The Nokia E63-2 is a smartphone with a great reputation for quality and great functionality. However, with the rising prices of smartphone carrier plans that are offering fewer minutes and even less included Internet airtime, an unlocked smartphone such as the Nokia E63-2 unlocked phone should be the optimal way to keep costs under control while having the best in features and functionality. While this Nokia smartphone is one of the best Nokia smartphones available for the price, the carrier choice-or lack thereof-leaves something to be desired.
Design and Operating System
The Nokia E63-2 very much resembles the Nokia E71. It is a candy bar style 4.4 inch tall by 2.3-inch wide smartphone split down the middle as many are. The bottom half is a full QWERTY keyboard which is easy to use and while the spacebar is smaller because of the addition of some extra keys on the same row, typing is made more accurate with larger keys overall. A dedicated key for various features such as email, Home screen, calendar and contracts, in addition to two separate home screen modes makes accessing features simple. Navigation is helped with Nokia’s NaviKey and accelerated scroll features.
The top half is graced with a 2.4-inch (diagonal) TFT QVGA screen (no touch) with a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels. The display renders colors very nicely and graphics are brilliant as well. The screen itself has technology built in that adjusts for various lighting conditions automatically. However, as with most smartphones using the QVGA technology, sunlight and other types of bright lighting tend to wash out the colors. Additionally, the Nokia E63-2 is slightly thicker than the E71 but it has a slip proof exterior making it easier to hold in the hand and it only weighs 4.4 ounces.
Features, Power & Carrier Compatibility
The Nokia E63-2 unlocked phone comes with many features, but the most useful are the email, messaging and numerous organizational and business applications that are located in the dedicated “Office” folder. Messaging has a text to speech reader in addition to distribution list options. Email supports various protocols such as Microsoft Exchange, POP3, SMTP and others. Integrated Intellisync is built in for wireless email, Mobile VPN is also included. They are both easy to use and perfect for the business consumer demanding messaging activities. Call features include a hands free speakerphone and the usual voicemail, three way calling and call waiting in addition to conference calling and VoIP capabilities among many other features.
The Nokia E63-2 unlocked phone’s camera is a 2 megapixel, which is a step down from the E71’s 3.2 megapixel. This camera, while it takes photos easily, it lacks the usual quality users have come to expect from the E71.
The 1500 mAh Li-Po battery and the ARM11 369 MHz processor make for a decent power combination. The battery allows users to talk up for an average of 11 hours on GSM and four hours forty minutes on WCDMA. And a complete music playback time of up to 18 hours. Additionally, the Nokia E63-2 comes with a microSD hot swappable 8 GB memory and a dynamic internal memory of 110MB. A USB port easily connects the phone to any compatible USB device, although neither a USB cable no a memory card are included in the package.
Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) is an integrated wireless feature in addition to the integrated Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities. The 3G service runs on various quad band frequencies including EGSM and WCDMA. Data networks include CSD, HCSD, GPRS, EDGE and wireless IEEE standard 802.11 b/g. These bands are the important factor in determining which carrier the user has to choose from when selecting a phone service. In this case, this is a downfall because the only support is with AT&T and T-Mobile however not with T-Mobile’s 3G service. While an unlocked smartphone is usually great for allowing the user choice of carriers, if a user buying this phone wants to utilize the great 3G service and features, they are stuck with AT&T and currently, AT&T’s 3G service is in question for its lack of quality and coverage.
Overall, this Nokia E63-2 unlocked smartphone, which comes in three colors including red, black and blue, is a decently performing smartphone with enough features to make most all users happy for the money. While it was initially offered in Europe only, it was finally released in the US and costs from $145 to $200, depending on where it is purchased from. With a comparable plan from T-Mobile, it is one of the cheapest unlocked smartphones available today. However, the fact that the Nokia E63-2 does not run on T-Mobile’s 3G service makes purchasing this unlocked phone almost pointless, since the user’s choices are limited to AT&T’s 3G only and the plans form AT&T are typically twice the cost of T-Mobile.
Consider this; the convenience of choice offered by most other unlocked smartphones would certainly cost much more than the limits this Nokia E63-2 unlocked phone presents to users. For example, most other unlocked smartphones cost between $450 to $600 and more, but they also run on more than one 3G service, offering the choice an unlocked phone typically offers. The fact that the Nokia E63-2 runs on AT&T’s 3G service only takes away any choice and is the biggest downfall to the phone. For those who want the features offered for a relatively low cost, this smartphone has what users need while keeping costs down, but for those who want a better choice on service plans, choose another phone.
Bonnie Cha, “Nokia E63-2 Unlocked,” CNet.com
Nokia Europe, “Nokia E63-2”