The Nokia E63 smartphone offers excellent business features at an affordable price.

The little brother of the Nokia E71, the Nokia E63 lacks a GPS receiver and preinstalled games, and it has a downgraded camera. On the other hand, it possesses the same excellent email and messaging capabilities as other members of the Nokia E-series. And the biggest news here: the E63 sells for less than £200 unlocked.

The lightweight Nokia E63 has a curved, slim design. Measuring 113x59x13mm, it is only slightly thicker than the E71. Rather than having a metal finish, the E63 comes wrapped in a high-quality plastic chassis, which is comfortable to hold. The Nokia E63 is available in two attractive colours - Ruby Red and Ultramarine Blue - options that give it a more youthful appearance than the sophisticated E71 (available in white or gray, with chrome accents).

A 2.4in 320-by-240-pixel QVGA display occupies about half of the Nokia E63's landscape. A row of shortcut and navigation keys plus the full qwerty keyboard lie below it.

A 3.5mm headphone jack is situated at the top of the Nokia E63.

Oddly, the Nokia E63 lacks a volume rocker; instead you must use the directional pad (d-pad) to adjust the volume during calls and media playback. We are, however, pleased to see a microSD slot located on the right spine. One of our biggest peeves about RIM BlackBerrys is that their microSD slots are inconveniently placed under the back cover.

Nokia E63: where are the extras?

Unfortunately, Nokia skimped on accessories for the Nokia E63, omitting a data cable and a microSD Card. Other than some assorted manuals, you get only a stereo headset, which delivers mediocre sound when used to listen to music or calls. Luckily, the standard 3.5mm jack lets you swap in your own higher-quality headphones.

The Nokia E63's full qwerty keyboard has raised, tactile keys, which supported quick and easy typing. The keys are a bit smaller than those on a BlackBerry Curve, but a colleague who has larger hands than I do had no trouble using them. One difference between this model and the E71 is the smaller space key on the E63, a change that makes room for a parenthesis key and a Ctrl key. Though some users may find this annoying, we liked the convenience of having a standalone Ctrl key for cutting and pasting text within long messages.

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