CNET First Look
Nokia E72 - black (Unlocked)Though the price might be off-putting to many, the Nokia E72 is a well-designed and full-featured messaging smartphone for business users.
[ Sound effects ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hey, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior-Editor at CNET.com. And today we're taking a first look at the Nokia E72. This is the follow-up to the Nokia E71 and E71x, which was a pretty successful product for Nokia. Looks like the E72 is also heading down that road. To start the smartphone improves on an already great design. The E72 is a little taller, wider, and heavier than its predecessors. But, as you can see, it's really slim, so you can easily slip it into a pants pocket. And it feels comfortable to hold while you're on a phone call. Plus it just has a really solid build quality, so it feels like you're getting a high quality device and not a cheap plastic toy. On front here you've got a 2.36 inch QVGA display. It's clear and bright enough to get the job done. But compared to more high-resolution screens, like the one on the Blackberry Bold 9700, looks kind of dull. Also, the Symbian S60 platform interface needs a good overhaul. Again, it gets the job done and it's definitely an upgrade over the software on the E71. But in terms of functionality, it has a ways to catch up with the iPhone, Android, and Web OS, in terms of ease of use, customization, and multi-tasking. Below the display, you've got your usual navigation controls. Nokia revamped the layout of these shortcuts right here, and they now sit a bit above the surface so they're much easier to press than on the previous model. Also, another thing the company did is add an optical track pad. It doubles up with the center select key and it lets you scroll through menus and move a mouse-like cursor on a web page by swiping your finger. We've seen this on the Samsung Omnia and the latest Blackberry Bold. But the problem with the one on the E72 is that the outer ring of the D pad here kind of restricts movement, so it's really hard to move your thumb around freely. I just ended up turning the feature off and using the D pad instead. The QWERTY keypad is well done. The buttons aren't terribly wide, but they have a nice dome shape. So they're easy to press and you get a nice tactile feedback when you push the keys -- not too clicky or not too squishy. Of course, with a keyboard, you want and expect great messaging capabilities; and the E72 delivers. The smartphone is compatible with a number of email clients and comes with the Nokia messaging app, which can support up to ten email accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Windows Live. It also works with corporate accounts, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. And there are features such as attachment viewing, search filters, and a Mobile VPN Client. There are also plenty of other tools on the device for business users, including Quick Office Suite for viewing, creating, and editing Microsoft Office files; and a business card scanner; also has WiFi, Bluetooth, support for AT&T's 3G network, and GPS, now with free voice-guided navigation provided by Ovi Maps. There are some entertainment features on here. You get a music and video player that are pretty basic but do the job, as well as an upgraded five-megapixel camera. The phone's general performance is pretty snappy, thanks to a faster 600-megahertz processor and more memory. Call quality was also good, but the speaker phone volume was a bit low -- even at the highest level. But, overall, the Nokia E72's a really solid smartphone for business users, put a priority in email. And the biggest hurdle for the smartphone will be the price. The Nokia E72 is being sold unlocked for $419. And, on the one hand, it's great because you're not locked down to a carrier or service agreement. But, on the other hand, it's a lot of money. So I can see a lot of people going with something like the Blackberry Bold, which is also a great messaging smartphone but costs 100 dollars less. If you can afford it, though, or are a die-hard Nokia fan, then Nokia E72 definitely won't disappoint. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Nokia E72. ^M00:03:42 [ Music ]