At first glance, the E51 looks quite ordinary. That’s not to say it looks bland – in fact, it’s quite stylish. The black livery is smart and the ultra-thin form factor means it won’t make a lump in your pocket.
But wake it up from standby and you’ll quickly notice this isn’t an ordinary phone. For starters, you’ll spot the 3G legend below the signal meter. You might even find it saying 3.5G, as this phone supports HSDPA data. Look a little further down the screen and you’ll see menu options for wireless networks and internet telephony, too.
Scratch below the surface and you’ll find a plethora of business-class features. Running Symbian S60 3rd edition, it has access to all the usual E series email clients, including four push systems. We tested it with BlackBerry Connect 4, which worked seamlessly. Zip support is useful for dealing with email attachments, and viewers are provided for Microsoft Office and PDF documents.
It isn’t all serious apps, though: the E51 also sports a 2-megapixel camera, an FM radio, a web browser and a media player. All these toys can be controlled or disabled centrally when used within a corporate environment, as can the microSD storage slot.
Calls are easy, intuitive and clear. There’s even a VoIP client, so you can use it as your desk phone, too, if your company has a wireless PBX.
Expect four to five days’ battery life in real-world use; fewer if you use Wi-Fi heavily. One minor annoyance is that although a mini-USB socket is provided, it’s used solely for data. We’d have liked to see this charge the phone when connected to a PC.
A few years ago, Nokia made a phone called the 6310i. Many people still consider it to be the best business phone the company has ever made and continue to use it to this day. We’d encourage these people to pop down
to their local phone shop and have a play with an E51 – it may well win you
over. It’s a brilliant business-class phone and certainly isn’t ordinary.
This Review appeared in the February 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing