Nokia’s E90: Versus My E61i

S60 Cannibalism

S60 Cannibalism

Short answer: My E61i has about 75% of the E90’s features for about 50% of the price, and thus for me is a better fit.

What, you want more? Ok, fine…

Long answer: The E90 is absolutely for you if you’re a comedy mogul and/or in need of an uncompromising business device. It’s not quite a laptop replacement but the vastly-wide screen allows for some serious work on spreadsheets, email and the like.

That said, it’s not without its flaws — namely:

The QWERTY Keypad

The keys themselves are nice and big, and have a nice “click” to them. The dedicated number row also comes in extremely handy. And the dedicated row of shortcuts above that? Well now you’re just spoiling me!

So what’s to complain about? Well, in my opinion the keypad is just too wide to use comfortably — and I’ve done a fair amount of research into QWERTY usability.

For the record I also tried the keypad with the E90 on a table, like a laptop. This didn’t work for me either — the keys are too small to touch-type with, which doesn’t matter anyway because whichever digits you use to input data will end up blocking the screen from view, as it’s very wide but not tall.

Oh, and the backlight is far too weak, and there doesn’t seem to be any settings to adjust it.

Open Sez Me

Open Wide

The Heft

The E90 is entirely usable if you’re in a boardroom meeting or the executive lounge of an international airport, but on the move the horizontal clamshell becomes a bit too unwieldy for my tastes.

When closed it’s great to take calls on and honestly doesn’t even seem that big. But like my old hiptop, when opened up this monster makes for quite a challenge to hammer out a text with one hand — especially with the soft menu buttons positioned up on the screen portion of the device.

And there’s also the matter of that horrible camera button I previously wrote about


Interior Screen

If you can live with these shortcomings you’ll be rewarded with a serious productivity tool, one with a proud lineage and a notable community of users including Agents Mulder & Sculley and The Saint.

You’ll also be treated to the best mobile operating system on the planet, but I’m biased that way…


About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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12 Responses to Nokia’s E90: Versus My E61i

  1. Elias C. says:

    And just to make your cringe: I’m using a Treo! Thats right, a Treo 750. As a side note though, the E90 is on my dreamlist, however I can definitely see the validity in your arguments.

  2. AC says:

    Hey Elias, a Treo’s not so bad… But what happened to your HTC Touch? And Your BlackBerry?

    Geez, you go through about as many handsets as I do!

  3. Ed Miller says:


    I think Nokia’s definitely on my list for my next phone. Of course, I’m still stuck with Ma Bell for now so it’s not an option.

    I’ve been shown someone’s Treo, Elias, and for a veteran Tungsten user like me, using the same OS as my PDA would make the transition painlessly easy (and it’s Mac compatible).



  4. AC says:

    And Bell will shortly be charging for incoming texts, right? That’s probably worth a blog post…

  5. Pingback: WOM World / Nokia » Blog Archive - E90 vs. E61i – an owner’s perspective

  6. Elias C. says:

    And Telus too…

    Anyway, the Touch? Well, Bell hung up on my while I was trying to switch to Post Paid (after giving my peronal information to them three times over). And the CDMA network had a problem (I was in a 1x zone only), where if data had been running (and was therefore still connected) and you picked up a call, it took about 10 seconds for voice to come through. This was a WM problem only, but Bell wouldn’t admit any fault and I missed call after call that way, including some from work.

    Then I switched back to Rogers and all was good. I still have and love the Curve but its reception is pretty bad, especially in my rural area and I’m running a small business partially from my phone this summer, so missing calls was not good. Thus the Treo, its nicer to hold, better to use one-handed, and is made by HTC (with HTC Hermes innerds). Plus, reception is much better.

    Also, if you are looking for stories, you might look at the recent rumours regarding Apple getting all pissy at Rogers about pricing and diverting a portion of its iPhone stock away from Canada. Lol, oh Apple and its silly hissyfits.

  7. piscao says:

    if you press shit or char and the key left to 1 you can ajust the light conditions of the inner screen

  8. AC says:

    Hey piscao,

    Thanks for the tip, but I’m fairly sure my E90 didn’t have a “shit” key — oh wait, you must be talking about that camera button!

  9. piscao says:

    lol,my mistake,but yes, the camera button is a real shit 😀

  10. Harvy Bhullar says:

    One major manufacturing defect E 90 has is it leaves an imprint of its keys on the folded screen…very disgusting i am planning to go for E-71

  11. piscao says:

    that’s a fact,although in the new version of e90 the keyboard is improved,but its seems to me that the new keyboard is the same thing..the new e71 looks like the e90 without the inner screen and some multimedia “capabilities”..e71 has 369 MHz,e90, 332,but with some programmingand hacks it’s the same..what do you have to say?

  12. AC says:

    I didn’t see any keypad marks on my e90’s interior screen. And I’m pretty sure my next S60 handset will be a Nokia E71 — in white!

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