Nokia E71: My new love

25. December 2008 at 10:00

I have been using the Nokia E71 for a few days now. In this time I have noticed many good and bad aspects about it. There are many positive points and I haven’t thought that I would like a device like the E71 so much, because I’m a big fan of multimedia – but the E71 isn’t multimedia, it’s business. One thing the E71 has proven to me yet, is that a multimedia-freak like me can also “fall in love” with a business-device like the E71.
But what is good and what is negative about the E71? Read the rest of this article to find it out – I’m sure you’ll find a little surprise at the end of the text…

The things I like about the Nokia E71:

Design

The design of the device is just great. It comes either with a dark or a bright finish. The dark version, which I received, has a black keyboard and all the plastic-parts are black as well. The bright version comes with a white keyboard and plastic-parts.

Most of the surrounding parts are made out of chromed metal, which looks very nobly. On the battery-cover there’s “Nokia Eseries” engraved and the rest of it has little engraved dots, which make the backcover feel good in your hands. Thanks to those engraved dots the device also feels like it has more “grip”.

All of my friends who saw the device already, said that it looks extremely good.

Build quality

The E71 definitely is one of the best built Nokia devices I’ve ever seen. The chromed metal-housing makes the device not just look great, but also very stable. The door of the microSD cardslot, as well as the door of the micro-USB connector, are made out of gray rubber, but they aren’t wobbly or something like that – they are built very good. There are no shaking parts on the whole device.

Size & weight

The size of a device – nowadays one of the most important aspects for many people. Regarding to this aspect Nokia has done a great job with the E71. It is just 1cm thick, 57mm wide and 114mm high – maybe the smallest business-device in the world? With a weight of 127 gramms it actually feels just great in your hands, it isn’t too heavy although 127 g sounds much.

Full QWERTY-keyboard

Thinking of the small size you can’t imagine that there is a full QWERTY-keyboard? But there is one! Yes, Nokia has done it, a full QWERTY-keyboard in a device with such a small size. If you think back to the E71’s predeccessor, the E61, maybe you will think that it is hard to use, but aside the keyboard of the E90, the keyboard of the E71 is the best QWERTY-keyboard in a mobile phone I’ve ever seen. The keys have a great pressure-point and you get a nice feedback while typing in something.

Business-features

Under the small housing there are as many business-features as in a big device like the E90. The office-suite “Quickoffice” is preinstalled. There are also some great other applications like a dictionary or a translation-software. Another great application is the updated calendar, which has nice transitions and a new design that shows you all the entries for a day in a column on the right side. If you click on a date, the view switches to a list showing you the time when an entry is. The E71 features everything out of the box, which a business-user needs to get started.

With Symbian S60 3rd Edition as the operating system the user has the ability to install hundreds of extra-applications to get even more power out of his E71.

Standby clock

The E71 has a great clock in its standby. If the device goes into the standby, the screen turns black and switches off to save energy. There’s no clock or date in the standby, but if you want to know what time or date it is, just press one direction of the d-pad for a while and a huge clock with the date will appear.

Battery-life

As known from most Eseries devices the E71 also features a huge battery. It is powered by a BP-4L battery with 1500 mAh. I have been using the device for just a few days, but the battery-life seems to be pretty good so far.

The things I don’t like about the Nokia E71:

Light-gap over the keyboard

Over the keyboard there’s a little gap which causes that the light shines through it, if the keyboard-illumination is turned on. Of course this is just an optical issue, but it really doesn’t look great and makes such a well-designed device look cheaper as it is in the dark.

Finger-print-magnet

Because of its glossy chrome-design the whole device, except the plastic-parts, is a real finger-print-magnet. If you clean it at least once a day this is no problem, but if you don’t like to clean your device very often I would advise you to think about an other device.

2.5mm Headphone-jack

Another thing I don’t like about the E71, and Eseries devices in general, is the 2.5mm headphone-jack which forces the user to use the headset that is in the box or buy an adapter for a headset with a 3.5mm jack. I think Nokia could’ve build in a 3.5mm headphone-jack if they just wanted to, and that’s what I want to see in the future: Eseries devices with 3.5mm headphone-jack’s.

Camera-mode

Since the E71 has no special camera-button you need to use the normal keypad for taking a picture. This is very hard because the device has an autofocus-camera. You either can capture the photo without focussing the object by just pressing the center of the d-pad or you can focus first by pressing T and then capture the photo. In my opinion this takes too much time and is very uncommon, so maybe Nokia should have build-in a special camera-button.

– written with the Nokia E71