To some the Series 60 3rd edition (with feature pack 2) operating system will be as comfortable as an old pair of slippers, but those who’ve messed around with iPhone or Android handset are likely to find it a bit dated looking and not as easy to initially get to grips. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that Series 60 is powerful, has good multitasking support and includes some great features such as the bundled Nokia Maps navigation software (the GPS works a treat too, as it’s fast at getting a lock on satellites). And thanks to the upgraded processor - boosted from 396Mhz to 600Mhz - everything keeps ticking over at an impressively sprightly pace.
Naturally, messaging is hugely important on this type of phone and thankfully Nokia has done a stellar job here. It comes with Nokia’s push messaging service and the phone has an easy to use configurator to help you set it up for a range of different types of email servers. We had it up and running with Gmail in just a couple of minutes. Naturally lots of other mail platforms are supported including Exchange and Lotus Notes Traveller. You can use different email accounts at the same time and also make use of the phone’s handy switchable work and personal modes to dictate which should be displayed on the home screen at different times.
The E72’s camera has also been upgraded to a 5.0 megapixel snapper. There’s both autofocus and an LED flash, and the camera app offers a number of handy scene modes along with a nifty (if rather slow) panoramic shooting mode. Photos from the camera are above average and stand up pretty well when viewed on a PC monitor as colour saturation is good and there’s little fringing in evidence.
Nokia’s phones generally score highly in terms of call quality, and thankfully the E72 doesn’t disappoint in this area. Throughout our test period it performed flawlessly in this regard. It’s not found wanting when it comes to connectivity either as there’s Wi-Fi (B and G), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and support for HSDPA (up to 10.2Mbps). The phone’s 1,500mAh battery is also impressive as we found we could easily get two to three days from it before it needed a recharge.
As you’ve probably guessed we’re quite fond of the E72. It’s got a great range of features, a brilliant keyboard and impressive messaging support. So why does it miss out a perfect score this time around? There are two main reasons. Firstly, it’s not a significant upgrade from the E71. The camera and processor may have been boosted, and a new optical joystick added, but in terms of core functionality it adds little to its predecessor. Secondly, the world of smartphones has moved on dramatically since the E71 appeared, and we’re not convinced the E72 does quite enough to keep pace with some of these changes - most notably, the screen could do with being a higher resolution. That said, this is still a top class pure messaging phone and we don’t think those who choose to upgrade from the E71 will be disappointed.