Heavy Mettle

Debuting in grey and white, the shiny stainless steel trim garnished Nokia E66 comes loaded with an alphabet soup of jargon: 3G, EDGE, GPRS, GPS, HSDPA, WLAN, Bluetooth, A2DP, Infrared and USB connectivity. The well-built body of this quadband slider sports a 2.4 inch QVGA colour LCD and runs the Symbian Series 60 OS. Apart from the 110MB internal memory, it accommodates TransFlash/microSD cards.

Price: Rs23,689 (with 2GB microSD).

Twin-customizable home screen views, multitasking abilities that allow you to switch between tasks, a screen accelerometer for automatic landscape-portrait orientation across all applications (though often overly sensitive), an assortment of dedicated app keys around the four-way button and keypad shortcut buttons for a quick silent mode and Bluetooth on/off are very handy. With an upgraded processor, navigating on the Nokia E66’s apps is fast—an immense improvement on its predecessor, the E65.

Even the voice quality for calls—both made and received—is excellent. The phone has a decent GPS sensor and the initial position lock-in of under a minute is aided substantially by A-GPS triangulation. The Symbian S60 browser loads Web pages fast (on Wi-Fi) and stays loyal to all page formatting without any visual glitches.

The E66 is rated for a talktime of 7.5 hours and a standby time of 264 hours. Depending on usage, it lasts for about two to three days without recharging. Even though its slightly more nimble sibling, the E71, offers a better battery life and a full Qwerty keyboard, which makes for a better alternative for heavy texters and mail addicts, the slicker form factor of the E66 will appeal to people who find the broad-backed E71 too “blockish".

The metal plate at the back of the phone, though, can get uncomfortably warm with extended use. The side loaded convenience (volume and camera) keys could offer more tactile reflex.

Some people may rue the presence of a 2.5mm headphone jack instead of a standard 3.5mm one. As with most phones, the 3.2 megapixel camera here does its best shutter captures only in very well-lit surroundings or daylight.

Yet, its outstanding build quality, its zippy 369MHz ARM processor, a clutch of useful PDA-like productivity tools, have-it-all connectivity and communication features, slim silhouette, charismatic visage and several thoughtful touches make this smartphone a very serious and savvy contender for your pocket.

A Close Shave

Hirsute chins with stubborn and swift growth would need this. Claiming to be the “first ever electric shaver to feature a unique flex and pivot action", the Philips Arcitec RQ helps ease shaving around the contours and curves of the neck and chin. The rechargeable shaver boasts three independently flexing heads that flex, pivot and swivel to maintain maximum skin contact.

Price: Rs12,995 www.india.philips.com

Arcitec comes with a neat (but bulky) charging pod. Frequent travellers will baulk at the bulk factor. An hour’s change provides about 65 minutes shaving time; a snappy 5 minute charge is enough for a single shave. So while the shaver is streamlined in shape, the structure of the pod makes it rather bulky to keep in your briefcase for a quick 5 o’clock shadow shave before an evening out straight after office. The shaver’s best suited for daily use or two-day stubble. Anything more and you have to rework on areas. The shaves are close and the skin doesn’t feel a pinch while the blades are in action—no hair tug, no scraping. However, if you’re having a go at a week-old stubble, be prepared for some mild afterburn, especially on the more tender neck areas. Audio buzz levels are tolerably muted.

The shaver incorporates an integrated slide-out trimmer which works very well with moustaches and sideburns. Cleaning the shaver is easy and fast: Switch it on and dip it in some warm soapy water for about 30 seconds. Or else, you can open the rotary head covers and rinse them under a running tap. Arcitec is a very neat and handy gadget for every man’s grooming kitty. But would I buy it at that price?

As that stout, little fellow in the ‘The Three Little Pigs’ said: “No, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!"

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