Nokia is upping the ante in the battle for the businessman’s smartphone with the launch of the Nokia E6, a device that plans to replace the Nokia E71 and the Nokia E72, but also take on the BlackBerry Curve from RIM.

Moments after the official announcement from Nokia, Pocket-lint was on hand to have a play with the new business focused mobile phone.

The new Nokia E6 will do all it can to urge current E71 and E72 owners to upgrade, while also trying to tease BlackBerry Curve owners to ditch RIM and the possible promise of the BlackBerry Orlando.

The main excitement of the new handset with the marriage between the VGA touchscreen (326ppi) and the QWERTY keyboard allowing you to zip between the two when it’s needed.

That means you get a good (spongy) keyboard to bash out those emails, while a touchscreen to navigate the menu system and app grid – although you are able to use the large directional d-pad as well.

Tech Specs include a 628Mhz processor, 256MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. 

In use in our brief play we enjoyed the balance the two bring and it will welcome those who’ve yet to go touch without throwing them completely in the deep-end.

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The keyboard itself is well spaces out, easy to type on and soft in touch rather having a hard plastic feel to it – it’s nice.

The touchscreen was equally easy to use, being responsive to our fingering as we did our best to catch the phone out as we whizzed around the menu system. It had no problem dishing up a stack of coverflow, Honeycomb style album covers in the music player for example.

Also appealing to those always out and about and not necessarily near a power supply the phone will come with 14 hours of talk time and 1 month (yes 1 month) of standby capabilities.

Gunning for the business user, Nokia says that it will be very “Microsoft friendly” with all the usual enterprise buzz words covered and full support for Microsoft’s products including the ability to play nice with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

And to help those business users even more Nokia is bundling a hotspot app (JoikuSpot premium) pre-installed on the phone. Users will be able to turn the E6 into a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 5 other devices – handy if you want to avoid paying expensive hotel Wi-Fi fees.

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As for the new Symbian Anna update, it's very much welcomed. The new Symbian Anna interface makes things a lot smoother, and you would be forgiven if you thought it all looked a “little Android”. Widgets, sliding homepage tiles, a scrolling grid of apps on a black background, and an array of settings and customisations all help blur the lines. It’s no biggie though as the improvements work, making Symbian a more modern-looking OS, even though Nokia has formally announced that come the end of the year it’s not going to be the main focus.

But it's not all business, the Nokia E6 has an 8 megapixel camera that based on our brief play was quick to respond and easy to use.

A crisp screen, easy and comfortable to use QWERTY keyboard and play nice with Microsoft functionality really throws down the gauntlet to RIM and it’s not looking rather dates BlackBerry Curve.

All eyes are on the Canadian company to return the volley to stay in the game.