Good value for money

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

And it’s a GPS!

If you’ve been put off by the poor GPS on some older Nokias, you’ll be pleas­antly sur­prised by how quickly the E5 de­ter­mines your lo­ca­tion on startup — a mat­ter of sec­onds rather than min­utes (and on a rainy day, even).

In a quick test, I got the E5 to guide me home from work, turn-by-turn, and in a rather fetch­ing fe­male voice.

Even af­ter pass­ing through tun­nels the E5 eas­ily re­gained its bear­ings. And when I made de­tours, the di­rec­tions are re­cal­cu­lated in a few sec­onds.

And be­cause it’s Ovi Maps, you can get free maps for al­most any coun­try in the world — a big plus for fre­quent trav­ellers.

Poor cam­era

Un­for­tu­nately, the E5’s cam­era is also from 2005. There’s a 5-megapixel sen­sor, but it has poor per-pixel sharp­ness and will pro­duce grainy pho­tos when used un­der any­thing other than di­rect sun­light.

Pho­tos are typ­i­cal of a fixed-fo­cus cam­era, poor for close-ups (any­thing less than a me­tre away) and not par­tic­u­larly sharp for any­thing else ei­ther. At least there’s an LED flash.

Recorded video is com­pressed as MPEG-4 clips, but suf­fer from a poor fram­er­ate (just 15fps) and the same grainy qual­ity as still pho­tos.

The cam­era’s white bal­ance is a lit­tle weird in ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing too, al­ways look­ing a lit­tle blueish.

And so, while the E5 is good enough for post­ing pic­tures on Face­book — you won’t be print­ing en­large­ments from it.

Con­clu­sion

The Nokia E5 can be summed up as a smart­phone that’s rich in fea­tures, but with a cum­ber­some user in­ter­face.

While the E5’s in­put meth­ods, dis­play tech- nol­ogy and soft­ware may not give you the best web and so­cial net­work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on the go, it’s still a pretty good phone if your pri­mary needs are phone calls, SMS and email.

And if you’re used to the ap­pli­ca­tion ecosys­tem found with An­droid and iOS de­vices, Nokia’s Ovi Store looks like bar­ren waste­land in com­par­i­son.

But for the price (a mere RM830), and the fact that it’s not tied down to a con­tract, it’s a steal.

Pros: Loads of fea­tures for a low price; ex­cel­lent build qual­ity; good GPS; awe­some bat­tery life.

Cons: It runs on Sym­bian.

ReaR View: cam­era.

The E5 has a 5-megapixel

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