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(Pocket-lint) - Nokia aren’t especially well known for their full sized QWERTY keyboard based mobile phones, with the exception of their Communicator series which firmly falls into the business handset category without a doubt. Their upcoming N97, a phone that also boasts a keyboard of that very same design and formatting doesn’t fall into the corporate phone series so much as it’s geared towards the consumer. Where the E75 positions itself on first impression is in-between that N97 and the very last Communicator the E90 – whilst looking rather akin to a cut down version of the latter, in more ways than one.

The E75 almost had the same brown colourings as the E90 Communicator when it was first aired to the public, colours that have only really been shared between those two models in the E series. This surely can’t be a coincidence, it’s either a very subtle nod to the E90 which this model has clearly originated from or it’s a commercial aesthetic link up of some sort.

Where this handset initially differs from their range of Communicator phones is in the screens on offer. Normally Communicators have a much larger second screen, which is only exposed when the phone is opened up to reveal its sizable QWERTY keyboard. Although it still retains a much smaller screen, on the outside of the mobile for everyday common use.

On the E75 there is just the smaller screen only somewhat increased in size than within E90, all in order to accommodate a much more useful main display for a business handset with emails and messaging. Missing is the larger screen, which with the Communicators normally takes up almost the entire size of the keyboard.

Nokia seems to have either resigned the usual appearance of these massive screens in their range, or has seen that it’s much more beneficial to have these predominantly now in their consumer series – which of course, has proved to be successful in the likes of the iPhone.

Doing away with this sizable screen appears to have enabled Nokia to rework the keyboard’s housing, into a sleek slide-out version rather than what’s been seen before with previous designs of their full QWERTY keyboard handsets. As Smartphones go nothing is easier than typing lengthy emails or messages on a full physical keyboard, it’s much much better than any T9 or virtual versions seen around today. Ask anyone who has gone from one to the other, whilst putting in a full day’s work on both.

The Symbian operating system comes tooled out with a decent feature set expected in their E series of business phones, with an office suite, many messaging tools to access for all the Ovi services known to man. There’s also the ever present dual mode, which switches all the applications seen and used in business to a personal profile, ideal for separating work life from home.

Its form factor is very close to the dimensions of the Nokia’s E71 take on the BlackBerry handsets from last year. Just adding to the similarity between the two is the screen size they share, both of which is 2.4-inches with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution which actually matches the phone and the keyboard rather well.

Coming from Nokia's Enterprise series, the E75 comes fully connected with HSDPA and Wi-Fi, so getting a fast connection to your data should never be a problem. The 71, 63 and 75 all have very much the same feel to their OS's and their feature sets, most likely it's now a theme Nokia will have across their E series for continuity purposes.

Adding to the overall usefulness of the phone is that the E75 can also be charged from a USB port, just showing they’re adapting and moving on within their designs.


Images began to leak of the E75 far back as November of last year, with the tag line of "Is this the new Nokia Communicator" - how wrong were we all, according to Nokia. Whilst the E75 was announced at Mobile World Congress in March, their upcoming N97 was announced at Nokia’s own conference Nokia World in December and seems much more like the next Communicator than anything else.

Although in saying that, the handset is most definitely a business tool and could very well be the next iteration of the Communicator as larger screens are seen to be in the domain of the consumer phone these days.

The E71 from last year was clearly their latest take on the BlackBerry phones, with the E63 being a cut down "lite" version of that very same model. It could very well be said, the E75 is a cut down model or even a trade-off between the E90 and that next Communicator as it performs as well as that handset if not better.

Writing by Rob Kerr. Originally published on 16 April 2009.