We thought Nokia’s Eseries had every type of Symbian S60 fan catered for. There’s the E52 for traditionalists, the E75 for emailers who like their keyboards spacious, and the E62 and E71 for BlackBerry fetishists.

But the gang’s newest member, the E55, sees the Finnish outfit introduce yet another keyboard flavour to the line-up – the half QWERTY. Clearly aping the ‘two letters per key’ arrangement pioneered by the BlackBerry Pearl, the E55 offers a more efficient keyboard format that offers most of the same functionality without troubling your trouser pockets.

Half keyboard, half measures?

The E52’s capacious traditional keypad was supreme to use and although the keys have shrunk in size on the E55, it’s still finger-friendly.

You also won’t need to rewire your texting mojo too much to master the two-letter layout; once you’re in sync, typing speed increases and the E55’s svelte form allows for one- and two-handed operation.

It’s not just the hardware that’s identical to the E52 – its feature line-up and performance is also indistinguishable. This means you have Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity, support for A-GPS, N-Gage gaming capabilities, an integrated 3.5mm headphone jack and a fixed-focus 3.2MP snapper at your disposal.

Of course, many of these features point at its ‘out of office’ multimedia talents, but the E55 is a business phone at heart and the email junkies will certainly appreciate its Nokia Messaging push email service. This delivers a desktop-style, BlackBerry-rivalling functionality.

Ovi and out

There isn’t an embedded Ovi Store app for easy access to Nokia’s app shop, but you can download it via the browser. At the time of writing around 1,700 apps and games are available for the E55 – surely enough for starters while we wait for its app coffers to increase to Apple-sized proportions.

An ironman constitution is essential for a workhorse like the E55 and, sure enough, you can get way without needing to recharge its battery during the working week with even liberal use of its main features. Of course, hammer the web and downloading and it may require a top up.

The E52 might just be feeling sorry for itself with the introduction of the E55. It’s a perfect solution for those on the hunt for a compact handset with attributes of a QWERTY-furnished smartphone. Nokia definitely has all the messaging smartphone bases covered now.


Stuff says... 

Nokia E55 review

Another great addition to the Eseries flock that marries a pocket-friendly form with QWERTY-esque usability