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Nokia E55 review

Niall Magennis

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Nokia E55
  • Nokia E55
  • Nokia E55
  • Nokia E55
  • Nokia E55
  • E55 Cell Phone - Black

Summary

Our Score:

8

The E55 is the latest and smallest of Nokia's E-series, business-focussed handsets. It measures a mere 9.9mm at its thickest point, so it really is incredibly slim for a fully-featured smartphone. But despite it's thinness, it shares the same impressive build quality as the other phones in the E-series range and certainly feels like it could stand up to a few knocks and scrapes.

The front face of the E55 is dominated by its large 2.4in display. The screen's resolution at 320 x 240 pixels is pretty good for its size and certainly provides enough room to comfortably view web pages or read longer emails. It looks pin sharp, too, and is relatively bright, although outdoors in direct sunlight it can be a tad difficult to read at times. However, in this respect it's not all that much worse than screens on many other devices we've used.

Beneath the display, Nokia has added two shortcut buttons for the calendar and email client, which let's face it, are the two features you're most likely to use on a daily basis. For navigation there's a chunky and responsive D-pad, plus two soft keys mounted on either side of the screen.

However, it's the main keypad that's perhaps the E55's most distinguishing feature. It's a 20-key, half-QWERTY affair, with two characters per key. To input the first letter you tap once, and to input the second you tap twice.

Alternatively you can avoid the need to multi tap by simply typing once on each key and letting the predictive text engine work out what word you're trying to input. This approach has been taken before on previous handsets, but with rather limited success. However, it works much better here mainly because the predictive text engine Nokia has used is much better than on those older models. You really can just tap away while letting the predictive text engine sort out the words in the background. We're used to the iPhone's soft keyboard and predictive text combination, which we're quite fond of, but the Nokia was probably a bit easier to get up to speed with and led to fewer mistakes.

The handset runs the 3rd edition of Nokia's Series 60 smartphone OS. Series 60 may not be the flashiest OS around, but it is very straightforward to use. It also includes a decent line-up of applications as standard including the QuickOffice software, PDF viewer and Windows Live Messenger. We also like the way you can set up and easily switch between work and personal profiles via a simple icon on the home screen.

The phone's browser is impressive too. While it can't compete with the likes of Safari on the iPhone or Google's browser on Android, it's definitely one of the better browsers we've seen on a candybar style phone, as it generally does a good job on page formatting and pops up a nice thumbnail view of previously visited pages when you hit the back button. The browser also supports Flash Lite, so some - but by no means all - Flash content can be displayed.

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sockatume

September 30, 2009, 4:26 am

I think the E52 deserves a mention, seeing as it's essentially the same handset with a standard keypad instead of the odd QWERTY thing. ;)

DrDark

September 30, 2009, 5:58 am

^what he said.


Also, they both feature 600MHz processors, so notes on zippiness would be appreciated.


Oh, and does anyone know when the gold E52 is due for release?

farki80

September 30, 2009, 11:32 am

I know that the camera isn't the most important feature of the E-series, but I've always thought that posting picture samples is something that TrustedReviews would do with a phone review.





Anyway this is a great phone. I have one on order and should arrive soon.

Jay Werfalli

September 30, 2009, 4:18 pm

A couple of photo samples have now been added.

timple

September 30, 2009, 5:49 pm

Video calling - "if you can be bothered" - why hasn't this service taken off? Answer it's too expensive for the marginal benefit it provides. If I was running a 3G network I'd look into providing large dollops of inclusive video minutes to the same network. That might encourage take up with the younger customers and therefore become more mainstream.

Ed

September 30, 2009, 6:54 pm

@timple: For me video calling is something I actively don't want to use the vast majority of the time. Just thought I'd throw that thought into the mix.

Nick 11

September 30, 2009, 8:44 pm

I find the Symbian OS horribly complicated - not straightforward at all. It is convoluted, awkward and annoying with seemingly endless nested menus. I want to like it from the E61 and now E71 I have owned, but I can't.

sockatume

September 30, 2009, 9:55 pm

Do any of the mobile Skype apps support video? It's the only circumstance I could picture myself using it.

farki80

September 30, 2009, 10:48 pm

I actually love the Series 60 UI. I initially hated it, but that was because the hardware was slow. These days the phones are speedy enough and more than capable of handling the UI. I used to be a Windows Mobile guy but ditched it and went fully Symbian a couple of years ago. I have tried modern phones with 'modern' UI like Android and can't get the grip of it.





