Motorola E6The E6 is the newest edition to the Motorola ROKR series. The ROKR E1 which was the exact same as the Motorola E398 was nothing special and the fact that there was a capacity on how many songs you can load on it was disappointing. The ROKR E2 was a little better in terms of features but looked weird with its too rounded corners. Now the ROKR E6 has finally made advancements like the Linux operating system, touch screen display, SD memory card, 2 mega pixel camera and most importantly the beautiful looks. 

The ROKR E6 is a combination of the Motorola A1200 and the Motorola SLVR. The keypad has the same Razr design and looks remarkable.

On the right side of the phone is the keylock switch and camera button. On top of the phone is the headphone jack which is standard 3.5mm. It is nice to see that the headphone jack is 3.5 mm so you can use any pair of headphones. The E6 has dedicated media buttons located on the left hand side of the phone which include a play/pause button along with back and next button. On top of these media buttons is the SD card slot which has a strong plastic cover. On top of the SD is the Volume up/down control. On the bottom of the phone is the mini USB charging port, the stylus and a button to release the back cover. 


Features

The E6 has all the basic features that you would expect in a PDA phone. The E6 has calendar, appointments, alarm clock, calculator, tasks, notes and more. Although the E6 does not have office programs like Windows Mobile, it does have a Picsel viewer built in. You can view all your Microsoft word, powerpoint, excel files but do not have the ability to edit them. 

The E6 has many advanced features like a 2 mega pixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, mini USB, built in radio, business card reader and a lot more.

The camera is 2 mega pixels and does not have a built in flash. The camera has built in macro mode which works good and there is a switch located on the back to switch to and from macro mode. Overall the camera takes good pictures in well lit areas but at night or dark areas the camera is horrible. Motorola should have installed a flash for the camera which would have made a big difference in poor lighting conditions. 

The E6 has Bluetooth version 2.0 and supports A2DP. Currently there are only a couple of Motorola phone which have A2DP built in and this is one of them. The A2DP profile works great and is very easy to connect. Depending on your headphones you can enable auto connect which saves you the hassle of connecting, entering pin and pairing the device every time.

The E6 has a mini USB port located on the bottom of the phone. The mini USB supports version 2.0 so data transfers are relatively fast. You can use the USB port to sync your phone with the computer and copy files. When you want to copy files to your phone all you have to do is put the phone in “mass storage drive” and you can quickly drag and drop files to and from your computer.    

Another cool feature that Motorola has added is the ability to use your phone as a web camera. All you have to do is select the USB mode to webcam and connect it to your computer. Your computer will then automatically install the drivers and think the phone is a standard USB webcam.

The E6 has a built in radio tuner. The radio works very well in terms of reception and has many options. You can save all your favorite radio stations and toggle through them. When you’re listening to the radio and receive a call the radio will pause and resume after the call has ended. The quality is okay overall but I believe Sony Ericsson phones have a lot better radio reception.

The E6 has a built in business card reader which is a cool new feature. The business card reader only works when it’s well lit and will not work when it’s dark. The program uses the phone’s camera to scan the business card and inputs the card’s data into your phone. It is a cool feature indeed but in my opinion is not practical at all. 


Display & Audio

The display has a 240 x 320 resolution and is 2.4 inches in size. The display is touch screen and is meant to be maneuvered by the built in stylus. The screen is great and is capable of displaying 256k colors. The screen is very bright and you can lower the brightness level for battery efficiency. Usually the touch screens are lower than the rest of the phone which protects it. The E6’s display is flat with the rest of the phone.      

The E6 is excellent for listening to music. The A2DP profile works great with stereo headphones. You connect the headphones the same way you would connect a headset and select the wireless stereo option. A key feature to note is that the headphone jack is the standard 3.5 mm. You can use any of your favorite headphones and not be limited to the Motorola ones. Keep in mind other headphones may not have a built in microphone so you might have to unplug them every time you make a call.

The E6 has Real Player built in for listening to music and works great for videos too. Similar to Windows Media Player on Windows Mobile devices, you can update your media library very easily. When you start up the program it automatically searches for all media files stored on the device and loads them into a play-list. One aspect of Real Player that was a let down was the program’s response time. When you press the button to go to the next track there is a delay which can get quite annoying at times especially when skipping a few tracks. 


Entertainment, Internet & Storage

The E6 has many forms of entertainment. The phone comes pre installed with 3 spectacular games; Need For Speed Most Wanted, The SIMS and AGE of Empires. All the games on the phone are Java based. You can also install programs onto the phone but the fact there are not that many programs available for Linux OS may be disappointing for some. Mostly the E6 is intended for music as a source of entertainment.

The E6 only has standard GPRS and does not support EDGE, 3G and HSDPA. The E6 does not have built in Wi-Fi either. Since the E6 is a new phone I’m not sure why Motorola has not included faster forms on internet connection. Overall internet is okay when using the on screen keyboard but may be slow for people who are used to fast internet connections.  

The E6 has only 8 MB of memory but is meant to be used with a SD card. Some packages include a 1 GB memory card depending on where you purchase it from. Although SD cards are available with up to 4 GB of memory, I’m not sure this phone will support it. In the spec sheets Motorola states that you can add up to 2 GB of memory. 
  
The E6 is tri-band GSM and lacks the 850 GSM band. Special thanks to some members of http://www.motorolafans.com/ who have successfully modded their E6 to quad band. You can read the thread at http://www.motorolafans.com/MotorolaFansPHPbb/viewtopic.php?t=7995

I have noticed a big difference in terms of reception and recommend this to anyone who is using this phone in North America. The process is done by seem editing which is similar to registry editing for Windows Mobile. If you haven’t done seem editing before, I would not recommend this because making a minor error can potentially damage your phone.    


Conclusion

The E6 has excellent build quality and seems very durable. The phone’s material feels like metal and is very sturdy. Since the display is flat with the rest of the phone it is a good idea to get a screen protector.  

Overall I liked the ROKR E6 a lot. Like most PDA’s the E6 does not have a keypad but has an on screen keypad. For some this may be an issue but in my opinion it takes a bit getting used to.

The Motorola E6 is a tri-band GSM phone that is meant for the Asian market. If people have found an easy way to make it quad band my question is why didn’t Motorola just make it a quad band GSM phone and release it to the whole world including North America. 

A major downside for me was the Real Player application. The fact that you cannot watch all kinds of video formats and especially the fact that it delays when changing songs was a huge let down. If this phone is meant to be a music phone the music player should be on par with the rest of the phone. This could be fixed in a newer software release.     

Overall the phone is great; it’s a decent size and is packed with many cool features. I would recommend this phone to any one who likes the Linux operating system.   

 Motorola E6


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