Nokia has introduced the E6 and X7, two slim steel-and-glass smartphones that are the first to run the most updated version of the Symbian operating system. While Nokia has made clear that its priorities are now with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS, Nokia has said that it plans to ship at least 150 million Symbian-running smartphones before it transitions away from the OS entirely, and these two lovelies-one focused on entertainment and the other the enterprise-will surely help it toward that goal.
Also, insert here a small round of applause for Nokia, which has never named a phone anything that some of us can easily remember or not confuse with something else. Its big Symbian update, which will arrive “in coming months,” is simply called: “Anna.”
Symbian Anna-which has already received criticism for not being the same open-source OS Nokia used to tout-has been updated with “usability enhancements” that include “new icons, improved text input, a faster Internet browsing experience and a refreshed Ovi Maps application with improved search and new public transport routes.” For business users, there are also security upgrades, accelerated encryption and new features in the email app.
On to those slick new devices, the enterprise-savvy E6, available in black or gray, features a 2.46-inch touch screen, a full QWERTY keypad, a finger touch controller between the two and the option to use a capacitive stylus. Its measurements are almost exactly those of the Apple iPhone 4, though the E6-which has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that sticks out a bit-winds up measuring 10.5mm thick to the iPhone’s 9.3mm.
The E6 can act as a mobile WiFi hotspot to other devices as well as a data modem, can automatically switch between WCDMA and GMS band, and features 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of data, Flash Lite 4.0 (which supports most Flash Player 10.1 content) an FM radio and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. Plus, its “exceptional” battery life, per Nokia, offers 75 hours of offline music playback time, 9 hours of video playback and 14-plus hours of talk time.
Nokia also calls it “the best out-of-the-box Microsoft messaging experience on a business smartphone, including access to Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Communicator Mobile and Microsoft SharePoint.”
The Nokia X7, also available in black or gray, looks downright architected, with unusual angles, a brushed stainless steel finish and a 4-inch AMOLED touch screen. Media and entertainment are the focus here, and it has three customizable home screens that users can do this-and-that to, adding shortcuts and directing news updates, emails, instant messages, social-networking feeds and more to appear there.
There’s also support for Adobe Flash videos, free GPS navigation with Ovi Maps and Web TV on demand-which a user can also have one-click access to from a home screen, if they’re so inclined.
There’s 8GB of memory, on an included microSD card, but support for a 32GB card. There’s Bluetooth 3.0, FM radio, Flash Lite 4, a highspeed USB 2.0 slot, the ability to act as a data modem, support for MS Outlook synchronization of contacts, calendar and notes, and an 8-megapixel camera with video and still-image zoom, a third-generation dual LED flash, facial recognition software.
There’s a Nokia Music Player and, for gaming, an accelerometer, Java games and a dedicated graphics processor with OpenGL 2.0 that enables 3D graphics. It also ships with “Galaxy on Fire HD” and “Asphalt 5 HD” preloaded.
Both Nokia smartphones will arrive later this quarter, with the E6 priced at approximately $491 and the X7 at $548, according to Reuters.
Symbian Anna will come standard on newly shipping N8, E7, C7 and C6-01 smartphones, and will, in the coming months, be available for download by those who have already purchased these phones.
“With these new products and more Symbian devices and user enhancements coming in the near future,” Jo Harlow, head of Nokia’s Smart Devices business, said in a statement, “we are confident we can keep existing Nokia smartphone customers engaged, as well as attract new first-time and competitor smartphone users.”