Anyway that is just me. I do find it billiantly intuitive, with advanced menus cleverly hidden only when you need it. I hope Symbian Foundation won't stop developing the none-touchscreen S60v3 interface when they move to Symbian^2.

SpiderJacek

October 1, 2009, 1:14 am

I also like Symbian UI. It is fast and needs less processing power than other OSes. It is customisable and there are tons of 3rd party games and applications. Sat-nav, web browsing, Instant Messaging, e-mail - all you need is the right app for the job. I own S60v3 phone (Nokia 6120c), I have tested S60v5 phone (Nokia 5800XM) and I also hope, that Symbian Foundation won't ditch this OS in the near future.

DrDark

October 1, 2009, 4:35 am

3rd S60 supporter here -but then everyone knows that by now...


I can understand why newcomers may find it confusing at first, but I find the menu layout way more logical than say, SE phones. To me, they're the perfect, non-touchscreen interface. And I'm not a big fan of touchscreens in any case. Which is why I chose the E71. Anyway, I'm starting to sound like a commercial here... (what with s_p_i_d_e_r already almost saying "there's an app for that", we're straying way too close to Apple territory! Ugh :P).

PrimaryKey

October 1, 2009, 12:46 pm

Having made the mistake of a Sony P1 with a similar keyboard, I wouldn't go down this route again. The P1's keyboard was unusable. You might as well go for the e71 which is almost the same width and has independent keys.

DrDark

October 1, 2009, 4:25 pm

I'd probably advise waiting for the E72 in that case. It'll have the faster processor and should be out this year.


Otherwise I find the E52 more appealing than E55: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... {FF to 0:45, bits featuring the phone finish around 2:25}

muffymeister

October 1, 2009, 5:35 pm

I've had various N series phones, all of them letting me down after a period of time and with battery life. I then went and got an E65 for which i had for 2.5 years, it crashed on me (mind it was only the application) and the battery life was initially fantastic, but time has taken its toll and after years of abuse i decided to replace it with the e55





I've had this for a little over 3 days now, and after heavy usage (mainly exchange(mail) and importing contacts and photos etc) the battery is looking like it will fail some time tonight, it hasnt crashed yet, and im thoroughly impressed with it so far, its amazing quick, even my n series friends where amazed at its speed





well done nokia, keep up the excellent work on the e series

joose

October 1, 2009, 8:29 pm

I think the photo's off this phone look really good, much better than the over hyped 'camera' phones with their silly pixel sizes we see on here normally.





I've been enjoying the camera on my nokia 6220, being out of the tech rat race can be nice sometimes ;)





www.artfrommymobile.blogspot.c...

farki80

October 1, 2009, 9:10 pm

PrimaryKey,





The keypad here is different than the P1. The P1's keypad is actually a full QWERTY keypad but with 15 pivot keys that requires you to press the left or right side of each button.





The E55's keypad works much like Blackberry's Pearl.

lukealexander

October 2, 2009, 12:07 am

As an aside, is there any good reason why TR doesn't have a mobile site? It is one of the slowest loading sites on every phone I've tried it on!

rav

October 2, 2009, 12:23 am

For all the coverage that the iphone, blackberry and android get the E71 must have far outsold them all. Nokia just quietly getting on with it. Haven't got an E71 myself but I've had a go with one and have to admit it was very nice.

Timek

October 2, 2009, 3:07 am

QWERTY is the monster that wouldn't die - a 150 year old kludge designed to make typing much slower - and it's dispiriting to see it colonising today's latest smartphones with nary a mention of superior alternatives such as Dvorak.





When can we expect to see technology that gets us away from QWERTY piggery? The 23rd century perhaps?

DrDark

October 2, 2009, 3:21 am

I'd just like to add I have big manly hands, but love the E71 KB. I also love the number layout being in the middle as it aggravated me a lot when trying some of the HTC smartphones which have them on the left (may be the same for blackberries, can't recall as haven't had a go on one in a while).





@lukealexander: Try with Opera Mobile/Mini, it loads up fairly quickly on the E71 with Mini.

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