Nokia E90 review: Heavyweight champion

Filip Kůel, 11 September 2007. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 12345

Size doesn't bother you? Then get ready for the stars and the moon, for the communicator gives it all: internet, GPS, excellent camera and many others.

The Nokia E90 Communicator is the latest addition to the set of contemporary high-performance devices for executives. We had to wait three years since the last Nokia 9500 Communicator appeared. Our patience was duly rewarded at the 2007 3GSM Congress, when Nokia unveiled the ultimate no-compromise mobile communication device. It remains faithful to some of the family traditions, others it forsakes, but the outcome is downright worth it. Nokia E90 has the familiar body construction: a hefty handset, which opens up to reveal a wide landscape display.

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Nokia E90 Communicator official pictures

Before the E90 appeared, communicators used to be a class on its own in the Nokia portfolio. They had their own UI, which brought forth a number of issues. Above all, every application had to be adapted to the uncommon S80 UI. Quite unaffordable and therefore rare, communicators were ostracized by software developers. That's exactly the flaw, which has been addressed in the new Nokia E90. The phone features a standard Symbian 9.2 and 3rd edition S60, working on a giant display and ensuring far greater compatibility.

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First live photos from the 3GSM in Barcelona • also available in red

In closed position E90 looks like a traditional, though well oversized, Nokia bar. For the lack of a better reference point for size and weight, we compare it against the older Nokia 9500. The newer release has notably reduced size and still packs in near full contemporary functionality. The table below compares the essential features of the last two Communicator generations.

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Nokia E90

Size is the first thing you'll have to put up with about the Nokia E90. And it may as well be the last. What you get is unmatched keypad space and display size.

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E90 is a direct descendant of the Nokia 9500. Different age, different design

Nokia 9500 Nokia E90
Size 148 x 57 x 24 mm 132 x 57 x 20 mm
Weight 230 g 210 g
Outer display 128 x 128 pixels, 65K colors 240 x 320 pixels, 16M colors
Inner display 640 x 200 pixels, 65K colors 800 x 352 pixels, 16M colors
OS Symbian 7.0s Series 80 Symbian 9.2 S60 3rd Edition
Memory 80 MB + MMC 128 MB + microSD
Camera 0.31 MP 3.2 MP
Connectivity GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA, Wi-Fi

Key features

  • Full-fledged keyboard
  • Big and high-resolution display
  • Integrated GPS
  • Built-in maps and basic navigation without charge
  • 128 MB memory
  • 512 MB microSD in the standard package
  • Integrated WLAN, HSDPA
  • Quality e-mail client
  • Office applications, document creation and editing enabled
  • Seamless synchronization with computer (PC Suite)
  • MiniUSB universal connector (Mass storage enabled)
  • Built-in camera with autofocus
  • Stereo FM radio and A2DP-enabled Bluetooth for wireless stereo headphones
  • Quality loudspeakers
  • VoIP support
  • Elegant and presentable appearance
  • Quality construction
  • UI compatible with other Nokia phones
  • System speed

Main disadvantages

  • Size and weight
  • Third party applications incompatible with the built-in GPS
  • Charges for navigation capabilities
  • Multitasking still not perfect
  • Inadequate battery life
  • No small-size charger like in the N95
  • No camera lens cover
  • Wired headset with a 2.5mm jack, no volume control on the remote
  • No USB Mass Storage for the phone memory
  • Price
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