A gorgeous outlook and high-tech functions are literally breathing from Nokia E65. Yet, is it really so brilliant to be worth the investment?
Nokia E65 is an attractive slider smartphone powered by the Symbian OS. It offers Wi-Fi capability and has 3G support. Its extensive software equipment is an apparent necessity, while its built-in 2 megapixel camera and dedicated keys for conference call management are delightful extras.
Nokia E65 weighs 115 grams mostly due to the materials it is made of and the hardware hidden inside its body. Yet, it could still be considered a medium-weight phone if compared to the 134 gram Nokia N80. At the same time, its dimensions are surprisingly comfortable for a smartphone: 105 x 49 x 16 mm.
This is the very first time in the history of the „business E class“ models that Nokia resorts to a slider construction. In this sense the most eager to upgrade with a Nokia E65 purchase will probable be Nokia E50 or E60 owners, as these models lack a full-function QWERTY keypad (unlike Nokia E61 or E70) and could therefore be used as standard phones rather than communicators. Nonetheless, business communicators fans should not be sad either as Nokia has placed a „Coming soon“ label on two other models - Nokia E61i and Nokia E90
Side viewed Nokia E65 looks like a rectangular trapezoid. The bottom side is perpendicular to the base, while in the top area there is an expressed beveling. The label „Nokia“ is probably the only missing element on the colorful body of the testing piece delivered to our office. I doubt any other manufacturer would have dared to use brown shade on a high-tech, high-class device as the one we are presenting you today (Nokia calls it „mocca brown“). No matter how fashionable at the moment, brown has never been common on the mobile market. The situation with the alternative red version of Nokia E65 is no different.
No matter how much or less attractive the two above mentioned designs seem to you, there is no doubt that, at first glance at least, the brown Nokia E65 looks very stylish. This is due to the combination of dark nuances and mirror images on its front side. While the dark plastic areas are intensely matt, both the display and the surrounding area are highly prone to fingerprints.
Let us make one more remark on the materials the phone is elaborated of. Its rear plate is made of plastic, which strongly resembles leather. Even though the leather design is not so attractive, it brilliantly fulfills its basic purpose: preventing user’s hand from sliding.
Let’s now have a closer look at the sliding mechanism. Unfortunately, we are not able to give you an opinion of a long-time user. As recent users of Nokia E65, however, we have come to like its sliding mechanism. Even more, we consider it a top-class one. Unlike the mechanism itself, sliding process does hide some difficulties: when the phone lies in your palm, you will find it hard to curve your thumb to slide the phone open to the bottom edge. At the same time, given the absence of a bulge on the front cover, where to rest your thumb, you need to either push sideways or press on the keys or the glossy display surface in the worst case. The closing process is pretty much the same.
Both phone parts hold very firmly. However, this solidity seems to be directly related to stronger resistance showed by the sliding mechanism. It also seems that the top cover of the phone skids over the internal keypad when slid out and simultaneously pressed on, which is not good. Nokia E65 features two rails – one for each side of the phone, whose aim is to maintain the sliding part in vertical position. You can see them from behind as well as hear them whenever the device is opened (quiet friction).
As a matter of fact, Nokia has never been brilliant in constructing sliders of perfectly sticking parts. This drawback is often a direct consequence of sliding camera covers and is fortunately not present in Nokia E65. Except for the slight deflection when opened, the phone gives a strong impression of firmness. Besides, as you all know, pedantry is our job and this is a tester phone, so do not take each critical remark we make to heart.
As I am looking at the bottom of Nokia E65, I cannot help but give out a sad „ah“. The phone only features a Pop-Port, even when Nokia has recently established a practice of equipping its models with a miniUSB connector and a 2.5 mm jack. Right next to the Pop Port you will find a narrowed charger connector (the travel AC-4 charger is part of the retail package).
While the phone’s left side is quite poor of control elements, its right side is full of them: a loudspeaker, a voice note/voice dial key, a „stylus“ key for work with text, and a slightly elevated volume button. According to us, however, placing the volume and the text keys on the opposite side would have been a far happier solution, as they wouldn’t have to be so small as they are. Now they are a real trouble for users with bigger fingers as their management requires that you stick your finger a bit under the phone’s surface. The button for profile activation is situated on the top of the phone and is not so easy to press it with one hand only.
The Infrared port is accessed only when you slide up the top part of the phone. The rear plate mainly constitutes of the battery cover; above it are the camera lens and a bit further – the company logo. Inside Nokia E65 you will find a BL-5F battery of 1000 mAh capacity. As to battery life, the official Nokia site quotes 3 – 6 hours of call time in GSM, 1.8 to 2.5 hours in WCDMA, and 2.2 – 3 hours in VoIP, while on stand-by the device should be able to stay on between 7 and 11 days in GSM, 8 to 14 days in WCDMA, and 4 to 5 days in GSM or WCDMA with WLAN being active. Yet, in cruel reality, Nokia E65 lasts in GSM networks for no longer than 4 – 5 days. On the left, under the battery is a tiny slot for a microSD memory card. A SIM card can only be placed in the phone if the battery has been removed.
The phone is accompanied by an extensive number of accessories, standard for high-class models. Besides a charger, a battery, a software CD, and a manual Nokia E65 also comes along with a Nokia CA-53 USB data cable, a Nokia HS-5 mono headset as well as a very attractive cover Carrying Pouch CP-18 for protection against fingerprints. There are only two elements missing so that perfection is achieved: a stereo headset and a memory card with adapter.