Christian Titze at SymbianWorld has been using the Nokia E71 for a few days now. During this short time he has noticed many good and bad aspects about it. He is a big fan of multimedia. One thing the E71 has proven, is that a multimedia-freak can also “fall in love” with a business-device like the E71.
The good things about the Nokia E71:
The design of the device is just great. It comes either with a dark or a bright finish. The dark version, 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”.
The E71 definitely is one of the best built Nokia devices. 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. With a weight of 127 gramms it actually feels just great in your hands, it isn’t too heavy although 127 g sounds much.
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.
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.
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. If you want to check the time or the date, press in one direction of the d-pad for a while and a huge clock with the date will appear.
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” says Christian Titze.
The bad things about the Nokia E71:
Over the keyboard there’s a little gap which causes the light to beem 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.
Because of its glossy chrome-design the whole device, except the plastic-parts, is a real finger-print-magnet.
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.
Since the E71 doesn’t have any dedicated 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” says Christian Titze.