The e62 is kinda similar looking to other smartphones.  That's where the similarity ends.
By Columnist
updated 8/24/2006 12:30:03 PM ET 2006-08-24T16:30:03

Nokia’s e62 smartphone is spectacular.  There — I said it.

I've been using one for a few weeks now and I'll go out on a limb to say that it may just be the best smartphone around.

The e62 is keeping other smart phone designers awake at night — and for a good reason.

The e62 was created for the user who is always on the run — for the person who needs first class access to their e-mail, appointments and documents in a portable device of manageable size.

As for size, the e62 is a little larger that Verizon/Motorola’s Q phone but a lot smaller, thinner and lighter than any Palm Treo.  And forget about comparisons with most other smartphones.  The Nokia is smaller (4.61 by 2.76 by 0.63 inches) and lighter (5 ounces).

The e62 is a quad band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE world phone which utilizes the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands. It comes with a big, hi-res color screen (320 by 240 pixels) and a full QWERTY keyboard on the front. It also has a dedicated e-mail button and flashing message light.

Nokia says talk time is between 4 to 5.5 hours with a stand-by time of up to 14 days. As for connections, there’s the now ubiquitous Bluetooth 1.2 and a USB port. Internal memory runs 90 MB plus there’s a miniSD card slot for as much as 2GB of expansion.

The e62 deals with multimedia files by utilizing Real Video, MPEG4, 3GPP formats for video and MP3, Real Audio and MPEG-4 (ACC) for audio. Saved MP3 files can double as ring tones. A suite of office programs should be able to handle any documents you thrown at this device.

There also are a bunch of enhanced voice features such as voice dialing, voice commands for menu shortcuts, a dedicated voice key for easy use voice recording and push to talk.

Nokia’s e62 is the first smartphone which runs on the Symbian (formerly known for Psion PDAs) operating system (S60, 3rd Edition) and the first that can handle nearly any type of push e-mail you can throw at it. The e62 comes with software that lets it communicate properly with Microsoft Exchange servers, plus Blackberry Connect, Intellisync Wireless Email, GoodLink, Seven Always-On Mail and Visto email technologies. That’s in addition to the standard POP, IMAP and SMTP formats.

I set-up my Nokia smartphone using the device’s Mail for Exchange software. All I had to do was plug in the proper numbers, letters and passwords and I was cooking. 

e62 is skinny.  Isn't it?
The phone portion of this smartphone works the way it’s supposed to. You can actually hear what’s going on at the other end. There’s nothing worse than buying one of these new-fangled handsets only to find that you can’t hear what the other person is saying — and/or they can’t hear you.

The e62 was able to open every document I received and e62 documents opened just fine on my laptop.

The e62’s battery lasted me a full two days before needing a recharge. That’s not just leaving it in a corner to see how much juice I can squeeze out of the battery pack. That’s full use: lots of incoming and outgoing calls plus 12 hours a day of e-mail syncing four times an hour.

In my tests, I couldn’t find anything to really complain about with the e62. The only feature it doesn’t have is a digital camera.

The e62 is the version North America is getting. There's also an e61 version or the rest of the world. There are two important features that are included on the overseas model.

The e61 can handle WCDMA connections. That’s the high-speed data technology used in Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region and will soon be rolled out in the United States.  WCDMA is called EV-DO by Verizon and Sprint. The best the e62 can do is EDGE — fast but not really fast.

The e61 also can do Wi-Fi. That means it can do lots of things without having to connect to a cellular phone network. What some carriers fear most is the e61’s ability to handle VoIP calls when you’re near a friendly wireless network. That’s why we won’t see Wi-fi on the e62.

Nokia’s new flagship device should be formally announced early next month. We’ll have to wait until then to hear which GSM provider will be selling here in the U.S. Until then, if you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line smartphone, I’d check-out the e62.  It will be worth the wait.

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