But something has gotta give, right? Something has - and sadly, it is the screen. Coming in at a shade less than 2.4 inches (2.36” to be exact), it is without a doubt small. Packing a low 320 x 240 resolution, this QVGA landscape is a thorough disappointment.

 

The screen is actually the biggest reason why I feel the E5 is not a true successor to the E72. While the latter packed a similarly small display, it was much more vibrant and readable both indoors and outside. Although the E5’s screen is usable indoors, it looks washed out; under sunlight, it is about as unusable as some OLED displays. Turning the brightness all the way up helps a bit, but having to do so every time you step outside doesn’t make sense. This is probably because the E5 has a cheaper transmissive-type LCD instead of the transflective LCDs seen in higher-end Nokia devices like the E72. As a result, the E5 tends to get washed out in direct sunlight. The E5 comes equipped with an ambient light sensor that seems to do its job well enough, except in the sun. For some reason it doesn’t max out the brightness outdoors, which would otherwise alleviate some of the display's outdoor use issues.

Camera

Moving on, we have the 5 megapixel, non-auto focus camera and LED flash on the back of the E5. It is not particularly good at anything more than candid shots in well-lit surroundings. 

Although the LED flash is reasonably powerful, pictures taken in anything but perfect lighting are grainy and lack detail. The E5 does have Nokia’s Extended Depth of Field feature and it’s a nifty feature as it makes sure both the foreground and background are always in focus, thereby “eliminating” focus time. The 2592 x 1944 images are on an average about 1.5MB which means they are quite heavily compressed.

If only it had better optics to make better use of the feature. The video recording part of the phone is even worse; it can only shoot VGA/15 fps video at best. But considering the fact that this phone is targeted at the business crowd, the mediocre-at-best camera should not count against the phone.

Nokia E5: Hardware Analysis Software - Symbian
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  • velis - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Heh, it's ridiculous how we all expect to see reviews of super new fancy-shpancy gadgets.
    While this article just shouts "OLD!!!" to the OS used in this phone, I still have to say this:

    [bold]This OS does the job[/bold] unlike certain other OS(s) where a simple reminder is a useless feature because it only reminds if you're sitting on the phone at the time, where you are only notified of a call when it stops "ringing" (not that it rang in the first place), etc.

    While the newest gadgets may look cool, feature some super impressive HW and SW, they really tend to forget a phone's basic functions.

    That said, it's a shame this phone has such a pathetic screen.
    Reply
  • Drunken.Swagger - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    "The one other idiosyncratic move on Nokia's part was to not allow entering contacts by name in the texting application. In this day and age, having to remember and enter a contact's number instead of just typing their name with the phone suggesting contacts as you type is laughable. There is a way to “Add Recipient(s)” via the menu, but this is a smartphone, and it’s not the year 2000. Come on guys, get it together."

    I have a Nokia E71 and it does allow this feature. Given that it's similar software, I think you might need to investigate further to make sure it's not available (Because it is rather picky).
    Reply
  • mythun.chandra - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    You are correct Druken.Swagger. As pointed out by Akdor 1154 later on, clicking on the center button in the "To" field shows the contact list. Why they didn't make it "type ahead" capable, I don't know. :) Reply
  • deeyo - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    I have an E71 too. You can start typing in a name, and once you press the middle button it will list all the matches in your contacts list.

    If I type 'Jess' and click enter, it'll list "Jesse B, Jessica G...." for example

    In general there's a lot of clever little functions tucked away in the default OS, although the app store selection is AWFUL! And nobody makes new programs =(
    Reply
  • ojisama - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - link

    S40 phones also open contact list with the center button. Also, you can write your message first and if the recepient field is empty the concact list is opened (with favourites on top, if added.). I don't think I've ever seen a Nokia phone that forces you to remember the number...

    Type ahead can be a bit problematic, if your recipient uses several numbers. Perhaps not a bad idea, but since I'm usually sending text messages to a limited number of people, selecting the name from recently used list is faster.
    Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    The Symbian operating system has at least a couple newer versions: the S60 3rd Edition (feature pack 2) is still sold, but the Symbian S60 5th Edition is newer, and the open source Symbians (^1, ^2 and ^3) are newer still. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    Yeah, Actually Symbian is about as "old" as Windows is.

    The only problem with it (on smartphones) is they (for political reasons) chose S60 instead of perfecting UIQ which was WAY ahead of its time when it came smartphone UI's ... :(
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    This phone does look great... but its screen, camera and OS are vastly out-dated, and so what its its targeted towards "BUSINESS USERS". When an Android, WM7 and iPhones offer far more for the same price - why would they be caught using something that is frustrating to use?

    There are some Android & WM7 phones that have slide-out keyboards... check.

    I did play the video you made with this phone... its HORRIBLE. I recorded a 720-HD quality video on my Samsung Galaxy-S phone, it LOOKS great, sounds very good... with its high-res AMOLED screen, it looks almost as good as real-life.

    At&t (and I gather others), sell the Galaxy-S for $100~150 with a contract.

    Internet ability rocks and that is important for business. (GPS on Samsung still sucks)

    I remember when I last had a NOKIA phone, and I never looked back. Using SONY for years until I went to Android.

    The top 3 phone WILL be Android, WM7 and iPhone... RIM is still behind, MS has done good research (wow). Where is NOKIA?
    Reply
  • thewhat - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    "When an Android, WM7 and iPhones offer far more for the same price"

    Same price? I don't think so. Well, maybe _some_ Android phones can be had for that money, but that's it. The iPhone is 2x-3x the price of this Nokia.*

    I'm not a fan of Symbian or Nokia, but let's be real, it will still sell because it's relatively cheap. (Still too expensive IMO and I'd probably rather get an Android or wait for Meego phones.)

    *if you're talking about the price on contract with the US carriers, that's a different story. The price of US smartphones on contract are all pretty much the same, +- $50, because you're required to get the same expensive "smartphone plan", no matter which phone you choose. But that's a specific market which doesn't reflect most of the world's prices or the off contract prices.
    Reply
  • T2k - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - link

    "The top 3 phone WILL be Android, WM7 and iPhone..."

    WOW, powerful stupid.

    It'd surprising to see WM7 to reach even RIM sales...
    Reply

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