The top half of the phone is dominated by the display. This screen isn’t the sharpest around as it has a resolution of just 320 x 240, but given its relatively small 2.36in size, text and graphics still look quite crisp. It’s also very bright, so it’s brilliantly readable – even outdoors in direct sunlight.
Of course, one of the key usages for a phone like this is messaging and on this front, the E63 scores highly. Setting it up with an email account is incredibly straightforward. You just enter your email address and password and the phone does its own software configuration in the background to get the account up and running. All the main protocols like IMAP4, POP and Exchange are supported, but sadly, Blackberry Connect is noticeable by its absence. When it comes to email attachments, you should have no problems opening them. Viewing and editing of Office documents is supported via a copy of QuickOffice, and there’s both a PDF reader and ZIP utility pre-loaded as well.
On the Internet side of things, the phone’s browser does a respectable job. It generally retains the formatting of pages quite well and as you move around it pops up a thumbnail view of the entire layout to aid with navigation. However, it’s certainly not on a par with the iPhone’s Safari in terms of usability.
Clearly, as this handset retails for around £80 less than the E71, Nokia has had to make some cuts. Unfortunately, one of the features to get the chop has been GPS, which is a shame, as it’s something that’s becoming increasingly standard even on handsets in this price range. Nokia has also taken out support for HSDPA, so you’re limited to standard 3G speeds for web browsing and data downloads, although there is Wi-Fi support for when you’re at home or within range of a hotspot.
The spec of the camera has also been reduced. Instead of the 3.2-megapixel one found on the E71, the E63 makes do with a 2.0-megapixel snapper, and as you would expect, shots taken are of below average quality. At least it does have an LED camera light that helps when taking shots in low light and doubles as a torch – handy for when you’re trying to find the right key in the dark (just press and hold down the space bar to turn it on).