Because my dad still had to learn S60, and because his new Nokia E51 still had to be set up, his new phone was practically mine for a few days. This is a recap of my impressions of the E51 during the short time that it I spent with it. I guess you can consider this as a mini review.

Build Quality:

The phone itself felt incredibly solid thanks to the mostly metal exterior. Its sleek profile, simple lines, and glossy finish gave it a look of quality and sophistication. Its size and thinness felt just right in my hand too. I have to note that it’s a bit heavier than other phones its size, but still not uncomfortably so. The glossiness has its drawback though, as it makes the phone really prone to fingerprints.

Keys:

The alphanumeric keys gave excellent tactile feedback and were big enough to be pressed easily. The d-pad was nice and clicky, just like on my E61i. By integrating the pencil key with the # key, they saved a lot of space. It was also a great idea to have the * key double as a shortcut for activating Bluetooth.

I loved that there are dedicated shortcut keys to Calendar, Contacts, and Messaging. You can even customize these three keys to launch whichever apps you want them to. When you hold down these keys, they lead to even more (customizable) functionalities.

I had some minor gripes about some of the other keys though. The backspace/delete key took me some time to get used to as it’s positioned in the very middle of the phone rather than the usual right side. The rubber keys (power, recorder, speaker, volume rocker) are really hard to press too. They’re forgivable flaws though.

Performance:

The phone is blazing fast. Well compared to my E61i anyway. From booting up to launching apps to browsing the web, everything is just faster. The processor’s extra 149MHz made all the difference for me. There’s also more RAM than I knew what to do with. For web-browsing, however, the smaller screen in this case definitely made the experience feel inferior to that of browsing on the E61i.

Because the E51 is also running S60 v3, it can run pretty much anything that the E61i or any other S60 v3 phone can. It’s got everything my E61i has and more (3.5G, FM radio, better specs) but with a smaller screen and no QWERTY keypad.

Conclusion:

Overall, the E51 is probably one of Nokia’s best phones right now, especially when you consider that it was only PhP13,200 (~$320) when we bought. It’s probably even cheaper now. Seriously. With a price like that, it’s like Nokia wants to kill off the E65 and a few other models. And I hear there’s even a cheaper camera-free variant!

I really love my E61i and I have no regrets with it at all, but if the E51 had been released when I was looking for a new phone, I might have gotten the E51 instead. A bigger screen is probably the only other thing that the E51 could really use.

So why am I pimping it like this? I guess it’s because I feel that the E51 just isn’t getting as much attention it really deserves. It annoys me sometimes that the folks at Nokia seem to concentrate most of their marketing might on their more expensive N-Series phones rather than their other (more affordable) gems like this E51 and the 6120 Classic.

I guess my whole point is that if you’re looking for a new phone that offers great value for your money, check out the Nokia E51.

For one of several more comprehensive reviews of the E51, try allaboutsymbian.com’s review.

For a full list of the E51’s technical specifications, head on to the official E51 page.

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