The Nokia E55 means business but imaging is not part of its job description. The 3 megapixel camera has only a LED flash and sadly, no autofocus. "Enhanced fixed focus" is here to cater for close-ups but as our tests have confirmed in the past, the new Nokia "catch-phrase" doesn't really mean you're getting more sharpness in close-ups or shorter minimal shooting distance.
Actually, the camera user interface is the only good part of the E55 snapper. Using our favorite tabbed interface, the camera offers extensive settings: from manual white balance and ISO sensitivity to exposure compensation, sharpness and contrast settings, as well as various effects which are labeled color tones.
A gridline can also be applied to the viewfinder to assist you in framing you photos using the photographic rule-of-thirds. Using it to align your subjects and place points of interest on or near the lines and their intersecting points makes your photos more professional and aesthetic.
The sequence mode and self-timer are nothing new. The flash can be set to four positions: automatic, always on, red-eye reduction and always off.
Small font tooltips are displayed to help you understand what the phone is doing at each specific moment (processing image, for example).
You can also customize the toolbar deciding on shortcuts to display for which settings and in what order.
The image quality of E55 is decent, albeit hardly spectacular. Contrast is good, but the dynamic range is not on par and colors are somewhat dull. Noise levels are low, but that is achieved through noise-reduction that smears away fine details and textures. The sharpening algorithm on the other hand is way too harsh and produces visible artifacts in the photo.
We also snapped our resolution chart with the Nokia E55. You can check out what that test is all about here.
Here's a comparison of the camera on the E55 and the one on the E52. The E55 has an edge in resolved detail. Its processing seems better even though this time the images are slightly oversharpened, instead of slightly too soft. Maybe the next time they will get it perfect?
Video recording doesn't improve our impressions of the E55. The business-minded handset manages VGA videos at 15 fps, which is far from stellar but is certainly better than what E71 and E66 offered.
The quality of the recorded video is not very good and even if 15 fps is acceptable to you, the E55 is not a camcorder. There's a fair bit of detail captured until of course it is periodically smeared by heavy compression.
Here is a sample video for you to check out.
It's time to check out the connectivity options. This is a morale booster indeed for the E55 and it sure takes advantage.
The E55 is truly on fire where data transfer is in question - it just has it all: from Bluetooth v2.0 and USB v2.0 to Wi-Fi and 3G. Furthermore, the 3G comes with HSPA support for the fastest network data transfers - up to 10.2Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink.
A microSD card slot is also on board, under the battery cover. It might just be the quickest and most convenient way of transferring data.
The standard 3.5mm audio jack is also there and the only thing missing that we can think of is TV-out functionality.