The Nokia E51, more or less a classic and conservative phone, was released in November 2007. The phone at its time of release was the perfect fit for the business oriented user. A simple and functional phone is what this phone is said to be.
The Nokia E51 is a compact and sturdy phone, great to use, and feels pretty light. The phone is also slim enough to fit comfortably into the user’s pocket. With that said we can now look into the other attributes of the Nokia E51 in more detail.
Design (3 out of 5)
The Nokia E51 comes clothed in a black or silver casing right out of the box. Of course you can get additional face plates to replace the originals. The front part of the phone is loaded with the ear piece right at the top and directly below that is the full color TFT 2.0 inch, 240 x 320 pixels resolution screen.
Just below the screen is the key pad which you will immediately notice is not a full QWERTY keyboard. The keypad comes with Nokia’s signature softkey buttons as well as the five way scroll key also know as D-pad. Finally there’s the call and end call buttons.
Taking a look at the top of the phone again you will notice that the phone maintains the traditional Nokia power button. There is nothing else located on the top side of the phone other than the power button.
Moving on to the back side of the phone, you will find the 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels camera that also supports video calling. This phone does not come with a flash to support the camera. Included on the back of the phone is the battery compartment which also houses the SIM card slot
The bottom of the phone has the power and battery recharging port. The left side of the phone has got the microSD card slot, the miniUSB port and the infra-red port. The leaves us with the right side of the phone which is reserved for the volume contol buttons.
The phone measures 114.8 x 46 x 12 mm and weighs a mere 100g. This makes it a pretty light and compact phone which is easy to handle and comfortable when tucked away in the pocket.
There you have it, a simple and classic phone design form fitting for the conservative business user.
User Interface (3 out of 5)
The Nokia E51 is based on the popular Symbian user interface. To be precise It comes loaded with the Symbian OS 9.2, Series 60 v3 with feature pack 1 which is the same that is used on the Nokia E71 and the Nokia E63.
Navigating around the phone is simple. It is designed to be used comfortably with the use of one hand via the five way scroll buttons. The user interface features a homescreen which has the home application shortcuts.
In addition to the application shortcuts, the Nokia E51 has the email and message alerts available directly from the homescreen, it has automatic search and alerts of available Wi-Fi hotspots right within reach. Finally on the homescreen you have access to calendar events and memos.
To access the rest of the features on the smartphone, the Nokia E51 provides the menu softkey button which takes you straight into the root menu. There you can access all the administrative functions of the phone as well as the applications and media features that the phone has to offer by simply scrolling in any direction using the five way scroll key. To launch any application you can use the central button that is part of the five way scroll key.
All in all the Nokia E51, like other Nokia smartphones that come installed with Symbian S60 3rd edition operating system, comes with a standardized menu system that is all too familiar to the seasoned Nokia smartphone user.
Features (2 out of 5)
The Nokia E51 is a businesses oriented phone and therefore we would expect nothing less than business focused functions. We start off with the memory of which the Nokia E51 supports hot-swappable external memory of up to 16GB giving this phone practically unlimited storage of contacts and messages.
As for data capability, the Nokia E51 comes with all the necessary connectivity requirements as it has GPRS class 32 at 100kbps, EDGE class 32 at 296 kbps, 3G at 3.6Mbps, WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth v2.0 with A2Dp and microUSB. You cannot recharge this phone using microUSB and therefore you would have to use the supplied charger that comes with the phone.
The Nokia E51 has a single 2 MP camera supportive of video calling but it comes with no flash. There is a WAP 2.0/xHTML/HTML browser onboard with options to download and use more feature rich web browsers such as Opera Mobile 10 if the existing one is not good enough. Does this phone have Java support? Yes, MIDP 2.0 but this phone comes with no games preinstalled although you can always go online and download the games of your choice.
The Nokia E51 business phone comes with a document viewer for MS Office documents such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This does not include MS Office 2007 document formats unless you download a free update.
Preinstalled on the Nokia E51 you will find a media player capable of playing WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video clips and MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music files. There is also an FM player on the Nokia E51 with support for visual radio. Another media capability on this phone is that it allows you to record voice memos on it.
All in all the the Nokia E51 is a very simple but functional phone as far as business needs for most users are concerned.
Performance (4 out of 5)
One thing about the Nokia E51 is that it does not pretend to be what it is not, it is designed in classic style and sticks to that role quite honorably. The general performance is quite good, in fact. The phone is pretty fast in it’s boot up time. Navigating through the menu system is quite fast as it responds to actions by the user quite well.
Applications launch pretty speedily as well. The voice quality on this phone happens to be good when using the media player as well as when using the FM radio. When it comes to the call quality the Nokia E51 does not let you down at all. The quality on the calls is sharp for both ends of the call.
Connectivity is quite impressive on the Nokia E51 even in the inner closet the signal strength is strong when compared with other phone models. The keypad is very pleasant and comfortable to use even with extended usage.
Voice dialing is a little bit rough, depending on the accent or the region your contacts are from, as the phone still needs a little work as far as non English names go.
The Nokia E51 works pretty well even when multi-tasking. I was able to listen to music and do other tasks without getting breaks in the song and it was a smooth experience throughout. Battery performance was great. The phone went on for a couple of days without needing to be recharged and this was after making a few calls here and there.
All in all the phone performed great and is sure to satisfy the strictly focused business user.
The Verdict (3 out of 5)
One thing about the Nokia E71 is that it looks so much like your traditional Nokia mobile phone with the standard keypad and the signature softkey panel. This phone stands out to prove that there is nothing traditional about it. The phone is not quite there but for what it claims to offer, the phone surely delivers on its promises.
Business needs evolve all the time and I think this phone would have served better if it had a full QWERTY keyboard and was location aware. Other than that this is an awesome phone and I would say that for about $215 you will not be disappointed in the Nokia E51.