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Nokia E51 (Mobile phone)

Nokia E51 is high end mobile phone aimed for people who use their phone for more than talking with it and can be used as multimedia device, business handheld, organizer and entertaining machine. It is very small, elegant, light-weight and beautiful. Having all these functions and features comes at a price. The phone is in the middle price range, making it affordable for many people. In February 2008 it costed 499 BGN in the Germanos shops. In May 2008 it was 399 BGN when signing 12 months contract with the M-Tel mobile operator.


Nokia E51 box contents. The phone comes in nicely put and professional looking package. Inside the package are the phone itself, battery charger, two manuals, cleaning cloth, USB cable, Nokia E51-1 CD and headphones. From the two manuals, one is for fast installation, which is recommended to be read first before doing anything else with the phone. It explains step by step how to install the SIM card, put the memory card and insert the battery. It also explains how to recharge the battery, how to start the phone, keys and parts, screen description, along with the screen indicators. There are also information about the keypad lock, transfer of information from another device and download. All this in the fast install guide is packed on eight pages. The second manual is much thicker, consisting of one hundred and six pages, where the menus, the functions, the features and the usage of the phone are widely described. Both of the manuals are printed in colors with charts, pictures and screenshots, for easier understanding of the written text. The charger is very tiny and lightweight. It uses have the new jack, which is the second Nokia standard, after they dropped the old bigger jacks. The USB cable is only 80 cm long, but it have the same jack as the Nokia N-Gage, meaning that I finally had two phones with same cable to use, even if the N-Gage uses another charger, but this is separate story. The headphones are are a must if the user wants to listen to radio. The headphones are ordinary for a phone. The CD is important, if the user wants to save the stored in the phone memory information. There is only 120 MB of data stored on the CD though and it is only for Microsoft Windows and it did not work neither on my AmigaOS 4.1 installation, nor on the PowerBook G4. A cleaning cloth is a nice addition to the phone, suggesting that such good phone have to be serviced and cleaned often. The design of the phone is very good. It is made from metal, but is very lightweight nevertheless. The phone dimensions are 46 X 115 X 12 mm, easily fits in any hand and is no problem to be put in a pocket even at summer.


Nokia E51 back view. Installation of the phone is very easy. Unlike the other phones, where removal of the back cover requires extra push, on Nokia E51, there is a button, which when pressed allows the procedure to be done with one finger. Next the phone battery have to be removed, in order to open the passage for the insertion of the SIM card. Insertion and ejection of the memory card, is done with only removal of the cover, because the memory card slot is above the battery and is put to right. The phone works with MicroSD cards, which are widely available. I borrowed the 4 GB SanDisk MicroSD card from my Toshibo V9+i phone and it worked flawlessly. After insertion of the SIM card, return of the battery in the slot and placement of the back cover until it ticks, the device can be started. Turning on is done by pressing the power button, situated at the top of the phone on the at the right. Press of this button is very hard without a nail, but I like it this way, because I have very bad experience with Nokia 1208, which was randomly turning on and off, during my movements one time, until it blocked the SIM card. Another nice feature of the power button is that it can not turn off the phone, if the keyboard is locked, so it reduces the risk of random switches off and on to the minimum. After about two seconds hold of the power button, the phone vibrates, announcing that it is booting and after some seconds of initializing of the Symbian, white screen with blue NOKIA text appears, followed by the famous Nokia two hands animation in full color. After this short boot procedure, the phone is ready to be used.


Main function of the mobile phone is to be used for talking to persons which are not in front of you and also have mobile phone or other talking device. Here the Nokia E51 shows its strength against the cheaper phones, which can be used only to talk with other people, having mobile phone and nothing else. The phone is very easy to handle and to talk using it is one nice experience. The buttons are easy to press, unlike the Vodafone 225 phone, where I press the answer button and put it to my ear, only to hear that it is still ringing. The audio is very clear and easy to listen, the volume can be increased and decreased with a single click on the buttons situated at the right of the phone. There is also a mute button between the volume buttons. It have vibration and all the good things that can be expected from expensive high end phone. Management of calls, events, contacts and e-mails is as simple as pressing the one click buttons for Home, Calendar, Phone Book, E-mail. These buttons can be configured for other applications as well. On the main screen there are fast shortcuts for other main uses of mobile phone - messaging, browsing the web, looking at the gallery, writing or reading notes, and the clock, where alarms can be put. Pressing the left selection button, brings in the main Symbian menu. The phone uses Symbian version 9.2 which is very nice looking, stable and fast. There is option to animate the icons, but I did not set it as I noticed that the icons look less beautiful when rescaled on such low resolution. From the main menu, there are twelve icons shown, which can be directly accessed with numerical buttons, or by navigating to them with the use of the Navi buttons. On the top left corner of the menu is the Messaging icon, from where the SMS freaks can do their SMSing. If a message have been received, or a call is missed, the phone announces it on the menu, but also with flashing light of the diode above the screen. The battery is very strong and does not need recharge even after long conversations. And if there is need for recharge, it recharges pretty fast.


