We picked up a Nokia E66 business smartphone from M1 at Comex. It was going for quite a good price it seems. $298 for a low-end 2 year contract, considering that it is $368 from M1 Shop’s “Online Exclusive”. The E66 has generally received quite good reviews overall, although many have pointed out that the camera itself is quite mediocre.
Probably one of the most outstanding thing about the E66 is the build quality. The phone has a very sturdy construction, particularly for a slider phone. In fact, the slider mechanism itself is firm but smooth, you’d hardly feel any free play or movements. The handset is compact and slim (just 13.5mm thick). The body has a nice chrome bezel, and the backplate is a textured metal piece. The 2.4″ LCD screen is not huge, but it is pretty bright. The keys are fairly large, easy to press and feel. I think the E66 is already a winner just on the looks and feel alone.
Basically, this phone has “the works”. Quadband, 802.11 WLAN, bluethooth, A-GPS, and 3.2MP auto-focus camera for stills and video recording.
This phone is fast. The UI, switching screens, launching applications, taking photos, etc, are all quite snappy for a smartphone. Compared to the N95 8GB, the E66 is slightly faster doing everything I tried. The only part I found the E66 was the screen rotation, which I believe the delay could have been an intentional effect.
The camera on the E66 is not as great as the rest of the phone is. It is a 3.2MP auto-focus camera with LED flash. I’d say the picture quality is mediocre. It’s not lousy, just that I was expecting better. Perhaps I’m spoilt by my N95 8GB. But alas, as a business smartphone, I guess Nokia figured the camera isn’t really that important. The E66 camera is slightly faster than the N95 8GB, but because the shutter button doesn’t work to launch the camera application, you may need to fumble around a little with the UI before you’re ready to take a quick snapshot.
The E66 is a Symbian phone, with the usual suite of Symbian software. So if you already have a Symbian phone like, say, the N95 8GB, the E66 software should all be quite familiar. It supports Exchange connectivity, the sort of things that business people want, since the E66 is a business smartphone. I’ve not played with that yet… so nothing to report about that for now.
Overall, I think the E66 is great, as long as you don’t need it to be your main everyday camera.