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Nokia's latest among equals

Nokia’s latest business phone comes with a flagship e-mail service. But is an enormous capacity for push mail enough to satisfy the consumer nowadays? Shayne Rana finds out...

tech reviews Updated: May 12, 2009 21:02 IST
Shayne Rana

Nokia’s E-Series is generally acknowledged to offer some of the best business phones in the market. And given how impressive the E71 turned out to be, I was quite eager to get my hands on the E75. What made the E75 really special was the introductory Nokia Messaging Service, a pre-installed push email feature. It’s also Nokia’s first slider phone. Here’s how it fared. <b1>

Form
The E75 is a variant of the E51, with a 2.4-inch screen (240 x 320 pixel, and with 16 million colour resolution). A secondary VGA camera and light sensor are located on either side of the speaker. The keypad is reduced in size and the ‘home’ and ‘delete’ keys are awkwardly placed right beside the function keys.

On one side, you’ll find the micro USB port and a microSD card slot. On the other, are the volume keys that double as camera function keys. Between them is a key that activates the voice command feature. There’s a camera button located below. A 3.5mm handsfree socket is located at the top of the handset, while the charging port is at the bottom.

The slider for the keypad is very smooth. The keypad itself is well laid out, but too flat to use with comfort. It’s great that Nokia has been able to incorporate the keypad without making the device bulky, but the keys should been raised more.

Battery
Battery life is better than average, but falls short of being really great. On a full charge, I could use the handset for about two days, with calls, messages, music and Internet usage. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth though, the battery ran down faster. The average talk time was about 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is pretty good.

Email
Nokia’s new email application — the Nokia Messaging Service — is preinstalled on the handset. At first, I got confused between Nokia Email and Nokia Messaging Service. I set up various accounts with Google, Yahoo and Hotmail, but even though I double- and triple-checked all the settings, the application simply refused to sync with my mail server and download emails. I then logged into the online service and downloaded Nokia Messaging but it simply failed to install on the handset. No reason was provided, and I even asked for another handset, but it didn’t work on that one either.

Setting up accounts is as simple as typing the email address and password but no emails got downloaded. It couldn’t have been a problem with connectivity as the settings were all accurate and I was able to surf the Net. One could attribute the failure to download IMAP and POP3 email to some issue with my service, but I doubt it. In fact the Gmail for mobile application ran without a hitch. Thankfully, the Mail for Exchange worked fine.

Features
The E75 has a new talking theme in addition to the ‘text to voice’ feature that reads out messages and emails. Regular features like 3D tones, wireless printer connectivity, calendar, calculator and converters are all there. Quick Office to view, create and edit Microsoft documents is pre-installed. There’s also a PDF reader and ZIP file viewer/creator. There’s no business card reader but, mysteriously enough, there is a bar code reader instead.

There’s the handy Active Notes feature that allows users to include media as a simple note. The advanced communication manager application (free from the download section) enables you to create filters for incoming calls and messages. You can only have one filter active at a time though.

Media
With the 3.5mm jack, you can use your own headset, connect a player via line-out or attach a Nokia Music stand. Like other S60 music players this one also has EQ presets and an 8-band customisable setting, Stereo Widening and a Bass Boost option. The player is loud and clear. The Nokia Music Store is still not available for India. The FM radio has clear reception even while commuting, but you can’t record off it. Internet Radio and Podcasting applications are available but make sure you have a flat Internet plan. The N-Gage application is also present so you can download and play games. You can add video feeds like YouTube and ZooVision to stream videos. Normal videos look really good on the 2.4-inch display.

Connectivity
The handset comes with Wi-Fi and can also be used as a VOIP phone for calls via Skype. It’s 3G-enabled (with HSDPA), and the browser has full HTML and Flash support. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth with an A2DP profile for Stereo Bluetooth headsets and USB 2.0 for PC connectivity. Nokia’s Switch option helps data transfer and a Download section provides trial and free apps from Nokia. Applications like the wireless presenter and Bluetooth keyboard are very handy.

The E75 has an integrated GPS antenna, and has Nokia Maps 2.0 pre-installed. It also supports A-GPS for faster connectivity. Unfortunately I didn’t seem to get a GPS signal in most places, so I could not use much of handset’s GPS module.

Camera
The 3.2 MP AF camera is much better than the E71’s and the images look a lot better. Feature-wise though, there’s no difference; there are the same scene modes, exposure and white balance settings, a self timer, etc. Close-ups were pretty decent as well.

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