Nokia’s recent Eseries crew of business blowers started to sample life outside of the boardroom, with the likes of the, E63, E66, E71 and E75 displaying multimedia moves straight from the Nseries’ School of Fun.
As the successor to the E51, the E52 Symbian S60 candybar is the latest Eseries member to get a multimedia makeover, sporting a sharper 3.2MP snapper, integrated 3.5mm headphone jack, access to Nokia’s Music Store and a cheeky eye for N-Gage gaming.
The Eseries prides itself on high production values and the sleek E52 is certainly well-crafted, with a metallic rear panel providing the solid heft. It’s less prominent and more tactile than its predecessor’s steely battery cover, though, making for a lighter handset in the pocket.
The E52 also looks a lot smarter with bigger, bolder buttons that enhance its user-friendliness. Outside of a QWERTY keyboard, you couldn’t wish for a more spacious keypad to type out lengthy emails. Of course, it’s not as efficient as a full keyboard, but it’s certainly the finest traditional keypad we’ve thumbed in a long time.
Shortcuts and sides
Despite dropping the phonebook shortcut, the E52 still sports dedicated keys to access main menu, email, Bluetooth and calendar functions. These, alongside the soft keys and the homescreen shortcut bar, can be customised with an array of features.
Nokia still persists with the switching mode for those who feel the need to separate their work and personal lives with different homescreen arrangements and settings.
Support for Nokia Messaging means push email is on the agenda and setting up your personal email account (you can sign up to 10 clients at once) via your handset is a cinch; just hand over your email address and password and you’re up and running. And Nokia Messaging is fantastic to use, delivering a friendly desktop-esque email experience.
Of course, there is the tempting option to download our number one choice for small-screen web browsing, Opera Mini, but Nokia’s proprietary offering is good for starters.
The E52 is also super quick to get a GPS fix from a cold start and the latest Ovi Maps provide handy features beyond the simple A to B guidance. The size of the display means the E52 is probably geared more for personal navigation rather than in-car scenarios.
We’ve seen the E52 is a true business trooper, but how does cut it outside of work? First up, the camera upgrade from 2MP to 3.2MP is much needed but still falls short of expectations. The lack of autofocus is the biggest crime here, while the LED flash is a little inconsistent when illuminating in low light environments.
Plug in your own headphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack and the music player will sound more dynamic and bass heavy. The player is very intuitive to use and with access to the Music Store you can build up your music library by downloading full tracks via Wi-Fi.
Unlike some of its Nseries brethren, who carry dedicated gaming controls, the E52 isn’t really tailored for hardcore N-Gage shenanigans. But its sturdy but lucid five-way joypad and roomy keypad means driving games, puzzle and less complicated arcade and sporting games are still highly playable.
Long battery life
One of the E51’s greatest assets was its marathon battery life and the E52 has improved on the talktime and almost doubled the standby time. Unless you heavily abuse the web or its multimedia functions on a daily basis, the E52 will see you good for at least five days, even longer if you’re restrained.
The E52 is yet another talent Eseries phone that excels at the business end but has multimedia chops to keep things interesting away from the spreadsheets and work emails. If you’re looking for a non-QWERTY, non-touchphone business handset then the E52 is a shoe-in.