Although it was launched in 2007, quite a long time after N95 (the first Symbian 9.2 phone with S60), Е65 uses the older 9.1 version which is a totally negative thing. It is illogical that new models of such upmarket phones use the outdated version of the operating system.

Using the Active Standby mode, the home screen would be the typical one for all Symbian phones. It displays a clock and the date, as well as the usual signal strength and battery, while the name of the carrier or Offline can be seen in the middle. Just below these is located a row of 6 shortcuts which can be personalized to suit you best. The rest of the display, below them, is used for “notifications” – this is where missed calls, upcoming tasks (or To-Do in the calendar), received messages are displayed, as well as the music player status (the song that’s played at the moment). The various capabilities of this Active Desk can be set to serve you best. It resembles a well-personalized homescreen of a Pocket PC with Windows Mobile OS and is really useful and pleasant to use, and it saves a lot of time. Located at the bottom of the screen are the two software buttons which can also be personalized from the Settings menu.

The main menu can be viewed as 3x4 (or 4x3) grid of icons that can also be displayed as a list (it’s chosen directly from the main menu) but the icons are not animated in both cases. The numeric keypad buttons can be used as shortcuts – a function which is much better implemented than version 6 of the S60 interface but still a lot of things should be changed: as the menu not always holds 12 icons (they can be more or less), scrolling up/down shows you different ones that should be associated with the keypad – but they’re not. If you press 3 while at the highest part of the grid, you’ll select the icon located at the top right corner. But if you scroll down to reveal the other icons in this menu, pressing the 3 button will still open the afore-mentioned menu, not the one currently located at the top right of your screen; so these shortcuts only relate to the first 12 icons in a particular menu, while the rest (if there are any) remain without any shortcuts. If a button’s function is dynamic and corresponds to the grid in the menu, you can click the button for a given menu without even thinking about it. Thus, you save the time you usually need to “walk around” the menus, using the joystick.

The menu can be personalized by using themes, and if you combine various screensavers and personalized homescreens, two identical phones can look quite different. Definitely, the operating system provides many good personalization options, so it can be compared to the most advanced system, according to us – Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs.


This business phone is equipped with a hardware shortcut on the upper slider to make reaching the list of phone numbers faster. The other shortcuts are for mute/unmute, Conference call and Own key, whose function you can adjust as you like.

All the contacts are displayed as a list and if there is a picture ID, it can be seen in the top left corner of the screen as a thumbnail with a very small size (it’s the same size when you have an incoming call and that’s why we find this feature useless) when you select the contact. If you want to search, you type in directly from the keypad and searching is done for the whole name (not only the first word), even if the name is saved in more than one field (first and last name for example). If you want to edit a contact , you can only change the already defined fields. For adding more information you need to select the Add Detail menu. When adding a new contact you are provided with the “basic” fields, but with the “Add Detail” function you have almost no restrictions on the fields and their number and you can add a lot of phone numbers.

We also like having the option for adding a given field several times and in that manner for example we are able to record the numbers of three phones each one with a status “Mobile”.

The phone has a set of voice commands – they are speaker independent and you don’t have to “train” every command, something that can save you a lot of precious time. By holding the right soft key, the “recognizer” turns on and you can say a name (from the phonebook) to be dialed. Names like “Father”, “Brother”, “test”, “John” and “Neo” were no problem, but we had no success with others like “Amy” for example.

The commands can activate various programs or perform different functions, like “New SMS” for example, but a list with different capabilities must be added to the menu - not all of them are added by default so that they’re easier to recognize with any speaker – thus by adding only the ones you need you can achieve best possible accuracy without the annoying training. Аnd it works, the voice commands were very accurate and we rarely experienced mistakes when launching applications.

A voice recorder can record your voice by the means of speakerphone as the duration of the recording is limited only by the available memory. You can record on the memory card, which will allow longer recording times. In that way the smartphone replaces your voice recorder without needing a third party software.


The organizer is an important part of a business phone and E65 has paid due attention to these functions. When opening the menu you are positioned by default on the calendar, which has preserved the functionality of its Symbian fellows. You can add 4 types of entries (Meeting/Memo/Anniversary/To-do), to select Subject, Location,Start/End Time and connect an alarm.

In the Office menu you will find other applications, part of the organizer. By the File manager you can view the phone memory and the memory card and copy/move files. Like other phones using this operating system, the calculator does not have scientific functions and the converter doesn’t have the most attractive interface but it works. Notes is for short notes without alarms and reminders.

Preloaded you have a QuickOffice to view Word/Excel/Powerpoint files, and to be able to edit them you will have to order a full version (Quickoffice v3 (activate editing) full license for EUR9.79 or 30-day license for EUR2.26 or Quickoffice Premier (v4 upgrade + editing) full license for EUR15.06). The inconvenience with Quickoffice is that it opens files saved only in the Documents folders of the memory of the phone and the card. Still, if you reach a file through the file browser and select it, it will be opened by the program. A complex Excel file is visualized OK and searching in it is easy, too. We only had a problem with a PowerPoint file where not all images were visualized properly.

Adobe PDF takes care for viewing of the pdf documents in your phone’s memory. Like with the office applications, we loaded a 50 pages document (and over 1 MB) and searched through it without any problems.

The office files are often received with the e-mails archived in series and that is why the phone is supplied with a ZIP manager, which can zip/unzip files. Our remark to it is that it does not handle RAR archives which are also very widespread.

The Search option allows you to search in your Messages/E-mails/Calendar events/To-dos/Notes/Contacts/Other files which is very convenient. Thus you can find contacts by (part of) a word, coinciding with their profession or company, files in the phone memory, etc. This is an excellent system which must be present in all smart (and not only) phones, but which unfortunately we find in E-series only but not in N (even N95).

In Clock you will see the exact time and date and like with other similar smartphones, here you can add an alarm. It is only one, without a possibility for repetition which is certainly very inconvenient and you will almost certainly want to replace it with a third party application. The worldclock is in the next tab where you can add arbitrary cities.

As a phone of the E-series, E65 comes with several more extra applications, not available in the other Symbian S60 phones. Teams is an application which makes it easy for you to conduct a conference conversation/send a message or use PushToTalk with a preset group of people differentiated as Team.


1 Comment

1. sandeep unregistered

Great work by you all! I really appreciate the test on signal/reception strength that you people do. I live in an area that has below average reception. I have now resolved that unless you people give a 'go ahead' on the phone by recommending it for weak signal strength area, I wont buy a new phone. Many people go blindly with Nokia when it comes to signal strength. I own a Nokia 3230 and I have experienced missed calls and dropped calls with it. Keep up the good work. Thanks again.
  • Display 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Storage 0.05 GB
  • Battery 1100 mAh(6.00h talk time)

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