Espoo (Finland) – Nokia today announced a careful update for one of its most successful smartphones in the market today. The E72 will succeed the E71 with a handful of hardware and software upgrades, while keeping most of the design and overall characteristics of its predecessor.
There is no need to fix what isn’t broken. Nokia’s E71 is still considered one of the best smartphone choices for those who don’t want an iPhone or Blackberry, but amid the launches of countless new contenders, its features are beginning to look a bit dated. The new E72, expected to roll out late in the third quarter of this year in Europe (and apparently soon thereafter in the U.S.), does not mess with the E71’s key assets and simply focuses on feature upgrades and slight design improvements.
On the hardware side, Nokia added a 5 megapixel camera as well as a standard 3.5mm audio jack. On the software side, there is the desktop-like email integration from the higher-end E75 model as well as a new optical navigation key. Nokia said it also improved access to instant messaging, enabling users to set up IM accounts right from the home screen. Navigation has also been enhanced with A-GPS and a compass, which can be used by users for walking navigation (free for the lifetime of the device) as well as turn-by-turn navigation, which is offered for free for 10 days during the first three months after activation of the device.
The office capabilities have been updated with a new version of Quickoffice, which delivers Microsoft Office 2007 compatibility, Nokia said.
The company said that the device will be offered for 350 Euros and we would expect the price of the U.S. device to be in line with the current E71, which sells for $359. AT&T currently offers a subsidized version, the E71x, for $100 with a 2-year service contract.