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Nokia E55 review

Barry de la Rosa
16 Nov 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
241
inc VAT

Nokia's decent hardware is let down by its choice of operating system, which is outdated and lacks developer support.

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Specifications

Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition, 2.4in 240x320 display

Nokia's E55 is the thinnest and lightest phone here, but its large screen and semi-QWERTY keyboard also make it one of the tallest.

It still manages to house two cameras, including a 3.2-megapixel main camera with an LED flash, and has a 3.5mm headphone jack. The case feels tough, with a brushed-metal button bar below the screen and a metallic backplate with a funky machined pattern that improves grip.

Many will be wary of the odd keypad, which features a QWERTY layout but has two characters per key. In practice, it's easy to use: you either press once for the first character and twice for the second, which will suit those who are used to numeric keypads, or you can turn on word prediction, which guesses the word depending on which keys you press. We found this accurate and easy to use, as the keys feel more naturally placed for those who are used to a keyboard.

If you've used a Nokia Symbian phone before and are familiar with its labyrinthine menu system, you'll feel at home. However, if you've had a taste of the iPhone or Android interfaces, with their customisable home screens, intuitive menu systems and wide selections of apps, we don't see why you'd subject yourself to Symbian.

Nokia's attempt at an application repository is based on its own Ovi portal, which is full of ringtones and wallpapers. This is no match for Apple's App Store or the Android Market. Its social networking offerings and Music Store pale against Facebook and iTunes too. We can't see anyone opting for the E55 on the basis of Nokia's patchwork portal.

The camera showed great colour accuracy and contrast in our low-light tests, with detail in dark areas. However, there was also noise in dark areas, and JPEG compression artefacts were obvious. The battery life of 13 hours 21 minutes was disappointing.

Nokia's generally great hardware is let down by the software here. If you're used to Symbian, you'll find the E55 a great phone for messaging and office work, but it's too complicated for consumers who want a no-hassle device for organising their social life. RIM's BlackBerry Curve 8520 is better value.

Details

Price£241
Rating***

Hardware

Main display size2.4in
Native resolution240x320
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3.2-megapixel
FlashLED
Video recording formatMP4
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPSyes
Internal memory256MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included2048MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1900/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA
Size116x49x10mm
Weight98g

Features

Operating systemSymbian Series 60 3rd Edition
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP3, AAC
Video playback formatsMP4, 3GP, H.264, Flash, H.263, Real Video, WMV
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserNokia Web Browser
Accessoriesheadset and remote, USB data cable, travel mains adapter
Talk time6 hours
Standby time29 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)13h 21m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£241
SIM-free supplierwww.handtec.co.uk
Detailswww.nokia.co.uk

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