Nokia E63 Review: This mobile phone was released in late 2008. Although a departure from the standard candybar layout which made Nokia famous, the Nokia E63 showed the direction mobile phones were moving in at that time. The Nokia E63 was not Nokia’s first QWERTY-type handset – this accolade can go to the Nokia E61 or even further back the ‘organiser type’ 9-series phones such as the Nokia 9300 or Nokia 9500 Communicators. The E61 in particular was a great hit: its layout made it perfect for business applications such as typing lengthy emails.
The market forces were demanding change, however. These models of phones all commanded hefty premiums. In many cases, networks did not subsidise the Communicator handset leaving these as extremely expensive phones (at the time). And it became clear that the QWERTY style handset was growing in popularity among the younger leisure audience as Blackberry usage boomed.
So here became the opportunity for the Nokia E63. Full specifications here.
The release of this phone saw some juggling in the naming conventions. The previous Nokia E61, a higher-priced business model saw a new family begin with the release of the Nokia E71.
Whilst the Nokia E63 was very successful, there was no Nokia E64. Instead the leisure line of QWERTY handsets continued for some time in the guise of Nokia E5-00 and survived for some time in various guises before becoming largely redundant as better quality touchscreen technology became available at budget prices.
Nokia E63 Review: Pros
The phone came at a much cheaper price point to the Nokia E71, which was considered one of the more premium handsets at the time. Although slightly lower in spec, this may not have been noticeable for the intended user.
Reflecting this trend, the Nokia E63 debuted in coloured plastic fascias instead of the more metallic designs used in the Nokia E71. These were customisable at low cost.
The phone technology moved quickly on the previous iteration Nokia E61 instead of merely iterating. A camera and microSD card slot allowed this to be a more versatile handset.
The keyboard was on par with the Blackberry models and offered a large footprint. This made it quite comfortable to use.
The Symbian OS adapted well to the new keypad. Navigation was easy and a wide range of shortcut buttons on the front made this quick to use.
Nokia E63 Review: Cons
The phone ditched the joystick in favour of a D-pad for navigation. This is still useable but the optical trackpads of the Blackberry models would prove to be superior.
Whilst the camera was 2 megapixel with flash (this matched many Blackberry models), this was a little underpowered for the time and produced some fuzzy images.
Unlike the Nokia E71, the phone lacked GPS which meant apps such as navigation would not work. This may have been a disappointment seeing as these things were becoming commonplace.
The Nokia App store was also in its infancy and trailed a long way behind the up and coming Apple and Blackberry equivalents in terms of available programs.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing
Whilst not having the limelight I do believe many non-standard Nokia phones will be fondly remembered. The original Nokia E61 may command a slightly better price for being a little more groundbreaking at the time but we should still see a solid market for models such as this.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.