First up is the two devices placed side by side, here you can see the differences in the keyboards very clearly. The space bar is smaller on the E63 and had two extra keys along the bottom row allowing for more characters to be directly accessed via the keyboard. This has got to be a good thing as inserting brackets on the E71 is a pain. The keyboard also extends slightly further down the handset making the keys lightly larger, again anything that makes the keys lightly larger has to be good. You can also notice that the microphone socket has moved to the bottom of the handset too. The casing is plastic both front and back. The front is a metallic effect so looks like the E71 but a tap reveals a plastic casing, that’s fine and it looks good.
The surround of the speaker has also changed and there’s no front facing camera on the E63 either.
The wrist strap has also flipped sides too. You can also see the graphic for the phone book key has changed too and those function keys are a little larger too. The red off button of the E71 is gone and the red handset key now doubles as the on/off. But the big one for me here is the extra keys for more characters that an improvement. There’s also a torch function too, hold down the space bar and the flash light comes on, along with a beeping noise, I guess to let you know it’s on an chewing your battery.
In the above pic you can see the E63 on top off the E71, The E63 is a little thicker and you can see the memory slot and usb connector is smaller and a nicer finish to them, the covers on the E71 keeps catching. So that’s an improvement. You can only see there’s no infra-red port on the E63 and the small round lug of the 3.5mm headphone socket on the top of the handset.
The right hand side of the E63 doesn’t have anything on it, the Volume keys are gone, so this picture gives you a clearer view as to how much thicker the E63 is over the E71.
The backs of both devices are different, the E63’s is made of plastic, whilst the E71’s is a more classy metal. The E63 has a small locking catch which is very simple to use. My impression though it that this back makes the device feel cheaper and more of a cheaper handset. It’s OK it works, it’s less of a finger print magnet, but it puts the handset in a certain market which is fine.
A close up of the Camera’s the E71 has an average 3.2mp camera and the E63 has a 2.0mp camera with no mention of AF (Auto Focus). The holding down the T function in the E71 doesn’t work on the E63 and the camera app looks the same as the camera app on my E61i, which is a big step backwards. To it looks like it’s the same camera and same app as the E61i which is a poor camera, so I wouldn’t expect great shots from it, but we’ll run some tests later.
Overall, the changes are good, the bigger keyboard with more keys is good, the better memory card slot is also an improvement over the E71, so there are some good improvements over the E71 in terms of keyboard, but there’s several backward steps, the camera, the thickness and the plastic casing that clearly point to this device being a smaller brother of the E71.
OK, I think that’s it in terms of physical any questions, onto software, Camera and general overview next up.