Nokia E75 review:

Nokia E75

Of course, applications have quickly become an important factor in the world of smartphones, and to keep up with the competition, Nokia has opened its own app store called the Ovi Store. While the store suffered some performance issues on opening day due to heavy traffic, we had no problems installing and accessing the storefront from the E75. The store's interface isn't the slickest but does offer tabbed category views and a search feature. We successfully downloaded a number of applications, including games, utilities, social networking apps, and news sources like AP News. The Nokia E75 only has about 50MB of internal memory, but the microSD expansion slot can accept up to 16GB cards and you can also save apps to the storage card.

The smartphone works with AT&T's 850/1900MHz HSDPA bands, so unfortunately, if you're using a T-Mobile SIM, you'll be restricted to EDGE, since the carrier's 3G network operates on the 1700/2100MHz bands. However, the E75 also has integrated Wi-Fi, so you don't always have to rely on a cellular connection to get online.

Moving on to the phone features, the Nokia E75 offers quad-band world roaming, a speakerphone, conference calling, speed dial, voice commands, VoIP calls, and text and multimedia messaging. The address book is limited only by the available memory, while the SIM card can hold an additional 250 contacts. Each entry has room for multiple numbers, an e-mail address, home and work addresses, a Web URL, and so forth. For caller ID purposes, you can pair a contact with a photo, group ID, or a custom ringtone. Bluetooth 2.0 is onboard with support for mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, hands-free kits, dial-up networking, file transfer, and more.

The E75 has integrated GPS/A-GPS. The smartphone ships with the Nokia Maps 2.0 app, which offers plenty of navigation tools, including satellite and hybrid maps, and pedestrian and bicycle modes. With the purchase of the phone, you get a three-month complimentary subscription to its turn-by-turn navigation services. Afterwards, you will to pay $13.96 a month to continue the service or $125.77 for a one-year license.

While the Nokia E series is largely about business, the E75 includes a number of multimedia features as well. The built-in media player supports MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+ files. The music library categorizes tracks by artists, albums, genres, and composers; you can also create playlists right on the phone and adjust the sound with the built-in equalizer. There's also support for podcasts and the phone offers Internet radio and an FM tuner. If you'd like to watch other videos, you can use RealPlayer to check out 3GPP and MPEG-4 files.

On back, you'll find the E75's 3.2-megapixel camera and flash.

The E75 is also equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with an 8x digital zoom, LED flash, and video recording capabilities. You get a plethora of tools and options on the camera, including autofocus, a self timer, and red-eye reduction as well as your standard white balance settings, color effects, and more. In video mode, there are five quality settings, but you only have access to controls for the scene mode, white balance, and color. Once you're done snapping photos or videos, you can share them via multimedia message, e-mail, or Bluetooth; set them as your phone's wallpaper or assign them to a contact; or post them to the Web, whether it's on Nokia's Ovi service or a site like Flickr.

We weren't particularly impressed with the camera's photo quality.

Picture quality was a little disappointing in that there was a slight bluish tint to indoor shots. The objects in the image were clear enough. Unfortunately, video quality was pretty grainy, so the viewing experience wasn't all that great. There isn't much of a lag from the time you press the capture button to the time the photo is actually taken, but we did notice that you have to hold down the key for a while when you first want to activate the camera.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; HSDPA 850/1900/2100) Nokia E75 in San Francisco using AT&T service, and call quality was mediocre. On our end, there was a slight buzz that wasn't always evident when people were talking but definitely noticeable during lulls in the conversation, and friends reported a slight echo. That said, it wasn't anything bad enough that we had to end a call, and we were able to use an airline's voice-automated response system without problem. As for the speakerphone, there were some problems in terms of volume. Calls were hard to hear at midlevel but when turned up to full volume, the sound was blown out, so it wasn't great either way. We successfully paired the E75 with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

Overall, the E75 was quite responsive in terms of general performance. We didn't experience any dramatic lags when launching or using applications, and the system was quite stable during our testing period. Despite the Flash support, we found the E75's browser to be a little clunky compared with the competition. Also, the page load speeds weren't all that impressive over AT&T's 3G. CNET's page took over a minute to fully load, while CNN's mobile site took 30 seconds.

Thanks to the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, we were able to plug in our Bose On-Ear Headphones and enjoy our music that way. Videos took a little while to buffer and even then, the stream wasn't always smooth, with both choppy picture and audio.

The Nokia E75 includes a 1000mAh lithium ion battery with a rated battery life of 5.2 hours (GSM)/4 hours (3G) and up to 11 days of standby time. The E75 lasted 8 hours in our battery drain tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the E75 has a digital SAR rating of 0.99 watt per kilogram.

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