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Nokia E90 review (translation)

Tuesday 28 August 2007, by Phi, 6928 Views

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All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

I have bought the new Nokia E90, French version, here is a quick review of it.


Only two sections written yet: software and accessories

Transferring data from Nokia 9300

As I have a french Nokia 9300 first I had to transfer my data. I had to do it more than once before having an acceptable data transfert.

The steps I followed were the following:

  1. reformat the Nokia by typing *#7370# with code 12345 if it’s the default one
  2. choose France but the Nokia stayed in english and I had to change it directly in language in Settings/Personal
    It was because I didn’t insert a SIM card in the phone
  3. For contacts and agenda the simplest is to use the data transfer application on the two phones (it took around 30 mn for my 1500 calendar entries)
  4. For messages and phone calls I had to use Data Mover application. However whereas all received MMS kept their pictures, none of the sent MMS kept theirs
  5. For notes Data Mover didn’t work. Copy pasted my notes in Word to transfer them manually
  6. Same for pictures which transferred even pictures included in my web browser cache: better do it manually. I didn’t use Data Mover for web links too (I used mainly mini-opera on my Nokia 9300)
  7. I wanted also all my Nokia 9300 ringtones including the ones in Nokia 9300 rom (Z: drive). I had to follow this procedure to view Z: drive on Nokia 9300 then copied the ringtones directory on Memory Card then on the PC

For all other files (pictures, MP3, ringtones, files), I copied them manually.

According to one user, reformat the Nokia by typing *#7370# with code 12345 doesn’t reformat, only reset to factory settings. At any rate I sure lost QuickOffice Premium 4.5 upgrade when I did it as well as my files (but not all the files ?).


Below find a table with software used on my Nokia 9300 and the equivalent used on Nokia E90. I will complete this table as I test more software for the Nokia E90.

TypeNokia 9300Nokia E90Comments
Office Word Dataviz DTG Word/Word QuickOffice Premium 4.5 The default version provided with the Nokia E90 (3.8) is horrible, the update is a must even if it still falls short from the Nokia 9300 software
Office Excel Dataviz DTG Excel/Sheet QuickOffice Premium 4.5 The default version provided with the Nokia E90 (3.8) is horrible, the update is a must even if it still falls short from the Nokia 9300 software
Banking ABP 5.22 Jabp Lite 1.31 beta Pretty slow compared to Nokia 9300, however the new beta version has a huge speed boost which makes it usable
Jotter Notes Active Notes The new active notes is better as it saves the notes in HTML format, and allows pictures or video embedding, however text input still slower than on Nokia 9300
Datas Smallbase SplashID SplashID is fine for my requirements which are simple flat database with few data types
Agenda Agenda Agenda The Nokia E90 is a step back I don’t like any of the views except the default one on the cover phone!I need mainly a weekly view with text
Contacts Contacts Contacts Seems fine for my needs, can define groups easily
Email Profimail Messages The Messages E90 version doesn’t read directly the html emails, but I find it more convenient so I only click when I want to view it (saves bandwith usage). Profimail crashes on my imap mailbox on certain recipients. Old Nokia 9300 messages had html viewing but it paralyzed the phone for several seconds so I guess it’s an improvement
GPS Tomtom S80 Nokia Maps / Tomtom S60 3rd edition Tomtom doesn’t work yet with the internal GPS or the internal screen, Nokia Maps seems to work fine with an external GPS but without paying there is no navigation
Phone call manager Best Black List Best Black List Just a great app with instant rebate for update, moreover the 40% rebate coupon works also for the other orders that you might make at the same time (guess it might be a bug). Around 10 USD without rebate
Underground Tube MetrO MetrO Haven’t found how to select the right station like in the S80 version which lists possible ones
MP3 Player Internal/Oggplay Internal Included Nokia media player is quite nice for MP3
Video player SmartMovie/Makayama DVD player Real Player The default player is fine performance wise if you have the right encoding software, for ergonomics it could be better however
Recorder Psiloc Extended Recorder Ultimate Voice Recorder Works perfectly (although startup code sometimes messes up) and I’m very happy not to buy a Psiloc product again: very bad upgrade policy (at least bought 3 times and paid the full amount) and their DRM solutions always crashed my Nokia 9300 which had a problem sometimes with the date
Stopwatch/Timer Timemate Best Timer The other app I bought, it’s just great to stress myself to be efficient 8-), around 6 USD without rebate
Pocket books Mobireader Mobireader Haven’t managed to transfer the dictionaries I purchased before yet
PDF files Acrobat Reader Acrobat Reader LE
Web browser Opera Mini Web The problem is Opera Mini works on the E90 but it takes the same time or more to render a downgraded web page, however Web uses far too much bandwith (x 100 ko for a simple my-symbian forum page) which can be very costly
Spectrum Emulator Wildpalm ZX Spectrum Speccy Fine Spectrum emulator but wishes it could be easily switched to full speed for playing Doomdark’s revenge
Weight monitoring ;-) Nutrifast ? To be identified

Additional information on software follows:

Quick Office

The version 3.8 provided with the E90 is horrible:
- opening a simple word document of 585 ko was 90 s compared to 8 s with DTG from DataViz on Nokia 9300!
- for Excel file at least loading time are fast (1 s against 4 s under Nokia 9300/Sheet) but navigation is very slow and it’s not even capable of inserting cells
- Selection works but no keyboard shortcuts like bold, italics, cut and paste

I have then upgraded to QuickOffice Premier 4.5, it took me a lot of tries before I could upgrade the software catalog (10x with "failed") and even more (40x) before I could pay with my credit card (21.85 euros).

