I’ve just started using the beta of the Nokia push email service. Seems fairly good, and reliable. It works for any IMAP/POP3 email account. Basically it takes your account details, then the server at Nokia logs on to the POP3/IMAP server and checks your email for you. If you have any email it then pushes it to your phone. I’m not quite sure how it works for SMTP sending. Perhaps this is done directly from the phone, as I see no advantage to doing this via the Nokia server. A pretty simple concept, and as long as you trust Nokia with your email account then it’s a good one.
You do need a decent data plan though as it keeps an open data connection at all times. I guess most push email services do the same. That’s bad if you are in a non3G area as any phone call will interrupt the data connection.
The main downside I think is that it seems to ignore the read status of my email. That’s bad for me as my mail is accessed via imap by two other clients (Evolution on Linux and Mail.app on OS X). So reading on one does not propagate this to the others. A related issue is that it also does not delete emails on the server. Which in hindsight is good as I never realised that the default setting is to delete email over 2 days old. I could have lost a lot of email there 🙂 Anybody who uses POP3 only will not care about these, but as a purely IMAP mail person, it’s a step backwards.
Another limitation is that you can only have a single account being pushed. That’s a limitation which I hope is lifted when it goes properly live.
Otherwise it seems fairly reliable. The client looks quite flashy, and I guess is the future of S60’s interface. Big bold, almost iPhoney icons, and lots of animation.
If you want push email for a Nokia phone I would recommend it. It’s also free at the moment. I doubt it will be when it’s released.