Ok, I guess the honeymoon period is kinda over now. I guess its time to get back to reality.
I will be dividing the review into many parts and spread it over the period I have the handset with me.

Part – 1: Design

As you all know I had compared the E66 to my N82 and thought that the latter was a ‘kiddie’ phone. Well let me talk of the design of the phone, build quality and materials used in greater detail.

At first sight the phone indeed is a ‘thing’ to behold. The design is indeed a step forward from its predecessor, the E65. The metal accents on the screen and the metal body give it a look of class. The quality of materials used is indeed top of the line. It certainly conveys to people that you have arrived! I was showing the phone to my friends today and they all seemed to love it. The sleekness of the phone, the weight, made them feel like buying it. I had a number of my classmates asking me the price of this handset and how different was it from the E71. When it comes to design, I must admit it has the looks, if you are a new owner, or someone who is looking to buy this phone, be assured it will make heads turn.

The menu and function buttons on the top portion housing the screen are big, making it easy for people with big fingers to use it. The keypad is designed for comfort rather than looks, but that does not mean it doesn’t look good (it looks great!) also since the buttons are backlit, the buttons light up only when needed and disappear otherwise, neat!!!, indeed a nice touch. The keypad is extremely good to operate and gives a reassuring feedback everytime you press the buttons. There are no difficulties accessing the top row of the keypad. The buttons at the side are also good. Just a few things to note here, first the camera button is placed a little ahead, which meant that many a times I ended up hitting the space between the metal ‘battery cover’ release button and the camera button. Not good when one wants to click a special moment! Second, Its probably just a problem with my handset I presume, but the metal buttons which release the battery cover seems to be giving me problems. One of the release buttons seems to get jammed, making it very difficult to open the battery cover. The volume button and the ‘voice commands’ button give a good feedback when pressed. The little cover for the Micro USB port is excellent. The fit is superb and does not give any problems while closing or opening it. In fact its one of the most beautiful things on the E66. The white portion of the phone houses the headset plugin (2.5mm) on the left hand side of the handset, a charging point at the bottom left corner of the phone and an opening to put the lanyard cable. Pretty minimalist and understated when compared to a N series. The metallic battery cover has these lines engraved on it giving it a distinct feel. On the top of the phone you will find a red button. This is the power button for the device. Now the reason behind giving it a red colour was to signify in Nokia terms ‘the power to take a decision’. I am indifferent to it. I wish the button were to be made of a different material. As for the red colour, I can’t think of what other colour to use. Chrome by the way would definitely not look good. At the end, I would give the design a 8.9/10.

Moving onto the build quality, here there are a few observations I made. Again these could be for my handset only. I found the slider mechanism a bit rough for my tastes. Having used a N80 prior to my N82, I know sliders don’t require an effort to open or close. There is an absolute lack of any spring action. The top part of the phone does tend to shake a little bit towards the right when poked (only when open). There is a gap between the top half and bottom half of the handset when closed, I wish it were flush with no gap. Something of that sort would raise the bar of quality of construction. The build quality in terms of other things is absolutely top notch workmanship. I have had no creaks or noises from the phone. Another interesting I noted was the shutlines of the battery cover, even closed there was a slight gap near the release buttons giving me the feeling as if it weren’t closed properly. For build quality I would give it a 7/10. A slider without any spring-loaded action, means it scores a little low.

When it comes to quality of materials used, I have got to hand it to you, this phone is using really good materials. The usage of metal rather than plastic means that the device ends up looking very very stylish and understated. It does however make it a fingerprint magnet. Yet it definitely makes the E series stand a notch higher than the N series. The materials used for the menu and other function buttons are ‘unique’, I say this because never have I seen the usage of materials that give a glass like feeling to the buttons. I could get a clear view of myself in those buttons. Indeed the quality of materials used are innovative and good. For materials used, I’d give it a 8.5/10.

I’m sorry for not putting up any photos. I will have them up tomorrow for sure.

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