Gadget of the Week – Nokia N72

Looking back into the past, Nokia appears like it was a completely different company with different mottos (with one of the noblest, we would say). Those were the days when Nokia actually brought PDAs and smartphones closer together with their N series, we would even go as far to say that Nokia kick started the era of smartphones. The Nokia N72 makes it to our Gadget of the Week section this time.

A Little Flashback

Nokia’s first smartphone was the N6600. The phone ran on the earlier versions of the Symbian and could do multiple tasks like open up word documents, etc. It was a huge success, after which Nokia launched its N3230, which trimmed down the size, but enhanced the functionality of the phone and also included the then trendy joystick for a D-pad.

After success with the initial Symbian devices, Nokia went to to release an entire lineup of the iconic N series, which was a blend of premium and powerful devices based on the Symbian Operating System. While the N series was focussed initially at business professionals who required a handset with top of the line connectivity, Nokia also wanted to make a few devices for the general public. One such device is the Nokia N72, which was launched in 2004, its essentially a trimmed down version of the Nokia N70 which was a fantastic handset to begin with.

Looks like a brick, Built like a tank!

The Nokia N72 is built completely out of plastic, but it feels almost 4 times tougher and durable than other plastic constructed devices. Its a bar type phone that doesn’t look premium, but at the same time it doesn’t look cheap as well. I have personally owned and still own a Nokia N72 and I can attest the fact that it is built like a tank!

The handset has been with me for more than 6 years and still works. I have used it extensively in the initial 3 years before moving to touch friendly OS, since back in those days, there wasn’t much the Symbian OS couldn’t do that the Android could, from a functional standpoint. During my time with the phone, I have dropped it on almost every surface possible and I specifically remember the time when I dropped it on the road while riding a bike. Yes it still worked like a charm.

Nokia N72 was a robust phone

Nokia has also been kind enough to include a camera cover at the back, which protects the lens when you drop the device accidentally. The rear cover is a slider and when slid down, it automatically opens up the camera, which was considered ingenious back in the days.

A Sun-Friendly Display

The Nokia N72 has a very mediocre display, it’s a 2.1 inch TFT display with a resolution of 176 x 208 pixels which was sufficient at its time. The display is actually dark green when switched off instead of the black or gray generally seen in the latest displays. It also displays the time when the display is turned off, and it is something similar to the Glance Screen in the latest Lumia devices.

When under direct sunlight, the colors of the N72 screen tend to completely wash away, leaving behind the green screen with the text and the image outline, something similar to a calculator display. We call it sun friendly because its ability to display text is not based on its brightness levels, but on the characteristic of the display itself, which we found to be very similar to an e-ink display.