Me and my Eseries, episode one

by Vikki Chowney on 14th July 2009

Some of you may be aware that my trademark E71 has been out of action for some time. Well, it seems that I can’t actually get it fixed now, because of ‘water damage’. I say ‘water’ because actually, not four hours after I received my shiny new handset way back in October of last yea, a waitress threw a tray of drinks over it, taking out a Blackberry, an iPhone and two MacBook Pros in the process.

In hindsight, I was lucky it lasted for six months.

Anyway, I had primarily been testing the N79 in its place, but that didn’t really work out so well and in the end, I chose to go back to the reliable, ever dependable N95 8GB.

e75 goes loco

The Nokia E75 - in the woods, don't ask why.

Additionally, one of the handsets I’d also looked at to replace the E71 with (one which I’ve been toying with on and off for months) is the E75.

Even though I’ve decided that it’s not for me, it’s still a great little phone. In fact, as the E72 rears its head, I’ve decided to wait it out patiently until I can get my mitts on *that* instead.

It’s no secret that I’m an Eseries fan, but it’s pretty impressive that the E75 has managed to bag the title of ‘first Nokia smartphone to feature a slide-out Qwerty keyboard’. The slider and the Qwerty are nothing new, but the combination of the two, along with such a hardy and sleek design makes it a very appealing phone.

In fact, the E75 has been positioned as the next E-Series flagship device, outperforming its predecessor (the E90) with a range of new features that come out of S60 V3 Feature Pack 2.

For me, Nokia Messaging has a big part to play in this, as you can gain access to all of your email accounts in three easy steps; select ‘set email’ to start the program, enter your address/password and then the rest is all automatically configured for you.

It’s quick and it just works, (though it’s worth keeping in mind that something like a Blackberry uses any network to do this this, whereas the Nokia user is dependent on Nokia’s servers).

The device itself, comes fully loaded with features such as the 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS and WiFi built in, plus, the stainless steel finishing gives it an expensive feel. Style wise those familiar with the E-Series line-up will see a bit of the E52/E55 design in the front profile view. Its ‘weighty’ quality is something I like in a device (though I think the N86 takes it a step too far, relying on sheer heaviness to replicate this).

The slide is sturdy and doesn’t wobble, and there are no creaks on the hinge. Speaking of which, you can also customise what happens when you open and close the slider. Found under ‘slide handling’, you can default it to open a browser or an email even, which is a nice touch.

The E75 - Qwerty Mode

The Nokia E75 - Qwerty Mode

The 2.4” screen isn’t as much a problem as I though it would be either, it stands up to the sunlight test (pretty much) and is pretty crisp to look at.

Looking at the front profile again, the bottom of the phone holds a cluster of keys, including the slightly annoying and strangely unique multi-purpose ‘end call’ and ‘power off’ button.

I found myself pressing it a few times too many to exit an application and accidentally turn the thing off more than once. On the same pad are the configurable ‘one-touch’ buttons, which default to calendar and messaging.

These are also little cramped, but work fine after a little getting used to. This whole area of the phone is a bit of a fingerprint magnet though, but that’s nothing too unusual for this type of design.

Gadget-wise, you get a set of earplugs (HS-43), USB cable, battery charger, BL-4U Lithium-Ion battery, micro SD memory card with your device. I had the black and silver version, but you can pick up the E75 is a variety of colours if you look hard enough.

At the top of the device, there’s the somewhat over-sensitive light sensor, speaker and front facing camera for ‘video calls’ (though I’ve yet to meet anyone that actually uses that feature on ANY phone).

If this is all good, why do I remain loyal to my E71?

Quite simply, the E75 keyboard is made up of flat, rectangular buttons.

It is this one tiny little feature that makes typing far more difficult for me (maybe that’s a bit harsh, there’s still that reassuring click to each button), but it just isn’t as tactile. It’s worth mentioning that once you slide out the keyboard, the entire screen of the E75 changes to landscape to suit the orientation of the device. But I tried and tried to get used to the positioning, and it just didn’t feel right.

While the functionality of the E75 is great, I couldn’t use it as my main device. With its active noise cancellation, optical navigation input key and ridiculous ‘flash light’ function, my sights are set on the E72…

…and nothing else will do until then.

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