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Nokia E90 Review

 

Nokia E90 Review

 
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INTRODUCTION

In February 2007, we brought you the first review of a prototype E90unit on the Internet. Now we are back with update of the review basedon a production unit, V 07.22.4.0, 01-06-2007.10 years, 10 Communicators.

It's hard to believe but it's been 10 years since the first NokiaCommunicator was announced in 1997. The E90 is the eleventhCommunicator model, following the 9000, 9000i, 9110, 9110i, 9210,9210i, 9290, 9500, 9300 and 9300i.

Nokia Communicator users and fans got used to always having to waitseveral years for a new model and always being slightly disappointed bythe lack of some important features and reduced performance of newmodels compared to e.g. S60 smartphones announced/released at the sametime. The 9210, the first Symbian OS based Communicator released in2001, came with no GPRS and no Bluetooth, even though simple Nokiaphones had both. 9210i and 9290 haven't changed much and we had to wait3 years for the 9500 which finally delivered Bluetooth and GPRS/EDGEbut (in 2004/2005!) still no UMTS, low-res camera and slow 150 MHzprocessor, compared to 220 MHz clocks of S60 smartphones (e.g. the6630) announced at the same time... The 9300 and the 9300i providedimproved WLAN connectivity but still the same processing speed and noUMTS support...

History often repeats itself.... but NOT THIS TIME! The E90 has almosteverything you could dream of and provides the fastest processorcurrently used in Symbian OS smartphones and the largest operatingmemory (RAM) capacity ever used in a Symbian OS based device, with therecently announced UIQ3 based Sony Ericsson P1i being the onlysmartphone to offer the same amount of RAM. Yes, it's true, Nokia hasfinally created a Communicator that is as fast as other high-endSymbian OS devices and as powerful (and MORE functional) than high-endPocketPCs Phone Edition devices! Read on.

Unboxing

The E90 comes in a small and elegant box. It contains the followingitems: the Nokia E90 Communicator (in my case the beautiful red one),BP-4L 1500 mAh battery, 512 MB microSD memory card with SD adapter,HS-47 stereo headset, DKE-2 USB cable, AC-4E charger, user's guide,quick start guide and a DVD disc with E90 presentation and PC Suitesoftware. Unfortunately, the box does not include desk stand orcarrying case.

The look

The E90 weighs 210 g. The size? Perfect combination: the same width asthe 9500 (57 mm) and the same height (132 mm) and depth (20 mm) as the9300/9300i. It's large enough to provide space for its really hugescreen and superb keyboard but small enough not to be called a brick.Think of it as of a slightly wider 9300(i). The only parameter thatremains on the 'hardcore' side is the weight - 210 g - but hey, it's ahigh-end PDA and not a toy, and it's still almost twice less thanWindows Mobile based devices providing similar functionality, e.g. theHTC Advantage weighing almost 400 g (!).

How does it look? Shortly speaking, it's SUPERB. It's very professionaland extremely stylish at the same time. Depending on colour version,it's dark brown (almost black) or red is with shiny silver framesurrounding the display and black keypad, silver rocker key and(chromium plated) large and very solid metal hinges. Forget about thoseweak and easily breakable plastic hinges known from earlier models. Andit's not just the hinges - the whole device is very well built usinghigh quality materials. I haven't experienced any squeaking sounds orweak/loose parts.

The E90 doesn't seem to be supporting the exchangeable Xpress covers,but two available colour versions give you a good choice. Back inDecember 2006 I've also tested an all-silver version that didn't makeit into production, but maybe there will be other colour versions aswell.

The external screen's resolution is QVGA (240x320 pixels, 16 millioncolors) and the physical dimensions are 30x40 mm. For the first timeever, the external screen is not just a simple "cover UI" supporting avery limited set of telephony-related functions but now it's fullyfunctional, providing access to all functions and applications of thedevice. It means that on the external screen you can not only accessall your data and run all system applications (e.g. Calendar, Webbrowser, Messaging) but also all installed 3rd party applications.There are absolutely no restrictions, the external display simply givesyou access to EVERYTHING you get on the large screen inside.

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