Feb 10, 2010

[Gadgets] My Final Choice: The Nokia E63

Last week, I posted my considerations for getting a new mobile phone. I had listed the qualities I desired in aforementioned phone and then I started gathering suggestions and ideas, researching options and visiting mobile phone shops.

So after a week's worth of careful study and contemplation, I've narrowed down my list to pretty much two mobile phones with one edging out over the other. Here are the phones that I'm considering, in case you geeks are interested - the options may surprise you.

The first phone that I started to consider based on the suggestions of many friends was the Samsung Jet (S8000). It's a pretty little thing that boasts of a pretty impressive touch screen display that can manage over 16 million colors and it has the WiFi capability that I've been looking for. It's just within my budget range (although near what I'm comfortable spending for) and it looks pretty as heck. It is, after all, part of Samsung's "Stylish" line of phones and so that last bit sort of makes sense.

Despite the prettiness and the impressive AMOLED display, the phone does make me pause to some extent. I'm a heavy text message kind of person and I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with a touch screen interface. QWERTY option or not, it's still a resistive touch screen and thus I'll definitely need to look at the screen to make sure I'm typing my messages correctly. Most reviews indicate that they didn't encounter any major problem with the responsiveness of the virtual keypad, but many have complained about how easily the screen gets smudged with fingerprints.

I almost bought myself a Jet last Saturday but when I finally decided on getting one, the store that I had initially canvassed had coincidentally sold off its last unit to the woman standing right beside me at the counter. It was a bit of a jarring experience given that it takes a while for a geek like me to warm up to an actual purchasing decision only to find out the item in question was out of stock at the last minute.

So I did a reality check and considered not getting a phone as pretty as that one and focused more on my original requirements. I reminded myself that I didn't really need a pretty phone - I just needed a practical one that gave me mobile browsing capabilities, especially via WiFi. With that in mind, I found myself looking at a brand I had long abandoned years ago - Nokia.

CNET Asia ranked the Nokia E72 as the best phone based on Singaporean subscriber numbers. While the E72 is within a similar price range as the Samsung Jet, I know that I don't necessarily need a phone with those features, especially given the wide range of phones in the same family with highly similar features.

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08:  A nokia E63 phone is ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

So I turned to the Nokia E63 instead, the somewhat cuter and scaled down version of the E71 and the E72. It features a plastic housing which may seem cornier-looking but perhaps more practical from a grip perspective with the same WiFi capabilities and an actual QWERTY keypad. The screen is decently-sized for my needs and looking at the unit, it seems to fit my palm decently well without becoming too bulky or anything like that.

It's practically half the cost of the Samsung Jet with just enough of the features that I need. It's a really good bargain considering the price tag and the affordability makes my risk factor seem a lot less. If it doesn't work out for me and this phone, I can always consider getting a new phone a year or two down the line. I know that sounds a tad frivolous, but frankly it's more practical than you may realize.

I canvassed for the phone last Monday and was unable to secure one just yet. The store that had the best deal didn't have the phone in stock but assured me that they'd have new inventory either today or by Friday. I'll wait for Friday to make the trek to get one - wish me luck!

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