It seems like Nokia has been following one important rule when releasing new product: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The Nokia E72, a successor to the popular Nokia E71, is a clear example. If you put the Nokia E71 and E72 side by side, you won’t notice much difference. Not surprised actually, since the Nokia E71 is a huge success.
Let’s talk about some of the basic specs of the Nokia E72 first. The E72 comes with a 2.4 inch QVGA non-touchscreen display which is capable of up to 16 million colors. I mentioned this several times that that Symbian S60 platform is very good with non-touchscreen operation, so don’t worry about the no touhscreen part. 11.4 x 5.8 x 1 cm and weighs 128g. It has 250 MB internal memory and a 4GB micro SD is included in the sales box. 5 megapixel auto-focus camera which is able to do VGA video recording. The E72 comes with a lifetime subscription of Nokia Messaging for push emails. Like most decent smartphones nowadays, the Nokia E72 comes with WIFI, Bluetooth, A-GPS and digital compass. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack and MicroUSB for data transfer.
Here’s the weird thing. Although the Nokia E72 has a MicroUSB port which can be used for charging, the E72 also comes with the Nokia proprietary charging port. In fact, the charger provided in the retail box is the Nokia proprietary charger instead of the MicroUSB which we all know will be the standard charger for future phones. Strange decision, but no complains since the MicroUSB port can also be used for charging. Although I wish that Nokia would do away with their proprietary charging port entirely and just use a MicroUSB post.
One of the thing I love most about the Nokia E72 is the physical keyboard. The Qwerty keyboard feels very comfortable when you type. If you compare the E71 and E72 keyboard, you will notice that not much has been changed except for the last row. This is good because from what I understand, most E71 users love their keyboard. What Nokia did was just small adjustment to the Qwerty keyboard to improve the experience. The Ctrl button is back on the E72. On the E71, you need to press shift and the chr/ctrl button. The Ctrl button is very useful for the “advance” E72 users. There are lots of shortcuts available using the Ctrl button. Basic shortcuts like Ctrl-X for cut, Ctrl-C for copy and Ctrl-V for paste. There are tons of other shortcuts available. If you are interested, refer to the user manual. My only complaint about the keyboard is that the spacebar is too small for my liking. One interesting thing to note is that you can long press the SPACEBAR button to turn on flashlight (Using the camera LED flash). A very useful shortcut. And the LED light is pretty bright too.
The biggest change on the E72 is the addition of Optical Navi Key for navigation. The Optical Navi Key is great for scrolling thru menus and browsing website. In fact, I prefer Optical Navi Key to trackball. My biggest issue with trackball is that after prolong usage, you will get dust trapped between the ball and sensor. Optical Navi Key does not have this issue. Optical Navi Key is also much easier to control. But one thing I don’t like about the Optical Navi Key is the sensitive setting. I tried doing a quick flick to scroll down but the webpage only scroll down a little. You would expect it to scroll further when you do a flick. And note that I’m at the highest sensitive setting. But I guess this is just the firmware issue. Being their first Optical Navi Key device, it will take some time for them to figure out the best setting.
But if you are not a fan of Optical Navi Key, the 5 direction controls are still there.
As a whole, the Nokia E72 is a great phone. The phone feels sturdy and has a professional look. If you are a great fan of E71, you will love E72 too. As I was doing this review, Nokia announced free turn by turn navigation on their newly improved Ovi Maps. Now, that is one more bonus point for the E72.
A great Symbian Qwerty phone
Optical Navi Key’s scrolling