Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nokia E5 stylish QWERTY phone for the masses

Nokia today announced two new Symbian messaging phones, the E5 and C6. The C6 is a slider style touchscreen device with a four row QWERTY keyboard running Symbian^1 (Why not Symbian^3? I am guessing Nokia is reserving that for the rumoured N8). Sadly it still features the same 434Mhz processor that bogged down the N97 and N97 Mini...

More exciting (to me at least) is the cheaper E5 with front facing QWERTY keypad, the successor to the E63. The E5 features a design style lifted straight out of Palm's Treo 500 and Centro smartphones. For such a cheap phone, the specs is actually pretty decent. Despite running on a puny BL-4D 1200mAh battery with the same 600Mhz ARM11 processor that powers the E55 and E72 and more RAM (256MB to be precise), it has a claimed talk time of 18.5 hours and a standby time of 29 days (obviously under ideal conditions). Whatever Nokia did with the power management - I want that! At 13mm it is a pretty thin phone and is overall slimmer than the portly E63.

The QVGA display is disappointing in this year (or indeed any of the past couple of years), but at that price we can all forgive it. A 5 megapixel camera (based on EDoF technology that graced the E55) with LED flash will probably be sufficient for most people, while the standard 3.5mm headphone socket will appeal to those who wishes to use their own headphones. Its connectivity CV includes quad-band GSM, tri-band WCDMA 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA, WLAN, Bluetooth and its own built-in GPS receiver for free navigation with Ovi Maps. Not bad for €180.

Best of all it runs on the mature none-touchscreen S60v3 FP2 Symbian OS 9.3 smartphone platform. Despite the somewhat 'outdated' platform erroneously labelled by a couple of patriotic American bloggers as not so smart, Nokia has continued tweaking the UI. The active standby screen has been overhauled with features similar to the one that appeared on the 5630 XpressMusic, 5730 XpressMusic and 6700 Slide. It seems to be very useful and I do wish that Nokia would backport the feature onto older but currently available phones like my E55.

I was talking to my brother the other day and he wanted a new messaging phone with front facing QWERTY keypad that isn't too pricey. Well here it is here. If Nokia can release this soon then they will have at least one additional sale.


Andy said...

I'd love to see the crazy promise of 29hours of talk time. And I'm actually being serious. This does seem like quite a viable alternative to the battery-draining multi-app'd touch screen handsets of today. Being in expensive actually makes this quite a nice candidate for a second, more practical phone for longer hauls.

I do feel however that symbian is dragging it's heels somewhat, though on a non-touch phone it's not as apparent

Jon said...

18.5 hours, but that's still pretty darn good. Not sure what voodoo magic Nokia has here, but I suspect a new power management chip. My E55 with its larger 1500mAh battery doesn't last that long (voice call at least).

As a none-touchscreen OS, I can't think of anything better than it. But that's just me.