Nokia E50 review: Economy business class

GSMArena team, 03 October 2006.
Pages: 123456»

Nokia E50 is another Series 60 Symbian 9.1 smartphone from the famous Finnish manufacturer. It’s the small sizes and ergonomic shape that attract most of the attention. The new quad-band handset has connectivity features like Infrared, Bluetooth, USB, GPRS and EDGE. As it comes at a low price, it will be a phone with many fans. Packed with features in small dimensions, coming at the right price, E50 is surely a bright addition on the GSM phones’ market shelves.

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Official photos: Nokia E50, Nokia E-series

Main features:

  • Narrow body and light construction
  • Very fast response of the user interface
  • 1.3 megapixel camera with QCIF video
  • GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, USB and Infrared
  • 70 MB internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot

Main disadvantages:

  • coarse joystick
  • no 3G
  • Switch On/Off button made badly
  • poor video recording

At first sight Nokia E50 strongly reminds of the Sony J70, which was a popular phone some years ago. Its long and narrow shape is quite distinctive. Probably the fans of J70 would enjoy the new E50 too. There are two versions of the handset, one with camera and one without. Their model names are respectively E50-1 and E50-2. Nokia wisely decided to launch a mid-to-low class Symbian smartphone as this is a huge market hole for people who need the features of a smartphone but cannot afford the more expensive ones. What is more, E50 performs very well.

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Nokia E50

Could have been perfect

The design of E50 is rather conservative. It is mostly silver and black which merge in some areas and create a pretty ergonomic impression. The phone is not flat and the keypad part is positioned lower than the rest of the body. This leads to a significant ease when writing. The joystick bulks in front of everything and smashes to pieces the nice impression of the otherwise perfect design of the phone.

The phone’s size can be very well understood when compared to other phones. We have made such comparisons for our readers with N93 and E70. You can see that E50 is smaller, narrower and thinner than both phones. All three smartphones run on the same Symbian OS with Series 60 user interface.

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Size comparison with Nokia N93 and Nokia E70

Just great

Nokia E50 is flawless in terms of construction. We could only mention the On/Off button which is made as part of a plastic cap, situated on the top of the phone. It’s quite sure that after some time of use this plastic cap will have scars from the user’s nails. Nokia could have thought about that. Besides this minor issue, we must say that the rest of the construction elements are absolutely perfect. No creeks were produced, every part stays in its place and the phone seems unbreakable.

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Nokia E50 held in hand. Operating with it comes quite natural.

The phone’s front has the main speaker on its top and a white Nokia sign below it. Then come the 240 x 320 pixels TFT display and the keypad, which is divided in two parts (as most smartphones): functional and numeric. The back of the phone is much, much simpler. It contains nothing more than a incrusted Nokia sign on the top, the camera lens (if any) and the silver (all real metal) battery cover with the release button on its bottom.

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Front and back view of the phone.

The left side of E50 is for the Infrared receiver and the dual-volume buttons. We fancy the design solution of the sides as they combine silver and black in a quite irregular way which makes it a great combination. The right side is designed in the same manner, of course, and consists of two buttons: the Pencil Edit button and a button for Voice commands and Voice dialing. A single press brings up the Voice commands dialog and a long press is for Voice dialing.

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Left side • Right Side

The bottom of the phone is reserved for the Pop-port and the charger port. E50’s charger is of the new ones, with the thinner jack. The top of the phone shelters the On/Off button only and it is more than enough to say that this is the worst part of the phone. As we previously said, this button is a great fault in the otherwise good phone.

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Bottom & Top

Under the metal battery cover is the BL-5C 970 mAh Li-Ion battery which is said to endure up to 215 hours of stand by time and up to 6 hours and 40 minutes of talk time.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t test the phone’s battery life since we used the phone heavily during our tests and thus the battery life we experienced was not indicative for the real-life performance of the phone.

The SIM card bed is located beneath the battery. The microSD card slot is on the left side of the black panel. This means that it can be hot-swapped without taking off the battery but you must remove the battery cover first.

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Under the cover • battery removed • the SIM card bed • the microSD card slot

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