Nokia E5 review

A phone for work and play – does it deliver the best of both worlds?

The definitive Nokia E5 review
The definitive Nokia E5 review

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Nokia e5 review

The Nokia E5 has taken the best of Nokia's recent business-focussed handsets and made it available to non-business users too.

This makes huge sense, really, since a lot of features cross the divide and are useful in both contexts.

Where Nokia really scores with the E5 is in allowing you to set up two completely different home screens, depending on which mode you are in.

We've seen this before, of course, and we like it every time it pops up.

The build might not be as robust as that of the Nokia E72, and the design is a little lacking in comparison too, but we do rather like the overall effect.

We liked

The keyboard is well made and easy to use at a fair speed. We always want more, of course, and a bit more key action would have been nice, but we were able to type reasonably quickly.

The ability to switch between two home screen arrangements is a good foil for the multiple home screens of Android smartphones.

The WLAN sniffer that can be sat on the home screen is a great little tool. Again we've seen it before, but it is just so handy.

Battery life is good, and a frugal user might even be able to take the Nokia E5 on a weekend business trip or short leisure break and leave the charger at home.

We disliked

It is a feature of Symbian S60 that the main menu structure involves folders into which apps are hidden. With platforms such as the iPhone and Android not bothering with folders, and often letting you organise apps how you like, the menu structure, which can hide things away, feels unfriendly and old-fashioned.

There isn't enough social media integration for us. We do like the Facebook app and its ability to link with contacts, but we want to download our contacts from Facebook and Gmail, thanks very much.

Web browsing is quite simply a chore, thanks to the small screen.

If one key feature lets the Nokia C5 down, it is the camera. It is very disappointing.

Nokia e5 review


The Nokia E5 is not a great looking handset, and it certainly doesn't have the wow factor that the E72 has in our eyes. And with a largely plastic chassis, bolstered by a metal backplate, it might not be all that robust.

But what goes on inside is mostly good stuff. We do wish there were a way of Nokia getting a larger screen into play, though. Even by squeezing the central button bar to get us another centimetre of height would be welcome.

Overall, though, it will be the clever dual home screen system that sells this smartphone to people wanting a phone for business and for their home life, and for around £250 it just about justifies its price tag.