Living with the E72, or why Nokia’s finally lost me to Android

by Vikki Chowney on 24th May 2010

Vikki's E72

Continuing the never-ending search for my ‘next phone’, I’ve been trialling Nokia’s E72 for the past few months. Regular readers will know that my phone of choice was once the E71 (before it sadly broke last year, and this journey began), but I was all aware of its faults.

Not long ago, Nokia reached out and offered me the chance to review the next version – the E72, which has apparently taken care of many of my gripes….

First off, it’s got the same beautiful form factor and the operating system is reassuringly familiar. Nokia Messaging is reassuringly simple and can be set up a few minutes, the keyboard is still fantastic and the build is – if possible – even better. My main gripe with the E71 was its poor camera, which has been vastly improved in this model (see James’ recent comparison of my E72 versus his Nexus One on Flickr). I’ve taken an awful lot more photos over the past few months that’s for sure.

Taking a little bit more time to review this phone has also led to a bit of a change in my behaviour in relation to email. As the screen is so good for reading emails (and perhaps less importantly, how easy it is to flag them) – I’ve taken to reading previously starred Gmail messages on the tube, then queuing the replies up to send when I get above ground. By the time I get to work, they’ve sent and I can just get on with my work inbox.

A second revelation is that this split of having personal mail on my mobile, but not anything work-related, just isn’t cutting it any more. I’ve traditionally never been further than ten minutes away from my laptop, but now that I have to access WordPress on an hourly basis, it’s much more important to be able to access both.

Browsing on the E72 is still great – regardless of the lack of the larger screens now readily available on business phones – I like how wide it is and the battery is very impressive. The processor is faster, the E72 has a new ‘optical joystick’ (which allows you to scroll through menus by running your finger over the central controller) and, as I’ve already mentioned, the camera is a lot better. My last phone trial left me swinging towards Android. Has the E72 changed my mind?

In short, no.

The E72 has changed the way I use email, for which I’m actually quite grateful, but I really have been bewitched by Android’s spell. I’m missing apps, like crazy.

There’s a whole other issue surrounding music and the way I consume it, but that’s a whole other blog post. Basically, I’ve been streaming from music blogs for the better part of a year, almost solely. My iTunes library is stored on an old laptop, Spotify isn’t as exciting as I’d like it to be (hence why I haven’t gone premium and downloaded the mobile app) – but all of this could change with the recent introduction of new social features. Hopefully allowing me to combine all of my own music with the service’s constantly growing database. More to come later.

It’s no secret that the Really Mobile team have had ‘issues’ with Ovi, so I found it difficult to talk myself into re-visiting the store on the E72. In the interest of being fair, I had a quick look…  I wasn’t massively impressed. Especially after my previous experience with how easy the HTC Hero was to pack with news-feeds, Twitter apps and the like.

** You can log in to Letstalk.com to know more about HTC social networking applications and also compare it with other Android-based smartphones.

The E72 is a brilliant phone to use as a professional, with one core email account. It’s nicer to hold and type on than a Blackberry, but the fun, social aspect of an Android phone is lacking for me.

There we have it. We’re down to our final stages, and it’s either a Nexus or an HTC Desire (or possibly a Legend). I’ve set myself a deadline to sort this before the end of June, so it’s decision time.

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