BlackBerry Bold 9900 vs Nokia E6

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We see how Nokia’s E6 compares to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in the ‘messenger phone’ stakes.

Can Nokia take on RIM at its own game? We find out as the BlackBerry Bold 9900 squares up to the Nokia E6.
Form:
BlackBerry Bold 9900 – 115 x 66 x 10.5mm, 130g
Nokia E6 – 115.5 x 59 x 10.5 mm, 133g
Visually both phones follow the same design ethos, inspired by RIM’s original BlackBerry devices.
In each case a relatively small screen sits atop a fixed Qwerty keyboard in the middle of a squat, broad handset design.
The difference comes where the BlackBerry sports more softened and curved edges, while the Nokia has a much harder and more chiselled feel.
Although they are more or less the same in overall size, the Nokia has slightly narrower proportions and a smaller screen. The keyboard also appears more condensed and all these elements combine to give a slightly more slender appearance.
Both phones are equally light and thin.
We prefer the Nokia’s angled and tapered lines to the BlackBerry’s curves.
Winner – Nokia E6
Storage:
Both handsets offer a good amount of on-board space, with 8GB of internal capacity in each.
They also both support Micro SD cards up to 32GB.
For processor support the BlackBerry comes with 768MB of RAM against the Nokia’s less impressive 256 MB. The Nokia also has 1GB of ROM.
A pretty equal setup overall but the RAM arrangement on the BlackBerry makes a difference and is our preferred choice.
Winner – BlackBerry Bold 9900
Display:
These phones use similar touchscreens. Each is a TFT capacitive screen with a resolution of 640×480 pixels.
The BlackBerry has a 2.8-inch display with a pixel density of 285 pixels-per-inch (ppi) and featuring multi-touch input, an accelerometer sensor and an optical track-pad.
Against this the Nokia’s smaller 2.4-inch screen comes in at 325ppi for a much sharper picture. It’s also made from toughened Gorilla Glass and has the usual accelerometer and multi-touch features.
We’d normally prefer the Bold’s larger screen but the picture quality on the Nokia is very high indeed.
Winner – Nokia E6

Processor:
The BlackBerry Bold is a reasonably powerful machine with a single core 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8655 running under the Snapdragon chipset.
Additional graphical punch is provided by an Adreno 205 graphics processing unit (GPU).
The Nokia E6’s processor seems to be modelled after older BlackBerry’s, running as it does a single core ARM 11 processor at 680MHz.
The graphics setup is quite a mouthful – it runs a 2D/3D Graphics HW Accelerator featuring OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0 architectures.
Of course this setup doesn’t have anywhere near the same capability as the BlackBerry Bold, meaning RIM’s device emerges the victor this round.
Winner – BlackBerry Bold 9900
Operating System:
On the Nokia E6 we have Symbian Anna, the latest update of Nokia’s own Symbian^3 operating system. The BlackBerry Bold 9900, meanwhile, runs RIM’s BlackBerry OS 7.
BlackBerry OS 7’s interface has changed very little in appearance from the previous build, but behind the scenes plenty of work has been done.
System performance on the whole has been ramped up so that both navigating the system and performing tasks is slicker than it ever has been.
This extends to browsing too. BlackBerry’s Webkit based browser has been enhanced and can bring your pages up rapidly with a custom Javascript compiler and Flash support powering things.
Not only this but pinch zoom and a voice activated search function have been added to make things a little more convenient.
RIM has included some forward-thinking tech support in this build with Near Field Communication (NFC).
This means that when stores start enabling remote payment through your phone you’ll be able to take full advantage.
Funcionality doesn’t end there. The technology also has potential to allow “bump” transfer of data between devices and to be used as a reader for promotion stickers and the like.
HD video capture support is also a new addition and it’s just as well as the Bold 9900’s camera has this capability in its hardware.
Lastly there’s the BlackBerry Balance suite, which RIM has included to enable users to separate personal and business information on their phones.
Symbian^3 has been updated several times since its release and the functionality has gradually improved as a result.
Multi-touch support as well as improved graphics capability, multi-tasking and location-based services have all been added over time to make a much more rounded system.
The Symbian Anna update improves things further.
In Symbian^3 there was no support for touch scrolling – users had to use a rather fiddly scroll bar on the side of the screen. This has been rectified in Anna and a simple swipe up or down will allow you to navigate freely.
The native browser has also been enhanced to offer much faster performance than previous builds.
In addition, Nokia has included a new portrait-oriented Qwerty touch keyboard, designed for one-handed typing.
Finally, there’s the new inclusion of a split screen mode for message threads that allows users to view a conversation and type a response at the same time.
While Symbian has been improved it is still behind many other systems on the market, the functionality is not as extensive as its competitors.
BlackBerry OS 7, on the other hand, has come on leaps and bounds to give users a much more complete system.
Winner – BlackBerry Bold 9900
Camera:
RIM’s new model Bold comes equipped with a 5-megapixel primary camera at a resolution of 2592×1944 pixels.
Video capture is 720p HD and there’s no secondary camera.
Features include autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilisation, digital zoom and editing effects.
Nokia has opted for something a bit brawnier, the E6 houses an 8-megapixel primary at 3264×2448 pixels.
It’s fixed focus but has a dual LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection, digital zoom, exposure control and a self-timer.
Video capture is 720p HD and the phone supports video calling. There’s also a secondary VGA camera.
The Nokia E6 has a higher quality and more feature-packed camera, winning it this round.
Winner – Nokia E6
Final Thoughts:
The Nokia E6 has some areas where it excels: the camera is top-of-the range, the display is great and the visual design shows typical Nokia flair.
However, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 has more substance in our view, with a much better processor and storage setup and a much more functional and intuitive operating system.

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