Nokia must have represented task-switching in every conceivable way on Symbian over the years: we've had truncated vertical lists, horizontal lists, horseshoes, V-shapes and carousels. The E6 uses large "live preview" thumbnails, of which only one is fully visible at any one time. When you have a dozen open applications, it's very tedious to scroll through these - I found myself avoiding the task-switcher altogether, it's simply quicker to return to the Menu or Home screen.
A 3.5mm socket for 'phones and the Nokia-standard AC port are present
The Home Screen borrows the widgets from Nokia's touchscreen phones, but it's an inflexible affair. Although there are five home screens, you have only three horizontal slots free on each - the clock and profiles widgets can't be moved, and are on every screen - and a fixed space is reserved for notifications. You can only have one widget instance per home screen: so one row of contacts, or one shortcut bar.
Nokia followed up the E71 with the E72, which brought only incremental technical improvements at the expense of build quality, and introduced some very poor design choices. Few were happy with the result. For the E72, Nokia halved size of the space bar - the E6 sees it restored to its four-key-wide glory. Gone too is the E72's unreliable optical navpad.
Here's the E6 key layout compared to the E71 - this is illustrative, the two devices are not to scale:
Nokia E72 (left) and E6 (right) key layouts
The 'floating' function key bar that was last year's Nokia design fetish across its E-series phones has also been banished. The dedicated function keys and keyboard here are outstanding.
With an aluminium case and Gorilla Glass screen, it all feels very solid, and there's no flexing or creaking. There's a dedicated lock key, removing the requirement to strike a key combo or gamble with the power button.
Next page: Socket and see
Many many people don't want apps
So not sure not having them in 12 months is a problem.
Although the call answer issues is a biggy.
Welcome to Android.
Welcome to Android, its a battery munching pig.
Deja vu all over again
Good to see Nokia trying to develop a natural successor to the E71: a smartphone designed as if battery life mattered.
Bad to see that Nokia still can't design smartphones as if software mattered.
Since I am not interested in an MS phone, I guess my E71 will have to live forever.
(My 6310 tried, but, through no fault of its own, it ended up at the bottom of the river Wey. To avoid a recurrence of this unfortunate outcome, I moved to Germany. So far, so good.)
"I doubt if anyone felt an emotion resembling affection for their E71"
I love my E71! As a phone I'd choose it over any iphone or android model I've encountered. Comfortable in the pocket and in the hand (physically small), fantastic keyboard, and a decent battery life (like, my battery is well over two years old and I still get a week if I'm not using it too much for heavier tasks like GPS).
When it dies I want the replacement to be just as compact and comfortable, and to have as nice a keyboard! And preferably battery life, too!
"My review E6 didn't always answer phone calls - with the phone hanging up before I had a chance to answer it."
You're holding it wrong.
Sorry, I'll be on my way...