Let’s face it, a work phone at the best of times is more of a pain than an advantage because some companies expects you to be on call 24/7 or at least be looking at your emails all the time. It is not my scene at all to be honest, especially after hours when all I want to do is play Angry Birds on my Nokia N900 ūüėČ

Jokes aside, my preference would be to have one phone or device that doubles as a work phone for handling lots of emails, contacts and calendar entries, and a home phone that meets my ‘out of office’ needs which are music, video, not so heavy gaming, social networking, web surfing etc.

So as you can see, I received the Nokia E72 today and I am going to be trialling it for two weeks. Many thanks to WOMWorld/Nokia for sending me the phone. The photo above shows my work phone, the Blackberry Curve 8900 and the Nokia E72 side-by-side. For this first post I am going to compare the two phones visually.

My initial thoughts on looks and design:

  • The 8900 is sexier than the E72 and has a smoother, rounded feel.
  • Both phones are surrounded by a metal edge. It might be plastic although I am not sure, but it feels tough and gives the phone a strong appearance.
  • The E72 is noticeably thinner although only by 3mm (E72 is 10mm thick versus the 8900 at 13mm).
  • The 8900 is about the perfect size for a mobile device as it’s not too big and not too small. The E72 feels too long unless one has big hands.
  • The weight in hand of each phone feels the same although in reality the E72 is heavier by 18g at 128g (still light overall).
  • Both phones have a 2.4″ screen which is okay for the small size. Both screens are bright although the 8900 has a 480 x 360 pixels resolution where as the E72 has a 320 x 240 pixels resolution. More pixels mean a clearer screen, so the 8900 should win but the E72 can display up to 16 million colours where as the 8900 can only show 65000 colours. To be honest I can’t tell the difference. They both look fantastic.
  • On the back and at the top of the E72 is a 5MP camera with LED flash where as the 8900 has a 3MP camera and LED flash.
  • The 8900’s camera is flush with the back cover so there is no movement when the phone is placed on a table, where as the E72 has a raised cover protecting the camera and flash. The E72 is not as study on a table and when typing and there is a distinct wobble.
  • On the right side of the 8900 there is a 3.5mm headphone socket, a double button that acts as volume rocker, a shortcut button and a micro USB port for charging / data transfer, whereas on the E72 there is a separate button for increasing the volume, the middle button is for voice commands, and third button is for decreasing the volume.
  • On the left side of the 8900 is another shortcut button which can be assigned to any function. The same goes for the shortcut button on the right. On the E72 there are no buttons, but flush with the edge are two covers hiding the micro USB port and a micro SD card. It is a nice touch to see the covers protecting these ports from dust. The micro USB port doubles as a data transfer port as well as a charge port.
  • On the top of the 8900 there are no visible buttons but there are two hidden buttons on either side of the top of the phone, that need a little pressure to activate. Pressing down on the top left side locks / unlocks the device and pressing down on the top right side puts the phone into sleep mode. (Very useful if your phone is on a belt or in a pouch and there is no fiddling around with combination key presses to lock or unlock the device). On the top of the E72 are the power button and a 3.5mm head phone jack. Good to see the location is at the top.
  • On the bottom of the E72 is a standard Nokia charging port, but remember it can also charge via the micro USB port on the left.
  • Finally my thoughts on the keyboard and mouse wheel/optical pad. It took me ages to get use to the keys on the Blackberry. The keys in my opinion are too small. My poor thumbs struggle at the best of times and I have to resort to holding the phone in one hand and using my left 2nd finger to type with my right thumb. On the Nokia E72 the keys are slightly larger and squarer and bevelled, which feel a lot easier to type on.
    • It almost seems that the E72 has tried to squash too many keys onto the phone (39 keys including the spacebar versus 35 keys on the 8900), plus above the keyboard there are an extra 8 keys along with the D pad. The 8900 only has 4. The E72 certainly feels cluttered against the 8900.
    • The optical pad instantly annoyed me as it was too easy to move away from a menu or icon if your finger moved over it in a certain direction. I turned the sensitivity down but it only made using the optical pad slower. Fortunately there is the D pad with its 4 directional keys and a press to bring up menus or run a command. On the 8900 there is mouse ball, which is simple and effective.

I gave 1 point for a winner and 1/2 a point for a draw, and each phone came out with 9 points.