Nokia E5 was released back in 2010. In a plain sentence it was the successor of Nokia E72, which very close to E72 in terms of product features, functionality & looks. Definitely it’s not the same in many areas but when you look at the price tag, Nokia E5 is far ahead of E72. This phone was released when iPhone was basically flooding the entire smart phone market. Lets not forget iPhone is totally a different concept from QWERTY keyboard based smart phones. Recently, I got my hands on Nokia E5 which is one of the latest E Series smart phone from Nokia. I personally used this phone for over a week now and here is what I have got to write. Now, lets take a look at E5 & digg little more in to it.
As soon as I looked at the Nokia E5 for the very first time, I got an impression of a BlackBerry phone or may be Palm 500v model smart phone which is currently owned by HP. However, that might not be the quite right thing to say about it. Nokia E5 is actually the successor of Nokia E72 and E 71 which were more like premium type of product over E5, even though the model number really doesn’t say that. From my experience Nokia’s E61 and E61i was the original ancestor of it’s class. A full QWERTY keyboard was one of the major difference between E Series & other series of Nokia’s smart phone category. If you have pretty big fingers and wide thumbs, it might not be quite easy to type as you would be pressing multiple buttons at a time. I had little problem typing emails at the beginning but got used to with that within couple of days. Entire body of E5 is made of plastic except the back cover for battery. Regardless it’s plastic body, you will get a very solid and sturdy feeling while holding the phone. Slim-line design & little curvy shape of this phone makes it more easier to hold. It has two shortcut button for Home & Messaging. However it’s 5 day D-Pad navigation is very easy to use. I find it really hard to open up the battery cover unless you have nails to press it firmly. While holding the phone on my right hand it wasn’t easy to press volume rocker buttons as well, it is really flat. Where as E72 or 61i had better volume rocker.
Just like some other E Series phone E5 doesn’t have typical data port rather it has USB port all the way top of the phone itself. You will find standard 3.5 mm headphone jack which is very good thing for regular headphone user, who wants to listen music on this device. A typical Nokia battery charging jack port is also available next to the headphone jack which little smaller in diameter.
On the back of the phone you will find a 5 mega pixels of camera with LED flash. Right next to the camera you will get the speaker for multimedia playback and loudspeaker conversation which is really good. In fact playing MP3 music with this speaker was amazing, it’s clear and pretty loud sound will make you fall in love with this phone if you are the one who wants to play music on his / her smart phone.
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In term of it’s dimension, E5 might not be the best contender of it’s class. E5 stands 4.5″ tall, 2.3″ wide & .5″ thick which is not bad at all for smart phone category. Including the battery this phone weights 4.4 oz/126 g only. Now lets take a look at the size comparison of several smart phone with E5 to get a little better picture.
Regardless it’s design & dimension, E5 is robust in it’s features. As I mentioned earlier that this is not the best phone in it’s class yet it’s a very good one compare to the price that you would be paying. Let’s take a look at it’s specifications.
Network: GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900), UMTS (900, 1900, 2100).
Data: EDGE, UMTS, HSPA (Upto 10 mbps)
Display: QVGA, 320×240 pixels, 2.4″ wide, Upto 256 k color.
Software: Symbian 9.3 (3rd ed, sp2) OS. Ovi Store.
Processor: ARM11 (600MHz)
Memory: 256 MB RAM / 512 MB ROM
Camera: 5 Megapixels, LED Flash, 640×480 (VGA) (15 fps) video recording.
Audio (MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, RealAudio 7-10, M4A, AMR, MIDI), FM Radio.
Video (MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, 3GPP, RealVideo 7-10, Flash).
Web Browsing: HTML, XHTML, WAP 2.0, Flash, Flash Lite.
Email: IMAP, POP3, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange.
GPS: A-GPS, Navigation.
SD Memory: microSD, microSDHC (Up to 32GB).
Connectivity: Bluetooth (2.0), Wi-Fi (a/b/g), micro USB, Headphone, DLNA, UPnP.
Phonebook: Depends on Memory.
It’s true that you won’t get the premium impression & feelings of E72 on this phone but as per specifications, this phone goes head to head with E72. Especially when you would look at the price difference, E5 wins without any question.
Camera & Multimedia
It has the same 5 mega pixels of camera with LED flash just like iPhone 4. However, the quality of the photo that this camera picks wasn’t anything comparable with iPhone 4 photo. Even in bright day light this camera shoots regular photo. Video recording was alright but once again wasn’t very good compare to it’s close competitors. Take a look at the video that I shot with E5.
Camera of E5 is not awesome but does its job. Regardless it’s photo/video quality I find it’s LED flash was handy when you can use it without even taking any photo. While looking at it’s desktop, just holding the spacebar key for 2/3 second will turn on the flash light and will remain on until you hold it for 2/3 seconds once again.
E5 has pretty sharp and very clear screen which is good enough to read text or emails even in a 320×240 pixels of QVGA screen. It has a light sensor right next to the headphone to adjust the brightness automatically even though you can configure it manually. 256k colors isn’t bad at all yet compare to 16.7 million colors of E72 screen at the same size, E5 lacks crystal clear display feature.
Symbian OS (9.3) is still the leading OS for smart phones throughout the world. You will find some cool apps that are already installed on this phone, however you always can buy apps from OVI store. Social networking apps like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter are there but don’t even think about it if you ever used iPhone / Android app for those, its just simply boring. Symbian’s default web browser does it’s job. Browsing web sites over Wi-Fi networks was pretty good compare to it’s screen size. QuickOffice was one of the best app that you can find on this phone. It will let you create and edit MS Word, Excel & Powerpoint documents right from your device, and yes you can organize them through its file browser. Another cool feature of this OS was the capability of shutting down any running application that is working behind the screen. If you are on the desktop, press the power button to find out which apps are running in the background or you can press on home button to find out the running app to close them manually. A green circle with a white dot on it indicates the running app, closing them manually will definitely increase the battery life. While your phone is on and you are not using it, you always can press power button and activate Power Saving mode which pretty cool as well. Oh, another thing, you got OVI map for free with integrated and assisted GPS functionality.
Nokia’s built in Chat client app will allow you to log in to your Yahoo, MSN / Live & Google Talk account to chat with your friends from your device. It works both on Wi-Fi or EDGE connection.
I still can remember those days when Symbian OS didn’t had all these awesome features. Back in 2003 /4 it was pretty much like bare bone OS compare to whatever we see now a days. Especially multi-tasking capability was a great improvement over its older versions.
Personally, I am a hardcore Nokia user and I learned it over time that no one beats Nokia in terms battery life. Especially E Series phones got some serious level of battery life regardless it’s usage. E5 has a 1200 mAh battery which is more than enough even for a heavy user like me. As per Nokia, this battery should last for over 18 hours while talking over GSM network & standby time is over 700 hours. While listening music only, it should last 38 hours, this is simply amazing. In real life experiment, I found E5 is performing nearly same as Nokia stated. A fully charged E5 battery survived 3 days of extensive usage, that includes 3 hours of talking, web browsing for about 2 hours, watching some YouTube videos & listening music for another 4 hours leaving the Wi-Fi on every single day. So, if the battery is your main concern just close your eyes and get it. You won’t be disappointed.
Seems like Nokia is about to loose it’s crown as the world’s leading cell phone manufacturer, which still holds more than 30% of world’s cellphone market. Yet, Nokia won’t give up it’s position so easily and still fighting to hold it’s own position. Nokia’s E Series phones are one of those categories of phone that has pretty good market demand, at least recent statics says so. In recent times one of the most successful smart phone for business users came from Nokia’s E Series and E5 was one of them.
If you are looking for a smart phone that you can use for writing extensive emails /texts, Web browsing & Listening music yet you don’t want to pay a premium price, this is the phone for you. If taking photos or shooting videos are your main concern or may be you want your smart phone to play great videos then go for something else. E5 is not the best choice for you anyway. It was really an amazing phone for the price that you pay for it. While writing this review Nokia E5 was available on Amazon just for $170. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get it.