The only functional element at the top is the 3.5mm standard audio jack and that's another point in favor over the E71. It's not sealed for protection but it is comfortably placed.
As we mentioned, the back of the handset has a soft spot in our hearts. We do appreciate the steel battery cover and the opaque plastic around it. Certainly one of the best looking backs in the industry, it makes the plain plastic front all the more inconsistent.
As far as functional elements are concerned, we find the loudspeaker grill and the 3 megapixel camera lens here. Next to the lens are the LED flash and a small self-portrait mirror.
Releasing the battery cover is sweet and easy: it pops up upon sliding the latch at the bottom. Underneath lies a 1000 mAh Li-Ion BL-4U unit.
We do find that to be one of the handset's shortcomings as the E71 was equipped with a way more powerful 1500 mAh battery. There was just no stopping the E71, and its battery life extends way beyond its side-sliding sibling.
With the 1000 mAh extensive use of features like Wi-Fi and GPS on top of a few calls a day and you will need to recharge in the evening.
In terms of design, the Nokia E75 is defined by the stark contrast between the fingerprint-prone glossy front and the state of the art rear panel. Still we have to admit that the handset handles pretty nicely, save for the tiny controls clustered around the D-pad. The build is rock solid.
The Nokia E75 display has the company's trademark high image quality. The days when Nokia was way ahead of the pack in terms of screen quality are now gone but that's due to the competition finally turning their attention to the matter, and not because Nokia have started falling behind. Anyways, even if that's true now, you can always trust a Nokia handset to have a vibrant display and great sunlight legibility.
Brightness levels are good and contrast is pretty decent, but admittedly not as good as the iPhone 3G or the recently reviewed BlackBerry handsets. In terms of size, the 2.4" screen of the E75 is acceptable given the compact dimensions of the handset while QVGA is still the rule outside the touchscreen realm. As we already said however, a larger display (at least a 2.6-incher) would have been much appreciated.
Sunlight legibility is not an issue on the E75. Even if the colors get washed out, the display remains perfectly visible even on the brightest of days.
The alphanumeric keypad of the Nokia E75 certainly has its issues with the keys being a bit too thin for our liking. What you have on the E75 is actually four thin plastic plates rather than distinct buttons. Tactility is certainly compromised and press feedback is inadequate. The bottom row of keys is particularly adversely affected by these issues and the narrowness means your fingers will often slide off.
However, with a QWERTY keyboard as good as this, you are unlikely to be using the alphanumeric keypad too often. The keys on the four-row QWERTY are large and provide much better feedback. The layout is also well thought out, with the stop, the comma and the @ symbol each having a dedicated key.
The important thing is that once you slide the phone open, you are in for a very comfortable texting experience on the QWERTY keyboard and there are very few handsets to rival it. The E75 is in pretty much the same league as the Nokia E90 and the HTC Touch Pro - at least "textually" speaking.
A really nice touch to the E75 is the vast number of customizable options that the handset has for the slider action. You can pick an application to launch upon sliding the keyboard out and you can set it return to homescreen upon closing.