Nokia’s E-series has become the Espoo giant’s go-to range for email fanatics and workaholics who need their phones to keep on kicking for more than a day.
The E5 is the latest and quite possibly the best in the range, thanks to BlackBerry-bashing features and a focus on what Nokia does best.
Top marks for messaging
The central focus of the E series is messaging. The E5 has the same easy-to-set-up email as its stablemates, which means simply tapping in your details to access the likes of Gmail.
There’s also Exchange support for corporate punters, while the messaging app itself is breezy and easy to get to grips with. It’s far more intuitive and easy on the eye than the one found on the Blackberry Curve 3G.
Mailboxes are handled from the home screen, with easy access to your latest missives and the chance to create favourite contacts, paired with images, on the front screen of the E5, too. It’s an S60-wide feature and one of the ageing operating system’s saving graces.
S60 does let the side down, though. It’s still remarkably unintuitive and will face stiff competition from BlackBerry OS6 when RIM rolls it out to its QWERTY devices. Fortunately, the E5 doesn’t have a touchscreen, so this iteration is passable and doesn’t hamper your enjoyment of the device too much.
What makes the E5 really stand out is its build: the E series has always shown that Nokia’s design team aren’t asleep on the job. The E5 benefits from a solid black plastic and metal finish, making it feel much more sturdy in the hand than the ruggedised and average BlackBerry Curve 3G. You’d never know that this is actually the cheaper phone.
The portrait QWERTY is well put together and feels assured when tapping out lengthy messages. The raised keys mean you don’t end up firing off error-ridden text, while the navigation buttons are sizeable and make scooching around the occasionally awkward menu system much easier than on smaller Nokia devices.
The E5 is a real all-rounder, despite messaging being its top priority. Nokia’s growing reputation for making cracking cameraphones is in evidence here, the 5MP number delivering sleek and crisp pics, and the LED flash giving decent shots in low light, too. The fixed focus isn’t ideal, but compared to the Curve 3G’s 2MP version it’s a stunner.
Likewise, the music playback software is well above average and easy to handle, with myriad formats supported. Support for 32GB SD cards means storing stacks of tunes is a must. The low-res 320x240 screen, however, means you won’t fancy watching any more than the odd YouTube clip.
Add in an epic battery life of 670 hours standby time and you’re looking at a real winner. The E5 is a BlackBerry destroyer: if you need a QWERTY messaging maven, make this it.