Nokia E55 review

£256
Price when reviewed

Given the hype surrounding the Palm Pre, Android smartphones and the iPhone over recent months, you could be forgiven for wondering what had happened to Nokia. But it hasn’t been resting on its laurels: the business-focussed Nokia E55 is the first of a whole new wave of Finnish phones expected to hit the streets in the coming months.

The design approach will be familiar to fans of Nokia’s E series phones. At 10.9mm it’s one of the thinnest phones we’ve ever seen – much narrower than the already-svelte Nokia E71 at 49.5mm and thinner than the Nokia E75. And it comes clad in a businesslike suit of gloss black, matte aluminium trim with a swanky black, patterned metal battery cover at the rear. It’s as well attired as any other E series phone, and will slide almost unnoticed into the most tightly-tailored Saville Row suit pocket.

It’s no touchscreen temptress, though. The screen measures a mere 2.4in diagonally, with a resolution of just 240 x 320. Anyone looking for a phone primarily for internet browsing or video playback will be disappointed. But as a lightweight smartphone, the E55 is practical and surprisingly powerful handset.

The first weapon in its armoury is the keypad which, to accommodate the slender profile, is a compact Qwerty affair, with two-letters per key – just like that championed by the BlackBerry Pearl all those years ago. The keys initially look too flat to be comfortable, but aided by the effective predictive text it’s surprisingly easy to type with (as long as you don’t have long nails).

Nokia E55

The E55’s second big gun is its feature set. Despite the tiny screen, the E55 comes with an impressive array of advanced hardware. Surprisingly for such a small phone, you get assisted GPS; in tandem with Nokia’s OVI Maps application this offers off-board turn-by-turn satnav, driven by Nokia’s servers, for £6 per month (ten days of navigation are provided for free as a tempter).

Another surprising inclusion is a digital compass – helpful when you’re on foot as you don’t need to be moving to see which direction you’re facing on the map. Neither were we expecting to see an accelerometer, which switches the screen between portrait and landscape modes automatically, nor a motion sensor for silencing calls by simply flipping the phone onto its face.

Details

Cheapest price on contract £0
Contract monthly charge £16.15
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider O2

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 8hrs
Standby, quoted 28 days

Physical

Dimensions 49.5 x 10.9 x 116.3mm (WDH)
Weight 98g
Touchscreen no
Primary keyboard Physical

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 60MB
ROM size 256MB
Camera megapixel rating 3.2mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 2.4in
Resolution 240 x 320
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Symbian

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