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Lo and behold, the brand new Nokia E72 was accidentally unveiled yesterday via a leaked video over the Internet. No scandals here of that sort: according to some Nokia execs who were at Nokia Connections ’09, one of the tech guys accidentally classified one top secret video as “public” instead of “private” thus leaking one of four videos for the new phone launches today. Oh well, it’s probably a good thing anyway — think of the Internet coverage on the leak!
Soooo … yay! It is thus of no surprise to have the Nokia E72 launched today at Nokia Connections, alongside the ultra affordable 5530 XpressMusic and mid range 3710 Fold. This post is dedicated to the latest enterprise device, the E72. Hands down, the E72 is an amazing phone that borrows from everything that made the E71 great and the hardworking engineers over at Nokia were quick to add a few interesting touches.
The E71 was announced today as Nokia’s best selling E series device as it combined elegance, form factor and function into a really great business phone. I had my E71 with me at the time so here is a side by side comparison of the two units.
On the left is the Nokia E72 and on the right is my Nokia E71. In jest, I was telling the guys from Nokia how disappointed I was after realizing that my E71 is now “obsolete.” The E71 was launched last year during Nokia Connection 2008. The main differences between the E71 and the E72 are:
The E72 has slightly bigger keys and a smaller space bar within the QWERTY keypad. It actually resembles the Nokia E63, the E71’s more affordable younger brother, albeit with a more classy finish. Holding both the E71 and E72 in my hands, I would say that the latter is slightly bigger and of greater weight, but not by much. This is mainly due to the very nice metal finish, thus making it slightly heavier. If you look closely onto the keypad, the texture of the menu buttons are rougher, almost like a decadent wood varnish in terms of style. This is a nice accent.
There are several UI differences with the E72, but the overall theme, if I were to summarize, is that of speed and eye candy. The interface is faster and pops in more interesting transition effects when navigating through the phone. There are also subtle differences with certain details: the old E71 labeled email according to the name you gave it (i.e “personal mail” or “work email”). The E72 contextualizes your mail server by adding icons as to which service you’re actually using. Notice the GMail symbol for the IMAP client. I would assume the corresponding corporate logos would be applied were it Yahoo! or MSN.
On to the navigation key. The middle button of the E72 is the special Navi key that was introduced before in previous Nokia devices (the N79 if I am not mistaken). The middle button is touch sensitive, allowing you to slide your thumb through it to browse your content and make selections. The multimedia menu has been revamped into an “iPhone like” UI where you can also browse your content using the special Navi key.
The biggest and most notable difference which I personally enjoy is the addition for HTML enabled email into your mail folders, thus allowing the E72 to display text wrapped images, colors and fonts when you download your mail to your device. The E71 did not allow this (downloaded mail was basically just text) and no firmware upgrade will allow you to do this in the future. I guess this is their way of differentiating the next generation E series email features from their new product — Mail on Ovi which is targeted more for S40 based phones, and hence, “more low end” in appearance. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that Mail on Ovi doesn’t deliver. It’s just that with the rise of the S40 based email features on Mail on Ovi, you’d need to upgrade the email services for the E series to make it more desirable and competent.
Lastly, the E72 has a battery with 20% more efficiency although the Nokia E71 and E72 share the same battery type, but not the same back panel casing. Overall, the E72 is a welcome upgrade from the previous year. The E71 was already a kick ass device when it was launched, and it still is to this very day. The most tempting features that may force you to get the E72 would be the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, which made debut with the E63 and the HTML email downloads, allowing you to receive more colorful and formatted email.
The E72 will be out in the Philippines come third quarter of the year. Wait for it!
Here is the complete specs sheet for the Nokia E72: