"Constantly stumbling on the verge of greatness"3.5 starson by BigMoneyNiMo
Pros: I've used numerous smart phones and none can match the quality of keypad of the e72. Including free navigation through ovi is great, especially with its offline mode. Email, call quality are solid.
Cons: This thing has a text messaging interface from 5 years ago. Doesn't really do much as a media player. Little or no support in the form of interesting applications, especially ones for Americans.
Summary: This is a phone that had a lot of potential, a lot of unrealized potential. This phone makes it seem like Nokia is intent on losing the game, but losing it slowly.
It seems somewhat bizarre to me that a company could integrate such an unintuitive operating system into such an intuitive piece of hardware. Nokia sticks to the pleasingly spartan design from the e71/63 with home, calendar, contacts, email each receiving a dedicated key. Its hard to explain how great this layout is until you get used to using it and try to use a blackberry. Its a bread and butter design but people are going to stop coming back to the well if the software backing it up continues to underwhelm.
Symbian, the e72s OS, is kind of hard to describe. The best way I can put it is its like listening to a five or six year old explain a movie or a story to you, one they really like. Everything that happened in the movie is there and if you've seen it, know what the child is talking about, you can see they understood it. If not, all you get are random scenes from the movie, not necessarily in order, some parts about characters, relayed to you non-tangentially. With symbian, everything you need from an OS is there. It's just all out of order sometimes, sometimes randomly in order. Universal settings are thrown all around in different places, its hard to find files sometimes, connecting to wifi can be a chore sometimes, but not others, and it comes across generally as elementary in capability compared to Android, WebOS, and iPhone (and perhaps Windows Mobile 7 in the future). It's not that there is anything you can't do with Symbian, you just need to fumble around with it for a while before you get the picture.
I use my e72 for a couple primary functions, nothing complicated, but I feel like business users will be with me here. Those are in order 1. as a phone 2. to email 3. to text message/IM 4. to read the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg. Oh yes, and 5. To track my workouts using the handy Nokia Sports Tracker.
The e72 is great as a phone, call quality is solid, get bars where other At&t customers don't, especially iPhone users, because Nokia makes some fine antennas. Also have the option of video calling, which I have never used. There is a forward facing camera though, if thats the kind of thing that you're into
The email application is great, and although setting adjustment is rigid and unintuitive in classic Symbian fashion, it is still very, very functional. Not a lot of frills here, just a system that works.
Why Nokia, would you NOT thread text messages? It's laughable. A Chinese programmer wrote an unsigned text messaging application called iSMS (that I highly recommend, you can learn how to sign unsigned apps on symbian-guru.com) that dominates yours. The available IM apps for this phone are plentiful, and all work well. Nokia Messenger works well enough, but I would also recommend having Fring, for VOIP calls, and Nimbuzz, which does pretty much the same thing as Fring.
As far as the browser goes, people say its good, but I hardly ever use it. I find a combination Opera Mini when on the data plan, Opera Mobile when on WiFI, and Skyfire when I need to look at complicated webpages, to be the most functional combination. I know it may seem excessive to use three browsers, and a pain compared to what is offered on other phones, but its not as bad as it sounds. Opera's mobile browsers are really great in my opinion and offer the best browsing user interface not found on a touch screen phone. I don't do much complicated type browsing, mostly just reading the news (I have found reading the news on a phone screen to be the best alternative to an actual paper as the screen is about a column wide; there aren't all of the other distractions inherent in a computer). The bloomberg app is nice and manages to be the only app i've found thus far where the quasi-functional trackpad doesn't just move a cursor very slowly across your screen and instead scrolls the whole page up and down.
As far as apps go, there are good ones available, you just need to look for them because the Ovi store is the Afghani government of the app store world. It definitively exists, but its function is questionable. The included Ovi Maps app is great, as is Nokia Sports tracker, a gps workout tracker app that allows you track your workouts on phone and computer. Joikuspot (both free, and premium, where you get WEP security for $10) is great. It turns the e72 into a very worthy wifi hotspot and because the e72 is unlocked, you can get away without paying at&t the $20/month tethering fee (for me thus far anywho). The app selection isn't the greatest, but if you're one of them hipster types for whom a phone is best utilized in an asinine fashion, you will probably just buy an iPhone anyway. If you want a sometimes competent, sometimes not business phone that happens to be unlocked, there is no finer choice than the e72.