As with other E series devices, the E5 enables you to have completely different home screens set up for business and ‘fun’. These can be quickly toggled between using the switcher icon, which is a neat idea.
The phone isn’t found lacking when it comes to connectivity either. It sports HSDPA for fast data access on the move and also has Wi-Fi onboard for when you want to connect to a wireless router at the office or at home. There’s Bluetooth too and the GPS works well with the Nokia Maps software. However, the small screen, slightly sluggish web browser and lack of a touchscreen means that the E5 provides a pretty frustrating browsing experience, especially compared to Android smartphones available at a similar price level.
As we’ve come to expect from Nokia, though, call quality was excellent and the handset seemed to be pretty good at holding on to a signal even in some problematic areas. Battery life was also first rate as we managed to get around three days out of it between charges.
However, the E5’s camera is a bit of a let down. It has a 5-megapixel resolution and both autofocus and a single LED flash, but the results are disappointing. The autofocus isn’t all that hot as the camera often produces quite blurry pictures and colours are very muted lending photos a dark and dreary look. The flash does help indoors, but again detail and sharpness is not its strong point here either.
The E5 is a sturdy messaging phone that offers plenty of features and has an excellent keyboard and good battery life. However, its cramped screen is a bit of a let down and the Series 60 operating system looks quite dated now compared to the competition. Given that there are plenty of great smartphones you can get for around £180 on Pay As You Go these days, we don’t think the E5 offers quite enough thrills to make it a tempting a proposition.