The biggest show-off in Nokia's E series is the E61. Its keyboard and widescreen scream 'I'm a mobile email machine' to anyone who cares to listen. But the E-team is four strong, and in our experience it pays to watch the quiet ones. The E60 is a case in point.
Not showy in design terms this handset really packs in the features, and just a few omissions and design errors -- such as there being no FM radio, a reliance on RS-MMC cards, the mono earbud and the absence of a camera -- stop this 3G handset being an absolute star turn.
The E60 looks like a fairly basic candybar phone. It is not especially small or thin -- in fact, by today's standards you might class it as a bit on the bulky side. At 117g it doesn't compete with the sub-100g brigade, and at 49mm by 115mm by 17mm, it can't challenge the thinnies either. But it is a classic candybar shape, and the besuited should find pocket space for it.
The screen is a little less tall than we might like, but it makes up for that by delivering 352x416 pixels, 16 million colours and being able to be switched into wide format by holding down the Nokia menu key and choosing from a range of options that become available. This is great for things like viewing Web pages.
The number pad is large, its number keys spaced by vertical strips designed to help you avoid hitting the wrong key. We aren't the biggest fans of Nokia's mini-joystick approach to navigation, but the one here works as well as any we've seen, and beneath it the menu key is well placed to use alongside it for moving between applications and folders in the main menu.
The 0 key at the bottom of the keyboard doubles up as an Internet key -- you press and hold it to access the on-board Web browser.
The E60 is pretty basic as far as colour scheme goes. It is almost entirely silver with a strip of black down the left and right edges. In the centre of these is a series of metal strips of different lengths, some of which are purely for design. On the left the strip includes volume buttons and a button that on a long press launches voice control and on a short press starts the voice recorder running.
The right edge has a covered slot for the RS-MMC cards you can use to expand on the 64MB of included memory. You'll need dual voltage cards. RS-MMC is a strange choice of card format -- these are nowhere near as popular as formats like miniSD and microSD. Still, at least the slot is easily accessible, so cards can be hot swapped.
The E60 is the kind of phone business users are likely to go for, and its lack of a camera can be seen as something of a lure to those companies that feel worried about camera phones. As this is a 3G handset, though, the camera's absence means no video calling, which some might find a pity.