Last week I was invited by Nokia Malaysia to preview their latest flagship E-series device – the Nokia E72. A bit of background to this device and me: I was dearly using my Nokia E71, right up until it was replaced with a Nokia N97, and before that I was using the Nokia E61i. I’ve loved this particular series of devices, and the E72 is no different to me.
First impressions? Build quality is still excellent. Its got a better camera (5MP vs 3.2MP). They keyboard seemed a little odd in my hands, but maybe its because I’ve become used to what the N97 gives me (it took me a while to get used to that too). The charger is now micro-USB based, making it pretty standard. It supports SIP/VoIP out of the box (something the Nokia N97 still does not offer!).
I’ve seen many ads about how its a “Blackberry killer” of some sort. I know it does well with Exchange and Lotus Notes, but how does it deal with Google Apps? Probably just works over IMAP, and throw in Google Sync and all should be well (I didn’t test this out, its just an assumption). The mail application is free for the life of the phone, but I don’t know – I’ve grown accustomed to having email on a BlackBerry device. I tried the mail application on the N97 (during its beta phases), and it was too unreliable for me. One would assume the E72 has a more stable version.
Chat. They have some kind of OviChat, which reminds me of the BlackBerry Messenger. Its unclear to me how my Ovi account on my N97 can get on this chat, but it could be a useful feature. Have data, have OviChat, no need SMS messaging – I’m sure the telcos will love this. It also supports Google Talk out of the box, and MSN Messenger. It apparently signs you out to conserve battery life if you don’t use the chat app after a certain period of time… and that to me isn’t too useful. Give me good juice, and also keep me signed in… always.
From my limited experience with it, I didn’t see it supporting VoIP over data – its just VoIP over WiFi. The in-built browser could use some improvement – its still a little too last century for me. I don’t exactly like Opera on the Nokia devices either (though I use Opera Mini on the BlackBerry, again because its in-built browser sucks).
Camera. Before this, on the E71, you’d press T to autofocus. Now, you’d just use the optical Navi Key. It autofocuses, and like magic, it takes the snapshot. I never mentioned that yet, huh? The Navi Key. It rocks. Its what makes the latest BlackBerry Curve 8520 a good phone too… In fact, they’ve depressed it, and the feel/functionality is actually better.
Trend watch? All devices that don’t have touch screens and still have a navigation key, are giving up on those trackballs. I reckon they’ll all go the way of the Navi Key (or whatever they call it). It’ll be optical. It’ll be accurate. It’ll be less of a burden on your thumbs.
Disclosure: The meal at Italiannies was nice, and I got a bunch of door gifts – a cute guide to mobile etiquette and a (leather?) cards holder. Plus I got to have a chat with some friends whom I don’t see often, all on Nokia’s dime.