For all their abundant quality, Nokia's Eseries phones have always been in the shadow of BlackBerrys. But with RIM seemingly foundering and stagnating, the scene could be set for the E5 to clean up. But is it really the device to do that? Joe Minihane finds out.
Nokia’s E5 is every inch a workaholic winner. With a slick black and metal design, cracking QWERTY keys and a battery with longer life than a carton of UHT milk, it’s the latest in Nokia’s strong and seemingly infallible ESeries.
It oozes class, and although S60 does let the side down occasionally, this is a phone that’s worth cheating on BlackBerry for. RIM’s place at the top of the email pile is seriously under threat already and this only underlines how well Nokia has done in this space.
The metallic black finish and thin 12.8mm frame make this arguably Nokia’s sexiest handset. Admittedly, that’s not a title that’s hard to win (N97, we’re looking at you), but this combines sleek build with excellent functionality. In short, it’s made for those who spend their days in suits and remain permanently locked to their devices, zipping through email and looking harried while everyone else saunters past.
The physical QWERTY keyboard is noticeably classier than anything BlackBerry is offering. The keys are not glossy like those on rivals from RIM, and there’s a nice thunk to them which makes tapping out text pleasurable. It takes a while to get to grips with, but this is by far the best portrait QWERTY going.
Messaging is the key here and setting up any email account is swift and painless. Gmail and Hotmail users only need enter a username and password, while Exchange sits pretty and primed for users who want their office email in their pocket night and day.
The camera is also a real talking point, its 5 megapixels helping take shots which make other email-centric phones pale in comparison. Nokia really is showing the way when it comes to work phones and RIM could do with taking some notes.
S60 really does let the side down on any smartphone it appears on these days. This version isn’t nearly as buggy and slow as on some N-series devices, and the wider screen helps when it comes to reading messages or accessing favourite contacts via the image panel across the top.
The music playback software is standard Nokia fare, which while not astounding, does its job competently. Being a business phone, this is, after all, a secondary feature and not one to trouble the work conscious consumer it’s aimed at.
Ease of use
The huge nav key and large screen make the E5 a brisk phone to handle. Nothing is more than three clicks away, although S60 users will be at a distinct advantage when it comes to rooting out what they want first time.
There are doubtless more friendly UIs, but the email app which sits on the front page is what most punters will use this phone for. That its design and QWERTY panel make it even easier to use than other E series efforts only makes it easier to recommend.
- Symbian S60
- 2.36 inch, 320x240 pixels
- 5 megapixel camera, with LED flash
- 3.5mm jack
- Wi-Fi, HSDPA
- microSD up to 32 GB
Overall mark: 8/10