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Thursday, August 16, 2007

E65 Reviews

The Nokia Eseries has been popular among business users, and with the E65 Nokia shows that business phones can be stylish as well as smart. Aside from being the best-looking Eseries mobile phone to date, the E65 is also very slim. Armed with all the connectivity options you could want, plus a 2 megapixel camera and the 3G capable.

The Design...

The E65 is quite good – it positively differs from many sliders that Nokia released lately, just look at face-to-face pictures with Nokia N80, Nokia 6288 and Motorola Z6.
Sliding open the E65 produces a nice click and the sliding mechanism feels solid. This slider belongs to “slim-is-in” category, being one of the company’s smallest slider-styled offerings, measuring up at 105x49x15.5 mm. While Nokia’s range doesn’t feature any counterparts to this solution, Samsung is delivering such device in March - Samsung i520v (S60 3.1, 101.7x50.5x17.9 mm). Overall these devices share some commonality – to make sure of that you just need to put them side by side.

The handset weighs in at 115 grams and measures 137 mm long when zipped open, which makes for comfort. At the same time you can accept and make calls without sliding the E65 open.

The phone comes included with a velvety carrying pouch, which is astonishing.

But the trim is not the only thing highlighting unconventional style of the E65 – turning the handset around reveals leather-like surface of the battery cover. The plastic quality is good, in some places the finishing is something between soft touch and standard plastic coating. However the surface proves to be prone to mechanical effects, specifically the area next to the “pencil” key wore off due to the phone being put in one pocket with keys once. At the same time, while not in such extreme conditions, the E65 won’t expose these scratches. The chassis is painted into the same color.

The handset utilizes QVGA display (240x320 pixels, 2.2 inches, 34x45 mm), capable of 16 mln. colors (TFT). Much like other Nokia’s offerings, theE65 comes installed with a mirror layer for the display, making its usage in the sun a bit more like a breeze, and keeping the picture perfectly legible, which is especially vital for navigation mode. Also the handset carries ambient light sensor, which adjusts backlighting level basing on current light conditions.

Aim at voice services has called to life 4 special keys around the navigation pad, using these while at the standby screen or calling, allows one-touch access to the phonebook, merging active calls into a conference and starting it. During a call you can disable the microphone with a flick of a dedicated button. The last button found on the casing is called My Own, which means you can assign it to any feature or application. On the right spine is a dedicated sound recorder button, volume rocker and Edit key. The power button is located on the top end of the E65, while its bottom houses standard Pop Port and a slim socket for charger, as well as Infrared window, whose presence indicates that the handset spent a lot of time in development department of the company.

Numeric keys are pretty soft to press and bulky, which makes handling them a breeze. All keys are evenly lit in white. The Backlighting is not particularly very bright but rather comfortable. The back cover exposes no gap, removing it you will find a hot-swappable microSD memory expansion slot on the right.

E65 carries 950 mAh battery (BL-5F) onboard. But at the company page the handset is said to come equipped with 1000 mAh BP-5F (Li-Pol). I suppose, that is a manufacture’s mistake this time, as to all countries the phone comes included with BL-5F. The same battery is used in Nokia 6290 and Nokia N93i.

The battery life is quoted at 3 hours talk time and 240 hours standby time. In conditions of Moscow networks the handset lasted about 2 days at 45 minutes of calls, 2 hours of music, 20 minutes of gaming and 20 minutes of web surfing. More intensive usage of the device decreases the battery life to 1 day or even less than that. Browsing Internet pages for 4 hours straight drained all power from the battery, while non-stop music playback leads to the same result within 7 hours, for video the battery life makes up 2 hours. That said, you should expect one-two days of operation, depending on your usage mode. It takes the battery 2 hours and 15 minutes to charge from empty to full.

Team Suite...
This is the main app which is unique for this model only, for the time being. In this application you will find a list of commands that is managed and complemented with contacts from the phonebook by you. For each command you are at liberty to create group messages as well as make conference-calls with a flick of button, and communicate with your colleagues via Push to Talk. As for additional capabilities, viewing of communication log and catalogue of new links for a specific command are available. This very application is an add-on over the standard functions, in other handsets such functionality is achieved by spending more time only. Here it is implemented in a more easy-to-use fashion, especially for those who are really in dire need of such functionality.

Nokia Search...
An utility that started as an exclusive feature of Eseries, but now available for any Nokia-branded smartphone and allows searching for data in the phone’s memory, phonebook, messages, email boxes, calendar and stand-alone files – a truly handy app.

Everything works just fine here – the wizard available at the standby screen will assist you in tracking and joining networks (WEP, WPA and WPA2 security protocols are supported).

The smartphone carries EDR-less Bluetooth 1.2 onboard, as well as the following profiles:
- BIP-ImagePush;
- FT-Server;
- HandsFree-AG (1.0);
- Headset-AG;
- OPP-Client;
- OPP-Server;
- SIM Access-Server.

Regrettably, there is no A2DP profile here, meaning that there is no way to transfer stereo-sound to a wireless headset. And we are truly eager to find out the origin of the gossips about the E65 supporting this profile. Genreally, Nokia Mobile Phones’s solutions powered by the S60 are getting this profile on the board later than Nseries-branded smartphones.

An average Bluetooth data connection makes it to the level of 100 Kb/s speed-wise

The E65 houses the miniUSB-socket (no charging-over-the-cable is available, though), on C connection you are free to pick from USB Mass Storage, PC Suite, and Modem mode. With USB ver 2.0 in its pocket, the handset presents you with about 800 Kb/s in USB Mass Storage mode.

Just like many S60-powered devices, the E65 houses a 2 Mpix CMOS-camera manufactured by Toshiba. But unless you are in great lighting conditions, the shots will keep going out noisy and blurry.
Using the settings you can pick one of the following image resolutions – 1600x1200, 1152x764, 640x480 and 320x240 pixels. The pictures quality varies from High to Basic, with Normal as a happy medium. Such shooting modes as single shot, multi-shot, self-timer (10, 20 or 30 seconds) are also available. You can also make use of the night mode, white balance settings (Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent). The Sepia, Black&White, Negative overlays help you to alter color settings. Digital Zoom can be activated by leaning the navigation key, but in the end you won’t be happy with it, as the bundled editor gives you an opportunity to zoom in the picture in the view mode with the better quality of image.
Video is recorded in quite mediocre quality. The 320x240, 176x144 and 128x96 pixels resolutions at 15 FPS are available, the E65 saves all clips in .3GP files, and some of them may have the sound turned off – it’s up to you to decide. As for the time limit, they are non-existent now, except the MMS-mode.

Pre-installed applications...
The handset comes loaded with Quick Office, ZIP, Adobe PDF, HP Printer. You can also upload Golf Pro Tour game.

So, at the end of the day, we have a well-packed device, sporting typical functionality for current S60 solutions, an add-on in the form of WiFi, a few extra keys and Team Suite that are of little use actually. The handset’s best looking departments are size and design, thus the E65 might be your choice if you are looking for these aspects.

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