Review: Nokia E51

1. July 2008 at 14:07

The Nokia E51 is a business oriented device which doesn’t claim to be a flagship. Nevertheless, it’s a really popular device with a huge amount of fans. But why is it that popular? This review will find it out.

Main advantages:

  • Size
  • Built quality
  • W-Lan (802.11b) and HSDPA
  • One-touch-keys

Main disadvantages:

  • No memory card included
  • not the full Quick Office version

The Nokia E51 comes in a almost E- and Nseries typical box. However, compared to the E90’s box or to the N95’s box you can clearly see the size difference; the box of the E51 is much smaller and thinner.

However, the box contains following things:

  • Nokia E51 ( RM-244)
  • Battery with 1050mAh ( BP-6MT)
  • miniUSB-cable (DKE-2)
  • Headset ( HS-47)
  • Charger ( AC-5E)
  • Manuals
  • Nokia E51 CD
  • Piece of cloth

This content is nothing especially, neither pretty much nor too little. The headset, the charger and the miniUSB-cable fit perfect into the E51but I’m a little bit disappointed of the headset. The device is indeed nobly but the headset looks and feels really cheap but still does its job.

Built quality:

The first impressions of the E51 are indeed pretty good. It feels great in your hand and looks and feels really nobly. The reason for that are the materials the E51 is built of. So, the battery cover is made out of stainless steel, just like the rounded front cover. The display is protected through perspex or glass which looks nobly too. However, since the front is pretty shiny the screen is a real fingerprint magnet. The rest of the device is mainly out of plastic which looks due to the steel not cheap but in combination with the steel pretty nobly and stylish. Between the components there are no big or annoying gabs.

Keys:

On the front of the E51 you can find 26 keys. 12 of them belong to the usual numeric keypad. The other 14 are:

  1. Left soft key
  2. Right soft key
  3. Red-end key
  4. Green-answer key
  5. Clear key
  6. Contacs key (one-touch-key)
  7. Caledar key (one-touch-key)
  8. Messaging key (one-touch-key)
  9. Home/Menu key
  10. Up on the d-pad
  11. Down on the d-pad
  12. Left on the d-pad
  13. Right on the d-pad
  14. OK, the middle of the d-pad

The pressure point of the keys is pretty good and easy to find. My fingers are neither thin nor really thick but nevertheless I can press every key without problem and I never made a accidentally keypress. All in all you can use the keys on the front without problems.

On the left side you can find the voice recorder key. Other than the keys on the front the voice recorder key is made of rubber. The rubber causes a rather bad pressure point but this key won’t be used often.

On the top of the device you find the power button.This button has three functions.

  1. Turning on the device
  2. Switching of the device
  3. Choosing a profile (eg. ‘’Outdoor’’)

Just like the voice recorder key also the power button is made of rubber and has also a bad pressure point. So you have to press rather hard. I prefer the powerbutton you find on the N95, N82 and so on.

Going to the right side you’ll find the volume keys and the button for the voice control/mute button. Using the volume keys you can change the volume during a phone call or of your music. Like the other two button also this three buttons are made out of rubber and have the same bad pressure point.

Nokia E510009Nokia E510010

The one-touch-keys are indeed pretty handy and useful. So you can jump immediately to the calendar or you contacts book. But what to do when you don’t use the calendar or contact book? No problem, you can edit the entries and personalize the keys. So you can use the calendar key as the ‘music key’ or ‘clock key’. You can even select two functions for one key ( short and long press).

Size:

The E51is with 12mm the slimmest S60 device I’ve ever seen. Having it in your pocket you even don’t feel it. Before I had the E51 I had had the E90, N95 8GB, P1i, N81 8GB and a bunch of other devices in my pocket and now I found the perfect device to carry around. More over, its size is just 115mm x 47mm which is indeed small. Holding it in the hand you really feel how small, thin and light, the 100g E51is. This is a perfect form factor.

Multimedia:

The E51 offers 130MB of internal memory. If you like, you can also insert microSD or even microSDHC cards. That means that you can have up to 16GB of external memory. In the test I used a 4GB microSDHC card which worked without problems.

Nokia E510002Nokia E510022

More over with the E51 you can play music. Playing music is something that almost every mobile phone nowadays can do. The E51 features a stereo-headset but has just a built-in mono-speaker. The quality of this headset is okay, but nothing special compared to the N95 or another multimedia-phone. The mono-speaker is placed on the back of the device and if you play music over it, the music sounds good in gentle volume but if you want to listen to loud music over it it isn’t as good as the N95 or N82 . To improve the music quality, you have an equaliser with 6 modes – Default, Bass booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock.

