First things first, big thanks to Katie at WOMWorld Nokia for getting in touch with me and giving me the opportunity to trial the E75. I’ve been able to put it through the paces for and extended amount of time and it’s been a very good experience. Thanks Katie & the team!
From the moment I received it, in fully glory, packaged in a large briefcase that really pushed the business-esque-ability of the device.
It’s a real heavy briefcase, good construction – I wish I could keep the bad boy and put all my tech gear in it. It came locked, lucky for me I didn’t have to bust out my SouthOrd pocket-picks, an accompanied envelope housed a key for opening it up.
I quickly opened it up and grabbed all the box contents and tossed them on top of the case so I could get my paws all of the plasticy goodness. Included in the box is:
3.5mm headphones – These aren’t all that great, but this isn’t an N-series device.
UK 2mm charger – Yes, it charges via MicroUSB and the old 2mm 5V Nokia charger.
Sync cable – MicroUSB to USB for sync and charge.
A manual – Not color, and heavy hefty, weighing in at 130 pages.
Maps and other promotional pamphlets – These are in color, and are a good way to get more information about accessories and software for the device.
And the device. Brilliantly red and a fingerprint magnet, as you can see. It feels good in the hand, real nice. Weighted and proportion properly. It feels like a solid E-series device so far. Let’s twist and flick, see how that slider feels.
Wheee. Just as I imagined, it’s a breeze to slide. It’s spring loaded and is very tight. I found myself opening and closing the device out of sheer boredom and fun. Yes, it’s that good.
Since it runs S60V3 FP2, I’m sure you all know about the changes. UI transitions, increased battery life, and much better functionality with Nokia Messaging. I’m not going to be going into much more in terms of software, I completely love S60 because it does basically everything I need a mobile platform to do, currently. I despise the hardware of the E75.
1). Both the front keypad and the QWERTY keyboard are just borderline useless to me. The 12 key front facing pad is single strips, which makes it very hard to differentiate between ‘buttons’ when I’m not staring directly at the keypad. Had the N86’s keypad been stuck on, it would have been infinitely better.
You’ll also notice at the bottom, there is no gap between the bezel and the keys. I used to wonder why the E71 had this weird chinstrap there, now I know. It’s hard to aim your finger at the * and # keys because they are curved and pressed right beside the chrome bezel.
1a). The slide-out QWERTY keybad is just too flat. The keys have a smooth, uniform feel to them. They are flat, no nubs, no angle, nothing. There’s a gap between the keys, but that really isn’t enough for me. Secondly, the keys have extremely shallow and un-pronounced travel. It’s too easy to ‘engage’ a keypress when moving across the keyboard.
2). The dpad is recessed too much. The E71, has arguably the best dpad on a Nokia device, if not any phone I’ve ever used. With E75’s cluster is a cluster. It’s a mishmash of buttons that are entirely too close together. E75 on the left and E71 on the right.
3). Those stupid rubber flaps for the microUSB and microSD card are still there. This time they’re a harder rubber. They stuck out and get caught on things. I purposely ripped them off of my E71 and it gives such a more streamlined look.
They are absolutely awful and I am glad to see that the E72 has flush flaps.
What do I like about the E75 hardware?
The internals. The breathing/notification LED ring that sits in the dpad is brighter and much more “attention getting”. There is still slight “leaking” as you can see, not all the buttons light up uniformly and it really takes away from the high-class look of the device. It’s that much better than my E71. The below picture shows each at their “peak”, and no, it’s not contrasted by the white keypad – I’ve used the black keypad also and it’s the same.
The vibrate motor is powaful. The E71’s motor is nice muffled and doesn’t actually make any noise. Some complain that it’s too weak, and while it is a bit hard to feel while in a pocket, it’s nice that when I put my device on silent, the obnoxious vibrate isn’t heard by those around me.
I appreciate that the E75 sports a dedicated camera key now. I also like that it’s dual stage, hold slightly for focusing and then press completely to capture your image. The LED flash is also dual staggered to avoid flash flooding. One great feature is that the LED will light up when it’s dark enough to need a flash – this lets you know it will be discharging the flash and it also allows you to view what you’re taking a picture of with the supplied light.
The camera is also significantly better in low light and all other conditions, when compared to the E71.
E71. Auto flash and focused;
E75. Auto-flash and focused;
It’s quite clear that the winner is the E75 on all fronts. The dual stage LED makes a huge difference. Quality is better, less pixelation and a lot less noise. Let’s not even mention the purple tint on the E71.
The E75 will never take a place in my pocket. The E71 is my current main device, has been for well over a year. The small screen is only now beginning to bother me. I had very high hopes for this device, perhaps this is why I feel I have been let down. The only reason I was able to use this device was because it was an S60 smartphone. The software really does make a device, however in this case – it wasn’t enough.
Battery life was pretty decent, despite it having pretty much the same internals as the E71, but a smaller battery, a BL-4U weighing in at 1000mAH compared to the BP-4L 1500mAH. Thank FP2 for that.
The screen is clean and crisp, again, despite having a QVGA resolution of 240x320 and reversible - it also rotates very quickly upon opening the keyboard or turning the device and having the accelerometer enabled. The accelerometer is also very handy for silencing calls and alarms, I wish that the E71 had it.
I really wish that the keyboards would have been designed a bit better, I'm sure that the E75 could have easily become my main device because of the form factor, as it is - I have yet to find a device that suits my needs like the E71 does; Nokia really set a bar for me with it. I'm looking to get my hands on an N86 soon as it seems to be the best accompanying device currently. Will post my thoughts on it when I'm able to land one.