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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  • digitalw - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    when picking the right phone for you, it is not to begin with the OS and CPU speed, your needs are first then pick the phone that match them :)
  • Akdor 1154 - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Very nice for a first review. :)

    A couple of thoughts - 1: On my E55, and every other S60 device I've used, clicking the centre button while in the contact number field of a new SMS will open the contact list, which can be searched by typing the contact's name. Does the E5 remove this behaviour?
    2: Have they fixed the bloody email system to use Destinations instead of Access Points? This is a huge irk for me as it means I have to constantly change settings to have email come over wifi. To make things more confusing, currently "onboard" email accounts CAN use destinations, however Nokia Messaging accounts (i.e. Push email) cannot; they need to be set to a distinct access point.
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    1. You are correct on this. Looks like the functionality exists, but just isn't as straightforward. Thanks for pointing it out! :)

    2. Nope, it's still the same old frustrating "Access Points". However, it does come with an app called "SmartConnect" installed that let's you group multiple AP's into one AP. So you can group all your frequently used WiFi AP's under one heading and use that instead. Clunky, but it works! :)
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    It's been a great review as usual, but I'd like to make a point when you state "build quality". Who has forgotten his phone over the rooftop of the car, dropped it by accident or just throw it away by mere anger?

    The only phone I've seen survive almost every adversity from clumsy use are Nokia's. Hell, I even got a story from a friend who threw his like 20 or 30 mts to the next-next house into a concrete wall and survived with a scratch (the good old 5120, lol). I doubt these will do the same, but I'd like to strengthen the point in "build quality" here. Nokia deserves a 5 star rating in that department, but it's not just about "details" on the final build, but endurance also comes into account.

    I'd love to see some sort of metric into that :P


    PS: First post @AT, yay!
  • craig0ry - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    I disagree. The older "dumbphone" Nokias like the 5120 are indestructable. My N95 held up worse than my BlackBerry. While it never "broke", all it took was one or two drops on the pavement and the exterior looked like I'd kept it in a blender.
  • calyth - Friday, December 3, 2010 - link

    I agree. My N82 didn't fare any better, and I didn't drop it. However, my Bold 9000 held up alright after a few drops, and my Bold2 9700 looks just like I bought it (and fumbles here have dropped that one too).

    Nokia's build quality has been circling the drain for quite a while. It's even more apparent with their feature phones.
  • jisakujien - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Thank you, great review. It's too bad you didn't look at Exchange functionality though -- it's pretty important for a lot of business users, and many smartphones (in my experience) have iffy Exchange support. You could have downloaded a 120-day trial of Exchange Server 2010 and had it installed in a VM in a few hours. It's actually pretty easy to install and configure (especially compared to stuff like sendmail!).
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Good point. I will try to include this in future reviews with devices support MS Exchange :)
  • Scholzpdx - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Isn't there a native Opera Mini 5.2 for Symbian? Opera Mobile 10 hangs like crazy on my Blackjack 2, but Opera Mini makes my browsing on the Blackjack 2 almost as good as my Fiance's Iphone.

    As I can tell, this Phone is pretty similar in speed (hardware spec) to the old Blackjack 2, so using Opera Mini 5 would drastically change that part of the review.
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Actually if I'm not mistaken, Opera Mobile is for smartphones while Mini is for java-only phones. Plus, installing Mini would have skewed the results/experience because in case of Mini, the actual rendering engine in on the Opera servers, not in the phone itself (unlike Opera Mobile).

    But I didn't have any issues with Opera Mobile. It worked fine by itself... :)

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