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Nokia Unveils "World's Thinnest" QWERTY Smartphone 266

Barence writes "Nokia has revamped its E-series of business-oriented smartphones with two new models, including the 'world's thinnest' QWERTY device. The GPS-enabled E71 is the slimmer successor to the Nokia E61, with a thickness of only 1cm. It's HSDPA-enabled, offers switchable home screens, and gives a claimed 'two full days of heavy, heavy use.' The E66, on the other hand, is a slide-phone with a conventional numerical keypad and a built-in accelerometer. At the same event, Nokia also gave a tantalizing hint about its plans for an iPhone rival, with its senior vice president saying, 'we will have touchscreen devices coming this year.'"
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Nokia Unveils "World's Thinnest" QWERTY Smartphone

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  • for a quick fix fine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <> on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:54PM (#23812405) Homepage
    But I don't see anybody coding up the next installment of gcc on these keyboards :)

    And the speed with which some of my (female) friends can SMS using the shorthand method is simply amazing.

    Personally I use my phone to call with, the camera function is nice to have (and a better camera would be a good reason to upgrade the phone) but after playing with the internet features a bit I really don't find much use for them.

    The 'qwerty' bit is nice (same as with the blackberry) but it would not be enough to get me to switch (and the keys will be *even smaller*).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 )
      The 'qwerty' bit is nice (same as with the blackberry) but it would not be enough to get me to switch (and the keys will be *even smaller*)

      Hey, if you don't mind having the hammers that make the letters jam when you type too fast, stick to what you're using. Personally, I think there's a real need in the world for technology that makes people type slower, and I'm sure it's going to take the world by storm. I'm filing my fingernails to points in anticipation this very moment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jacquesm ( 154384 )
        hehe, a wolf that is sharpening his nails to points will have me go the opposite direction :)

        I'm trying to remember when I last used an actual typewriter but I can't pinpoint it any better than 1982 or so...
    • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:43PM (#23813001) Homepage
      I agree. Having a full qwerty keyboard would be nice, but in this instance, and many others, it just means that the actual number keys are quite a bit smaller. I'd rather have number keys I can actually press rather than having an extra 10 cpm typing rate on 160 byte messages.
      • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @03:58PM (#23814609)
        You do realize some people actually use their smartphones for other things than phone calls and SMS ? Like remote computer maintenance (ssh) ?

        Trust me, even if you can find a ssh client for a non-qwerty phone (and you can), it is simply impossible to do anything.

        I love my Nokia E62. To a point I never even bothered to upgrade to a E61 (I don't need a camera ou Wifi).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
          If you really need to do remote maintenance, wouldn't it be nice to get a laptop with a data card?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by morcego ( 260031 )
            Yeah. I have one of those (actually, I use my E62 as a "data card"). Unfortunately, it doesn't fit in my pocket. It is not small enough to be non-intrusive when I go to the supermarket.

            Also, why would I need to carry something as big as a laptop (even a 12" one) when all I need is ssh ? Carry a laptop and a cell phone, since I have to receive calls.

            This little baby here makes my life much easier, but I know I'm the exception to the rule. Most people (98% ? Maybe more ?) get smartphones just for SMS and e-ma
    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )
      And the speed with which some of my (female) friends can SMS using the shorthand method is simply amazing.

      SEE?! I'm not the only one here with female friends!

      As to the actual topic, this isn't the phone for me. As I'm neither female nor gay I don't carry a purse. That means I have to keep my phone in my pocket, which means that I need the keys covered. It has to be a flip or a slider.

      The one I have now isn't, and it's a pain in the ass. It once dialed 911 (who promptly returned its call, to my extreme embar
      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        As to the actual topic, this isn't the phone for me. As I'm neither female nor gay I don't carry a purse. That means I have to keep my phone in my pocket, which means that I need the keys covered. It has to be a flip or a slider.

        Flips and sliders are just more stuff to break and waste space. The so-called "candybar" format is the best use of space and with either auto-locking, or just a habit of pressing the appropriate key combination to lock the keypad whenever you stop using the phone (after 15 years

        • by jabuzz ( 182671 )
          I agree totally, the netbook concept with a Bluetooth link to my phone does it far better for me.

