What are Business Phones Becoming these Days?

I really do wonder.

In the past, business phones were not very hard to recognize. They were ugly, clunky, lacked multimedia features and were generally unattractive. These days however, the game is changing and business phones are springing up surprises.

And Nokia’s recently announced E-series phones, the Nokia E75 and the E55, fit this bill of surprises.

Starting with the E75, this first point may seem off tangent, but I thought to include it because I am still as surprised now as I was the first time I read it. Nokia says that the E75 is a descendant of the communicator range, especially the 9500 and the 9300 communicators. From the pictures in this article, it is obvious to even a blind man that form factor wise, the E75 looks nothing like any of the communicators. Oh! I get it, Nokia was referring to the fact that the E75 is equipped with a full QWERTY keyboard same as the communicators, but then the layout is nothing compared to the much loved layout of the 9500 and 9300.
Beyond the looks, even in the software department, the E75 is still far from being a descendant of the communicator family.

The Nokia 9300 (top) and the E75 (bottom). Same lineage?
The Nokia 9300 (top) and the E75 (bottom). Same lineage?
Enough with that and unto the real surprises that the E75 brings to business-minded phones.

The Nokia E75 comes with the N-GAGE game platform built-in out of the box. For a phone touted as an enterprise device coming with serious gaming capability leaves me not knowing what to think.

Finally there’s TV-Out functionality. Did Nokia originally intend for this phone to be an N-series phone and later had a change of mind? I ask this because these are features we have come to know with the N-Series range.

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The Nokia E55 also joins the league of slim, sleek and sexy phones. It is currently the thinnest s60 phone at 9.9mm thick. I know slim is not new, but coming from an enterprise device is still surprising as there are not a lot of business-minded phones making fashion statements.

The next surprise from the E55 is actually one that is very welcome one and I’m sure power users will be happy with it. Nokia claims that the phone can last up to 28 days in standby mode. This means the phone can last up to a week or more when in use before it will need to be recharged again. For a Smartphone… refreshing.

Finally, the device comes with a half-QWERTY keypad. Instead of the traditional full QWERTY keypad with a single letter on a single key, the half-QWERTY version has one key carrying two letters.

The Nokia E55's Half-QWERTY keys
The Nokia E55's Half-QWERTY keys
Both Sony Ericsson and RIM (makers of BlackBerry devices) have toed this line before with what was known as rocker keys, where you pressed one side of a key to get the letter on that side and vice versa.

But Nokia’s implementation is surprising. Rather than pressing the different sides of the key, you simply click once for the first letter to appear and twice for the second letter to appear. Whether this style of keypad will work in real life is yet to be seen. So we keep our fingers crossed.

In the meantime, now you know in what direction to look if you are looking for a business-focused smartphone that looks good – and gets the job done too.

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