The successor to the E72, Nokia’s E5 is the latest in its range of straight-laced business-focused handsets. The E5 definitely shares a look with its predecessor, but it couldn’t feel more different to hold. Can the same be said for using it?
What we like
That distinctive Qwerty keyboard is very nice to use – the keys are rounded so gentle on your fingertips and pressing them is very quiet (unlike the BlackBerry Bold 9700, say, which makes a fair old racket as you clickety click your messages out).
Considering the E5 is a handset made to handle email, it’s a relief that setting up your accounts is nice and easy. It’s very straightforward for webmail accounts like Gmail and Hotmail – simply entering your username and password will do the trick.
The handset feels solid to hold – even though it’s quite plasticy, the metal back panel and highlighting lend it an air of superiority. It really feels like it’s of good build quality while doing away with the severity of the metallic E72.
When it comes to imaging, the 5-megapixel camera isn’t bad, but it suffers from a lack of autofocus. It does, however, come with a flash so our low-light photos came out pretty well.
The Nokia E5 handles multi-tasking fairly well, although we’d prefer it if applications were easier to fully close; more often than not we’d end up with eight or nine different things running without realising, and would end up with a frozen handset on our hands.
What we don’t like
The S60 operating system is dated and it looks it. The font is thin and puts us in mind of plain-text on a PC desktop; in short, it looks a bit rubbish. The menus are similarly low-fi, but sadly not in a good way. It’s a combination of low-resolution rendering, dated icons and that horrible font, it just makes us feel icky.
The screen is a touch on the small side for web browsing, and even emails were spread poorly across the display.
Although we were pleased with how quick and easy it was to set email up, we were more than a little annoyed as the handset spent a good long while downloading every email we’d ever received, to the point where the handset actually froze, crashed and then had to be restarted before it would cooperate again.
Another thing that took a bit of getting used to was Nokia’s silly, non-intuitive naming system. In the core menu, instead of going with the traditional ‘Settings’ heading, the E5 points you to the ‘Control Panel’. Likewise, in connections, instead of simply tapping wi-fi, you have to faff about for a little while until you realise that they’ve named it WLAN Wiz instead. Way to overcomplicate matters, Nokia.
The Nokia E5 is a solid handset, but if you’re looking for much more than traditional calling, texting or emailing then you might want to go for something a little up-to-date. The Symbian-running E5 lacks the fluidity of Android and the apps of iOS, leaving it a bit all work and no play. And we all know what that makes Jack.