At first look, the new communicator from Nokia, called E90, seems to have addressed some of the basic needs of high-flying corporate users.
The phone now comes with a vibrator alert (quite basic, but great when you think that its predecessor didn’t have this facility at all), apart from an extremely powerful camera, which can produce 3.2 megapixel pictures and allows many automatic settings around picture quality.
For music and video buffs, the E90, which comes with a price tag of Rs40,500, can give a near-theatre experience if synchronized well with a wireless headset—the picture quality is simply amazing (it can display up to 16 million colours), and with a 330 megahertz processor, E90 plays video files without any painful pauses. The phone could easily be termed three or four times faster than N9300 when it comes to playing rich content.
Also, if you want to experience a great audio, open the phone and put it on a hard surface—the rubber pads at the rear ensure a resonance effect. The speakerphone, however, does not appear too impressive—the volume always seems insufficient despite hitting the maximum limit. With dual screens, you can fold the device as many times as you wish and continue browsing—the screens adapt seamlessly by even scaling up the resolution for the main display.
However, it is the ultimate inbuilt global positioning system (GPS) feature brought by Nokia for the first time that stands out in the entire experience. This is a great tool for accessing city maps and revisiting all those geography lessons. But it is not clear if this inbuilt feature is responsible for higher battery consumption. Could an external GPS receiver have done the trick?
As for the keyboard, one hopes Nokia, or somebody else, will some day come up with a system that does not make you look at display every time you press a key to find out what you actually typed. But then, even this problem can be addressed easily once you get used to the phone in a few months. The joystick originally planted on N9300i is missing on the keyboard.
On the battery side, E90 has a 1500mAh battery, which is a tot higher than 1100mAh for N9300i. Probably, it is more to do with the fact that the latest phone is also a lot more power hungry, especially if you consider the rich display systems, including backlit display for the keypad. The resolution in Nokia E90 has been boosted to 800x352, from 640x420 in earlier versions.
E90 also marks a fundamental shift in Nokia’s dependence on earlier operating systems such as Symbian. The new phone is based on S60 and opens up a whole new world of applications when it comes to video and audio, something demonstrated fabulously well in the way you can now view the browser in the open and closed mode.
Also, when the device is closed, display is always oriented vertically. However, when you open the phone, the entire display is horizontal. This makes for a great feature when you want to switch from the closed phone mode to watch a video. All you need to do then is to flip it open and have a much better horizontal view.
Nokia’s “text-to-speech” technology, which allows you to listen to your text messages and emails by merely holding and pressing the left soft key, is another impressive feature. While the voice pack currently supports English and several other languages such as French, Spanish and German, we are waiting for the time when we can have it support an Indian language as well.
Overall, the form factor (despite being heavier at 210g compared with N9300, which weighs almost 170g) is a big boost if one considers the entire promise of delivering a “multimedia PC” experience—there seems to be a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the phone delivers a complete experience to an enterprising user who is awed by the iPod generation of devices.