Nokia E5 Review
Nokia E5 is the latest in a long line of business oriented Eseries phones, and directly follows on from the Nokia E72 with its QWERTY keyboard, landscape screen and business oriented feature-set. While most people still regard BlackBerries as the definitive business handsets, both the Nokia E71 and E72 were extremely well received. With the Nokia E5 offering similar utilities and form-factor as the E72, but at a lower price-point, have Nokia retained all the key strengths in the E5, or have they stripped it of too many features in a bid to keep the price down?
Sporting a predominantly plastic body, with the exception of its battery cover, the Nokia E5 looks extremely fit for purpose. The E5 appears more straight-laced than the E72, with no design enhancements such as chrome-like trimmings to differentiate it from the array of handsets with a similar form-factor currently on the market. Despite the plastic body, the Nokia E5 still however manages to provide a solid feel, decent weighting, curved edges that feel comfortable to hold, and all in a relatively slim-line device.
You can compare the Nokia E5 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The Nokia E5's screen does what it needs to do, without any frills. At 2.4 inches and with a resolution of 320x240, it provides adequate size and sharpness for most tasks such as messaging and editing short documents, though it is less than ideal for web browsing and watching movies on. Viewing angles on the phone are great and the screen is also very bright. Both these factors help make the screen more usable for long periods, and the landscape orientation lends itself to business oriented tasks (such as text entry, Bloomberg and sorting through emails). While the Nokia E5 displays less colours than the E72 (256,000 instead of 16,700,000), when considering the E5's business oriented end-use, this is a logical sacrifice that won't hamper usability.
The QWERTY keyboard is perhaps the Nokia E5's key selling point. Being a four tiered layout, it is comprehensive enough in terms of what it offers, however is small and a little cramped. The keys are rubberised and feel tactile enough to facilitate decent typing speeds. The biggest detractor surrounding the keyboard's usability isn't so much its size however, but the shape of the QWERTY keys. Being raised only in the centre, pressure needs to be applied to a very specific point in order to click each key. While this is something that can be gotten used to, it doesn't provide as intuitive a typing experience as we had hoped it would, and simply isn't comfortable if you have larger fingers.
The rest of the device is for the most part standard. With the front mainly sporting the screen and the QWERTY keypad, it also houses a call and end buttons along with two soft-keys, two shortcut keys (menu and messaging) and a four-way d-pad (instead of the optical pad found on the E72). There is no front facing camera unlike on the E72. On the back of the Nokia E5, you will find a 5MP camera with an LED flash and a mono speaker, with the top containing a microUSB port, a standard Nokia charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both sides have a battery release button on their respective lower halves and the right side also has a volume rocker at the top. The only physical feature that is uncomfortable to use is the volume-rocker, which isn't sufficiently raised and is aggravatingly stiff to press.