The E75 is the first phone from Nokia that sports a full slide-out qwerty keyboard. The company already has several devices in its stable which incorporate a full keyboard, including the Communicator series and the more BlackBerry-style candy bar devices such as the hugely popular E71.
One of the biggest problems with any phone using a full slide-out keyboard is that they tend to be bulky. While the E75 is fairly chunky compared to some of today's ultra slim phones, it is certainly one of the slimmest in its class, however.
All in all, it is an excellent size and fits nicely in the hand. The build is solid and the stainless steel rim and battery cover help add to the feeling that the device is not about to crumble at the first sign of hardship. The keyboard slide is spring loaded, so it snaps reassuringly when open and shut, but there is some concern that it may loosen over time in the same way as the HTC Touch Pro.
The E75's casing uses simple lines to create a unisex design, so males and females alike shouldn't have any problem slipping it into a pocket or bag, and won't have second thoughts about using it when surrounded by friends or colleagues.
The screen is a decent size and the display is clear. The navigation pad is easy to use and there are dedicated home, calendar and email launch keys. The downside with the keypad is that it is quite crowded and the flat buttons can lead to a fair number of mis-keys.
The slide-out keyboard has fairly large and well-spaced keys, but sacrifices a dedicated number row and cursor control, meaning that you constantly have to move your right thumb between the keyboard and keypad when navigating through menus and so on. The keys are a decent size but are completely flat, which can slow down typing.
The E75 packs in all the features found in most of today's smartphones, including Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, GPS and a fairly basic 3.2-megapixel camera with an LED flash. Memory is upgradeable through a microSD slot, and the phone ships with a decent 4GB card as standard.
Nokia has also included an accelerometer, so that the screen image automatically rotates if you turn it on its side, and will always go into landscape mode if you slide out the keyboard.
Being a business phone, the E75 includes email and a pretty decent web browser as well as Quickoffice for viewing and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. There is also a fairly standard media player and, because it runs Symbian Series 60, there are a host of third-party applications for those who want more from their smartphone.
All in all the E75 looks like a solid business phone, and is clearly aimed at the typical business user who is looking for a solid workhorse but isn't all that interested in the bells and whistles that manufacturers use to try and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
Only time will tell if it will prove to be as good at it looks at first glance. We'll publish a more in-depth review once we've had a chance to put the E75 through its paces.