Nokia E71 Review – Part Two

After having a list of things I wanted in a phone (see yesterday) I was impressed that not only did the E71 tick all the right boxes, it also worked very well and looked good.
Like most people, when I first looked at the phone I thought, those keys are tiny, they won’t be easy to use. Then I started typing on it and it turns out they work very well, especially in two thumb mode.

First off here are a few things I don’t like about the phone:

  1. It’s not that small. Okay it’s thin which helps, but it is wide.
  2. It’s heavy. This is no sub 100g phone, but it works well as a weapon when you’re in a tight spot.
  3. If you choose any profile other than ‘general’ the date in the top right corner of the home screen vanishes. (It’s been a few years since I’ve had a Nokia, but I seem to remember this has always been the case.)
  4. The pre-installed web browser crashes when it encounters certain site content.
  5. Applications continue to run unless you actually select ‘exit’ from their menu. (I suspect if they’re still running they are taking up resources, but I’ve not looked into this.)
  6. It only has a 3.2 MP camera. Nokia have enough phones out there with 5 MP cameras surely they could have included one.
  7. There’s no way of creating an email account that just uses the cable to sync’ with the email on your desktop. It’s push mail or nothing which is silly as everything else is matched to Outlook just fine.

All of these issues are pretty minor, however, and overall I am finding the phone a wonder to use. Battery life is very good, even when I use Wi-Fi a lot. All the software works seamlessly together and there are some really nice touches such as music fading in and out for calls. Typing or reading long documents is a breeze. The radio and the music player are well thought out (although the music part of the desktop software is useless). GPS works okay although I could do with finding a way to turn off the request to go online every time it starts up. The home screen is great showing all the key information and the fact that you can create two separate home screens (one for work and one for leisure for example) is a welcomed addition.

As a side note I had read a number of reviews which had said third party app’s would struggle with hidden Wi-Fi networks. This is not the case at all. I use Opera Mini on my home network, which is hidden, and it finds that without a problem.

Overall this is a classy, well built piece of kit. it doesn’t have the cool touch screen the iPhone sports so web browsing isn’t as fun, but being slimmer than Apple’s offering and silver it still grabs people’s attention. Plus this is actually a smart phone that excels at everything rather than one that hasn’t had enough thought put into the phone side of its operation.

I can’t imagine anyone who wants a smart phone to actually use as a smart phone not buying this. Nine out of ten from me.