Product Review: Nokia E50 smart phone

11 Oct 2006

You know, some phones say a lot about their owners and there is probably even a correlation between the kinds of phones that people own, the cars they drive and the aftershave or perfume they wear. Without getting into a class argument, some phones suggest uber-chav, some suggest geek, and other suggest fashionisto. It’s your choice, you carry it.

Some mobile phones are so OTT with functionality and bling that you would know instantly the owner drives a souped up Honda Civic has a grade zero haircut and reeks of Lynx.

Other phones are so in need of an upgrade that the owner probably just about knows how to take and make calls, drives a badly dented Volvo that reeks of Rothmans and the cologne of choice is Old Spice.

Fake-tanned individuals that flaunt too much cleavage and haunt our nation’s shopping centres probably carry a flip phone, listen to Christina Aguilera and wear ‘Shh’ by Jade Goody.

My train of thought has been inspired by the E50 (pictured) and I immediately sought to discern the kind of person that would aspire to own such a device. My immediate instinct on taking the E50 out of the box was disappointment – it looks so much like any other Nokia device and it didn’t even have a camera.

It didn’t take me long, however, to appreciate where the E50 is going.

Fundamentally this is the phone of a high-powered business and technologically astute executive who demands performance first, elegance second and does not choose to explain themselves to anyone.

This is the first phone I have ever handled that comes with GPS software for navigation and locating services like hotels and restaurants. It boasts quadband GSM, has a high quality speaker phone, enhanced voice commands and has up to 6.8 hours of talktime. A demanding user, no-less.

You could almost suggest the phone is military-grade kit the SAS would be proud of. The E50 is clearly about performance and rapid exchange and access to information.

Fundamentally this device is a business phone in every sense. It can synch with Office and Notes applications with, has a PDF reader and the screen and the way everything presented on it is very much in the style of a personal digital assistant.

The typical E50 user in my mind is either a male or female, has discerning tastes, favours discretion, probably drives the latest BMW or Mercedes, is the last word in sartorial elegance and reeks unashamedly of Givenchy or Chanel. Oh yes, keep out of their way … they’ll have you for lunch.


Handling: ****
Features: ***
Performance: ****
Value for Money: ***

By John Kennedy