Nokia's E series of mobile phones is aimed primarily at the businesscommunity and the company recently announced three new additions to therange: the E61i, E90 and E65. The E65 is a slider handset, a formatwith which Nokia has had mixed fortunes in the past. This is the firstslider phone in the E series, and it can be viewed as the logicalsuccessor to the candybar-format E60. When it was announced, the E60was somewhat eclipsed by the keyboard-toting E61. The E65 could, in itsturn, be eclipsed by the clamshell-format E90 Communicator. That wouldbe a pity, as the E65 has a lot to offer and is by far the mostergonomic and 'phone-like' of Nokia's latest E-series trio.
There are two colour schemes for the Nokia E65: ourreview unit was silver and brown (Nokia calls the colour 'mocca'),there's a silver and red variant too. Either way, the non-silver partson the sides and back are made of a rubbery, comfortable-grip material.Much of the back of the handset has a faux leather patterning.
Sliderhandsets can be very small and light — indeed, this is part of theappeal of the format. This is not the case with the Nokia E65. Itweighs in at 115g, is 49mm wide and 15.5mm thick. Most notably, it'squite a tall handset, in fact almost as tall as an ordinary candybarphone at 105mm. When the slider is opened to reveal the number pad, itgrows to 135mm tall.
The good news is that this height is wellused. The number pad is large. Its keys are 10mm wide and 7mm tall, andare all ridged in the centre, while the '5' key has two raised ribs,making the number keys easy to accurately hit with the thumb. Thebottom row of keys on the number pad is — as is usual with a slider —very close to the bottom edge of the phone. The Nokia E65 is fairlywell weighted so that hitting these does not present the overbalancingproblems that can occur with this handset format.
With theslider closed, the front of the phone accommodates the screen, and abank of keys that includes some designed specifically for businessusers. There are 10 keys plus a navigation button and central selectkey.
Six of these keys form a frame around the remainder, and arelong and thin. They comprise the two-softmenu keys, Call and End keys,the Nokia menu key and the Clear key. Were they not raised from theirsurroundings; it would be difficult to hit them accurately. As it is,after a little practice they are fairly comfortable to use.
Insidethe frame formed by those keys, the square navigation button is alsovery thin, but again it's slightly raised from its surroundings; italso stands out by virtue of being made of metal rather than plastic.The central select button is large. To its left and right are fourshortcut buttons, which include the special 'business' buttons.
Oneof these can be used to initiate a conference call. This, Nokiabelieves, is ideal for people who work in teams and need to keep intouch as a group. The button can be configured to dial a conferencecall service — including automatically dialling call ID and PIN forlogin, adding people to an active call, or merging two current callsinto a conference call. Another of the special keys mutes the handsetmicrophone; the third opens the handset's contacts database; and thefourth can be configured to open an application, a function or a webpage.
Nokia has made the setting-up of the latter key as easy aspossible. If it has not been defined, when you press it you are sent tothe configuration area. Once it has been configured, a short pressperforms the desired action, while holding the key down returns you tothe configuration area so you can set it to perform a differentfunction.
The right edge of the phone houses a few other keys: theNokia edit key; the voice recorder/voice commands key, which performseither function on a long or a short press respectively; and the volumerocker.
The 2.25in. 240-by-320-pixel screen supports up to 16.7million colours. Nokia has chosen a rather dull grey background to itstheme, but there is nothing to stop you downloading and applying analternative.
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