Available in a range of colours, the Nokia E5 is an eye-catching device but maintains its professional style.
The Symbian menu systems require a degree of patience as you navigate yourself around.
HSDPA, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, a five-megapixel camera and QWERTY keyboard are excellent features for an entry-level smartphone.
Once you’ve set or opened the various features up, the Nokia E5 is a competent smartphone.
A more than average battery life of 330 minutes talktime, 670 hours standby and 38 hours music play.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,5/7/2011 10:22:22 AM
Look and feel
Ease of use
For a handset at this price, it?s great to find as many features as the Nokia E5 offers
The Symbian menu system is both dated and fiddly
Nokia’s Eseries has been one of the manufacturer’s most successful brands. In fact the excellent Nokia E71 was our Phone of the Year back in 2008. However, they’ve always been closely linked with the business user. With the Nokia E5, the Finnish company is certainly not shying away from their business connections, but with a more affordable price point and a host of social networking features, could this be the first Eseries device for the masses?
The Nokia E5’s form factor is much like its predecessors in that it’s a wide candybar that is divided by a smallish display (just 2.36-inches) and a full QWERTY keyboard. These keys run into each other, but they’re raised enough to decipher between them. However, they’re coated with a material that we found a little slippy, so some due care is required. The handset is available in a host of different colour schemes, all of which make the E5 one of the most stylish of the series. Flip the phone over and you’ll find a metallic back that can be popped open by simultaneously holding the two buttons found adjacent to each other at the bottom of the phone.The volume keys on the right hand side of the device are a little stiff, but thankfully when using any of the media facilities such as the music and video player you can simply use the thumb friendly D-Pad. To alter the sound push up or down, or to the side to fast forward or rewind.
Whether via HSDPA or Wi-Fi, our web surfing was delightfully fast. YouTube, one of four preloaded social networking apps ran smoothly and while the screen is not the biggest, the quality was pretty top notch. However, the browser is not as crisp as we would like, with text and graphics looking pixelated. The mouse browser is one of the fastest we’ve seen, so fast in fact that we’d recommend you use a press and release method when using the D-Pad rather than holding it down. Nokia has also fitted the E5 with 12 browsing shortcuts, all attributed to keys 0-9 plus ‘*’ and ‘#’. These range from page overview (particularly useful when reading longer web pages) to finding a keyword.
Setting up email proved problematic. While the Eseries remains great for messaging, we can’t help but feel the Symbian OS is getting old hat. For example, even after you’ve tapped in your email address and password, you then have to go into a variety of menus to make sure that the phone will retrieve your messages. Contrast this with Android, which simply requires your username and password and you get our drift. Likewise Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are all onboard and are well customised for the E5, but it’s a laborious process when setting them up as regular live feeds.Our final gripe when it comes to menu systems lies with the camera. There’s no dedicated snapper button enabling you to access the camera quickly. We can just about accept this, but to have to go through two different menus (main menu; media; camera) just to fire it up, well it irks us. Which is a shame as the five-megapixel camera is capable of some impressive shots. There’s even a bright LED flash that can even be used as a torch by simply pressing the spacebar when in the phones home screen.
We applaud the fact Nokia is opening its Eseries up to a wider demographic and for its price, the E5 offers a great array of features. However, it’s let down by a Symbian UI that not only looks tired, but is also too fiddly to appeal as an entry-level smartphone.