Note to Readers: Our E5 review doesn't include all of our normal data products and objective benchmarks, as it is Mithun's first review. Mithun joins our smartphone team, and in time will be able to benchmark and test all the same things we normally include in a smartphone review. Welcome Mithun!

When Anand first asked if I wanted to review the Nokia E5-00 (referred to as E5 henceforth), I wasn’t sure what to say. Having almost exclusively used Nokia’s Symbian based smartphones for the first half of this decade, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be happy to meet an old friend after a long time, or loathe it thinking of the reasons I decided to move away from the platform in the first place. But then again, I realized I may actually be in a better position than some to review this device because of my prior experience with the platform. So jostling for front-page area on AT along with other, decidedly more exciting, better spec’d and feature-packed smartphones is the almost shockingly simple Nokia E5.

Coming in at 115 x 58.9 x 12.8 mm and weighing 126 g, the E5 feels great in your hands

Joining Nokia’s business-centric E Series line of smartphones is the E5. Pegged by Nokia as the successor to the higher end Nokia E72, my impressions of the phone lead me to believe that it is more of an upgrade to the lower end E63 than a replacement for the E72; it fits right between the two.  But it is in fact a worthy upgrade; the E5 is the only Series 60 phone to date with 256MB RAM onboard. It also has an ARM11 SoC running at a relatively speedy (by Nokia's standards) 600Mhz, shared with the E72. This can be attributed to Symbian’s thriftiness when it comes to resource consumption, but it is also testament to the fact that the software platform running underneath is unquestionably previous-gen and as such, doesn’t need the latest and greatest to get going.

Nokia E5: Hardware Analysis
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  • deputc26 - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    While he may be wrong, "Powerful stupid" does not fit...

    I agree that those three are currently the best for the most people and will end up 1, 2 and 3 as things currently stand but of course RIM/Nokia and especially WebOS could make top 3 if they get their acts together.
  • Belard - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    I based my opinion on... educated guess and how the market works. Until I saw the WM7 in action (somewhat - on Andandtech) - I figured it'll be junk. But it's still a rather updated 6.5 with more power.

    MS looked at iPhone and Android and said "hmmmm... what can we do to make OUR product different and actually better." The big squares look like they'll function better - direct to the point of the function you want with a quick swipe access to more apps.

    WM7 will do very well because of MS's marketing but also, unlike before - MS has several hardware partners (HTC, Samsung) selling about 12 models out the gate. While there are only 7 different black berries, half of them on the market for a year. Apple only makes 1-2 models of iPhone... but they are easily skinable.

    So with the OS improvements, close work with partners - yes, WM7 will be giving Android some good competition. I don't think WM7 - these three different phones have their strengths and weakness. I have an Android Galaxy-S, and so does one of my business partners... I think he'd do better with the WM7, but it wasn't out when his blackberry died, which he doesn't miss.

    I NEVER meet a blackberry phone that I liked.

    I prefer the more open design of Android... and I hope 3.0 will take some clues from MS and streamline some of the operations of the phone. I'd like to see a smaller grid... perhaps 3 icons across. Improved unlocked-swipe... yeah, the jig-saw looks cool, but its a PAIN in the butt in ways it shouldn't be.

    The battery usage of Android needs to be enhanced.

    With limited models, iPhone will end up #3 in about 2-3 years... IMHO.

    My prediction by 2013
    1 - Android
    2 - Windows Mobile
    3 - iPhone
    4 - RIM
    5 - Dumb-phones & Palm & Symbian - which is semi-smart.

    Market share for #5 will be reduced... new generation of users will not want dumber phones. I've only recently gone from dumb cell to smart... most of it has been good experience with room for improvement.
  • mino - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    You know, there are actually customers (90% of world market actually) that expect the phone to JUST WORK out of the box. No firmware update needed.

    Also there are customers not willing to shell out $300 for a mobile.
    $1 with $20 plan being the target market of this device.
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Belard, I see your point. And having used a Palm Pre Plus as my primary phone for the last couple of months, it was almost jarring when I first used the E5.

    But the Blackberries seem to be selling quite well only because they are tailored for their target market. With the E5, Nokia is trying to do just that.

    Also, most of the uber-phones listed sell for $150-199 on contract. If I remember correct, i saw it for $170 without a contract a couple of days ago. Plus, if you're going to use this primarily as a business phone (mail/messaging only), you can get away with the $15 unlimited data plan that AT&T offers for its "dumb" phones. That's a lot of savings over 2 years.... :)
  • Belard - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    A friend went from a blackberry to Android... it was a huge improvement. He's had his blackberry for about a year (one of the recent models) - the screen, internet, texting, etc... improved experience going to a Galaxy-S. Even thou the Galaxy isn't perfect.... ;(

    At&t at walmart has the Galaxy-S for $100 on 2yr contract. The data-plan is $25, with unlimited texting. There are times WHEN I do need an internet connection with a usable browser.

    Using my old SONY at the moment... its still NICE to sometimes have just a dumb-phone.
  • calyth - Friday, December 3, 2010 - link

    I'm a little amuse that you think a Samsung Galaxy could be a business phone.

    Mine was sitting on my nightstand when I left for work at like 9am, unplugged from the power source, and whne I was back at around 1030pm, it's already complaining loud and clear that I need to charge the battery. It's got nothing on, but 3 very low traffic email accounts. No IM. Maybe a google reader feed being updated.

    I've used both a Bold2 and a Torch, and all of them will last at least a day with corporate levels of email.

    I don't have high hopes for this BlackBerry knockoff to last that long when a user actually has any kind of email load.
  • Exodite - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Very nice and detailed review, as usual.

    Can we expect any S^3 devices, primarily the N8 and E7, to be reviewed in the future?
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    You should :)
  • Exodite - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Sweet. :)
  • digitalw - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    I'm not Nokia fan, but, if you have a lot of time to spend "touching" your phone, then go android, go iPhone,go WM7 or WM6.5.... i was using all those platforms and i can assure you, there is no better OS if you want to QUICKLY write SMS, check / write e-mail, quickly send photo as MMS... in the "rush" business hours, my Nokia E52, does the greatest job. After work, my "toy" Samsung Omnia helps me to watch divx or make a nice photos. But E52 (or any other Nokia business model) is the right tool. BlackBerry is in the same class i guess, as i never use it. But my frinds say it's best, for business, not for fun! :)

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