Click on the button 7 brings the Connectivity menu, from where the access point for communication of the phone can be set. For me this is the second most important part of the phone, after the talking capabilities. There is WLAN wizard, which scans the environment for Wireless connections and can be used to connect through them and surf the Internet. Free Public Wireless LANs are already available almost everywhere, so the phone can be used for Internet device almost from any public place. Nokia E51 Internet Browser. I especially like the Nokia E51 embedded browser, because it uses the same engine as the Orygin Web Browser (OWB), with which I surf on the AmigaOS 4. The browser announces itself as Safari 1.2, but does not provide OS and Resolution information. It is very fast, supports Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), java applets, stores cooking and renders the pages pretty decent. The rendered pages can be shown on full screen, rotated and zoomed in and out for better preview on full screen. The 16 million color display makes the pages to look exactly the same as on the computer display, so the phone can be used for surfing, when no computer is around. The surfer have to be extra careful though, or else he risks to pay extra money for unwanted and unnecessary solution, provided by the mobile provider, like I did. I was happily surfing through the wireless, but then after opening some other menus and returning back, for some reason the phone was connecting already through 3G. I surfed and surfed, then I noticed that something strange happens, but as I did not used such modern function before, I was unaware that I have turned this service by the operator by default, without my desire for it. As I know that the phone operator is very happy to get paid from people not only for talking, but also for other services, they happily charged me money for every time I downloaded something, without setting the connection to Wireless, even if it was present. And as I have refused to receive paper invoices and happily paid the monthly fees, I was wondering why I have some extra on what I was talking. The explanation is that they charged me every time I transferred data with the phone, even if I was assuming the communication is through the wireless network. At the end, I removed the SIM card from the phone and then started to surf - only with this extreme procedure - using the phone without a SIM, I can be hundred percent sure that I am really communicating through the wireless and not through the ripping me off M-Tel operator. The browser have also the very useful fast navigation function, where the pages are stored in cache and the user can select any previous page with only a few clicks. Thumbnail preview of the page is shown as well, so there is no need to remember the page name, which is shown on the top of the screen. I visited AmigaRemix and downloaded music from there with a single click on the MP3. The media player automatically opens when the mp3 is detected and offers the possibility to immediately listen to the tune. The tune can be saved with the press of the back button, with option to the Phone memory or the Memory card. Later I tested other sites and even YouTube. Nokia E51 playing youtube video. On YouTube, after selection of the video, the Real Player opens and starts to play the clip. The video can also be watched on fullscreen. The replay is not very smooth on the both viewing options. There are some sound quirks from time to time and the display is not refreshing properly. Nevertheless I found it entertaining to watch Amiga video clips on the Nokia E51 phone. The browser supports also HTTPS, so I was also able to check my GMail account. The phone can also communicate via Bluetooth, Infrared and can be used as Push to talk (PTT) device like walkie-talkie. It can also utilize Modem, via Infrared and Internet telephone (via wireless). It is also possible to connect to a computer.

Office software

The mobile phones are not much used for productivity work and this is not their aim. As an entertainment device it serves very well, but the same can also be said for its business usage. Despite the lack of keyboard in the main package and the relatively small screen, the phone have included impressive suite of productivity software. By press on the button 2 from the main Symbian menu, the Office submenu appears. Here the Active Notes can be viewed and edited, the phone can be searched for Messages, E-mails, Active notes, Calendar events, To-dos, Notes, Contacts and Other files. The phone also have decent Calculator, File manager, allowing to browse both the phone memory and the memory card, Teams suite, Converter for Area, Energy, Length, Mass, Power, Pressure, Temperature, Time, Velocity, Volume and Currency. Additionally there are Notes manager, Clock, Printers setting, Zip manager, Adobe Reader for PDF files and Wireless keyboard connection. With the use of wireless keyboard and correct setting of printer, the phone can be turned into an complete office utility, ideal for small businesses. But there is even more. Not only web pages and pictures can be printed, but also documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Nokia E51 spreadsheet. These documents can be created right on the phone with the use of the Quickoffice application, which I automatically downloaded and installed on the phone. For a test, I created a simple currency convertor excel spreadsheet, entirely on the phone and it worked without any problems. It have the Excel functions, so everything learned on the Microsoft Excel and tested on the phone, also worked, including date functions {=TODAY()}, references, fonts, format, alignment and colors. The shown Spreadsheet can be downloaded from here. It can also create .ppt presentations, but unfortunately, my E-mail Handling and Management PowerPoint presentation was not opened with error message that it appears to be encrypted in an unsupported format. With the Adobe Reader PDF documents can be read and printed. All the work can be zipped into single file and stored on the memory card. Then the archive can be converted to other machine with the use of the memory card and a device like the Chronos 80 in 1 Card Reader which also reads MicroSD cards, or with the use of the USB cable, bundled with the device. Because the there was only Microsoft Windows software on the CD which came with the phone, doing serious work on the Nokia E51, without the use of memory card is not recommended. I connected the phone via USB cable to my Amiga, but was only able to read the contents of the memory card, not the memory phone. The phone have 130 MB internal memory, so it is good to have use of it. I found a way to transfer the files, without the use of memory card, by simply transferring the file via Bluetooth to another device like the Toshibo V9+i and then connecting the Toshibo phone to the Amiga with USB cable. Clumsy solution, but at least working.

Other utilities

The phone works with the Symbian operating system, which is very widespread, supported by many developers around the world. Although Google Android is getting more momentum these days, and may become the leading platform in the near future, Symbian is still strong. It multitasks very well for me, and I was unable to crash it or freeze during my acid tests of the phone. There are literally thousands of free and commercial applications available for the phone. There is software for all kinds of tasks and needs.


Nokia E51 taken picture with the 2.0 megapixel camera. The Nokia E51 phone have built-in 2.0 megapixel camera, situated at the back of the phone. I suggest to keep the fingers out of the camera window, when talking or using the phone, else the glass can get scratched and affect the shot picture. There is no flash and no external lenses, so it can not focus the near or far objects. It is useful for taking shots, when no other filming device is available. It is very important to have strong ambient light when taking pictures with the phone, or the shot image is not very good looking. There is night mode also options for White balance and Color tone, but they are done in software and are not affecting much the filming process. The software origin of the night mode is very apparent by the slow refresh of the screen when the mode is turned on. In the setting the Image quality can be set to High, Normal or Basic. For the image resolution there are only two options - 1600x1200 - the one I use, because I prefer the better shot and then process it to lower resolution if needed and 640x480 - the standard size for blog images. The Default image name can be set to Date, which is the easier to handle for me and to Text - the more intuitive, because the name can be changed to NewYearsEve or Halloween for example, and the creation date is written in the file attributes anyway. Of course this can also be misleading and you may wonder why are you naked at the beach during new years eve, some years later and how drunk you must have been, so you can not remember, while in fact you simply forgot to change the text for the default picture name then and now you are not looking at the file date, like most people do. For the more memorable moments, the phone can shot videos, but usage of big memory card is very recommended then. Of course the video comes with the captured audio, so you will really remember what really happened at the party last year and who said what.


I have searched in the menus, but found no games built-in the firmware, which was respecting the image of the phone as a business (not gaming) device. Unfortunately, when I have tried to download some games, first it redirected me to the OVI Store, which I installed, but then when I have tried to download a game, it required registration, with submission of e-mail and phone number, which I am not very willing to give, as I have already receive enough advertising messages via these two communication methods - electronic mail and phone (mostly SMS). Of course, when installing the OVI store application, I was again charged for data transfer service as well, because it was the default setting. In the end, I was unable to test any game on the phone. Later I have tried to run some of the emulators which I used on the N-Gage, but I received an error that installation of the .sis file is not supported.


Nokia E51 is one of the best phones I had touch with. Even if it is from 2007 and already staring to age, it is impressive little device with very pleasant usage, elegant style and nice functions. For the people who still love to press keys on their phone and are not getting used to touch screens, but want powerful capabilities at very good price, Nokia E51 will work. It will perform flawlessly, like it does for me.

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