By Johan Keyter 29 June 2010


Expanding on its E-series range of business smartphones, the Nokia E63 aims to speed up your life with its full-sized QWERTY keyboard and innovative business centric features.
Featuring a comfortable design with pleasing rounded edges the E63 fits perfectly into your hand. It also sports three colour options (ultramarine blue, ruby red and black).
One of this phone’s best features is its full QWERTY keyboard layout. Although it may take a bit of getting used to, this layout really speeds up your typing and your hands will revert to the familiar QWERTY style in no time. When looking at the phone you will be forgiven for thinking the keys are a bit on the small side, but they’re extremely responsive and easy to get used to.
Measuring in at 113 x 59 x 13 mm and weighing in at a mere 126g, the E63 isn’t overly bulky and fits easily in your pocket. As an extra dash of inspiration Nokia added a rubberized plastic backside that helps the phone grip better to your hand.
They have also included a handy flashlight function, activated by simply keeping the space bar key pressed and using the LED camera flash as a torch.
The E63 allows you to link your email address to the phone and receive email updates on the go. Setting up POP mail accounts might take some time, but Gmail accounts are not a problem. We experienced no problems at all on the email side - it was hassle free and worked like a charm.
The E63 is also GPRS, EDGE 32, and UMTS compatible, but does not include 3G, which for some might be a deal breaker for some. Luckily it also includes Wi-Fi support, which comes in handy if you have a home or office network. 
Other connectivity features include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support and microUSB for PC synchronization.
Processor and operating system
The Nokia E63 is powered by an ARM11 processor which operates at a stock frequency of 369 MHz, giving the phone adequate processing power keeping in mind that the S60 platform is not that graphic intensive. During use no slowdown or freezes were experienced and even when multi-tasking the E63 kept pace comfortably.
The Symbian 9.2 operating system sees several improvements such as vCalender 2.0, support for 3D graphics and hardware acceleration becoming available on the E63. Storage space is up to you with a maximum of 8GB obtainable through hot-swappable microSD cards.
Featuring a 1500 mAh Li-Polymer battery, the E63 has an officially stated battery life of 432 hours in standby and about 11 hours in talk time mode. Throughout our testing the E63 had excellent battery life going up to four days without recharge. Compared to other smartphones, the E63's battery life is superb. 
The E63 makes use of the same 2.4” display that has become standard across most of the E-series range. It supports a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels with a 16 million colour display. In use we found the display to be crisp and even in direct sunlight it stands up well to scrutiny.
The camera is where the E63 starts showing some weaknesses, featuring a 2-megapixel camera with only basic functions such as self-portrait and LED flash. Picture quality was not really up to scratch either, especially when compared to other modern camera phones.
As a business smartphone, the E63 features several business centered applications. A number of QuickOffice applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint (editing and viewing) along with a comprehensive calendar, PDF reader, notepad, Zip archiver and file manager make up a part of the E63’s business functionality.  
To aid you in conducting business on the go the E63 includes features such as email, web, calendar, organizer, IM, office tools and application manager pre-installed on the device.
As far as multimedia options go the E63 may not be the heart of the party but it’ll still keep you in touch with your favourite music and videos. The phone has a 3.5 mm audio jack enabling users to connect their preferred headphones/earphones and video playback is taken care of by the integrated Real Player application which can run clips in full screen mode.
Final thoughts
A comfortable and practical smartphone, the Nokia E63 presses all the right buttons. It may not be the most exciting smartphone on the market but it’s definitely one of the most reliable and straightforward devices out there. And while the lack of 3G may be an annoyance to some users, it's still a steal if you look at all the features you get, with a lot of retailers selling it for under R2000 these days.
The E63 offers an extensive package for a reasonably low price, one which I am sure will appeal to many looking for a reliable business smartphone.
The not quite up to standard camera may prove to be an annoyance to some users.

Magazine Online is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say

What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (15 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (16 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (9 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (10 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (16 votes)
Better business applications (53 votes)