Slide this way

I’ve criticised Nokia in this column for including mini- or micro-USB sockets in its phones but only for data, not for recharging. I’m not alone in this gripe, and if you search the Nokia forums and review sites you’ll see it as a very common complaint. For the E75 it seems Nokia has listened to the critics, because you can at last charge it via its USB connector, which means you no longer need to carry around a charger and can just plug it into any desktop or laptop for a top-up.

Slide this way

I’m less impressed with the E75’s screen, which is as bright and clear as you’d expect from an E series, but offers only a 240 x 320 pixel resolution (otherwise known as QVGA). That might have been acceptable a year ago, but most of its recent competitors now sport higher resolution screens that are a real boon when viewing web pages. This is one of the first Nokia devices to feature screen rotation, and of course it needs it because otherwise the slide-out keyboard would be unusable! If you dig among the options you can also turn on an auto-rotate mode that employs the accelerometers inside the device, but while this mode works really well on the iPhone, on the E75 I thought it got in the way a bit, sometimes spontaneously flipping between portrait and landscape while lying on my desk. I found it better to disable auto-switching and simply flip the keyboard open whenever I wanted to use the screen in landscape mode.

The E75 puts its accelerometers to another neat use, namely that if you’re in a meeting and receive an incoming call, simply turn the phone over and put it face down on the table to silence it. It’s clever little touches such as this that really make the device shine. And there are lots more usability tweaks in the Feature Pack 2 version of S60 3rd Edition, which lies at the heart of this phone, ranging from improved messaging and call management to easy switching between open applications. A year ago, I’d have nervously shied away if someone had asked me to switch to an S60 phone, but with 3rd Edition FP2 (or, indeed, the newer still 5th Edition found in the N97) I think I could grow to love it. In fact, I’m seriously considering adopting the E75 as my main day-to-day phone – it really is that good!

If that’s whetted your appetite, there’s one more Nokia snippet that I ought to pass on – I noticed the other day that Quidco is partnering with Nokia’s online shop ( to offer 20% cashback on purchases of SIM-free phones from the Nokia website (the offer doesn’t apply to contract phones that Nokia offers in partnership with Direct Solutions at Since 20% isn’t to be sniffed at, I emailed Quidco’s PR people to check this Nokia offer would still be available during June, when this issue of PC Pro will hit your doormat or newsagent, and they thought it might be, but weren’t able to confirm. So if you do fancy an E75, or indeed any other Nokia phone, be sure to check Quidco first.

BlackBerry crumble?

The mobile phone manufacturers continue to roll out their online application stores, as a response to the incredible success of Apple’s App Store, and as a BlackBerry fan I was keen to try its App World service to see how it stands up. At first I was impressed, as the actual store application that runs on your phone feels very good, as if it’s moved the standard for BlackBerry applications onward a little. You know the way that iPhone applications tend to have a Web 2.0 feel about them? Well RIM’s App World application has it too, but unfortunately, that’s one of the few plus points I could find.

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