Nokia E5 – amazing hardware at low cost [Review]

Here is a review on Nokia E5. The phone is one of the latest members in the E-series family and boasts of a QWERTY keypad. The phone boasts some amazing hardware powered by the Symbian 60v3 OS.

Though the phone is targeted towards the business users, even the social networking users use this phone for easier way to text/email/tweet. The phone is one of the low cost phone and is priced reasonably considering the hardware of the phone.

Box Contents

Packing is the standard Blue rectangular box from Nokia and contains:

  • Nokia E5-00
  • Nokia Battery BL-4D
  • Nokia Connectivity Cable CA-101D
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-102
  • Nokia Travel Charger AC-8
  • Nokia 2GB microSD Card MU-37
  • User Guide

Design

Nokia E5 is one of the slimmest phones with candy bar QWERTY phones. Looks wise the phone doesn’t go near to any good looking phones. The design with curved edges gives a comfortable feeling to hold it. Thus it makes it easier to use it and text.

E5 has a 2.36″ QVGA display with a resolution of 320 * 240 pixels (supports 256000 colours – could have been much higher). It can be used with good effect for SMS/Twitter/mails but for browsing? definitely need a bigger screen. Good contrast and bright nature makes the phone usable for longer period of time.

The phone dimensions are good and weighs around 126 gms which is descent enough.

Now beneath the screen you will find 4 way D-Pad, 2 shortcut keys, dedicated Call and End/Power button, dedicated keys for Home and Messaging. The QWERTY keypad gives a good feeling to type, I struggled initially but settled down finally. The keys are bit small and rubberish and raise at the centre making it bit difficult to get hold of them initially. There is also a Ambient Sensor at the top. Just below the keypad, there is microphone slot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the right side, you will find the uncomfortable volume rocker which seems to be hidden and bit stiff to use. There is a release button on the right and also on the left side to remove the back cover. Both the release button(left and right) have to be pressed to remove the back cover.

At the Top, we have a 3.5 mm audio jack along with a standard microUSB port for data transfer and a standard Nokia charging port. At the back, the phone has a 5MP Fixed Focus camera with LED Flash (which can be used as torch). The battery sits on top of microSD card and SIM Card. Hence the memory card is not hotswappable.

And finally, the phone comes in 5 colours – Carbon Black, Chalk White, Copper Brown, Silver Grey, Sky Blue.

Interface


The phone runs on Symbian 60 v3. There is not much difference in the E-series phones before this (E72,E71 etc). Hence if you were a die hard Nokia user, you wont find it difficult to live with this phone. The UI is easier to use with very little space to get lost.

Comes with lots of goodies like-

  • Converter
  • Dictionary
  • Quick Office Suite (Full)
  • Adobe PDF Reader (Full)
  • ZIP
  • Intranet
  • Notes
  • Active Notes
  • Calculator
  • Device Encryption

Connectivity & Web

Eventhough the phone is low priced, it carries almost all the connectivity options like Quad-Band GSM and Tri-Band 3G, USB2.0, Bluetooth with A2DP, WiFi 802.11 b/g, A-GPS and gives a touch competition to the phones in the same price range.

E5 comes with Facebook client with contact sync allowing you to sync contacts to phone. In built support for Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger. It also ships with Nokia’s own networking apps such as Ovi Chat. Nokia Messaging client supports Yahoo Mail, GMail, Ovi Mail and other email accounts.

Browsing on the phone is good with Symbian browser but again not great as the browser has seen very little updates. Since the screen dimensions is small comparatively to other phones available these days, the phone cannot be used for browsing as the main purpose though one can live with it to do a quick check.

The phone however struggled to keep up the internet connection on 3G where other phones managed well at the same time and on the same connection.

Multimedia and Camera

E5 comes with a 5MP Full focus camera with flash with no dedicated camera button. Since the camera isn’t an Auto Focus, it lacks macro shoot. But it is capable of capturing good snaps outside with good lit conditions. Comes with Video recording is nothing to boast and records at 15fps at 320*240 and 640*480 in MP4 format.

The audio on the phone is pretty good with a mono speaker on the back with good clarity. Gallery is good and easy to use for browsing through pics as it is similar to the N-series way of organizing pics.

Battery Backup

On more than moderate usage, the phone lasted for 1-2 days. Once the phone reports low battery message, the phone shifts to power saving mode. For a heavy user, its better to carry the charger along with the phone.

Conclusion

Since Nokia has gone ahead with the 600 Mhz processor and 256 MB RAM for this phone, the performance is better and allows multitasking with ease. Call quality is clear and audible with very low background interference.

The battery performance is good and can use it for atleast a day. It would have been good with a better finish in the looks and a bit well spaced and levelled keypad.

With a price tag of $199 or Rs.9599, I would recommend it as a to be bought phone, if you are looking for the options such as QWERTY, easy to use, 3G, WiFi options.

Good

  • Price
  • Hardware packed
  • Feels good in hand
  • Battery performance
  • Email, Chatting
  • QWERTY (after using it for some time, you will get used to it).
  • Processor and RAM

Bad

  • Poor 3G reception
  • Volume rocker
  • OS

A great hardware at lower price but with lack of looks is what E5 is all about.

Finally, Thanks to the WOMWorld/Nokia team for sending across the review unit.

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