HOME / PRINT
Motorola ROKR E6
For those of you who saw the preview of the ROKR E6 and the outrageously funny advertisement on TV, you probably have an idea of what the device would be. But let me take you into an in-depth analysis of Motorola's ROKR E6 and let's just see if it can have your head tripping even when you're about to ascend that stairway to heaven.
Talk about your average candy-bar design. I saw the E6 and wanted to peel it open to taste the flavor (of course it’s full of tiny nuts and bolts). But in a nutshell (pardon the pun extension) In my opinion it’s a rather large phone. It is slim though. Its length is 111mm but width is 51.5mm. The large 2.4-inch, 265K color touch screen display that sports an impressive 240 x 320 pixel resolution is great. The five-way nav-pad is handy for moving through menus without touching the screen. The E6 also has a dedicated key for the web browser and an "Open" key that can be assigned to any function.
On the right hand side of the phone is the camera key and just below it is the screen lock switch. And thank goodness for it, since the phone is held near your ear functions keep getting activated as it touches your face. So you need to keep the screen locked before you start talking. On the left hand side of the E6 are the volume / zoom keys. Below that is the SD card slot. What puzzles me is that the E6 uses an SD card converter with a microSD card inserted. I’m thinking that although it's generous of Motorola to provide us with the converter, why not have a microSD card slot to begin with? Anyhow, below that are the skip / rewind / fast forward keys for the music player with the play / pause button in between. Oddly enough, even with the screen locked, those keys function.
The top of the phone is where the 3.5mm earphone inlet is. On the bottom is the mini USB slot and the lock for the rear panel. The rear has of course the 2.0 megapixel camera that’s in the dead center of the speaker for some reason. The camera is equipped with a switch near the lens for macro and landscape modes. The stylus slides out from the bottom corner. It’s a little tight so you’ll have to give it a good 'yank'. Now here’s a funny thing. You’d be mistaken if you think you can simply slide out your SIM without touching the battery, even though it appears like you can. A little silver clasp works as a lock that can only be slid back when the battery is removed. Then you can remove your SIM.
Features and Performance
UI (User Interface)
Just like the MOTOMING, the ROKR E6 also uses a Linux OS, with the same large and clear icons. The entire OS is versatile and clear-cut with plenty of functions. It has Windows-like system functionality with much less hassles. I especially like the task Manager option that shows you what applications may be running in the background and gives you the option of shutting them down from there. There’s very little difference between the ROKR and the MING in actuality, save for a very few things.
The E6's main screen also has shortcut bars on top and at the bottom of the screen. The top bar is dedicated to set functions. But the bottom shortcuts are also has dedicated keys for the media player, video camera and ring-tone selection you can choose any other two functions to add. I’m not a big fan of the background wallpaper bit. If I choose a wallpaper I expect it to be displayed in all its glory on the main screen. Instead I can just about see it faintly appearing on the background of the phone’s menus. Just like the MING. The only way to see the full wallpaper is to tap the main screen and the wallpaper will be visible on whole screen with nothing else. No point.
The talking phone option is great when you're driving. It reads out your messages, mails, numbers (when dialing), and menu options. What I don't understand is, how come the good ol' submenus don’t get a mention? But I'll still say, it sounds really funny when the male voice tries pronouncing a few words. Maybe Motorola should try a feminine voice. That would be fun.
Like I've stated before, I'm not a fan of the touch screen system. Without using the stylus, typing a message is a real pain in the ...! Though you can use your fingers, the onscreen keyboard is not for people with fat fingers. And in a moving vehicle, well that's a whole different story. Don't even bother with messaging. Using handwriting option does tend to speed things up a bit. But again you need to use both your hands and that’s not something you can easily do in most places. Another aspect I do like about the messaging function is the option of adding a signature to all outgoing messages.
The E6 also uses a Viewer that at first I thought was just a duller version of your File Manager. It won't open music or video files. But that's because if you don’t read the manual you’ll not know it's meant to be a document viewer. It will open your JPEGS though. May be they should have chosen a better name than one as generic as "Viewer". But I gotta say, it's a handy feature. It reads .DOC, .TXT, .XLS, .PDF and .PPT formats. It also allows you to view PNG images, HTML documents and you can adjust the views using the zoom keys to magnify the text and move the page around using the Stylus. All the files are read only though. I couldn't seem to go to the next page of any file I opened till I read the Help option (another reason to memorize the manual before jumping in) that explains that you simply need to run the stylus at the bottom of the screen to change pages. With PDF files though, if you zoom in too much the picture becomes blurry and ineligible.
Another handy feature is the Business card reader. It's quick and quite accurate except when it comes to email addresses. You end up with gibberish. Other business functions are pretty average. They include the calendar, notes, tasks, calculator, alarms etc. Nothing different from any other phone.
