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Review of Nokia's E75 smartphone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard

Review by Ricky Cadden on Thursday April 30, 2009.

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The Nokia E75 is the first smartphone to be powered by Nokia's S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2 user interface and feature a slide-out QWERTY keyboard in addition to its standard numeric keypad. The E75 is available in your choice of black, red, or gold color schemes, and features many firsts for Nokia's business-focused Eseries product line. Read through our review to see if this is truly the businessman's best friend.

Physical Aspects

The Nokia E75 is a standard candybar smartphone with a numeric keypad positioned below the display. However, a unique feature is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which rotates the display to landscape orientation when slid open. The front of the phone is a high-gloss metallic flake, with a clear plastic coating. While this looks nice, it also grabs fingerprints like crazy. The outer edges are chrome, as is the d-pad, for a very professional look. The back of the phone is a light grey plastic, while the battery cover is stainless steel, with a ribbed pattern that should deter fingerprints.

Most of the Nokia E75 is made of plastic, which can squeak a little when you are using the phone, specifically the numeric keypad buttons. The slide is rock solid and as smooth as butter, with no wobble in either the open or closed position. The slide-out keyboard is spring-assisted, which helps it to snap into place with a confident click. Measuring in at only 111.8mm x 50mm x 14.4mm (4.4in x 1.9in x .6in), this cell phone has a bit of heft, with its 139g (4.9oz) weight.

The front of the Nokia E75 looks like any other candybar smartphone, with the top portion being taken up by a 2.4-inch QVGA (240x320 pixel) resolution display. Above the display you'll find the ambient light sensor and front-facing VGA-resolution camera for video calling, where supported. The speaker is nestled between these two, and circled by a chrome ring. The display is flush with the front of the handset, which prevents gunk from collecting in the corners.

The S60(INFO) navigational cluster is positioned just below the display, surrounding the chrome, square d-pad. The outer ring of the d-pad is raised slightly, and each direction is easy to press, with no mushiness or confusion. The center button is nice and large and easily pressed, as well, with a nice tactile click. There is a handful of shortcut keys surrounding the d-pad, two of which the user can configure to activate any application on the phone. From top left, moving clockwise, you have the S60 Home key, delete/back button, messaging key, and calendar key. The messaging and calendar keys can be customized by the user, for both a short press and a long press. Outside these buttons are another four buttons, the left and right softkeys on the top, and the dedicated end/send keys on the bottom. The end key also doubles as the power key, and can be used to pull up a short list of audio profiles to quickly change the ringer volume and other settings.

Below this is the standard numeric keypad. The font used on this keypad is different to most of Nokia's previous smartphones in that it is presented in bold, and in all capital letters. This makes it much easier to read. The keypad is made up of four solid strips, stretching from one side to the other as a single large button. Each of these strips has 3 numbers on it. Surprisingly, I found them easy to use, and each button has a nice tactile feel and distinct 'click'. The keypad backlight is also quite strong, and evenly lights up each key.

When you slide the Nokia E75 open, the display automatically rotates to landscape view, which is handy. The QWERTY(INFO) keyboard is extremely pleasurable to type on, with large keys and easy-to-read labels. Like the numeric keypad, the QWERTY keyboard's backlight is bright and even, illuminating even the outer keys. There is also some space between the top keys and the top half of the phone, so you shouldn't have any trouble hitting these top keys. I did find the spacebar to be a bit smaller than I would like, but found that I grew accustomed to it rather quickly.

Along the left edge of the Nokia E75 is where you'll find the microSD(INFO) card slot and micro-USB(INFO) port, both covered by an attached plastic door to prevent debris from getting inside. The micro-USB port can be used for both charging and data, which is certainly convenient. The only port at the top of the phone is a standard 3.5mm audio port, a welcome rarity on Nokia's Eseries smartphones. The right edge of the phone holds the volume keys, with a voice command button positioned between them. Directly below these is the dedicated camera button, which can be held to launch the camera application and is also used to autofocus and snap a photo. A 2mm Nokia charging port is located on the bottom of the phone, and provides a second convenient method to charge the phone, specifically if you have other Nokia phones or accessories.

The back of the E75 houses the 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera and LED flash, with a self-portrait mirror close by. The single loudspeaker is also located on the back of the phone. The earlier-mentioned stainless steel battery cover is secured by a spring-loaded clasp, beneath which is the 1000mAh battery and SIM card slot.

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nazil @ 1:15:31AM EDT on Monday May 25, 2009

The above words saying ( Solid Battery ) does not fit in here. its the best phone nokia has put out there but the battery gets drained out very fast, i mean to say the end of the day..........

san @ 1:24:45PM EDT on Wednesday May 27, 2009

there is lots of dust gathering from the bottom right side of the screen in the inner direction.. wat to do??

san @ 1:25:46PM EDT on Wednesday May 27, 2009

yes there is geo tagging.. but how do we reveal that geo tagged information??

san @ 1:26:41PM EDT on Wednesday May 27, 2009

could u please help me on removing the front panel for cleaning my phone(e75)??

About the author

Ricky Cadden
Former news editor Ricky Cadden runs Symbian-Guru.com. Ricky is based in Texas.

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