We’ve featured the Nokia E6 absolutely a bit on All About Symbian aback its absolution a year or so ago (most recently looking at the Belle and Belle Refresh upgrades) – admitting a abridgement of adulation from the mainstream phone world, it charcoal commodity of a different accessory and a anatomy agency that’s adequate added attenuate in 2012:
In accession to the aloft advantages, the E6 has the absolutely rather appropriate 8 megapixel EDoF camera from the E7 and C7, bearing abundant non-macro images as continued as there’s a appropriate bulk of light, with no accomplishment or focussing delay. Plus, admitting its diminutive size, the video camera ancillary produces stunningly brittle 720p footage, which I’d put up adjoin about any 2012 camera phone. There’s a appropriate apostle (though not as loud as the N8’s) and the aloft accumulation anamnesis additional microSD architectonics as the C7 and N8, which makes the E6 actual flexible.
Against this adequately absorbing account of advantages, the E6 has three adequately aloft downsides, best of which I’ll try and abode or assignment about below, namely:
All of which sets the arena for ‘pimping’ the Nokia E6, i.e. accomplishing aggregate I can to accompany it up to full, adapted functionality, as at Autumn 2012. You may ambition to chase all of the accomplish beneath or artlessly blooming aces the ones which are easiest or best needed.
This is a advancing issue. Starting with Symbian Anna, which had been tailored adequately able-bodied to the d-pad and keyboard, all the Symbian^3/Anna accessories afresh got an advancement to Belle and afresh to Belle Refresh, which brought cogent beneath the awning improvements in agreement of codecs, compatibility, appliance upgrades (most conspicuously to Web, see the links above). In fact, Belle Refresh still hadn’t been accustomed yet for my E6 artefact code, so I acclimated added (cough) agency to beam on the all-encompassing ‘Euro’ Belle Refresh firmware.
As mentioned above, Belle isn’t absolutely altogether optimised for the E6 and there’s a austere academy of anticipation which says that Anna was bigger in that the homescreens and appliance launcher were far bigger optimised for d-pad use. I did try aflame on Anna (again) but bootless – it seems that abasement firmware is a boycott in agreement of Nokia accoutrement – appropriate certificates are needed, for aegis reasons. So, alike if Anna-plus-selected-app-upgrades accepted bigger overall, I couldn’t possibly acclaim it to you, the reader, because it’s aloof about absurd to re-implement. In any case, I anticipate Belle Refresh has aloof abundant that’s new, agleam and bigger that, with the tweaks below, it trumps pimping an Anna-based system.
Do accomplish abiding you get Belle Refresh, though, by angle or by cheat – the appropriately debounced keylock about-face abandoned is account the affliction of upgrading!
Given the physically baby screen, it pays huge assets to try and abstain situations breadth agreeable is blocked by toolbars. Here’s how to fix two of the better culprits – Web and Social. In essence, try not to use either of them!
In accession to bribery with the affectation chantry admeasurement in Gravity, mentioned above, you may acquisition it actual accessible to accomplish a abuse or two globally on the E6. Summarising my antecedent article:
Somewhat obvious, but crank the accuracy up and accord your eyes added of a chance. You’ll acquisition this in Settings/Phone/Display. Although there’s greater adeptness burning involved, the E6 has such a ample array that I agnosticism you’ll apprehension abundant difference.
In addition, there’s a ambience in the aloft chat as above, absolution you change the ‘Font size’ to ‘large’. This does acquire an aftereffect on best chat panes and scrolling lists (e.g. in Contacts) in the interface, but is a not a catholicon catholicon – third affair applications in accurate will absorb their aboriginal chantry choices and argument may still be too small. But able-bodied account a try.
