Nokia E72 review: The business of messaging

GSMArena team, 28 November 2009.
Pages: 12345678

A lot of goodies in the box

The retail package of Nokia E72 has all the essential luggage for a business tool. It's hardly a surprise though, as the E71 already had nearly the same ingredients. The E72 comes with a standard charger (not the smaller variety that we expected) and a really short data cable (microUSB). We didn't quite expect Nokia to cut corners with an expensive phone like E72 but they obviously did.

A 4GB microSD card is prebundled (E71 had 2-gigs of complimentary storage) and so is a standard Nokia headset. It is one piece, which means you cannot use the remote with another set of headphones.

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The retail package brings a number of nice surprises

The extra content in the box includes a leather lanyard, a leather carrying case and a branded cleaning cloth. The rest is the usual paperwork and leaflets.

Nokia E72 360-degree spin

Nokia E72 stands at 114 x 58 x 10 mm and weighs 128g, which is - you guessed it right - almost exactly the same as the E71 (114 x 57 x 10 mm, 127g). It is obvious that Nokia had little choice but follow the E71 recipe as closely as possible. Yep, they've used the more recent Eseries styling (E52 and E55) but the form factor and general feel just couldn't have been much different. The actual upgrades the E72 brings over the E71 are not the point here. It's the styling and the first impression. Our initial feeling is the E72 is trying to show more sophistication but does it look a bit softer or is it just us? Let's see.

Nokia E72 is still among the slimmest QWERTY handsets on the market and comes in three colors: Zodium Black, Metal Grey and Topaz Brown.

Design and construction

The sweeping success of the E71 seems to open a wide latitude for the E72 to explore. But the upgrade will also have to live up to some seriously high expectations. The E72 is a high-end business tool and it looks it. It somehow fails though to repeat the strong impression the E71 produced. Fair enough, we're either spoiled by the Eseries or the E71 was just that rare stroke of genius to make a QWERTY messenger one of the sexiest handsets lately. And at the same time it does look super sharp and unforgiving. By the way, this may as well have been the desired effect. A more refined and polished E72 selling alongside a lean and mean E71.

The earpiece of Nokia E72 is placed dead center at the top of the front panel. A little to the right is the ambient light sensor and the video-call camera. The ambient light sensor does well to optimize screen brightness and the excellent backlighting of the QWERTY keypad.

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Ambient light sensor and video-call camera right next to the earpiece

Below is the 2.36" QVGA display, followed by the main bank of control and navigation keys and the QWERTY keyboard. The screen, keyboard and controls will get their due coverage in a short while. At the left bottom corner is the mouthpiece.

There's three-button combo on the right hand side - the volume rocker with a dedicated voice command key between the up and down buttons. The layout works well - you're not likely to mispress the voice command key, which is sunk lower than the volume controls. The problem is the actual volume keys have a somewhat low stroke and poor feedback.

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Volume rocker and voice command key on the right-hand side of the phone

On the left you'll find the standard microUSB port and the microSD card slot. Both apertures are sealed with plastic caps to hold off dust, and keep the contour of the handset intact.

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The microUSB port and microSD slot

At the top are the power button and the 3.5 mm audio jack. There is no sign of the unsightly red power knob of Nokia E71 and this time the key is even a bit concave, so accidental presses are almost completely ruled out. The power button lets you quickly toggle ringing profiles, lock the keypad or safely remove the memory card. There is an extra option too to get in and out of power-saving mode.

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The top of the phone hosts the 3.5mm audio jack and the power key

The bottom of Nokia's latest messenger features the charger plug and the lanyard eyelet, both squeezed in the left corner.

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The charger plug at the bottom o a lanyard eyelet is also there

The back panel of Nokia E72 is made of finely-grooved stainless steel and doesn't seem to have the same finger-print issues as the E71. It will get smudges too but cleaning is easy and a cloth is provided in the retail box. The E71 rear was almost impossible to clean.

Rearside, the Nokia E72 features the 5 megapixel camera lens with LED flash.

The camera lens sticks out a mile and there is no lens protection, except that it is a tiny bit recessed. If you carry your handset in the pocket, it would most definitely get scratched. Still the whole camera module looks quite stylish and fits the overall design.

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The five megapixel camera comes with a LED flash and a self-portrait mirror

A nice little latch at the base of the battery cover allows you to release it quickly and easily. You slide it gently and the all-metal plate simply pops out.

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Removing the battery cover is a piece of cake

What's under the cover will hardly come as a surprise: the 1500 mAh BP-4L Li-Ion battery is the same unit we saw - and appreciated - in the Nokia E71. For the E72 it is even quoted at 576 hours of stand-by time and 12 and a half hours of talk time to just outperform its predecessor.

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The battery lifetime of Nokia E72 is really impressive

Considering the excellent battery life of the E71, we are more than sure the E72 won't let you down.

The Nokia E72 will definitely turn heads. We personally will miss some of that intimidating charisma that made the E71 so hard to resist. The E72 is no less of a power tool but it's somehow not letting its horsepower ooze from every pore. And that by the way it has in excess. The E72 handles nicely and ergonomics are top notch. It still has every box ticked on our checklist for design: practical, slim, smart, steel-clad, fingerprint resistive.

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The Nokia E72 has commendable ergonomics

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