The Nokia E75 is the latest E-series mobile phone, a replacement to the E71 launched in June 2008. 10 months have passed, but it seems like time stood still and not much new features are found in E75.
While E75 boasts a large QWERTY keyboard, supports HTML email, and probably some firmware enhancements like seemingly better camera still and video quality (30fps VGA vs. 15fps QVGA), there is almost no critical differences. In fact, a quick comparison using Nokia website shows that the E75 contains only 50MB internal memory compared to 110MB for E71.
Thus the choice of E75 or E71 boils down to the looks and usability. I used to like to input text using the normal keypad via T9 because of the ease of one-hand operation, though I am often restricted by the word suggestions and occasionally I have to switch back to non-T9.
E71 works for me because I can still use the QWERTY keyboard with one hand. Some of the input facilitation features on the E71 include the multi-key press, so holding the Shift and pressing an alphabet gives me upper case. Or holding the Shift and moving the cursor lets me highlight text. Or long-press the keys to get the alternate numeral characters. When you want to make a call, the E71 is intelligent to recognise whether the keystrokes match a contact name, and if not, it will interpret as a phone number. These features replaces the need for touchscreen or keypad.
In comparison, E75’s QWERTY keyboard is too wide and the keys are flushed. I believe I have to stretch my thumbs over a larger area which adds more muscular stress. Not forgetting that the phone is bulkier than E71.
Having said that, the E75 does have an advantage: the normal keypad. This will allow higher adoption of the E-series. Admittedly, I was initially apprehensive about the Blackberry-lookalike E71 that looks too “corporate”. The E75 breaks the mindset and yet offers the user two input methods – best of both worlds. Interestingly, the E71 actually has a lot of non-corporate users, from students to normal office workers. No wonder the E71 has won many awards as the best mobile phone of 2008. While there is no doubt that the E75 delivers several improvements over the 10-month-old predecessor, the E71 is still a swell phone.