Our Nokia E66 smartphone has arrived in house- and what pleasant surprise, it's the US version. We weren't expecting to see it so soon, but indeed it's the E66 with US 3G HSDPA and it's playing nicely with our AT&T SIM for fast data connections.
The E66 was just announced and isn't yet available for sale, but we're hoping it (including the US version) will be available sometime in July. The US version is sold unlocked for use with any GSM carrier and it works with AT&T's 3G HSDPA network. Just pop in your AT&T SIM and it configures all connections correctly. The E66 is a quad band GSM phone with US UMTS and HSDPA on the 850/1900MHz bands. Price? We're guessing around $500.
Here's short video of the E66's features in action, including screen rotation, the web browser and Nokia Maps 2.0:
The E66 is a business series Nokia S60 3rd Edition Featur Pack 1 smartphone, but it's not just another boring tool. This is a very attractive and slim (half inch) slider that's loaded with features. The slider is spring loaded and very sturdy, in fact it takes a bit of effect to open it (the shiny surface also reduces finger traction when sliding the phone open). It handles Exchange email and has an ecryption tool to keep prying folks out of your phone's data. And it supports several business syncing solutions. But there's plenty of fun to be had with the 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, Real Player, music player with DRM and iTunes unprotected music support, some surprisingly good 3D gaming and more.
Here's a video of the phone running a 3D racing game that was available for free download directly to the phone from Nokia's download service:
The camera isn't as good as the recently reviewed Nokia N78, despite the similar specs. It's OK but not really good. And video is recorded at QVGA, 15 fps-- nothing to compete with the Nokia N95. Still, it's much better than last generation E series camera phones. Here's a sample that was taken at max resolution and resized down for this post:
The E66 has an accelerometer and software that allows the display to rotate when you turn the phone. It's fairly quick and not overly sensitive so the screen doesn't flip at the slightest twitch. We'll have a video of that in action soon.
There's WiFi and GPS in this slim little thing too. The GPS and Nokia Maps are similar to what we've seen in other Nokia Nseries smartphones, and thanks to the latest software and Nokia tweaks, acquisition times are quick.
Have questions? Post them here! Our review will be out in a few days.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview