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Nokia E90 Communicator
Mobile Phones | First Looks
Wed 22 Aug 2007

The Corporate Icon


A 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash for the shutterbug user.

Strong metallic double hinges following its N9500 predecessor.  

A keypad set for comfort, enveloped by a smooth, flowing silver border.

The Nokia Communicator is back in black, seeking to attract more smartphone lovers with its seductive design. Though the trendsetting crowd may prefer elegance, the E90 stays heavily armed in both the physical and feature aspects, invoking the thought: bigger, is better. Embrace and accept the 210g weight and 132 x 57 x 20 mm girth whilst looking deeper and you will realize the inner beauty of this heavyweight item.

Following the double hinge design from its N9500 predecessor, the E90 seeks to impress even further with a total black metallic finish to its body, a dash of luminous silver for both its hinges and a border surrounding the external interface. Flip it, and you will discover a world of wonder in its 800 x 352 pixel internal screen, supporting 16 million true colors. The Nokia E90 aims to not only get consumers head over heels in love with it, but to provide a realistic approach for entrepreneurs and corporate executives with a solid mobile business solution.

Be Connected Wherever and Whenever

Sporting Wi-Fi and GPRS/EDGE as similar to the N9500, the E90 has a whole new bag of tricks up its sleeve. This bag consists of HSPDA and Bluetooth 2.0, to name a few. These are the two mitigating factors that Nokia has targeted for a sufficient selling point to business executives that hunger not only for 24/7 connectivity, but also a swift response for decisions on the go. A quick (pun intended) test of data transfer via Bluetooth 2.0 nets a speed far superior to that of the Bluetooth 1.2 utilized by the E61i. Call quality on the E90 is decently clear, and with a mixed usage of talk time and standby, the E90 kept itself running for nearly 5 days. With 3.5G phones on the rise, the presence of HSPDA within the E90 puts Nokia as one of the leading smartphone manufacturers.

The Inner Beauty of the E90

Simply put, the E90 answers the demand for multiple and fast information dissemination via the well received Nokia Team Suite, with a great eye for organization thanks to its calendar and Personal Information Management functions. Quickoffice is back, providing a form of mobile editing for users to receive documents and information in a real time environment using push email supporting POP3, SMTP and IMAP4, with the option of editing items on the spot for immediate presentation. Back on the S60 platform third edition on Symbian V9.2, it actually outshines previous S80 platforms on the N9500.

This poses a question of, why shell out more for a bigger and heavier model, with functions that are glaringly similar to the E61i? The answer is plain and simple: processor speed. Switching applications poses no foreseeable lag to the phone. The most marked improvement lie in the ability for applications to be continued from the external to internal interface and vice versa, a feature that was lacking on the N9500. Connected to an access point, we enjoyed a smooth ride on the World Wide Web, not to mention the wow factor when websites can be viewed on a wide and crisply clear screen.

Defining the E90 Experience

Advocates of QWERTY input devices for phones will be absolutely thrilled with the E90’s well spaced and comfortable internal QWERTY keyboard. The standard keypad is comfortably spaced too, giving two design advantages the E90 has over the E61i.

While the integrated 3.2 megapixel camera, armed with LED flash and autofocus, nets astonishing picture resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536, the camera button is too soft, which makes it hard for users to determine if more or less force is required to trigger it. Our first hand experience showed that at times, after focusing, the E90 just refuses to follow through with the image capture, proving further that the camera button requires a certain finesse to operate. Use of the camera is limited to the external interface mode, while ironically video calls have to be initiated via the internal interface as the secondary QCIF camera is located within.

With support for MP3, AAC, a built in FM radio, a Media Player and clean sound and video playback quality, the E90 is sure to please both the high end and casual professional. An inbuilt GPS chip and Nokia Map software capable of accurate and updated directions would effectively mean unfamiliar meeting or conference locations will no longer be an issue for the business executive on the move.

The Verdict

Promised by such strong features from the E90, consumers would find it most satisfying to be the proud owner of one. Overlooking the immense proportions in contrast to other similar smartphones, and the flaws of certain functionalities like the camera buttons, the E90 is definitely a phone that suits a user of high mobility looking for a 24/7 connection that also provides impressive mobile business capability for the corporate executive. 

Product Specifications

  • Operating system: S60 Platform, 3rd edition, feature pack 3.1 with Symbian OS Version 9.2
  • Operating frequency: GSM Quad-band with WCDMA HSPDA 2100
  • Display: 800 x 352 pixels (Inner), 240 x 320 pixels (Outer), 16 million true colors (Both)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0, Integrated WLAN 802.11g, 802.11b, GPRS/EGPRS, Mini-USB, USB 2.0, Infrared
  • GPS: Texas Instruments NaviLink with Nokia Maps software
  • Camera: 3.2 megapixel with flash and autofocus
  • Memory: 128MB on board, microSD expandability up to 2GB
  • Standby/Talk Time: 14 days standby, 5.8 hours of talk time
  • Weight: 210g
  • Dimensions: 132 x 57 x 20mm (H x W x D)