A stylish-looking handset with a grey and red colour scheme, neat rounded edges and a mirrored screen.
This feels like a mid-range candybar phone, but it is a Windows Mobile smartphone. The mirrored screen is a bit small but it is good to handle.
With Wi-Fi and a host of software add-ons to boost Windows Mobile this is a neat little mobile.
The processor runs a bit slowly at times and the battery life is average.
BenQ quotes up to four hours of talktime and 180 hours of standby.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:58 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
A good-looking handset brimming with added software, including Wi-Fi.
Slow processor, short on memory and average battery life.
BenQ has had a relatively low profile in the UK of late, but the release of its E72 device could change things around for the manufacturer.Currently, only available on BT Fusion, the E72 is an interesting take on the Windows Mobile concept, so we hope it gets a wider release soon.
The E72 doesn’t look much like a smartphone. It looks more like a run-of-the-mill candybar handset. It is small and light, with the help of the plastic-finish casing. However, the rounded edges and mirrored screen help to give the handset a consumer finish, and the colour scheme is decidedly funky for a Windows Mobile device. The casing is mostly grey with a red flash around the edge.
The E72 has a couple of extras on board to boost the Windows Mobile Standard OS. Firstly, it has Wi-Fi. This isn’t a rarity for Windows Mobile devices, but it is nice to see. Because the E72 doesn’t have 3G, Wi-Fi is your ideal route to faster web browsing. Rarer, and just as welcome for some, is the unified IM software, Mundu. You can use this to instant message your contacts on MSN Messenger, Gtalk, Yahoo!, ICQ, AOL and Jabber through one interface.
BenQ has added quite a bit of software to the Windows Mobile fare. There is a ringtone editor, for example, and the rather lacklustre two-megapixel camera can apparently extract information from barcodes if the barcodes have any to impart. A set of utilities for travellers provides multiple alarms, a world clock, to-do list manager, currency conversion, and weather forecasting.
And the Today screen has shortcuts to frequently used applications and profiles.
All this sounds great, but there are some letdowns on this device. The main screen is quite small at two inches across diagonal corners, so it can be a bit difficult to read dense text at times. Also, web browsing isn’t ideal. The processor runs rather slowly too, and we found ourselves waiting for the phone to catch up with us at times.
And then there is the battery life, which is somewhat shorter than we are used to for a Windows Mobile device. Don’t expect to thrash it with Wi-Fi unless you are near mains power quite often.
Still, even with those points noted, this is a neat Windows Mobile smartphone. More please, BenQ.