          As an aside what's the reception like on the E51? One of the major pluses of the 6310i (you'll prise it from my cold dead hands along with my Model M) is it's ability to get signal where other phones fail. One needs something with a bit more than GPRS to mate to my Eee 901 as soon as I get my hands on it.
        • I agree. I've had it with flip and sliding phones. Everybody I know with a flip/sliding phone, and every one of my phones that did the same eventually had the keypad or screen stop working. I just went back to a candybar phone after my last sliding phone died. I actually like the fact that there are no moving parts, and have no problem remembering to lock the keypad when I'm done with it.
        • The so-called "candybar" format is the best use of space and with either auto-locking, or just a habit of pressing the appropriate key combination to lock the keypad

          Agreed. I have the E61i, and I keep it in my pocket all the time. It's not a problem, in fact sometimes I worry that I've lost it and have to tap my pocket to check that it's still there.

          As for QWERTY phones, I just don't get it. How often does anyone who supposedly needs that degree of "connectivity", actually require a real keyboard (or rough

      • ...That means I have to keep my phone in my pocket, which means that I need the keys covered. It has to be a flip or a slider.

        I have a kyocera strobe. My timing on cell phones is awful. Long story short the only option i had last time i got a phone was US cellular. They didnt have the MotoQ yet, i couldnt afford the blackberry phones that they carried, and the strobe was the only thing I *could* afford with a qwerty keyboard. I text *a lot*

        I know some people dont get why, nevermind that. This phone flips open to reveal a keyboard (its a thick, ugly phone, to be honest) and the keys on the face outside are quite small, so its nice

  • Why Why Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:55PM (#23812421)
    Why can't the people making these devices with "full QWERTY keyboards", actually include the row for numbers. Having to switch modes to type numbers and then have all the alternate symbols on the number buttoms (!@#$, etc) hidden elsewhere is such an incredible pain. I would deal with the device being an eight of an inch longer in order to actually include a full keyboard.
  • Touch Screens (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:56PM (#23812433) Journal

    we will have touchscreen devices coming this year
    Fine. As long as their not too small, are easily manageble, not too cluttered or prone to mis-cues or a sudden lack of input.

    If you can't promise that, keep it off my phone.
    • As a happy Nokia E61 user, a touchscreen is not terribly important. I like this unit, though I'd rather get it sans the camera.
      The E61 fueled my Google Reader addiction, helping me get through boring classes and keeping me entertained while wondering when my flight was actually taking off.
      The S60 software has the simplest setup for use as a wireless modem I've ever encountered, and the T-Mobile GPRS service has been, while not exactly cheap, extremely useful and effective.
      Not to be too glaring a shill,
      • ... and strongly consider upgrading to this svelte gadget.

        Is it actually "svelte"? The article speaks of "thin", but it only shows a face-on photograph. If the "thin" part is some kind of selling point (i.e. worth a press release) why don't they show us how thin it is?

    • The thing I really dislike about touchscreens is the lack of tactile feedback. My friend's phone doesn't have a touchscreen but its got "touch buttons" that basically act the same way. It's *really* annoying. You can inadvertently hit a button without knowing it because there's no way to feel a button press. Personally, I think that that's the reason we don't see a slew of touch sensitive PC keyboards. The lack of tactile feedback would make typing awful.
    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @04:04PM (#23814653)
      The thing is everyone thinks iphone==Touch screen. This is like saying iPod == simplified MP3 player with round dial.

      If you happen to catch the last apple keynote, then you know it's about the integration. some stats:

      >80% of iphone uses have used 10 or more applicaiton functions on their phone
      >95% use the internet and google says most of their mobile queries come from iphones.

      Now they are launching a app store for developers which will allow anyone to sell in 70 countries and apple handles all the delivery, installs, micro payments, currency conversio, and store UI languages.

      It's first year the ipod sold because it was cool to look at and hold. But it sold the next year because the iTunes and the Itumes Music store were so freakin easy use with it.

