Nokia E75 review: Business on the slide
Scandalously poor camera
Having seen how bad the Nokia E71 camera was, we were hoping the E75 might have been in line for some kind of upgrade. However we were in for a major disappointment as the performance of the device was nothing short of disastrous (and this is a retail unit we're talking about).
It may sound decent on paper - 3 megapixel sensor with auto focus and LED flash - but the reality is completely different. In fact the LED flash is not much of an addition, as its effective reach is quite limited…yet that's the least of the issues with the camera.
First off, the lack of lens protection means that the glass above the camera lens will get scratched in no time. And, as we mentioned before, while the dedicated camera key seems like a welcome addition, its poor ergonomics and slow launch leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
The camera user interface is probably the only good part about the E75 snapper. Using our favorite tabbed interface, the camera offers extensive settings: from manual white balance and ISO sensitivity to exposure compensation, sharpness and contrast settings, as well as various effects which are labeled color tones.
A gridline can also be applied to the viewfinder to assist you in framing you photos using the photographic rule-of-thirds. Using it to align your subjects and place points of interest on or near the lines and their intersecting points makes your photos more professional and aesthetic. The sequence mode and self-timer are nothing new. The flash can be set to four positions: automatic, always on, red-eye reduction and always off.
Small font tooltips are displayed to help you understand what the phone is doing at each specific moment (processing image, for example). You can also customize the toolbar deciding on shortcuts to display for which settings and in what order.
The main issue of the Nokia E75 camera is its extremely poor picture quality. Pictures have remarkably low levels of resolved detail, poor contrast and inadequate dynamic range. The colors are also far from being precise (although they might be the thing that's least off target) and as a whole there is hardly anything good we can say about image quality.
Well, you've been warned. You can now check out the sample photos taken with the E75 camera.
The video recording is certainly one of the better things about the E75 camera. The business-minded handset manages VGA videos at 30 fps, which sounds quite nice actually but in reality is not something to write a blog about.
While the quality of the still photos is yelling "I'm a business phone, don't blame me", the videos are pretty decent. The framerate is okay and the contrast seems a lot better than on the regular photos. There is also a decent amount of detail captured so on most occasions videos turn out to be usable.
Here is a sample video for you to check out.
Connectivity is the E75 element
Putting the abysmal camera performance behind us, it's time to check out the connectivity options. This is a great chance for the messenger to repair its damaged reputation and it was certainly up to the challenge.
It is truly on fire where data transfer is in question, having it all: from the outdated Infrared through Bluetooth v2.0 and USB v2.0 to Wi-Fi and 3G. Furthermore, the 3G comes with HSDPA support for the fastest network data transfers.
A hot-swappable card slot is also on board. It might just be the quickest and most convenient way of transferring data.
We give an excellent mark to Nokia E75 on connectivity, just because we know no better.
Web browser is fine
Browsing the internet on a Nokia smartphone is definitely a positive experience. The E75 is no exception with its excellent page rendering making most web pages look like they do on a desktop computer. We have to admit that a higher resolution would have allowed more content to fit on the screen, but maybe next time.
The virtual mouse cursor is easy to control and generally works great. The D-pad control is not as comfortable as Samsung's optical joystick or BlackBerry's trackball but still does the job.
A mini-map can be activated to help you navigate your way around large sites where lots of scrolling is required. The zoom level is also easily adjustable at the expense of only a few key presses. The web browser also offers fullscreen view mode.
The final touches to the Nokia E75 browser are the built-in full Java and Flash support . We didn't manage to stumble upon any flash content the E75 was unable to handle.
Flash video is also not a problem for the E75 web browser - you can watch video on the full-featured versions of YouTube and the like. This certainly is one of the strongest selling points of the Nokia browser when compared to BlackBerry and the other Flash-free alternatives. After all, if you cannot see the content it's not much consolation that the interface and controls are perfect.