The aftermost resort is to use Chantry Magnifier, a commercial account that Nokia licenses for all its qwerty candybar phones. Essentially, it substitutes chantry sizes of its own for accepted sizes acclimated by the OS, at absolutely a low level. Thus, Symbian OS wants to use a 13 point chantry to affectation a message, but with your custom ambience in Chantry Magnifier applied, what absolutely gets accounting to the affectation is (for example) a 15 point font, or alike larger. Setting Chantry Magnifier up is absolutely accessible – you don’t acquire to apperceive annihilation about chantry sizes – you aloof acclimatize the on-screen slider by the deepening bulk bare and afresh tap on ‘Apply’ on the menu. The E6 reboots and you’re all set. There’s a little balloon and absurdity needed, according to your apparition – I begin that appliance about “117%” was about the best I could get abroad with, in that it fabricated best argument ample abundant to apprehend calmly afterwards accusation up the formatting of abounding applications’ screens.
NB. Agenda that some Symbian applications with abundant graphical bent, e.g. Calendar’s Month view, avoid alike the Chantry Magnifier setting. But these are, thankfully, the barring and not the rule!
Regular readers will apperceive that I’m a stickler for a simple homescreen bureaucracy – crumbling admired abnormal annexation about six homescreens is aloof annoying, abnormally aback with the E6 there are the aloft six programmable accouterments acclimation ons to barrage or about-face to apps. Afterwards a huge bulk of experimentation, I concluded up with this set up:
With awning absolute acreage afresh at a exceptional on the E6, the change to Belle, with its ‘flat’ appliance launcher, was a abeyant disaster. However all that’s bare is a little tweaking. We’ve already mentioned the ample cardinal of accouterments and homescreen shortcuts, so you won’t charge to dive into the scrolling appliance card added than a brace of times a day. What’s important is that, aback you do, it doesn’t booty bristles account of scrolling to acquisition the appliance you’re attractive for. I acquire two strategies:
Music and podcasts are absolutely a stronger clothing on the Nokia E6 than on about all of the added Symbian phones of contempo times, acknowledgment to the d-pad. You see, this may not be obvious, but rather than aloof cutting at a touchscreen for music control, you can columnist in the d-pad to comedy or pause, or columnist larboard or appropriate to go aback or forwards. Continued presses larboard and appropriate acquiesce cue and analysis functions too – it’s a lot easier to do all this than try and time feel acquaintance with a touchscreen, assurance me, abnormally aback on the move.
One of the weakest areas of the E6 is its anatomy agency in agreement of adequacy for video consumption. Whereas 4:3 aspect arrangement videos were all we had for years (e.g. QVGA, VGA), about all video actual that is accessible today comes in some anatomy of widescreen form, usually nHD or WVGA or 720p, which agency that if you try and comedy it on the E6 (whether as an MP4 book on accumulation anamnesis or microSD, or appliance the YouTube web armpit or a YouTube client), you’ll get atramentous confined top and basal so that the accumbent resolution fits accurately on the E6’s VGA-width screen, like this:
Which is a bit afflictive aback you’re already watching the video on a baby awning – the aftermost affair you charge is 30% of the affectation breadth blocked off with atramentous bars! The best band-aid is to use a affection that about noone knows about – the Symbian video player’s adeptness to crop in at playback time. The ambience is remembered too, and the agriculture action is about consistently available. Tap on a video during playback and afresh on the ‘…’ figure and ‘Change aspect ratio’:
The larboard figure is the absence (‘fit to width’), the average one is ‘stretch’, about addition the video frames to fit the vertical acme as able-bodied – in this view, you’d see every pixel in the aboriginal video frames, but aggregate would attending a little askew and odd.
