The E5 looks like it means business thanks to its Blackberry-style design, where a landscape screen at the top is joined by a full QWERTY keyboard nestled beneath. Like many of Nokia’s other recent messenger handsets though, this one is also about fun, as it lets you flick between two separate home screens for work and play.
The E series of handsets have become known for their impressive build quality and thankfully the E5 doesn’t let the side down. The majority of the chassis is made from hard black plastic, but the battery cover and centrally mounted buttons on the front are hewn from aluminium. The chassis is extremely rigid and doesn’t seem to flex at all even when you apply a fair bit of twisting force to it, so it makes you feel confident that it’ll stand up to the rigours of life on the go. Looks-wise it’s not quite as flash as the E72 http://www.trustedreviews.com/mobile-phones/review/2010/03/05/Nokia-E72-Smartphone/p1, mainly because it lacks that model’s chrome highlighting and more sculpted shape. However, the E5 is significantly cheaper and still looks reasonably stylish.
Nokia has grouped together the ports on the top edge of the phone. Here you’ll find the traditional Nokia mini-charging port as well as a microUSB port. The microUSB port can be used for charging the handset as well as syncing it with a PC, but charging is slower using USB than it is using Nokia’s own charger. Slapped bang in the middle of these two ports you’ll find the headphone socket, which thankfully is a standard 3.5mm jack, so you can easily swap the supplied headphones for your own.
For storage, the phone has 512MB of ROM on-board, but Nokia also supplies it with a 2GB microSD card. This fits into a slot that’s rather awkwardly placed under the battery cover, so you can’t swap out memory cards without powering down the handset.