Nokia E51 review

5 stars
Is the search finally over for an heir to the ancient but classic Nokia 6310 business phone?

Even today, you still see businessmen's knuckles turning white as they hang on to their beloved 6310 handsets.

Nokia tried to prize this Jurassic (OK, 2001) phone from their gnarled fingers with the simple and clean E50, but with limited success. Now it's the turn of the E51 to convince the suits to modernise.

Suited and booted

The E51 neatly steps into the well-built metallic shoes of its predecessor, but trades in the workmanlike design for a more stylish look. Sure, it still has an efficient business air about it, but its tapered and incredibly trim torso is rather dapper.

Matching the smooth look is a carnival of shortcuts, with dedicated keys for accessing a specific email account, contacts, Bluetooth, calendar and main menu. The soft keys are customisable and the standard Symbian standby screen details new messages, calendar and Wi-Fi status.

Compared to its straight-laced predecessor, the E51 is tooled up with the latest in connectivity: built-in Wi-Fi, the latest HSDPA download speeds and even that old dog, infrared. At top speed, web browsing is a treat. You could argue that the stunning but slightly small two-inch display isn't geared for full-fat internet viewing, but with the help of Nokia's Mini Map browsing technique, navigating around desktop-rendered web pages is a cakewalk.

You've got mail

Personal email accounts are a doddle to set up, but connecting to the office's exchange server or third-party push email solutions might require some IT savvy. If your emails arrive with attachments, the E51 is rigged with QuickOffice apps, PDF and ZIP readers, so you can view and edit documents on the hop.

The E51 is also primed for VoIP internet call action. Nokia offers its Gizmo solution, but more popular clients like Truphone and Fring are also compatible.

A marathon battery life is essential for most salarymen, but hammer the internet over Wi-Fi and the E51's stamina takes a severe hit. Otherwise, its juice will last for days.

A hidden fun side

The E51 isn't dressed solely for business – a 2MP camera, FM radio and music player mean fun is on the cards too. The fixed-focus snapper is pretty basic but tidy, while video is captured in reasonable QVGA quality.

The music player is particularly impressive, complete with equaliser enhancements and Stereo Bluetooth support. A microSD card slot under the battery will soak up all your multimedia gubbins.

The E51 offers the most compelling reason yet to finally send the 6310 to Gadget Museum. This is the best non-QWERTY business phone to ever grace the pin-stripe suit pocket.

 

says

Nokia E51

Not many business-class phones are this user friendly. Well connected and fat free, it's straight from the smartphone top drawer
Nokia E51 review
5 stars
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