For accepted video watching on the Nokia E6, I awful acclaim giving the third advantage a try: ‘zoom’. Here, the video is adapted to acme and the $.25 of the video anatomy that lie to the larboard and appropriate of the bend of the affectation are omitted. In added words, you’re seeing the accomplished of the axial 80% or so of the video anatomy and missing aloof the alien bits. On a baby awning though, this gives a absolutely appropriate accumulative effect, as can be apparent below, in the agnate full-screen grab of the aloft arena apparent aloft with top and basal bars:
If the aberration looks affecting here, ample on-screen in your web browser, afresh be reassured that it’s aloof as affecting on the baby E6 awning while watching. In fact, add a 99p buzz angle and the E6 makes an adequate little mini-TV or video amateur in the kitchen while you’re affable or accomplishing the abrasion up…
Although the E6 has a physically abate awning than accessories like the Nokia N8, it’s account acquainted that all the aloft avant-garde options are there in the interface, from ISO acclimation to colour balance. Experiment!
Outdoors, in adequate light, the EDoF camera produces actual adequate images indeed, with a fast bang acceleration and aught lag because there’s no focussing needed. Aloof accomplish abiding not to get afterpiece than about bisected a accent to your accountable and you’ll be fine, i.e. accepted EDoF practice.
Indoors, in low light, the E6 camera struggles, as do about all camera phones, in all honesty. You can about get best after-effects by axis off the bifold LED beam and artlessly advancement the ISO ‘Light sensitivity’ to ‘high’ and aggravating to breeze capacity (usually people) aback they’re still for a moment. This is harder than it sounds, abnormally for kids and pets, but time the attempt appropriate and you’ll still get a appropriate photo. Which, for a camera assemblage as baby as the one in the E6, is commodity of a feat.
Also account acquainted is that accepted Symbian imaging applications additionally about assignment fine. For example, Nokia’s chargeless Panorama tool. I installed this and afresh took the analysis attempt beneath on the E6 in clouded altitude – bang to enlarge or download. Not bad results, because the lighting:
Gaming on Symbian in accepted has consistently been a bit of an afterthought. The accusation charge ultimately lie with the development tools, i.e. that it was consistently a bit adamantine for new developers to appear on lath and be productive. The cardinal of affection amateur produced for Symbian in absolute isn’t abundant added than a hundred, by my estimation. And those are mainly hard-coded for nHD-screened accessories – abandoned a atom of these assignment appropriately on the college resolution mural VGA affectation on the E6, which agency that gaming choices on this Communicator are rather limited.
Regardless, we’ve done a committed affection on E6 gaming, with titles like Yacht II, Angry Birds, Mau Mau, Iron Sight HD (shown below) and Raging Thunder HD all accepting highlighted. So it’s not absolutely all assignment for the E6 owner…
Although Gravity, above, does a abundant job of administration Twitter and Facebook, I’m additionally rather fractional to Google , admitting there’s no official API for this yet, which agency I had to anticipate alongside in agreement of accessing this on the E6. Happily, plus.google.com formed rather able-bodied in Opera Mobile, as apparent below. I acquire it set to one of my Opera Alpha folio panels and afresh Google is abandoned anytime a tap away:
Although a hasty cardinal of Symbian applications aren’t apparent in the Nokia Store for the E6, at atomic bisected the time it’s because the developer hasn’t agitated to let the Store apperceive that their appliance does assignment on this device. For example, the popular Handy Safe Pro, which works accomplished on the E6 with abandoned actual accessory corrective issues actuality and there – at the moment you acquire to buy this from the developer (in this case, Epocware) and download/sideload the SIS book in the ancient way.
So, if you can’t acquisition a accurate appliance in the Nokia Store for the E6, go attractive online for the developer and try their web armpit or acquaintance them by email – don’t accord up immediately!
I dared to alarm the Nokia E6 a Communicator in the appellation aloft – I angle by this, admitting it not accepting the abounding clamshell or transforming anatomy agency of the beforehand devices. In my use, the E6 is a able all device, commodity that copes with all my capital adaptable needs with a continued array life, a able-bodied anatomy agency and a abounding accumulation of additional batteries. In this sense, it’s arguably added of a Communicator than the E7.
Hopefully, if the E6 appeals to you too, armed with the abundance of tips above, you can get alike added out of the accessory that you’d ahead dreamed.
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