Nokia N72 has a pretty solid construction, even more considering the plastic that the phone is made of. The camera lens' cover is not that stable, however. It is much too loose, in our opinion. It slides downwards, uncovering the lens of the 2 megapixel camera. This cover is pretty attractive at first sight but when you use the phone for some time it may become the only thing you hate about it.
Nokia N72 front panel is very interesting as it is made of black plastic with silver lines striking through it. The silver lines are forming interesting ornaments and in their bottom, keypad zone, it shelters four buttons; the Menu, Pencil (on the left side), Music and correction C button (on the right side). The front panel also houses the 176 x 208 pixels resolution TFT display, which is capable of displaying up to 256K colors. Its quality is not among the best ones even more after we've tested Nokia phones from the 3rd edition of S60 user interface, which are supplied with great displays.
The back of the phone is pretty bare but cannot be consider in any case boring. The camera lens' cover makes up for the simplicity of the phone's back. On the top there is a NOKIA sign in white color, just above the camera lens' cover. This controversial part of the phone is made of shiny black plastic with grey ornaments on it. It really does look interesting. Beneath it is the camera lens and a flash diode next to it. In the very bottom is the battery cover loose button.
When you remove the battery cover (which by the way is pretty easy) you will see the BL-5C Li-Ion 970 mAh battery which should last up to 260 hours in stand-by mode and up to 3 hours and 35 minutes of talk time, Unfortunately, we couldn't test the phone's battery life since we used the phone heavily during our tests and thus the battery life we experienced was not indicative for the real-life performance of the phone.
Under the battery is the SIM card bed. The SIM card can be removed quite easily and this is not an issue in this phone.
The left side of the phone is completely empty. It contains nothing. The right side, however, shelters the camera release button and the memory card slot. An unusual solution is the positioning of the camera release button as the phone cannot be used horizontally to take pictures. The low position of the button makes it perfect for such shooting mode. The memory card slot can take cards of the Reduced size Dual Voltage Multimedia Card (RS-DV-MMC) type. During our testing period we had a 128 MB one which should be included in the retail package. Nokia Stereo Headset HS-31, Connectivity Cable CA-53, wrist strap and cleaning cloth can also be found in the box. This, however, is market dependant.
The top side of Nokia N72 has only the Switch On/Off/Profiles button. It is rather small but still functional. You can press it easily with the soft part of your thumb. On the bottom side of N72 are located the Nokia Pop-port and the charger port. The charger type used is the new, slim one.
The keypad of the phone looks quite frustrating at first sight. The silver lines that contain four of the functional keys create the impression of a button chaos. This, however, is just a momentary impression. When you get used to the phone you will even find out that this positioning of the keys is very useful and comfortable. The two soft keys and the green and red receiver buttons surrounding the navigation D-pad are a common idea. The numeric keys below them are positioned well and the spacing between them is enough for you to distinguish them easily. The buttons are almost flat but this is not a problem when trying to reach the desired button in the dark or in your pocket. The backlighting of the keypad is perfect; it glows in soft light evenly under every button.