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The screen is a delight. Delivering 240 x 360 pixels in an area measuring 2.25 inches corner to corner and capable of 16 million colours it is about as good as a handset screen gets. Clear, sharp and bright it is really let down by the default dull grey theme.
There’s 50MB of memory built in and microSD cards can be used to expand on that. The slot is under the battery cover on the right side of the handset and though it’s protected it’s very easy to get to.
The S60 operating system offers a nicely rounded set of applications these days and email management includes support for plenty of over the air synchronisation options. The phone includes readers for Microsoft Word, Excel PowerPoint and PDF, unit conversion, a utility for working with teams, the Gallery for image viewing and Nokia’s strong MP3 player. You get a PC sync cable and software for those who want to synchronise contacts and calendar with a local computer.
There is no FM radio in this handset, but that’s a small omission in what is generally a strong application suite. More annoying is that Nokia bundles a mono headset and if you want stereo you need to buy a Nokia Pop-Port connecting headset.
Nokia’s web browser is sophisticated enough to make browsing relatively straightforward and naturally 3G comes in handy here. Of course the small screen makes some sites too painful to view, even with the ability to shrink text size to minute proportions.
The exceptional feature of this mobile has to be the way it handles the built-in Wi-Fi, the third wireless flavour on board after Bluetooth and infra red. The system is the same as that implemented in the other new E series handsets. There is a ‘sniffer’ built into the phone, and its main screen can be set to show the result of regular scans for networks. Alternatively, a link to the sniffer can sit on the phone’s main screen and you can use this to manually scan for and connect to networks. This makes it very easy to use the E65 for the wireless Internet and for other applications such as Voice over IP. In fact I used it to evaluate the Truphone and Fring VoIP applications
The 2-megapixel camera is slightly disappointing. It is easy enough to use, but lacks flash, self portrait mirror, macro mode and auto focus. It only shoots in two resolutions, 1600 x 1200 and 640 x 480. My standard reference shot of the coloured dish, taken indoors under natural household lighting lacks vibrancy while the flowers suffered the usual problem of over exposure. The camera did well with the cat though, who was moving at a gentle trotting pace when the shot of her was taken and yet the image is not blurred.
The E65 has some design points that need more attention, the camera isn’t what it could be, and Nokia has shot itself in the foot by not including a front facing camera for video calls. But the clever Wi-Fi software could draw you to this phone regardless.