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By Thomas McKinnon 16 February 2010

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The Nokia E71 was an impressive business device, perhaps the Nokia device that has made the most sense over the last couple of years. The E72 carries with it this heritage, with a full QWERTY keyboard and sharp focus on messaging. It still runs on the S60 platform though, which might be a deal breaker for some.

Look and feel

The E72 is a PDA style, slab phone. It features a full QWERTY keyboard that’s loaded with shortcut keys. While the keyboard keys appear small, they are domed and so offer fantastic tactile feedback, making typing a breeze. The device is rather slim at just 10 mm thick, but feels incredibly well-built with chrome-like edging and a matte black hardened plastic case.

It also features a four-way, optical D-pad that makes scrolling easy, and functions as your primary selection button. Home, calendar, contacts and messaging shortcuts are also present, between the answer and  call end buttons. Volume keys are on the device’s right side, along with a voice-command shortcut button.

We were a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of hardware buttons on offer, but quickly got used to all the shortcuts they allow for.

Display

The E72’s display is a rather small 2.36" QVGA affair. It is bright though and visible in most conditions. While ideal for messaging, we found that maps and web pages proved a tight fit.

Interface

The shortcut buttons really make Symbian S60 more accessible, cutting out the need to regularly navigate through the interface’s deep menu structure- beyond initial set up that is.

Apps opened up in a snap, which left us impressed. The look of the interface is still a little basic though, and can’t really compete against what’s on offer from Android or iPhone handsets.

Messaging

Messaging is the core focus of this business smartphone. The standard POP and IMAP4 accounts are available, along with Nokia Messaging, ActiveSync, Lotus Notes Traveller and Mail for Exchange.

You can activate several accounts and account types simultaneously, and customise the settings for each. You can also set up various IMs such as Skype, which proves useful.

Calling

The E72’s calling capabilities are as good as its messaging. The device features noise cancellation technology that works surprisingly well. For video calling there’s a front VGA camera and the device supports SIP VoIP 3.0, making it an ideal VoIP phone.

Connectivity

The E72 is quad band GSM enabled and features HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity. You also get Bluetooth A2DP support and an FM receiver, which is a nice touch on a business phone.

Media

The device features a 5 megapixel camera, which performs well enough in daylight, although its LED flash is prone to washing out nearby objects in darker conditions.

Nokia have kindly added a 3.5 mm jack as well, which adds to its media playback functionality with a handy media player on board and access to the Nokia Music Store.

Battery life

We were flabbergasted by the E72’s battery life. With regular use (calling, browsing and messaging) it had enough juice to last for three days, much better than the average one day standard found on most new smartphones. .

Verdict

We’re not the biggest Symbian 60 fans but the E72 is a fantastic business device that is not at all hampered by the platform. It is a messaging powerhouse that just happens to throw in a few media extras. If you loved the E71, you’ll adore this phone. We’re not sure it will convert many non-business, non-Nokia users though.

PROS
Messaging is a dream with its compact full QWERTY.
CONS
The 2.4-inch display is underwhelming.
USER COMMENTS

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