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Smart phone made me feel stupid

I have a friend who claims that her teenage son is an internet addict. She claims that this behaviour is damaging because the “excessive amount of time he spends on the web is interfering with his daily life”. If I ever met this kid, I would hand him the Nokia E72 and tell them to set up a support group.

There are many things I want to say about this phone, but my overwhelming experience of it was one of rising panic – I just could not get the thing to disconnect from the internet. Now I suppose that many of you might consider that a blessing of sorts, but the arrival of my ISP bill is already a horror story without the added stress of a compulsive surfer to boot!

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By the end of the day, this phone made me feel stupid and clumsy – although our relationship had started off well.

The E72 looks and feels great when you palm it for the first time. It is beautifully weighted, fits really snugly in the palm of the hand and the size of the screen seems appropriate to the phone, although it is a touch small for my liking. The phone also has a great battery life. I charged it fully once and after a few days of intermittent use, it still had plenty of charge left. The sound quality is also excellent, even making my boss’s voice seem more pleasant and understanding on the other end of the line. But things go awry when you start configuring it to your needs.

First of all, I completely fail to see the point of having two different “modes” to work in. The E72 allows you to customise your home screen to support either a “Business” mode or a “Personal” mode. I can imagine the meeting where this was discussed and can even see why people thought it was a good idea, but unless you’re Tiger Woods or James Bond, it doesn’t seem at all necessary to keep switching between modes.

The OptiNavi Key is another first for me, a small scrolling wheel sitting squarely in the middle of the handset. According to the literature, “using the key will become second nature as soon as you start”, but it didn’t take long before I was thoroughly irritated with the pesky little thing. It’s small, sunken into the phone and too sensitive for my liking.

Of course, there are many solid features. The Symbian operating system is world-class and familiar, the Nokia Ovi store is built in and well-stocked, the 5 megapixel camera and good graphic quality are all pleasing and functional, and it browses the web very smoothly. The things that Nokia does well it still does well, as those who are familiar with its predecessor (the E71) will testify to, but what is there to justify shelling out between R5000 – R6000? Not that much to be honest.

I battled to download Twitter (for some reason MySpace still has a prominent display), nobody I’ve ever met uses the Chat platforms offered and I couldn’t get my head or fingers around the keyboard. I would have been irritated by the throbbing glow that it emitted all night long – but luckily this didn’t matter as I was waking up every 10 minutes to disconnect from the web.

For my money, if you want something that looks so like a Blackberry, rather get a Blackberry.

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