Nokia E55 Review
The Nokia E55 is a smartphone that relies on the Symbian S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 OS, developed for cell phones without touch sensitive screens. All told, its functionality is pretty similar to the version found on the E66 and E71, both of which utilize Feature Pack 1 with certain functions from Feature Pack 2 integrated by the manufacturer. The home screen can either look fairly simple or show the Home screen application. We prefer the second option, since it allows easy access to the most used functions and important information such as upcoming events, unread emails etc. The new thing here is the “talking theme” aimed at people with poor or failing eyesight. Four shortcuts that cannot be altered pop up on starting it up. They lead to the phone dialing, clock, voice command and text-to-voice message reader functions with a robotized, female voice pronouncing the name of the shortcut that´s been chosen. As a whole, this is a really neat idea and it´s just too bad the voice doesn’t work with either the main menu or the submenus. We hope Nokia keeps up the good work and improve on its implementation.
The pretty nice function to switch between Business and Personal profile that is found on the home screen of both the E66 and E71 is also present here and each profile can be assigned separate ringtones, running applications, theme and wallpaper.
You can store as many contacts as you need with the only limitation being the available free memory and each of them can be assigned unlimited numbers, email addresses, date of birth, a photo, extra information etc. Searches are performed by both given and family names or company (if previously entered).
The Calendar doesn´t take up the entire screen when showing all days in any given month. There is also some free space below the block of dates that shows the upcoming events. The other calendar views look a bit differently. If you pick out “date”, a vertical list of events pops up on screen with timeslots clearly visible. You also have the well known “to-do” view and agenda mode. If you select it, ou will be able to see all events scheduled on that particular day, vertically sorted by starting hour.
The app that allows opening and editing Office documents and PowerPoint presentations is Quickoffice. Until recently, you had to purchase an additional license to get Office 2007 support, but the limitation has been removed for Word and Excel files via a software update for the E-Series devices - E51, E52, E55, E63, E71, E72, E75 and E90. ZIP file support has also been added and free PowerPoint 2007 compatibility is around the corner. We didn’t encounter any troubles with Word and Excel 2009 files and they can be opened and edited without a hitch. Unfortunately, we still don’t know when the Eseries gets PowerPoint 2007 support, but we need to point out something really interesting here. Nokia and Microsoft have announced that they are going to introduce Microsoft Office on Nokia smartphones next year, so the way we see it, the days of Quickoffice running on Nokia smartphones are numbered.
The Messaging menu stores all your text, multimedia and electronic messages. All settings are filled in automatically if you happen to use a leading service provider, such as Gmail or Yahoo. Things get even better, because the E55 comes preloaded with Nokia Messaging that is by far, at least in our opinion, quite comfier to use than the standard Symbian S60 client. As we mentioned in our review of the Nokia E75, we do like several functions like the fast switching between (as of now, up to 10) email accounts directly from the app, the option to sort by sender, title, priority, unread content, attached files and their size. They make using more than one email account and piles of emails way faster and more comfortable to handle. You also have nicely implemented searches and not last, you can read HTML emails with enclosed pictures being just a click away.
You connect to the Internet over 3G or via the built-in Wi-Fi. Either way, you will get to the standard browser that comes with the operating system and offers text formating, overview mode and partial Flash support. The latter can be illustrated with an example – YouTube player loads and starts without a hitch, but this is not the case with the web players on Viddler.com, Vimeo.com etc. Still, the browser would do the trick, although as whole, it´s not as good as the best ones found on touch sensitive screen cell phones.
The Word Traveler App is a novelty that is certainly welcome and will make many business users happier. It allows you to see a 5-day weather forecast for any town, what time it is in up to 5 different places around the Globe and the current exchange rates of 4 currencies of your own choice. The app also sports a function that is supposed to show available flights, but we couldn’t get it to work at the time of this review. There is one more nice function here – an animated Globe that shows thumb-tacked pictures of two countries – the one you are currently in plus another one of your choice. This allows you to see its geographical location, local time, the name of its capital and the time zone it is in. So, if you need to travel, you will be able to set up your clock accordingly. This will automatically adjust your calendar events, so you can easily rearrange your schedule.
The Nokia E55 sports a built-in GPS that is pretty fast and managed to pinpoint our location in 30 seconds after hardware restart and almost instantaneously after a software one. Out handset comes with voice navigation license that is life-long (for the Nokia E55) when walking and free for 125 days when driving. This, however, depends entirely on the region you are in, so you better enquire about it at your local retailer. Ovi Maps comes preloaded (that´s the new name of Nokia Maps) and features pretty much the same interface as ever, with the only novelty being the so-called Dashboard. It provides information about your speed, altitude, how long it´s going to take to go 1 km at your current speed and coordinates. There is a digital compass that is quite comfy to use when navigating, because it rotates the map and orients it in your movement direction.
1. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 863; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
"because the E55 8MP comes preloaded..." You guys at PhoneArena might want to fix that error in the paragraph you're talking about messaging. It's right above the pictures showing the email client. Somebody must've had the N86 on their mind or you're just trying to see if we're awake out here. Or you have something you might like to share with us all??
2. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Thanks for the note! Unfortunately, we do not have information about something that interesting like an 8MP camera on the E55... Obviously, it was the N86 8MP that was on our mind, while writing this review. We are sorry for the mistake, it has been fixed.
3. bluehorseshoe (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Jun 2009)
Anyone know when the E55 will be released for the US?
4. Whitecarnage (Posts: 12; Member since: 22 Mar 2009)
"Voices of people sound too loud, yet muffled and fuzzy and sometimes they get illegible" What's up Phonearena? Sounds too loud yet muffled? Aren't those words quite contradicting? When on Earth can a muffled sound be considered loud? I'm sorry but in as much as I would like to comprehend, I just can't understand what you mean by that. Anyone who can explain? It's actually what I want the most in this review as I don't want to get into trouble during calls.