Samsung T809 & Nokia Eseries
The Eseries is Nokia's new line of flagship smartphones for business users. All three phones in the initial trio feature what can only be described as maximum connectivity. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EDGE, WCDMA, memory card slots, and VoIP are all standard. Two of the three - the E61 and E70 - will even include GSM 850 for those of us in the States.
The E70 employs the same flip-keyboard design as Nokia's 6800 series, such as the 6800 and 6820. The downside of the 6800 was always the small display and lack of a smartphone OS. The E70 addresses both issues, although not without compromise; the E70 is not a small phone. As you can see from the last photo above, the E70 is no smaller than the infamously big-boned N90. At least the E70 includes a roomy QWERTY keyboard to justify its bulk. To its credit, the E70 is considerably more pocket-friendly than the 9300.
Also standard for the whole Eseries are very-high-resolution displays. While many other manufacturers are just rolling out QVGA displays, Nokia is expanding its portfolio of phones with amazing 352 x 416 pixel displays. Nokia's first phone with such a display was the N90, but these type of displays really shine (no pun intended) on business-oriented phones like the E70, where the extra detail really makes a difference for email, web browsing, and viewing/editing documents.
One very interesting feature of the new Series 60 OS is the ability for softkeys to be located on the side of the display instead of the bottom. While the N90 employs this feature for camera mode, the E70 puts it to use any time the phone is used in landscape (keyboard-open) mode. This is an interesting difference compared to Windows Mobile devices, which require an extra set of softkey buttons for landscape mode.
The E70 has a great keyboard. The keys are similar in shape to the latest Pocket PC smartphones from HTC, including the PPC-6700, the Universal, and certain versions of the Wizard. In all cases, square keys form a grid with no separation between them, yet the keys are "domed" enough in the middle to make them easy to feel.
(Be sure to check out the second photo above for an interesting error message we stumbled upon.)
Unfortunately, we weren't able to try the camera as it wasn't working on the prototype on hand, but with two megapixel resolution, it shouldn't be too bad.
We were able to check out the hot-swappable miniSD memory card slot, though. Unlike the slots on most phones that require deft manipulation with a long fingernail, the slot on the E70 has a nice big cutout that makes it a pleasure to change the card. The result is that - even though the E70's slot is under the battery cover - it's actually easier and faster to change the card in the E70 than most phones with an external slot.
The E70 will also be available in a black version.