Before it went cough and splutter filing for insolvency in January 2007, BenQ Mobile (formerly BenQ Siemens) had established a decent reputation for itself with some decent and progressive handsets but it simply couldn't shake off the monstrous inherited debts from its ill-advised Siemens purchase. Now as I predicted BenQ is back with its entirely own brand handsets, even if it did take a little longer than expected.
Picking up where it left off style-wise then is the midrange 'E72' a rounded, almost water smooth, candybar smartphone which edges - dare I say it - almost into the 'fashion' category. Don't be fooled however, giving the E72 its business credentials is a Windows Mobile 6 operating system along with integrated 802.11b/g WiFi meaning there's brains behind the beauty.
Where the midrange gaps do show are the 2MP camera and lack of 3G connectivity (EDGE is your limit) though a 2in QVGA screen, wide range of audio codec support and bundled Bluetooth headset shouldn't be snorted at. Furthermore at 108 x 46.3 x 13.8mm and just 90g it certainly isn't the pocket buster most WM-based handsets turn out to be. For the IM-addicted a universal client is also installed that's compatible with MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo, ICQ, AOL and Jabber.
Initially available from free exclusively on BT Fusion, the E72 may not beat an iPhone 3G or BlackBerry Bold/Thunder to a bloody pulp but for a first step back onto European soil it is certainly a commendable effort.