Yesterday evening, Nokia launched the Nokia E6 phone at a "business cocktail" hosted at the Sankara Hotel, Nairobi. The launch was attended by the press and several IT managers from several Nairobi based firms. "With the E6 , you do not have to go off for three days, unless your IT manager wants you to, " said Kenneth Oyolla, Nokia General Manager for East and Southern Africa. For those who are bit behind , the GM was poking holes at Blackberry Service's recent three day outage.

Oyolla made a pitch to the IT managers to deploy the device, especially touting its advanced Microsoft Mail for Exchange and key security features targeted for the enterprise. If there was any doubt, Oyolla explains that the solution is so secure that Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO relies on the same solution to access his office mail. Nokia announced that it would be offering loan Nokia E6 devices for enterprise IT managers to test drive as they explored the viability of deploying it for their employees.

At an approximate retail price of KSh 35,000, the Nokia E6 packs the latest version of Nokia's long serving Symbian smartphone operating system. Quoting Gartner, Oyolla reminded those in attendance that Nokia still holds 39% of the smartphone market with over 200 million devices, most of them running Symbian.

The phone maintains the standard QWERTY keyboard that also ships with other Nokia business phones, though adds touch for quicker navigation. A navigation pad still remains for modern day Luddites afraid of touch screens. The E6 packs one of the best camera's you will see in a phone , the 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash really means business when it comes to photography. The phone also supports many video formats, in high definition.

Oyolla was also quick to point out that the phone runs hours on end on a single battery charge, and almost a month on standby. "Smartphone does not have to mean a few hours of battery life," Oyala said.

As mentioned earlier, the phone is tightly integrated and configured to work with Microsoft's Mail for exchange, meaning that office mail is securely delivered to the device. Users can make a choice on whether to receive all mail or limit the size of the attachment, to save on data. Mails that are read on the phone are actively synced, with the Active Sync feature, and marked as read on your server and PC making mail sorting a thing of the past.

Security wise, the phone offers encryption for all files stored on the phone and on the memory card, which can be up to 32 gigabytes. In case a device is misplaced or stolen, F - Secure antivirus that is already pre-loaded on the phone will show the location of the phone by sending an SMS from another phone. A user can also send an SMS to lock the misplaced device and will get notified of a SIM card change on a misplaced device, together with the new number. An SMS will also activate wiping of all data on lost devices.

Enterprises can better manage devices with the Microsoft for Exchange devices, including remote wiping of devices , especially if an employee left the firm with a device.