Taking a fairly large leaf out of BlackBerry’s book, the Nokia E72 is tailor-made for the business user, evident in its looks and a seemingly Windows-inspired use of the Symbian operating system.
What we like
Design-wise, the phone has a very serious look – it’s not wildly different to a BlackBerry in terms of the hard Qwerty keyboard layout and dimensions, but coming in a smart grey finish with a nice shiny metal back plate it’s at least a little bit more interesting to look at.
One important feature for business users is email, and setting an account up was quick and easy. You can set several different email inboxes up so you can keep track of your personal email as well. With easy access to your inboxes and calendars from the home screen and button-shortcuts, you can lay your hands on the information you need throughout the day very quickly and easily.
Sure, it’s pitched as a business phone but Nokia hasn’t forgotten that those who work hard occasionally play hard too, so they’ve included a handy shortcut for switching between ‘business’ and ‘personal’ profiles. The business profile has shortcuts to maps and email, while personal replaces these with media apps, web browser and different wallpapers; it’s the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of phones.
The Qwerty keyboard has nicely spaced, rounded buttons. The keys could be better laid-out though, we’re sure. The punctuation marks are all muddled together on the right hand side, which isn’t ideal.
There’s one thing about the E72 that we really loved – its speed. It’s a zippy little thing, switching between applications with ease, even with several open at once. Web browsing is also refreshingly nippy.
The 5-megapixel camera is nothing to write home about but it’ll do just fine for causal snapping. It also has a flash and video function.
This was the first time we’ve had a proper play with Nokia’s Ovi Maps following the announcement that all new handsets will come with free sat-nav and European maps pre-loaded. We had a bit of trouble getting it to work offline, but once we got going and worked out which direction we were facing, it was really handy. We particularly like the points of local interest that are highlighted on the maps, great for locating the nearest post office or pub.
Although the E72 doesn’t Come With Music, the FM tuner is a handy addition and one-click access to the Nokia music store will be useful for anyone looking to download music on the go. The media player is passable, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is, as always, a welcome extra.
What we don’t like
Getting the Wi-Fi connections set up was a bit of a fiddle and once we were connected, we couldn’t always get the browser or maps or whatever application we were using to connect via Wi-Fi rather than 3G. Considering it’s so easy to switch between applications and profile settings, we reckon Nokia oculd have simplified the connection options.
The optical navigation key is very responsive, but surrounding it with a D-pad was a bit of an error. Quite often we’d try to use the D-pad only to have the movement register on the optical key, resulting in errors galore. We imagine that those with larger fingers might have trouble with this too. Luckily you can actually turn it off in the settings menu.
One minor niggle that annoyed us the whole time we used the E72 was that when typing, the phone didn’t correct simple errors even when using predictive text – having ‘i’ reset to ‘I’ and missing apostrophes inserted is pretty much standard these days, it’s the sort of time-saving addition that we really missed.
And, as with every Nokia handset, the Ovi Store is yet to come into its own, so the apps available are quite restricted and not always of the highest quality.
The things we didn’t like on the E72 were all pretty minor complaints; as a business tool as well as a personal phone it’s a nifty little handset. While it’s not as beautiful as some smartphones on the market and still lags behind when it comes to apps and add-ons, it can certainly hold its own in terms of performance.