MWC: Nokia E55 is The Thinnest Finnish Smartphone With Lots of Power

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Here comes a month of standby time, with the Nokia E55. Put alongside an incredibly thin profile and Nokia's new compact keyboard, placing two letters on each physical key, the E55 is aiming for those travellers with “a business state of mind.” Expected availability will be in the summer for around 265 Euros Sim free. More thoughts, details and pictures live from MWC after the break.

The Nokia E55, announced at MWC has been targeted to the business users, and has built on the success of the E71. The obvious inheritance is in the slimness of the device with the E55 managing to slim down to only 9.9 mm thick (so the designers met the sub 10mm target I presume they were given). The battery life on the E55 is incredibly high, with up to 28 days of standby time or 8 hours talk time available on the GSM version.

Nokia E55

Key Hardware Features of the Nokia E55

  • System: WCDMA 850/1900/2100 or GSM/EGSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • User Interface: S60 platform, version 3, feature pack 2.
  • Dimensions: 116 mm x 49 mm x 9.9 mm
  • Volume: 54 cc
  • Weight: 98 g
  • Standby time: Up to 28 days (GSM), up to 19 days (WCDMA)
  • Talk time: Up to 8 hours (GSM), up to 6 hours (WCDMA)
  • Main display: 2.4” QVGA (320x240), up to 16 million colors
  • Battery: BP-4L, 1500 mAh, Li-Po
  • Memory: Up to 60 MB internal memory, 2GB microSD in sales box, support for up to 16GB microSD memory card

Nokia E55
The keys are regular keys and the unit decides which letter to show using predictive methodology.

Nokia E55
3.5mm headphone jack - that;s good news!

The obvious new hardware feature is the keys - by adding in two letters on each key, the component count has been reduced, and I suspect this is one area which has allowed the dimensions of the device ro be reduced below 10mm. Whether the users will appreciate the dual keys remains to be seen. It has been attempted on a number of devices in the past with varying levels of success. I'm sure Rafe will comment on this once he gets some time with the device in Barcelona.

Key Software Features of the Nokia E55

  • Predictive engine that suggests word completions, error corrections and automatically learns new words.
  • Full Email, Calendar and Contacts experience.
  • Multiple business and personal Email accounts in a single device with enhanced UI.
  • Improved company name search, remote company directory lookup, create and receive meeting requests.
  • Superior voice quality with noise cancellation.

Nokia E55
Note the additions to the S60 home screen...

Nokia E55
Mail for Exchange and Gmail showing up as separate services.

Clearly targeted at business users, the built in mobile VPN will aide the mobile road warrior to stay in touch with the office, while the IT Security department will be happy to see data encryption for both the microSD card and the built in memory available. It's also hardware accelerated, which should mean little impact on the perceived speed of the E55 in use.

Nokia E55

The Nokia E55 is a bold device. For all the talk of of growing out of the E71 and customer feedback it is taking a number of risks in the design (such as the keyboard), while at the same time exploring new areas such as encryption and mobile VPN access. I think it could do very well, but all that depends on just how good the predictive software technology works in practice.

-- Ewan Spence, Feb 2009.