The Nokia N Series of phones may be their most high profile portfolio that the company has to offer, but if there is one thing that the latest E52 mobile phone proves, is that the E series is a serious contender to its N cousins. If there is one lesson to be learnt from the success of the E71, it is the design and usability of the phone that probably matters most. Sleek and user-friendly, it's the same case for the E52 as we found out.
Most of us would probably remember how smartphones used to be obese and chunky beasts, but this gorgeous Nokia E52 is far from being so, taking a page out of the E71 design books. Measuring just 9.9mm in girth, the E52 is one of the slimmest handsets that we have set our roving eyes upon in a long while. And weighing a mere 98 grams, this feather lightweight unit won't sag your pockets. The general design of the phone itself is almost identical to that of the E51, except that the newcomer tends to have a more angular corners whereas the E51 had a more rounded design. The E52 sports a standard, 12-button numeric keypad, which resides neatly below the 2.4-inch screen. The keyboard and buttons are big enough for our thumbs and well-spaced out letting us type out email messages and SMS easily and comfortably.
But what really scores high marks in our books is that the phone offers full-fledged features usually reserved for high-end smartphones. For starters, the phone is fully equipped with a host of connectivity options, which includes HSDPA, HSUPA, Wi–Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP support, A-GPS and more. When we used the Nokia browser to log on to Twitter and BBC.com, the pages loaded within six seconds, which is considerably faster than most smartphones that we have tested but naturally, this depends on your network connection. We were pleased to find out that adding a Gmail or Hotmail account onto the phone was as simple as entering in your user name and password; within a minute or thereafter, we were receiving and reading email.
The phone's multimedia functions were also at the top of its league. For one, it comes packed with a 3.2-megapixel camera with full autofocus and LED flash. When using the phone to snap pictures of our colleagues, the images were better than expected. Although there was some noise detected, image details were retained. As for photos that were captured at night, they turned out decent and looked far better than competing smartphones (such as the Nokia E71 with similar imaging capability). Whilst the E52 offers only 60 MB of internal memory, it carries a microSD expansion slot that is tucked under the battery cover. On the crown of the device is a 3.5mm earphone jack for direct connection to your choice of headsets.
While using all the the phone functions, overall speed and responsiveness was impressive to say the least. Equipped with a 600 MHz ARM processor and 128 MB RAM, the E52 loaded applications with the blink of an eye.
Now the real star of the show that will clinch the deal for you is the outstanding battery life. With a quoted standby time of 23 days, the E52 is perfect for hauling it on the longest road trips. As we were writing this review, we managed to squeeze out about two days of calls with frequent usage of SMS, sporadic web surfing and blasting music - and the last time we checked, it still had close to 50 percent of battery life remaining. Of course, you mileage may wary but still, we have to admit that this is potentially one performer that can last the distance.
With a sexy build, strong performance and a great entry-level price point at just S$535 without contract, the Nokia E52 certainly sets the standards for the upcoming breed of mobile smartphones in its class. What we loved most about this phone is that for the price of an entry level smartphone, you get to walk away with an almost top-of-the-line smartphone treatment. This is the recipe for a best-selling device, we say! What more could we ask for?