It’s far better even if it’s still falls short from Nokia 9300 DTG or default apps:
- 8 s loading time for QuickWord 4.5 instead of 90 s
- shortcuts work
- fast navigation under Excel sheet with shift+pad
- I’d like it if it could remember the freezed panes

Warning: Quicksheet can lose data on certain Excel files, it doesn’t record changes and even crashes. The Excel file was a Sheet one converted by the Nokia 9300 to Excel, I have started a new file from scratch and it works so far.

To reinstall QuickOffice 4.5 Premium after a reformat, you must subscribe in support.quickoffice.com and open a support ticket. Under the IMEI they give you a link to download the application (written 4.0 but actually it’s 4.5) and gives you the code. Please note that Nokia Backup doesn’t seems to backup the application (and you must reboot after install before it will work).

GPS Tomtom and Nokia Maps

Tomtom doesn’t work yet with the internal GPS or the internal screen, Nokia Maps seems to work fine with an external GPS but without paying there is no navigation

And for Nokia Maps I haven’t found how to follow automatically GPS position without paying navigation (which could make it useful) or to add radars which are available for Tomtom.

Note that you have to run once Maps with the MicroSD card inserted before using Windows PC Nokia Map loader to pre-download maps on the Micro SD card seen as a drive. The maps sometimes were not recognized at all, I went manually in the Map folders to delete all the maps in that case.

Banking: ABP to Jabp Lite

I have always used ABP for my banking stuff since the Psion Siena version (10 years ago!). However ABP is in OPL which is not available on E90.

I have then switched to JABPLite S60 3rd edition:
- At first I had lots of import problems (dates 97 were converted to 2097!)
- It then was very slow for importing (battery runned out! very slow after the first 200, something like 50 for 30 minutes), and for operation

To import the method I found was the following
- edit the data under Windows XP and not Mac OSX and search/replace in Notepad "è" (and other french accents characters).
- replace "," with "." so that figures are recognized as figures (english separator instead of french one)
- export ABP file in two parts before 31/12/99 and after 31/12/99 then search/replace under ABP /9 by /199 and date format as dd/mm/yyyy
- the import seems to be additive (so one can import in two files the data)

New beta version from JABP is far better, old version was something like 12 s to highlight 8 transactions now it’s 2 s, almost instantaneous. New page is still slow (when you are at the bottom of the page) but it is easily corrected by using pad left and right. Thanks a lot to Malcom for this update.

Database: Smallbase to SplashID

I have contacted Eric Sebban developer of Smallbase, unfortunately he hasn’t any plan yet to develop a S60 version 3rd edtion of Smallbase (has to rewrite all the user interface).

I have however found SplashID to be a good replacement for my needs.

Exportation steps I used are the following:
- export on Smallbase on html
- Open under Windows XP and not under MacOSX (or all the french accents are not correct)
- Search/Replace under Notepad the carriage return character with

- Copy Paste each data with SplashID software under Windows ! (took me a lot of time)
- Note: version 3.4 is the one to be used for Windows (not 4.0 which is only available for Palm OS for now)

The program uses all the internal screen, one can jumps quickly to the entry by pushing the first char. Only problem is it seems not possible to view all the Note entry without editing (if left and right could work instead of jumping to first and last entry it would be a huge improvement).

Another simple Jotter type database replacement could be Best Jotter for 10 USD but don’t know how it would manage hundred of entries.


The Nokia E90 is capable of very good video playback with the right encoding.

I used Super conversion software with the following settings:
- video rate of 1200 kbps, size 800x354, aspect 16:9, frame rate 25 fps, high quality, stretch it
- sound 44 Khz, 2 channels, 192 kbps

and the quality was very good

I have also used Media Coder with bitburners Nokia E90 settings. Video quality is lower but acceptable with a data rate of around 800 kbps (the first videos couldn’t be read by the Nokia E90 but it was fine afterwards, perhaps because I had to install more video codecs on my Windows PC which had none initially).

I think there are better/easier solutions available, I’ll try to find better ones.

Summary on software

All is not perfect but I have found solutions for all the software I previously used on my Nokia 9300, and I now use the E90 as my only phone and main PC (I do in fact all my personal PC work on my Nokia like banking, simple word and excel tracking files etc since I got a Psion Siena 10 years ago).



For now I use an old CNT-657 Nokia Pouch which was designed for the Nokia 9300 (sort of fit, just a little squeezed).

Power charger

Unfortunately it’s not the same as the Nokia 9300 so I had to buy again all my gear. It’s the same as the ones for N93 or N95.

From left to right, power adaptator (AC4), car adaptator (DC4), USB adaptator (CA100)

The USB adaptator is very well designed, the USB cap integrates with the power supply cable:

Price for original Nokia stuff is reasonable, 18 euros for car and power, 25 euros for USB so no need to seek compatible ones.


The supplied headset is quite nice, but is wired. It is necessary to use the radio though.

I have bought the Sony bluetooth HBH-DS200 headset for 79 euros. It works well enough, the only problem is when I listen to music and work with QuickOffice for example there would be a fair amount of micro interruptions (which are not present with the wired headset), perhaps because bluetooth AD2P needs a minimum of processing power.

Another candidate headset could be Nokia own HSW-12, but it is more expensive (somewhat like 129 euros), and anyway will still needs it’s own power charger as it is not the same as the Nokia E90.

MicroSD card

Nokia E90 is supplied with a 512 Mo card, largest one available is 4 Go Sandisk which I bought with a micromate USB SDHC reader (old SD card readers don’t work with SDHC cards) for around 80 euros.


Useful links

From Nokia E90 to Apple iPhone 3G Migration to Apple iPhone


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