Announced at GSMA 2009, the Nokia E75 is the latest Nokia E series smartphone to hit the market. Unlike the Nokia E71/E71x, the E75 features a more compact, cell-phone-like design, which is a welcome change from the recent deluge of slate QWERTY devices. In addition, the E75 includes the company's new Nokia Messaging application, which improves the mobile e-mail experience. Yet, despite the robust messaging capabilities, we were slightly disappointed in the call quality, and the unlocked phone costs around $530. However, if you crave the design, something that's lacking at most of the major carriers, the Nokia E75 is a solid choice, and we favor it slightly more than the similar HTC S743.
It's been a little while since we've seen something other than a slate QWERTY device in the Nokia E series, so the Nokia E75 is a refreshing change. In its closed state, the E75 looks like a regular candy-bar-style phone and measures 4.4 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick and weighs 4.9 ounces. While fairly compact and pocketable, the handset is a little on the hefty side, but it's made with quality material and has a nice solid construction. We also like the design better than the similar HTC S743. Nokia offers the E75 in black or red.
On front, you'll find a 2.4-inch, 16 million-color QVGA display. It's a good size screen considering the smaller chassis, and it's quite sharp and vibrant. In addition, it features a light sensing technology that adjusts the display's brightness depending on what environment you're in. As always, you can customize the Home screen with various themes, wallpaper, and change the font size.
Also, like the Nokia E71, you can switch between two different home views depending on whether you're at work or play. In Business mode, the phone gives you immediate access to your e-mail and productivity apps, while switching to the Personal view will bring recreational features, like the media player, N-Gage games, to the forefront. It's a nice touch by Nokia to help you get out of work mode at the end of the day, but if you find you don't use the feature that much or don't care for it, there's an option to turn it off in the control panel.
Below the screen, there are a set of navigation controls that include two soft keys, Talk and End/Power buttons, shortcuts to your Home page, calendar, and messages, a back button, and a Navi key. The latter is just Nokia's fancy name for the directional keypad. Also, by holding down the shortcut buttons, you can also perform other tasks. For example, with a long press of the Calendar key, you can create a new event. We were initially worried that the keys were too close to each other, but we didn't run into many mispresses in real-world use.
The alphanumeric keypad is similar to the Nokia N79, though the numbers and letters are more bold. As we said in our N79 review, we're not huge fans of the layout. The problem isn't the lack of spacing between the keys but the number rows are thin, so it's easy to press the wrong button if you're not paying attention.
The E75 is a slider phone, and when you shift the front cover to the right, you'll find the full QWERTY keyboard. The sliding mechanism is smooth and feels durable. The cover locks securely into place, and the screen orientation automatically changes from portrait to landscape mode. The keyboard buttons are large and have a nonslippery texture, so we were able to type messages without major error. Our only complaint is that the keys are pretty flat; we typically like a little raise or bump to them so they're easier to press, but otherwise, we're quite happy with the E75's keyboard.
The left side houses the micro USB port and microSD expansion slot, both of which are protected by an attached cover. Inserting and removing a memory card proved to be a little difficult, however, and it felt like we were playing a game of Operation. On the right, you'll find a volume rocker, a mute/push-to-talk button, and a camera activation/capture key. The power connector is located on the bottom, while the top of the unit has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which we always love to see. Finally, the camera, flash, and self-portrait mirror can be found on the back of the phone.
The Nokia E75 comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a 4GB microSD card, a wired stereo headset, a soft protective case, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The Nokia E75 is powered by Nokia's S60 platform (Feature Pack 2 based on Symbian OS v9.3) platform and offers a user interface and features similar to previous E series devices. There are some minor tweaks to the UI, but the biggest difference between the E75 and the rest of the E family is e-mail. The E75 is the first S60 device to ship with the new Nokia Messaging application, which allows you to easily set up access to numerous accounts and receive real-time delivery of messages.
Nokia Messaging supports a range of e-mail clients, including Yahoo, Windows Live, Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, and IBM Lotus Notes. Setup is a snap as you simply enter your e-mail address and password; we were able to hook up both our Yahoo and Gmail accounts with no problem. Once a new e-mail arrives, you'll receive a notification on the home screen where you can open the message. However, from there you can't go directly to your in-box. Instead, you have to exit the message and then go to the e-mail app, which seems pretty circuitous to us. From a drop-down menu in your in-box, you can view your various folders and Nokia Messaging also supports HTML-formatted e-mails.