Nokia E75 Mini-Review

Nokia’s E75 combines an excellent (albeit slightly unorthodox) slide-out keyboard with the work and play flexibility of the Eseries line of phones. Just don’t expect any N97-like styling.
I spent about two weeks with the E75, and while I don’t have enough meat and potatoes for a whole review (thanks to the speedy arrival of my N97), I do have a couple of good/bad impressions. Onward!

The Good

The QWERTY keyboard. One of the E75′s biggest strengths. Great feeling, tactile keys, which never felt cramped. I also liked the fact that the keyboard actually workedin various areas like the Home screen (typing letters automatically brings up contacts search) and the browser (pops open the Go To box). Definitely beats the N97 in this respect. My only gripe is the location of the Backspace and Enter keys.
Snappy performance. No complaints here. Overall the E75′s interface handled my usage with ease.
Decent build quality. The E75 is well-built, but loses a point for having a slightly shaky top half. There’s definitely some rattling going on when the keyboard is pulled out.
Music. I was pleasantly surprised by the mono speaker. It’s louder and clearer than I expected. In addition, Nokia had the foresight to drop in a 3.5mm stereo audio jack.
The GPS. Lock-on time for the GPS was wicked fast. I didn’t get to test it out that much, but the times I did, it was certainly quick.

The Bad

It’s bland. It’s an Eseries workhorse phone, and I just can’t get that excited about it. Visually, the phone’s odd oval shape looks off, and the included themes weren’t eye-catching. The E75 really lacks that coolness factor that would separate it from other phones.
Badly designed keypad. Not to be confused with the QWERTY keyboard. While most Eseries phones have separate buttons for the Call/End/Soft Keys and Home/Calendar/Messaging/Cancel, the E75 combines two options into one button. Case in point: the left soft key, when pressed on the left side, functions like a left soft key. But press the same button on the right side, and it’s a Home button. Along with the smallish corner buttons (* and # keys), I found myself making a lot of keypad errors.
Blah camera. The 3.2 megapixel camera ain’t the greatest, and pictures were a little lacking in the color department.