It’s been a while since I’ve used a Nokia Smartphone. Lately I’ve used Sony Ericsson (for their great camera phones), iPhone (for the sheer fun of it), Samsung (for their great displays), and Motorola (for just about everything) among other things. In particular since the iPhone came out it’s been touch screen all the way for me just as everybody else I’m sure, and in particular the smartphone segment has been swamped by iPhone and its touch screen clones. The Nokia E71 does take a think-out-of-the-box approach and comes out a winner, so much so that it’s one of the best Nokia smartphones in years. To begin with the Nokia E71 is not touch screen, sacrifices on the screen size (only a little bit), puts in a full QWERTY keyboard and comes out looking sleeker, sexier, and incredibly beautiful. It comes with A-GPS and Wi-Fi and is loaded with productivity apps to get a full week’s work done along with play and leisure for the weekend. In other words this is the real smartphone with which you can get a lot of work done along with a little bit of play while on the other so called smartphones (iPhone & clones) it’s all play and very little work or productivity and the situation is reversed with a Blackberry.
To a working professional communication in all forms is the key and that’s precisely why the Blackberry aficionados are not convinced by an iPhone and that goes the other way too. In comes the Nokia E71 to combine the best of both worlds in a handy tool for all forms of communication like calls, mails, internet, and even viewing and editing Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint among others. It also has Adobe Reader, a Zip file manager, and other essentials from a calculator, voice recorder to a currency converter. The browser comes with Flash Lite so playing YouTube is a cinch and also the browser is voice activated and can take voice commands to initiate search among other things. VOIP is another excellent addition meaning you can make and receive international calls to just about anywhere with an unlimited data plan. Simply put the Nokia E71 does it all be it calls, email, web, SMS, MMS, and even VOIP. Wireless options like Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi are also onboard.
The Nokia E71 comes fitted with an onboard GPS chip and A-GPS (network assisted GPS) works really well on it especially in combination with cell towers and Wi-Fi and getting a fix was around 15-30 seconds at most times. Nokia Maps come preloaded however directions by turn and voice assisted navigation will need additional payment and are not activated. The Nokia E71 also shines as a multimedia device and can handle all the major formats in terms of audio and video, but with the small screen and mono speaker might not really be to everybody’s liking. The 3.2 megapixel camera does a decent to fine job and can also be used to shoot videos but will not be challenging your digital camera or Handycam anytime soon.
In terms of performance the Nokia E71 is hard to beat or even put down. There was no lag or unresponsiveness even with extended usage, and even battery performance was excellent lasting a good 2 days with usage of GPS/A-GPS, browsing, checking mails, Wi-Fi and call taking and call making. One cute feature is the middle navigation/selection key serves as a reminder and notification key and glows till you turn your attention to it.
Coming to the cons, well for true music lovers it comes with a 2.5 mm jack and not a 3.5 mm jack and though converters are available it rules out the real deal 3.5 mm jack for headphone users. This is true only for audiophiles, for the rest the converter works very well indeed. The phone also comes with a micro USB port and a separate pin for the charger and even though not an issue in and of itself will mean all the old chargers, data cables will not be useful. My main gripe is that Nokia is still hanging onto Symbian (the mobile smartphone OS it introduced). I'm personally moving towards an Android phone because Google and its numerous services are what I need and work on. A Nokia E71 running on Android OS would not only take the cake but the entire bakery too.
Well one could go on and on, but let me go ahead and say this is one of the best phones Nokia has made in years. It will easily give Blackberries a run for their money as a communication device and will also hold its own as an entertainment device against the likes of an iPhone. Simply put it combines the best of both worlds in a single device and delivers a sucker punch. Add to it connectivity like A-GPS, Wi-Fi, and VOIP and it’s a winner all the way.