      Making a touch screen is not making an iphone. These companies have about exactly 1 year to figure this out before the apple app store has a lot of applications on it. After that it's too late.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:57PM (#23812449)
    going overboard. First ultra thin models giving young girls a false sense of their bodies and the phones. How do you expect the young phones to feel when they see these thin phones? Huh?
  • Looks good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:58PM (#23812455) Homepage Journal
    I'm forever after a phone that I can use ssh with easily for when I'm on call, so a full qwerty keyboard is mandatory. This one is actually looking good with an easily accessible @ / and . characters. Does anyone else have any other recommendations?

    Free Playstation 3, XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii []
  • Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wireless Joe ( 604314 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:01PM (#23812497) Homepage
    ...for the rest of the world. Now if we could just get a carrier to stock Nokia again in the US.
    • Re:Great... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:16PM (#23812677) Journal
      AT&T will carry this phone, according to this []
    • Re:Great... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:25PM (#23812797) Homepage
      I was desperately wondering why people in USA doesn't take Nokia serious but after months of watching and comparing US market versus Europe, I decided people has _right_ to see iPhone as second coming of Jesus.

      How come they never shipped any good thing to USA market? You know what? It will take years and billions of dollars for Nokia to get taken serious in USA. Even technical people get amazed when I show specs of my Nokia E65 (older E66) not knowing Nokia can produce things like that.

      I was wondering how come people get impressed by push IMAP in iPhone while my 9300 from 2003 can do it without even asking and I noticed lots of people doesn't even know there is a smart phone (laptop?) like 9300 exists.
      • Re:Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @02:25PM (#23813495) Journal

        How come they never shipped any good thing to USA market?
        I have a theory. It's because Nokia doesn't play nice with the carrier pricing models. Most notably, they include Wi-Fi on their phones. Phone carriers in the US subsidize the price of the phones based on charging high rates for data. Wi-Fi enabled phones prevent them from doing that.

        I've noted this before on Slashdot and have been modded into oblivion by what are presumably Apple fanboys claiming it's the iPhone's interface that made it popular in the US. That may be true, but I still stand by what I said.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wvmarle ( 1070040 )

          In many other markets (Europe, Hong Kong to name the two that I am familiar with) it is also practice to heavily subsidise handsets. That is nothing new.

          And to further undermine your argument: isn't the iPhone also WiFi enabled? It was when I checked last. And since when is WiFi really an issue? Only since a few years at most, so that can't be a big reason of stopping operators to carry Nokia phones. Before, mobile data (certainly in the mobile backwaters of the US) was not much of an issue. SMS may be but

      • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2008 @03:50PM (#23814505)
        Guess what -- Nokia would love to play big in the US. It's no small secret that they can't because of the carriers here. Practically every phone sold in the US goes through carrier channels. And if the big carriers don't like Nokia's phones or don't think they will appeal to enough people, they're DOA, no matter how cool the phone is.

        So go complain to AT&T and T-Mobile. Seems like the only Nokia phones they actually want are low-end featureless ones. It would be awesome to see a phone like the N96 come to AT&T.

        Yes, more phones are coming to the U.S., but the rest of the world will have had them forever by the time we get them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ras ( 84108 )

        I have often read the Nokia engineer's whinge about how they make phones with tons of features, then the US carriers ask they all be removed. I presume the simply don't bother trying to sell phones in the US that require them to put a whole pile of effort into removing features.

        Apple is about to be bitten by the same thing, only in reverse. The DRM, the "thou shall not run applications in the background", the "thou shall only sell software through Apple" - all those things aren't consumer friendly. I p

