Nokia E71 Review

Welcome to our review of the Nokia E71. (First time we’ve managed to post a review relatively quickly.) The E71 is the replacement for the relatively popular E61i release about 12 months ago. It’s the only Qwerty keyboard based mobile phone made by the company. Like it’s predecessors the E71 is an amalgamation of all Nokia has learnt to date since the introduction of the original E61.

First impressions are excellent. The E71 looks fantastic! Construction wise, it uses real metal but this time thinner than the past models to save weight. Smoked stainless steel and high quality plastics where necessary really add to the impression of expense and class. It’s also very thin. It’s seems more just 1 generation away from the slate like predecessors. We liken the new model as the RAZR of the QWERTY keyboard phones, except that the quality of the Nokia is noticeably superior. No creaky panels or detail that would fade. The keys have a nice quality feel when you press them. Pictures do not do this phone justice.

Nokia has packed so much technology in such a small size in the E71. It features every single wireless and wired connection option you could want: Wi-Fi, Infrared, bluetooth, USB, GSM and 3G. Yes it has Infrared! So we can still exchange contacts with older phones or use it as a modem and even Sync with other computers without all that mucking around with bluetooth pairing and USB drivers. We can still run our handy universal TV/Video/Stereo remote controllers. Infrared rules.

Other features (entertainment) include and crisp 320×240 pixel screen, dual cameras/video, autofocus, flash, barcode reader, 2.5mm headphone socket for the FM (RDS) radio and internet radio, VOIP, voice recorder, MP3 and MP4 player and the list goes on. Fantastic considering that this is not a dedicated multi-media phone!

Since this is an E series phone there are a ton of work applications that are pre-loaded. Word, Excel, Powerpoint editors, dictionary, Notes, ZIP, PDF, wireless printer connectivity, clocks, calendar, unit convertors, VPN and of course Internet.

The most amazing feature is the built in GPS. Nokia’s Maps software has been updated to the point that I think it is better than Google Maps for your mobile. You can download the maps for free but it doesn’t tell you the directions. You have to subscribe for voice and trip guidence – fair enough. Google maps requires constant 3G or wi-fi connection and you don’t get locations like shops, hotel and so forth.  Nokia Maps has the lot like regular GPS systems!

The A-GPS system used on the E71 is actually quite good.  It picks up the GPS satellites from turn on as quick as the TomTom One or quicker.  (Average of 10 secs)  Like the TomTom though if you have traveled a significant distance from the last time you used the GPS it takes a little more time to lock on.  That said you must make sure the A-GPS (uses the network towers but not data) is turned on otherwise it can take several miutes to get a proper fix on your location.

The next amazing feature (for 2008) is the web browser. Nokia has updated it from the past versions and it worked on ALL websites we tried – to date. It even shows Flash content and Youtube on the same screen. The first mobile phone browser to do this! Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoomail and all news sites worked! The only problem we encountered where with WordPress BLOGS – the editing of text when scrolling is required is a hit and miss. This can be overcome by writing your entries in the notepad and cutting and pasting into the browser. Nokia’s web browser is better than the one on the iPhone or iTouch -at least on this phone. The only short fall is that the E71’s screen is smaller than previous models.

(Update: After installing the latest phone software we discovered that the E71 can play FLV files from Youtube without additional software!  We knew the web browser could already do this but it brilliant that it can play them out of the browser as well.  Give it go – we really like this phone and you probably will too!)

New and useful features worth a mention on the E71 include data encryption, Music store, Podcasting, Standard bar and QR code readers. Nokia’s thrown in MS Messenger LIVE and Yahoo GO applications so you can IM all you want. The only thing missing from prior models is the emulated Blackberry compatibility. We where also surprised to find that Nokia has included a 2GIG memory card as part of the sales package!

We also liked the remote auto lock feature so that if you lose your phone you can send it an SMS to lock it. You have to set this up and your passwords – so do it! You never know when you could lose your phone.

As for operating speed, Nokia has clearly improved the S60 interface’s speed, menu navigation is immediate, and running programs are noticeably faster than prior models. It only seems to pause when starting up JAVA based programs but this applies to all phones we’ve ever tried. Overall excellent.

Conclusion: The E71 is a great phone! I dare say it’s the best Nokia mobile phone out of the entire range – at least in July 2008. Fast, looks good with a ton of functionality. Sure menu navigation is old hat and getting crowded due to the huge amount of features but that applies to all E and N series Nokia’s.

If tossing up between the new N series phones have a long hard think because the E71 does 90% of what the N series in terms of entertainment but 110% of day to day functions.

Nokia should be applauded as to how they managed to cram all the hardware and software into such a small mobile phone. If you want the most complete mobile phone to date in a elegant design then buy one no need for any decision making needed.

If you’ve got a E61 or E61i it’s a no brainer you will be impressed.

Note: Nokia has included a few ‘extras’ in the packaging this time! We a custom hard/slip case, a 2.5mm headset with mic, micro USB connector and a wrist lanyard. The thing we most liked was the screen protector that didn’t hide any of the screen’s icons as per prior models. The case and screen protector are hard to purchase separately so don’t lose them!

Price history

$595-650 AUS 2008

Manufacturer : Nokia
Model : E71
OS: Nokia S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1
CPU: ARM 11 369Mhz
Network : Country dependent – Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
3G WCDMA 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
Design: Mini-keyboard
114 x 57 x 10 mm
Weight: 127 grams
Display/s : 16Million 24-bit colour TFT – 240 x 320 pixels
Main Camera : 3.2MP Camera with auto focus, 8xzoom and dual flash
Video Camera : up to 320×240 auto focus, 4xzoom, 15 FPS
Video phone Camera: 128 x 96 pixels
Video capable MP4, WMV, 3GPP, RealMedia, Flash, FLV
Connectivity : Bluetooth, Infrared, USB, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
FM Radio – VOIP
Memory : 110 MB internal memory
MicroSD memory Hot Swap Up to 8 GB SD and SDHC
Ring tones : AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, WMA, AMR-NB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), True tones
Animated screensavers (powersaver) FlashLite2 and Flashlite3 capable
Modem for PC
Web browser (WAP 2.0 – xHTML)
Mono Speaker Phone/Hands free
Media player with 2.5mm RCA socket.
Speed : Vs Nokia 6230
Navigation 10/10
Battery Life : BP-4L 1500mAh Li Ion
Claimed operating times:
Standby 20 days – network dependent
Voice 10.5 hours – network dependent
Sample camera :