘don’t buy this phone’ diatribe. Quite the contrary, I love this phone – it was the phone I always wanted, I got it and I’ve made really good use of it. Things like call quality and the keyboard are just fantastic. For people who – like me a year or so ago – want a smart phone but don’t want to pay a fortune, the Nokia e63 is a stunner. Not everyone needs to have the latest fandangled uber-high specced amoled-shmamoled 42″ screen mobile monstrosity. Lots of people just want a good, reliable, attractive phone with a real keyboard that can do a smart functions. The e63 is that phone. And some of the prices I’ve seen for the e63 lately – like $149 on pre-paid – well, it’s virtually a give away!

But here I am in mid-October 2010 and I’m ready to move on up and move on out (as M People might have once sung!) What’s next for me? Now that I’m finally ready to break off my love affair with the Nokia e63, who should I start dating now?

Nokia e5

Nokia e5 - is it the next big thing?

The obvious answer seems to be the Nokia e5. It’s kinda like the e63 but faster, smarter and slicker. Plus it is reasonably priced. Not all of us can afford to either stump up $800+ for a mobile phone or get locked in to a $80 a month contract for 2 years just to have the latest iFag or Andwoid megatronic devices. Some of us are on a tight budget but would still like to have a phone that’s a bit sexy, a bit speedy and that still has a real keyboard.

The only trouble with the Nokia e5 is that it may be a little TOO much like the e63. While the e5 does have some new and nifty features, it is possibly not as an ambitious upgrade from Nokia as I would have liked. The screen size, for example, is exactly the same as the e63 and apparently the screen resolution is a downgrade compared to the e71 (the e63’s big brother). To be fair, Nokia have priced the e5 at a very competitive level so maybe the lack of “wow!” features is a trade off for the price point. Oh, and you can’t get it in bright red or deep blue like the e63 so that’s a downer. The e5’s colour schemes – apart from basic black – are all quite hideous.

I’ve got a lot of thinking and research to do over the coming weeks. I want a new mobile phone and I’m not yet locked into any particular brand or model. I do have an affection for Nokia and I guess some brand loyalty because of my satisfaction with the e63. I would prefer a phone with a keyboard – touch screens really annoy me. Whenever I see someone fingering, caressing, stroking, pinching or tweaking the screen of their iFag, part of me just wants to scream out “WANKER!!!” 😉

To Nokia e5 or not….that is the question!
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