Nokia E52 review: E as in Exceptional

GSMArena team, 11 August 2009.
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Image gallery is zippy, organized and Nseries-inspired

The image gallery was a pleasant surprise - it's the same as the one found in Nseries phones and looks great. The speed of photo browsing increases if you press and hold the direction buttons on the D-pad. This allows quick skipping of tons of files if you're not in the habit of sorting out your memory card regularly.

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Browsing the image gallery

Unlike, say, the Nokia N85, zooming here is very speedy, thanks to the zippy 600MHz processor. It does slow down a bit when you get over 100% but it will go up to 400% zoom. Zooming is done in small increments (about 10%) and panning is quite fast too.

The gallery offers a nice slide show with customizable effects and delay between slides. You can also choose the direction of the slideshow - forward or backward from the currently selected photo and the track to go with it. Music can also be switched off if you prefer.

The gallery also has a very good picture tagging system. In addition to geotagging, which is automatically handled by the camera, you can add as many tags as you like to each photo and then use them as filters. There's also the option to organize photos in Albums.

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Zooming in • you can add tags to photos

Splendid audio quality

Normally we'd be surprised by the excellent results achieved by a business-minded handset in the audio quality test. Yet knowing how things are going recently with audio output of the Nokia handsets, the E52 splendid performance comes as more of a confirmation of rule, than an exception.

We can safely say that the E52 is the best performer in terms of audio quality that the Eseries have ever seen, overtaking even the E75. The bar-shaped E52 has better frequency response, stereo crosstalk and distortion levels than its side-sliding sibling and that seems enough to us to announce it as the new Eseries lead-singer.

Cutting to the chase - here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Nokia E52+0.05, -0.22-85.385.00.0140.034-85.4
Nokia E75+0.11, -0.91-91.691.40.0120.462-73.3
Nokia E63+2.63, -2.38-75.075.30.0180.102-74.9
Nokia E71+0.74, -1.26-74.574.70.0160.097-75.8
Nokia E66+0.74, -0.84-72.372.50.0210.102-72.9
Nokia N78+0.30, -1.59-76.176.10.0140.548-72.7
Nokia N81+0.39, -1.13-86.695.80.0410.040-69.9
Samsung i550+0.74, -0.76-90.886.90.0024 0.033-89.1
Sony Ericsson W980+0.31, -1.25-86.089.40.037 0.828-86.3

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Nokia E52 frequency response graph

You can find more info about the testing process here.

Music player is business as usual

Full-featured music ability is not supposed to make or break a business device but the music player of the Nokia E52 is still pretty decent and we set our hopes for good audio quality high when we saw that standard 3.5mm audio jack.

The lack of dedicated music keys is easily overcome by the smooth D-pad control. There is a huge number of audio formats supported including MP3, AAC, eAAC+ and WMA. M3U playlists are also managed seamlessly and transferred files are added to the music library trouble-free by choosing the refresh option.

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The music player is pretty straightforward

Filtering tracks by artist, album, genre and composer is automatic and searching tracks by gradual typing is also available.

The player comes with five equalizer presets, bass booster and stereo widening effect. You can also create new equalizer presets if the preloaded ones won't do.

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The available equalizer presets • creating a new one

Finally, being one of Nokia's best equipped phones, the Nokia E52 naturally also includes support for the A2DP Bluetooth profile, which allows listening to music on a Bluetooth stereo headset.

Video player is decent

The Nokia E52 features Real player for playing your video clips. The video player works in portrait or fullscreen landscape mode. The softkey functions are hidden in full screen so they don't get in the way, and they only pop up when a key is pressed.

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The E52 Video center • the video player has very few controls

The relatively big screen and the MP4 video clips support add up to a passable video watching experience but you will probably resort to another player anyway. The reason for this is quite simple - the E52 lacks DivX and XviD support out of the box. Luckily, finding applications for the S60 3.2 that support those codecs is a fairly easy task (though they can be paid).

FM radio has RDS

The Nokia E52 sports stereo FM radio with RDS, controlled by the well known radio app. Upon starting, the app asks about your location in order to set up the proper frequencies for your area.

The FM radio can automatically scan and save the available stations in your area. Scanning for alternative frequencies when traveling can also be set to automatic. You can save up to 50 radio stations and the option to play through the loudspeaker is available.

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The FM radio app

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