Camera:

Nokia E510017Nokia E510018

On the back of the slim E51 you can find the 2 megapixel camera without any protection . The pictures are taken with 1600 x 1200 Pixels what isn’t a big deal nowadays. Unfortunately, it neither offers a LED for bad light conditions nor an autofocus to get better results. However, you should bear in mind that the E51 isn’t promoted as an camera beast and so you should see the camera as a little extra. Of course you have a hand full of settings. So, you can use the night mode for bad light conditions, a self timer (10,20 and 30 seconds), a sequencemode, different color modes such as black & white, negative and some white balance settings. All, besides the two last mentioned settings, are also available in a little toolbar in the bottom of the camera application. Here you can see some pictures taken with the E51:

29052008(003)31052008(001)3105200829052008(001)28052008(002)28052008
Besides pictures the E51 is also able to record videos with 320 x 240 pixels what is pretty much the standard nowadays.

Business and Organizer:
The Nokia E51 belongs to Nokia’s Eseries which offers the user special business applications which work pretty well. In the menu you can find a folder called ‘Office’ in which you can find following business applications:

  • Active notes
  • Search
  • Calculator
  • Quick Office
  • Teams
  • Converter
  • Notes
  • Clock
  • Printers
  • Zip
  • Adope PDF
  • Wlss keybd.

Nokia E510004Nokia E510005

Quickoffice enables Word, Exel and Powerpoint files. Unfortunately, you can’t create files or edit them without upgrading your version. This is indeed a shame since the E51 belongs to the Eseries. The E90 for example also belongs to the Eseries and has the full Quick Office Version pre-install which allows you to even create and edit files. So you have to upgrade your version or search for an alternative.

Nokia E510031Nokia E510032

Using the team application you can create your own team and send text messages (SMS, MMS and E-mails) to your whole team really easily or make a call conference. To don’t miss any meeting you have the calendar entries on the Stand-By-Screen and the calendar in the menu. You can create a to-do list, a memo and also some more. The calendar, the contacts and your bookmarks you can synch with the PC using the PC Suite. In the test it worked also pretty well with Outlook Express.

Connectivity:

Nokia E510033
The E51 offers nearly every connection you need. W-Lan (802.11b/g, 54 MBit/s), HSDPA, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPRS, IrDA and micro-USB in this handy device. Anyway, in the test Bluetooth works fast and great with my N95, my computer and also with my SU-8W. When you insert the USB-cable into the E51, you can choose between four modes – PC Suite, Data transfer, Image print and Media player. I usually use the Data transfer but if you like to have access to your internal memory you have to choose PC suite.

Of course the E51 can receive and sent emails. The internal email client is good and easy to set up. Downloading the attached html file you can view the email just like you know it from your desktop; with all graphics and so on. more over, you can receive emails and with attachments like pictures,mp3 and other files. Thanks to S60’s excellent open source webbroser or 3rd party applications like Opera Mini you can have the full internet on your E51. Using GPRS or rather W-Lan you can enter the world wide web really fast and easy. The pretty nifty mini map helps you to navigate through the website. More over, you can zoom in and out the pages and download pictures from websites you like. To be up to date you can also subscribe to RSS feeds really easily.

Usage:

Nokia E510047

The E51 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. I have to confess, that I can’t judge this category so good because I’m a S60 user since some years. However, for a new user it’s pretty tricky to find into the menu. I’ve seen a lot user pressing the navigation key to get access to the menu which is the wrong way. After pressing the home key you can find plenty of icons and some folders. The Icons already say what they are stand for and furthermore you can read the application’s name. If you don’t like the menu structure you can create new folders, delete some, move the application as you like or change the menu view from Grid to a List. Furthermore you can choose between several standard themes and hundreds more which are in the World Wide Web. For those with bad eyes you can also change the front size. Thanks to the huge amount of RAM and the fast CPU you can navigate fast thought the menu and use a lot application at the same time.

Verdict:

Like I already said in my previous post, the E51 is a perfect mid-tier device. Despite its size it’s offering a bunch of great and useful features and applications. So, if you need a good phone with business features and some multimedia features and all this in a good form factor, the E51definitely is your first choice. For further screenshot and pictures jump over to my Flickr channel.