Nokia E5 Review – A New Blackberry Phone Alternative

Nokia E5 Review: Released in 2010, the Nokia E5-00 had a solid line in history: originating from the Nokia E-Series which last featured good phones such as the Nokia E72 and Nokia E63. Both of these were memorable handsets, with Nokia aimed two quite similar designs at business and leisure markets. But the competitive landscape had changed permanently at this time. RIM’s Blackberry handsets had stolen a march and had come to dominate the QWERTY-handset division with releases such as the Blackberry 8520.

The Nokia E5 release was designed as a response to this. A similar model – the Nokia C3 also came out at the same time and seemingly targeted the leisure market. In truth, the differences were quite small – the E5 features more emphasis on business with pre-loaded Office-compatible software and a PDF viewer. The C3 favoured social media support for Facebook and Twitter. With an expanded footprint, an even larger battery capacity was possible, giving huge standby times.

In truth, the Nokia E5 had slipped a bit in terms of construction and was not as strikingly good looking as the previous business phone, the Nokia E72. Construction was a plastic frame, although in a throw-back to the older phones a metallic rear cover was provided. The cost price of the handset was much reduced as it sought to compete from a challenger position.

Full specifications here.

The E5 wasn’t really up to the job of challenging the popular Blackberry handsets in terms of specification. The next year, a more beefed-up and redesigned Nokia E6 hit the shelves. But it is fair to say that the QWERTY device was dying out and would eventually be replaced by touchscreen handsets.

Nokia E5 Review: Pros

The phone specification was roughly equal to that of the Nokia E72 at a lower cost. We have the same 2.4 inch screen at 320 x 240 resolution, and a 5MP auto focus camera with flash.

Keypad design has been thoughtful, with large raised keys and thankfully a larger space bar. This makes working on emails or documents a lot easier.

A whole bundle of apps were included, such as support for Office documents and handy ZIP file and PDF support. GPS was enabled and Ovi Maps navigation was free.

The phone also gave a powerful performance on the media side without advertising: a 3.5mm headphone jack, MP3 player and microSD card support meant that a fun side to the phone could be had. Dual home page screens allowed a separation of work and life.

Nokia E5 Review: Cons

Navigation on the handset was clunky. The increased depth of the menus and documents meant that a directional keypad was not sufficient. Blackberry’s roller-ball and optical trackpads were far better solutions for business.

The Symbian operating system was much of a hinderance, and perhaps unsuitable for heavy usage. The later Symbian Anna proved more of a success which was optimised for touch.

The screen remained at the same 320 x 240 resolution which was rather low and would be quickly overhauled by the Blackberry models.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

The Nokia E5 lacks the premium feel of the Nokia E72, and is still cheaper to purchase today. The development of touchscreen technology has been so thorough that these types of model are rather frustrating to use nowadays, limiting their usage potential. But with Nokia QWERTY handsets rare as it is, this may be of interest.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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