The browser, (like the MING’s) allows you to simultaneously open 2 or more pages. That way you can check two different bits of information by simply switching between screens just like on your PC. Obviously you know the phone has Bluetooth (V2.0) that has A2DP capabilities since I’m sure you’ve seen the TV commercial and are quite eager to know about the headset the actor uses. We’ll get to that, hold on. You can also use the E6 as a modem and connect it to your PC via USB 2.0 to transfer data or sync it with your PC for your schedules, tasks contacts back up etc. With EDGE you’re web connectivity is certainly faster as well. The E6 can also download your mails for you as it does have Push Mail functionality.
The voice recorder works just fine. The quality of voice recordings from the microphone, while on calls and the integrated FM radio are clear and audible. The FM radio pick up is excellent and it takes approximately 15 seconds to find and preset all the available channels. The pickup was quite good even while commuting. So that’s a real plus point.
The video player is great and with Motorola's Video Editor Software you can convert most formats from your PC into .RM files for your phone. You also have the option of viewing the files in full screen i.e. landscape. The E6 is also compatible with MPEG4 files and 3GPP as well.
Finally (and I know you’ve been waiting for this) the music player. Unfortunately it's only a wee bit better than the MING. The adjustments using the EQ are so negligible, my thoughts are - what a waste of bytes. I just left the EQ off and quite enjoyed the sound quality. Although the external speaker doesn't really make much of an impression, the sound from the earphones was clear but when you reach that point when you really want the volume to be a little louder, it's a real bummer when you see it's at Peak.
I'm sorry to say the Bluetooth headset is not all it’s cracked up to be. I do like the design but the size of the speakers were a little too large. The problem is, since the headband can’t be adjusted, it tends to suite people only with unusually large ears and heads. Don’t get me wrong, they sat on my small skull as well but they did tend to hurt the portion above my ears a bit, after about 2-3 minutes. That could also be because I wear glasses. The battery life isn’t too good either. It lasted for only 40 minutes or so and then it started to sound like the music was skipping. Like those old portable CD players without shock protection that skipped whenever you walked around. Oh and one other thing, even though it works great in an open room up to almost 20 meters, put it in your pocket and you're gonna have a problem with the signal going in and out. But normal clarity was never the less good for music and calls.
The E6 also has a feature called MusicID. It's the same as the TrackId feature that's prevalent in the Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. Activate the function while a song is paying on an external device, the phone records a part of the track and sends via GPRS to particular server and in return you'll get all the details of that particular song on your phone. That includes the name, artist and a little more sometimes. This may be the only feature not present in the MING.
The 2 megapixel camera is good but not great. Just like the MING you can tap the screen and extra icons, shortcuts and options will be hidden to allow the objects you’re shooting to be viewed on the full screen.
Pictures taken in macro mode are clear and the detail is good.
Landscape shots are ok but there seems to be a sort of blurring effect in the center of all the pictures. At first I thought it may be smudged on the lens but it wasn’t. Any pictures taken of moving objects are simply poor. They appear blurry and unclear.
But on the plus sides pictures and videos are captured and saved quickly. The effects are not too many but there a few that allow shooting in various lighting conditions as well as a few effects for arty shots. You also have the option of brightening the picture manually, but be careful or you may end up burning the image. Night mode is ok, but you will need a steady hand. You can also jazz up your images a bit using the Picture editor software. The camera can also be used as a Webcam. This is a great feature and only enhances the phones appeal.
Even though there are only 2 pre-installed games, trust me, they’re 2 of the best that'll really help pass the time when you need it. Sudoko is always a popular pastime and the second is Asphalt 2 and who out there doesn't like a racing game right? But the graphics are cool and you can control the vehicles by using the stylus or finger. Although I successfully installed quite a few Java based games, the problem was I couldn’t play most, as they all require the device to have a keypad. Darn it!!!
The battery life of the phone was good. With normal use I actually managed to use the phone for almost 2 days and change on a single charge. I was able to watch a few videos, listen to music, take a few pictures and video recordings and make a few calls. So in that department, the phone rocks!
The ROKR E6 is available in 2 packs. The one with the Bluetooth headset is the exclusive pack that’s priced at Rs. 21,500 while the standard pack comes at Rs. 17,000 with a bill and warranty. If you purchase it without a bill, it will cost you Rs. 12,500. It doesn't include the Bluetooth headset. So that makes it pretty clear what you're paying for. The Bottom line is - it's not really worth that much of money, unless you're willing to take a shot and get it without a bill. It’s a good phone but that’s about it. If the cost was a little lower, maybe, it would be worth it. I’d rather suggest, go for the MING, it even looks a little better.
|Motorola ROKR E6|
|Network||GSM 900/1800/1900, GPRS, EDGE|
|Physical||111 x 51.5 x 14.5 mm, 121g|
|Display||240x320, 256k colors, TFT, 2.4-inches|
|Memory||8mb internal, MicroSD (1GB provided with converter)|
|Media||MP3, AAC, FM Radio, 3GP, MP4, Voice Recording, Photo editor|
|Camera||2 megapixels, video (CIF)|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0 (mini USB), Bluetooth 2.0, A2DP|
|Battery||200 hours stand by, 4.5 hours talk time|
|Street Price||Rs. 21,500 (Exclusive pack with Bluetooth Headset), Rs. 17,000 (Standrad pack)|