Nokia e72

There have been huge changes in the smartphone world since the Nokia E71 first landed. But with the E72, Nokia has evolved and refreshed its messaging-heavy enterprise phone offering rather than coming up with something revolutionary.

The E72 is a sleek and attractively designed QWERTY keyboard-packing smartphone, with a tremendously solid feel to it.

It offers some neat upgrades to the spec of the E71, with a faster processor under the bonnet, and presents a powerful email and all-round messaging solution for corporate users.

Its QWERTY keyboard is a pleasure to use for this kind of device, accurate and responsive, while the messaging software onboard is easy to set up with an appealingly user-friendly interface.

Additional features, such as the camera and A-GPS functionality, have been toned up too, providing a decent amount of downtime consumer appeal.

The S60 3rd Edition platform's menu structure can, of course, be long-winded and the non-touchscreen user interface far from slick, but the familiarity of the typical Nokia smartphone system will no doubt appeal to some loyal Nokia buyers.

We liked

The QWERTY keyboard is tidily designed and nicely implemented for a great thumb-typing experience. It's well laid out, with a very responsive action that makes message writing a breeze.

A strong suite of messaging applications underpins the appeal of the E72 for the business user, as does a generous helping of enterprise-orientated applications and features. It also has fine connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and HSPA.

Excellent build quality and a stylish yet understated chrome-edged design give the E72 some added substance and visual appeal.

We welcomed the responsive A-GPS technology and upgraded Ovi Maps sat-nav software, which worked a treat on the E72.

In addition, the music player, while not overly sophisticated, puts in an admirable audio performance. A 4GB MicroSD card and decent earphones in-box, plus the phone's 3.5mm headphone socket, are also welcome.

We disliked

The E72's 2.36-inch display isn't the largest on a smartphone, and we'd have liked a touch more room.

We liked some elements of the optical navigation key trackpad control, although we felt it wasn't quite hitting the mark for ease of use and precision in some applications. We didn't like its use in camera mode, in particular.

As usual, getting to some settings in the S60 third Edition menu system can be convoluted, and it can take plenty of clicks to negotiate the numerous menu structures. Still, long-standing Nokia smartphone fans will find the phone's user interface very familiar.

The camera's image quality wasn't bad, but the camera results could have been improved with more robust autofocus control.

Verdict

The Nokia E72 delivers a measured upgrade to the E71, enhancing its capabilities and boosting performance all-round without radically altering the essential QWERTY-keyboard template.

It provides a powerful messaging package with a very usable keyboard, complemented with an assortment of solid smartphone functionality and business apps.

It may not have the glamour of an iPhone, but it has plenty of appeal for the enterprise user looking for a reliable messaging device.

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