I have had the new E-series smartphone from Nokia, the E5, with me for a while and used it extensively. I have come off with very positive impressions of the device, and when I think of a summary of the E5, it is that here is a sensible smartphone.
It is sensible in the sense that nothing major is missing, and its usability is one of the best out there in its category. Here are a few quick points:
- the E5 has a very good battery life. I get over 24 hours of intensive use – always-on 3G mode, email client checking mails every 5 minutes, active Bluetooth earpiece connection, web browsing, calls, music, etc. With less intensive use, the E5 chugs on for about 2 full days.
- the QWERTY keyboard is the most user-friendly I have seen yet in its class. Characters like comma, full stop, the @ sign, and question mark require one key press, instead of a combination of two keys on other candybar QWERTY and BlackBerry devices. The keys are also well domed, making them easy to use.
- one-handed use of the device is tops. It is almost like using a regular phone – except that the QWERTY is there for when you need to really crank out text
- good build quality
- good music and video playback
- very good web browsing
- good (not superb) 5 megapixel camera
I could go on and on, but the summary is that the E5 does everything you want. It won’t win any awards for any groundbreaking feature, but it is a sound decision to make when you want a sensible device for everyday use.
While there are real issues with the Symbian S60 5th Edition interface, I don’t see what people are complaining about the non-touch version (3rd Edition) as it is today. Everything looks lovely and works well. I am able to customise the menu to my taste and there are subtle effects implemented by Nokia.
Web browsing is also super friendly with keyboard shortcuts that enable you to zoom, go back, switch between tabs, reload a page and more.
Email Issues – again.
One thing that I do still have issues with is Nokia’s implementation of email on their smartphones. The interface is lovely, but for some reason, there are periods that the email client is connected to the server but does not download any fresh mails. There are days I go to bed and for the 7 hours that I am asleep, the E5 does not download any mail until I pick it up and select the option to “Send and receive now“.
Not good. What is wrong with Nokia and email? My mobile history is checkered with clashes with Nokia’s email clients on smartphones, whether we are talking Symbian or Maemo.
Email management is made user-friendly though with keyboard shortcuts too. Users can delete mails, mark mails read or unread, and carry out a number of various actions via keyboard shortcuts. Now, if only Nokia can fix the auto-retrieve issue…
Besides the email auto-retrieve issue, I have no other complaints about the E5. It is a device that almost anyone will love and find handy.
My verdict: I rate the E5 a 4.75 out of 5.