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by F34nor ( 321515 ) *
      It is simple. US carriers have entered into a devils bargain with the subsidized phones for contracts. The carriers demand control over their networks and more importantly will only carry phones that are bad enough that people will be desperate to upgrade them 2 years later. This has created a cadre of American mobile users who are more interested in initial capital cost rather than technical quality and low price service for the duration. Also because the 4 carriers (read not a free market) are terrified o
  • by imstanny ( 722685 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:03PM (#23812539)
    People and companies are attributing the success of the iPhone to its Touch technology. Yes, it was the first one to come out with it in a successful design, but the iPhone is succesful mainly because it capitalizes on Apple's software platforms. The iPhone brings together iTunes, iPod, & Telephone, and Web capabilities in a unified architecture that is based on OSX format. A Nokia or Blackberry with a touch screen will not be able to support anything remotely close to what Apple is offering. Yes, they will look similar and offer 'me-too' capabilities, but just b/c users can touch the screen and the phone can play music, doesn't mean it will be remotely competitive to the iPhone.
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:13PM (#23812631) Homepage Journal
      It's also worth mentioning that Motorola has had touchscreen phones literally for years (including Linux-based phones!) and they definitely don't have anything that's any threat to the iPhone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 )
      It is not features but how easilly it is to use the existing ones. I had a samsung sync phone, A lot of features good battery and overall a good phone. But for me to access the calculator I needed to go to Apps->tools->next->Calculator. While it is a commonly used tool it is not as common as the other tools I have setup to be quicked accessed. On the iPhone I just press the calculator icon and I am there. Or I can rearainge the icons to be where I want them. It is actually a well designed phone
    • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
      Bingo, while the touchscreen may be neat, it's certainly no substitute for physical feedback. In particular I'd like some music control buttons so that I don't need to activate the touch screen first in order to see the options to change the volume or track. Using buttons on pretty much any other mp3 player won't require me to focus my eyes on a screen to manipulate the controls. I was able to operate my last mp3 player(iriver clix 2) with my /chin/ on an armband while running, I can't do this with my ipod
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yer Mum ( 570034 )

      Most wireless phones in the Nokia's N series beat the iPhone feature by feature, it's just that Nokia's marketing department in the US seems incapable of getting this across to anyone.

  • I got a E-65 for work (the company gives us a cellphone instead of assigning us a deskphone), and I love it. The only thing I don't really like is that it has a camera. I think it's a phone that many /. would like to have if it came without the camera. (I say, lose the camera and include a GPS instead). I noticed that the E-66 (the successor) still has a camera...
    • Personally I want the VGA-video Multi-Megapixel super-tiny liquid-zoom-lens camera, in a RAZR-size phone. Running Linux. With 2+GB MicroSD. Is there anything like that out there? Bonus points for quad-mode GSM, but I'd consider going to sprint maybe. :/

      I'm an edge wireless customer until the end of the year. AT&T just bought them. Ma Bell is baaaaaack...

  • by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:08PM (#23812585)
    I was wondering about this -- my Blackberry Curve (8310) doesn't actually feel like it's thicker than 1cm. So I looked it up -- it's 0.91cm thick (0.36"). How is the F71, if it really is 1cm thick, the world's thinnest?
  • But (Score:5, Funny)

    by Skraut ( 545247 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:11PM (#23812613) Journal
    I'm still waiting for a company to come out with a Dvorak smartphone.

  • And same time Nokia release very low-budget commercial from non-exist phone. []
  • It has 256 MB of RAM compared to our 64MB. Evil them.
  • by F34nor ( 321515 ) * on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:24PM (#23812783)
    I have been using the e61 for some time and it is fantastic. Wifi in a phone more than a year before the iPhone. The only thing it lacks is a tab key and it misses it badly. I just went phough phone buying hell for my father and got him a Centro (mostly becasue he is a technophobe who has had a palm, handspring, or treo for over ten years. ) I have been using the iPhone and a V3xx for the summer and all of them basically suck cock compaired to the e-series. Touch screen is cool but add no functionality for me and somewhat diminished typing experience. Oh had why the fuck doesn't the keyboard go to landscape in half the iPhone apps? Anyway none of you chumps will ever see this phone anyway becasue the US mobile phone companies are a ass licking oligarchy based on reduced function in returned for increased prices. []
  • Looks good but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thammoud ( 193905 ) on Monday June 16, 2008 @01:30PM (#23812849)
    Symbian is a really awful operating system. I had the E61 and it used to crash and freeze all the time. I thought it was the phone and then I bought the N95 and the freezing and crashing continued. I will never buy a Nokia again until they fix the OS.
    • Same here. My E61 will crash and freeze if messaging is open in the background. They have memory leaks or something; it really isn't much good at doing anything other than being a phone.

      No more Nokia for me, not until they fix my E61. Not holding my breath :)
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )
      All Nokias have firmware update option, either on phone, on desktop or service center. It is like insisting to use iPhone first ever released version while Apple fixes load of bugs.

