Nokia E65

13th May 2007 | 23:00

Nokia E65

A high-powered slider smartphone geared up for business

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A stylish phone which is great for online browsing

Like:

<p>Great for getting online</p><p>Build quality</p>

Dislike:

<p>No USB connection</p><p>Cannot synchronise email between phone and PC</p>

Nokia's E-series is at the business end of its range, comprised of smartphones designed to give you the edge in today's mobile office environment. The deceptively clever E70, for instance, offers a fold-out Qwerty keyboard, while the chunky E61 makes email on the move easy.

The E65 is the first (but probably not the last) slider in the series and manages to combine slick looks and usability with some powerful work and play options.

On this evidence, the E-series seems to be evolving nicely from functional workhorses to stylish work and leisure companions. The E65's style is seriously smart-casual and it wears its high-tech smart phone credentials lightly beneath its sensible exterior.

There's lots of chrome at the front and when the phone is open, but there's a brown leather-feel casing on the back and sides which gives it an air of understated luxury.

It's on the short side at 105mm and feels refreshingly slim too at under 16mm, especially for a slider. It's no lightweight, though, at 115g, which could be due in part to its solid build quality - it both looks and feels like it means business.

The top keypad manages to pack in a lot of functionality without getting overly complicated. As well as the usual joypad, call start and end, menu and cancel buttons, there is a conference call button, which you can pre-programme with specific numbers and call them all at once. There's also an extra key which you can configure to open virtually any application on the phone - web, camera, music player, instant messaging, and so on.

There's also a mute key and two soft keys. The mute key seems to be aimed mostly at conference callers - you can use it to turn down the handset's microphone and reduce background noise when you're not talking. The buttons are small, but thanks to a raised edge around the rim, they're easy to distinguish under the thumb.

Pocket-friendly

The top of the phone is angled, which helps it slip neatly into the breast pocket of a suit, for instance, and on the right-hand side are the volume controls, edit key (pencil key) and a dedicated voice notes button, as well as the loudspeaker.

The screen is lush and large at 34 x 44mm (240 x 320 pixels) and with 16 million colours it does a great job of showing off your pictures, videos and web pages. It gives good image even in fairly bright sunlight and at a fairly extreme viewing angle too.

The slider mechanism is very satisfying - solid and secure, but still requiring only the lightest of flicks to activate. When it's open the weight is clearly in the bottom half, which makes texting easier - a fact that's overlooked with some sliders.

The recessed keypad doesn't contain much in the way of extra functionality, just the number keys, subtly ridged buttons which again do the job of helping you find your way around without making a meal of it.

The 2-megapixel camera is perfectly fine for snapshots but there isn't much in the way of extras. There's no flash, for instance, (though there is a night mode) and editing options are limited to rotating or zooming in on the picture.

There is a sequence option however, which allows you to take six pics in a row, a timer (up to 30 seconds), and brightness options. You can use it with the phone open or closed, and activate it with one of the soft keys. The phone automatically prompts you to lock the keypad when you close it, by the way, which can slow you down if you fancy taking some quick snaps.

This being a business-oriented smartphone however, connectivity is really where this phone shines. It's got pretty much all the options you could ever need, with Bluetooth (1.2), infrared, USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi (802.11g/b), plus there's an instant messaging client as well as email.

The Wi-Fi connection is of course handy for getting fast access to the internet, but also for making VoIP calls via Skype or another of the myriad services now offering voice calls via the internet. And once you've set up a VoIP client, you can set it as your default calling method when there's a Wi-Fi connection available - so you can get free calls without having to worry about setting them up every time.

It's a 3G phone, but there's no front-facing camera for video calls. It can be done, but you'll be looking at the back of the phone while you talk and won't be able to see your caller while allowing them to see you at the same time. Still, the 3G connection comes in handy for web browsing and data transfer, though it doesn't support high speed HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access).

Applications that come with the Symbian S60 3rd Edition smartphone platform include SmartOffice, which lets you view Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents, as well as Zip Manager, which helps you keep track of the files you save.

The 50MB of user memory on board offers a decent start for stocking up on apps and data, and there's a MicroSD expansion slot if you need more. You'll need to remove the back of the case to get to it, but at least there's no need to remove the battery.

No games

There are no preloaded games, not even Snake, though it does include the latest version of Java and some download links.

And as if to underline its serious business credentials, the E65 comes with a mono headset, even though there's a dedicated music player and RealPlayer media player on board. This definitely seems like a trick missed, especially since you can't even substitute your own headphones without an adapter for the phone's Pop-port.

This is probably the slickest offering in Nokia's E-series to date, marrying good (if sober) looks with a powerful set of options to keep you in touch with the office or home.

While its fun aspects may not set the world alight, there's enough in terms of its media player, camera and games options to keep it up to date, and its office capabilities are really rather excellent, making this a highly desirable handset for office workers and going-places entrepreneurs alike.

NokiaMobile phonesDigital camerasPortable audioVoIPWi-Fi
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