Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nokia E5 Is an AWESOME Phone, But...


I love my Nokia E5. It's reasonably priced, the keyboard is excellent, the feel and form factor is just great. BUT...

I'll try not to make this sound like bashing Nokia E5..although it probably is. It's definitely more about Nokia E5's software/OS that is Symbian S60 3rd Edition FP2... than it is about Nokia's hardware.

I have 3 "major" problems with Nokia E5 : (as you can see, they aren't destructive, but simply annoying)
  1. SMS Alert Tone Sound Failure. After I reach about 1800 messages in SMS Inbox, my Nokia E5 won't alert me with sound. Practically the only way I can see if there are new text messages is by looking at the blinking keypad white light.
  2. Screen dims under bright sunlight. I don't know if this is by (mal-)design or there is a setting that I mistakenly set, but it's very annoying that when I use my Nokia E5 under bright sunlight, the screen goes completely dark and I can't see anything. The phone UI itself is still working (invisibly) and when I press keys, it actually makes actions. Now it gets annoying and dangerous (e.g. I could mistakenly delete a message).
  3. Exchange ActiveSync / Google Contacts regularly wipes my phonebook. This is probably more to do with Exchange ActiveSync than with Nokia E5 or Symbian, but I need this functionality to work well, because it's convenient for me to sync my Gmail address book with Nokia E5's phonebook (and I've been doing this since my BlackBerry days). However at times the sync will fail and it will wipe my Nokia E5 phonebook and for some time I'm left with completely empty phonebook before the next resync is successful. It's not dangerous, because all the data in Google Contacts is intact, but it's annoying because I have to re-specify default phone numbers and add members to groups all over again.
There are also slight annoyances :
  1. Push mail / Nokia Messaging is not actively updating (i.e. "always on"). I'm not sure why it doesn't work now, but it did work a few months ago. I tried to set it to update a few hours, but it never updates unless I Synchronize ("Z") manually from Email. I also tried setting to "Always On", but it's never on... I'm using WiFi and most of the time I'm within WiFi area.
  2. Email application in Nokia Messaging is slow. It's about an order of magnitude slower than my old BlackBerry Curve 8520's. From displaying a picture to composing it in an email takes about 5-10 seconds. After composing the email, sending it takes about another 5 seconds until it goes back to the previous screen. Email application is probably the slowest messaging application in Nokia E5, Contacts and Text Messages is sometimes slow (but usually just OK), and I have about 600 contacts and ~2000 text messages which I don't consider "huge" for today's smartphone standards (like Nokia E5).
Despite these shortcomings, Nokia E5 is still a great phone. Seriously. :-)

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