      If you have anything in Symbian, you are expected to update its firmware. The stock firmwares sometimes are horrible. I got my E65 updated in service center today, freaking thing became 2x faster.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hirschma ( 187820 )
        The E61 sucks *with* the last released firmware, it just sucks less. They never did ship a fully stable device, and I see no evidence that they fixed the E61 issues in any successor devices. Again, no more Nokia for me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snarfies ( 115214 )
      Really? Because I've had an E61i for around six months now, and it has NEVER crashed or frozen, not even once.

      Mind you, there are 1) different versions of the Symbian OS, as well as different versions of S60 (the gui). The E61/E61i both use S60v3, dunno what version of Symbian OS is under that. I have pretty recent firmware though. Full stability, so far. Best phone I've ever owned.

  • I don't understand the popularity of this form factor. If you want a qwerty keyboard it really needs to be a flip/slide open style. Mixing a keyboard with a keypad is not a very good idea since you end up with a cramped keyboard and a difficult to use keypad. Not only that bu phones like this end up with half the screen real estate that the iPhone does and they are very large overall. I just don't understand the popularity.

    Id rather have a phone that is a bit thicker that has a comfortable qwerty keyboar
  • I'd rather have a version of the N810 with a GSM antenna added.

    The N810 would be the perfect handheld device for me, but it can't be used as a phone...
  • FTFA: "Something for us that sells eight or ten million [Apple's 2008 target figure for the iPhone] wouldn't be that big a splash."

    Yeah, that's why nokia keeps talking about the iphone clone they are releasing....
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LilWolf ( 847434 )
      You do realize that Nokia shipped 115.5 million phones just in the first quarter of 2008? 14.6 million of those were in what could be called the "smartphone" category. So something that sells 8-10 million in a time frame of a whole year doesn't really sound so astonishing to them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by k_187 ( 61692 )
        yeah, nokia sells in a week what apple wants to sell in a year. This is why the iphone is not the major threat everybody thinks it is.
  • by Miladinoski ( 1280850 ) <> on Monday June 16, 2008 @02:11PM (#23813359) Homepage

    ... some stupid pick-pocketer comes to steal something from you and he sees the iPhone, and he'll say:
    Lol! An iPhone! An iPod a camera-phone and an internet communications device!!11!oneeleven so its a "must-have"!! He comes and steals your phone.

    ... some stupid pick-pocketer comes to steal something from you and he sees the Nokia E71, and he'll say:
    LOL! The slimmest phone with a QWERTY keyboard! The best fone evar!!one1 He comes and steals your phone.

    .. some stupid pick-pocketer comes to steal something from you and he sees the Nokia 7110, [] and he'll say:
    What a poor bastard. I'll give him my iPhone/Nokia E71 because he's god damn poor. He comes and give his phone to you.

    You choose with what are you going to come out on the streets!
  • Insensitive Clod (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ndansmith ( 582590 )
    But I type with the Dvorak keymap, and I doubt those tiny keyboards are good for touch-typing. So I think I will have to go the route of "soft" keyboards (a la iPhone) if I ever go down the smartphone road.
  • The other day I read the specs for Sony Ericsson C702. It claimed having GPS but it turned out the C702 has "GPS capabilities" which means that with the addition of certain software (you pay extra for it) it can---in case you are covered by at least 3 cells---tell you your position by triangulation. That is far from a true GPS. Do you think the Nokia unit has a true GPS or it simply triangulates using the cell transmitters?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zyzko ( 6739 )
      Yes, the data sheet clearly states GPS and A-GPS (GPS assisted with tower data to get initial fix).

      Calling cell tower approximation (what Google Maps uses on phones with no real GPS) any kind of "GPS" would clearly be false advertising and just calling for trouble.

      This is not Nokias first GPS model either, they routinely seem to put GPS on their new models. What really interests me how good is it. If initial fix takes minutes it is basically useless for quick "was the address I'm going to on this block or t
  • The thing about QWERTY buttoned KBs on smartphones is that they eat up UI screen space. Softkeys like the iPhone are handy for solving that problem but they have their own problems--we all know what the complaints are. Some solved the problem with the sliding/hidden KB.

    Really, when it comes down to it, it's all about what you want in the device. The cool thing about the market now is that there are so many choices to meet the needs/opinions.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.