Nokia E72 review

Price when reviewed

When we reviewed the Nokia E71 back in 2008, we were supremely impressed. Indeed, to quote our verdict: “A stunning phone perfectly moulded to the needs of business and personal users whose lives revolve around email.” But life moves on, and if anything this update to the original design raises worrying questions for Nokia – and its software choice in particular.

We have no such concerns with the hardware. The E72 feels fantastic in the hand, with a solid metal casing and a reassuring amount of weight. You feel like you could use this phone to hammer in a nail or two, should the urge strike you. For a business phone, it also looks great: dressed in black with chrome highlights, it’s understated yet classy.

We still like the keyboard too. Anyone who spends their working day replying to emails will quickly form an unholy attachment to the large, well-separated keys. Meanwhile, Nokia sensibly switches to a 3.5mm headphone socket rather than 2.5mm, and you can recharge over USB. Battery life is a strength too, with 70% capacity left after our 24-hour torture test.

Nokia E72

The Nokia E72 remains tied to Series S60 3rd edition, albeit now updated with Feature Pack 2. That means numerous tweaks to the navigation (including the introduction of a middle activate “soft” button to accompany the traditional left and right buttons), updates to apps such as Maps and, annoyingly to those of us with little patience, the addition of animations.

The latter were presumably added to give S60 an updated, modern feel in line with people’s expectations for a modern phone, but in reality it slows the E72 down. We just want the screen to appear, not to fade into view. The end result is that, out of the box, this phone feels slower than the E71, despite the fact it includes a 600MHz processor rather than its predecessor’s 369MHz chip. (You can switch off the animations by heading to Themes in Control Panel, then General | Options | Theme effects | Off.)

Another innovation we’re unimpressed by is the optical trackpad between all the navigation buttons. The idea is that you swish your finger to move the cursor left, perhaps when web browsing. After a few days’ use, we switched this off: sometimes it works well, but other times it will move the cursor when you don’t want it to.

On balance, we preferred the simple left/right, up/down navigation offered by the rocker control.

Other changes are more welcome. The web browser now handles larger pages with a little more aplomb, providing a full-page view – if you’re patient enough to handle its nested menus. Courtesy of that faster processor, it’s also more responsive.

Nokia E72 rear shot

The camera has been upgraded too, with five megapixels to play with rather than the E71’s 3.2-megapixels. The lens is also fractionally larger. Not that the pictures are stunning – on a sunny day you’ll get a reasonable snap, but as soon as conditions darken so will your mood. Perhaps surprisingly, videos are a little more acceptable: Nokia’s traditional strong microphone quality coupled with the ability to shoot at 640 x 480 and 15fps is just enough to produce videos you’ll be willing to pass on to family members.

The E72 is an improvement over the E71 and worth the little extra it will inevitably cost businesses to roll out. But – and it’s an awfully big but – the E72 faces extremely stiff competition from RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 8700. A larger screen and superior keyboard, together with the ever-popular BlackBerry email services, make it an obvious alternative – albeit for a higher price.


Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£16.75
Contract period24 months
Contract providerOrange

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted9hrs
Standby, quoted30 days


Dimensions58.3 x 10.1 x 114mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardPhysical

Core Specifications

RAM capacity128MB
ROM size512MB
Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size2.4in
Resolution320 x 240
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familySymbian

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