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Nokia E90 Review - Part I

1st August 2007


Part II >

Click here to see our video review

Looking for a phone that can knock the all-conquering Nokia N95 into a cocked hat? Well, the Nokia E90 might well be that phone. We've acquired our very own E90 from Vodafone in the UK, and this will be the first look at this "everything but the kitchen sink" handset.

First of all we have to unbox it. Because unboxing is basically geek porn we've moved it most of the pictures to our Nokia E90 Unboxing page.

Nokia E90 Sales Package

 Nokia E90 Sales Package

The standard Nokia E90 sales package comes with the handset itself, a 512MB microSD card with an adapter for SD card readers, a wired stereo headset, standard Nokia charger, battery, CD-ROM and a selection of manuals.

Note that this is a Vodafone UK sales package, other operators may vary the package somewhat.

First impressions

It's a big phone, but quite well proportioned. As tall as the old Nokia 6310i but a fair bit wider, it could just about pass as a standard mobile phone if you don't look too closely.

You can see that it's a much more conventional phone than its two predecessors, the Nokia 9210i (left) and Nokia 9500 (centre). You can instantly see that the Nokia E90 (right) is a much squatter device.

 Nokia 9210i, 9500 and E90

In terms of weight, the Nokia E90 comes in at a hefty 214 grams, compared to 233 grams for the 9500 and 245 grams for the 9210i.


Open them up and you can see that the 9500 (middle) and E90 (right) have broadly equivalent keyboards, The Nokia 9210i (left) though is much easier to use as it is larger and has good spacing between the individual keys.

 Nokia E90, 9500, 9210i

Be in no doubt that this is a BIG phone - here the Nokia E90 is flanked by a Nokia 6131 (left) and an early 3G phone, the Sharp 902 to the right. The 6131 is a 101 gram phone, the 902 is 150 grams. You can see that the Nokia E90 is a very heavy device.

 Nokia E90, Nokia 6131 and Sharp 902


This time we've added a Nokia 770 into the mix. The E90 (on the right) is more compact than the 770, but that's mostly down to the smaller screen on the E90.

 Nokia E90, 6131, 9500, 9210i and 770

The first thing we looked at on the Nokia E90 was the quality of the web browser. Both the Nokia 770 and E90 have very high density 800 pixel wide displays. If you look carefully, you can see that they are both rendered slightly differently. The relatively short aspect ratio of the E90 means that you have to scroll down quite a lot.

One clear difference between the Nokia 770 (and the Nokia N800) and the Nokia E90 is the touchscreen - the 770/N800 use a touchscreen for almost every function, and this is a feature completely lacking from the E90. Navigating web pages on the keypad isn't quite as easy as on the two Internet tablets.

The web browser isn't quite as intuitive on the E90 as the 770. The all-important "back" button is a particularly obscure key combination of Chr-3.

 Nokia E90 and 770 web browsing

Although Mobile Gazette renders pretty well on the E90, the next test was the BBC News site. You can see the problem immediately. The BBC site detects the mobile browser on the E90 and renders is as a "WAP" version, despite the fact that the E90 can cope with the whole page rather well.

 BBC News on Nokia E90

One other difference is the screen brightness. Although the E90 is pretty good, the 770 has a much brighter display.

Other features

Two other features we looked at where the GPS and camera. In this particular Vodafone package, the GPS took a couple of minutes to get a fix to our exact location and provided street-level mapping. This is an application that works well on both the internal and external displays, in fact it is slightly easier to use on the external display.

Our initial look at the camera looks promising - it has a 3.2 megapixel sensor, autofocus and an impressively bright flash. We hope to bring you some examples in our next installement.



Part II >

Click here to see our video review

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