Having lived with the E61i for over a year (and still loving it, by the way), I was really excited to get my hands on the E71. I had been underwhelmed by the spy pics that I had seen online. But when I opened the box and pulled it out I was very impressed. It is very solid… very clean detailing… a nice weight.
As an object of beauty the E71 shines… literally. This continues the Nokia tradition of pristine objects… the 8800, the E65, the E61i, etcetera, etcetera. The screen is very bright and clear and all of the surfaces are high gloss. Again, much more impressive in person that in pictures.
Then there’s it’s size. I had been concerned about the diminished form factor… how would the buttons feel?… would I still like the experience on a smaller screen. Honestly, the E71 feels so good in the hand (and slips easily into the pocket… even the change pocket on some of my jeans) that I haven’t even noticed! And after using the keyboard for 15 minutes I didn’t even notice the tighter spacing. Did I mention that I love the keyboard… yes, an ACTUAL keyboard with real haptics… because it’s got ACTUAL buttons!!! And when I laid the E71 on top of an iPod touch, it’s actually got a smaller footprint and minimally thicker!!!
Next I turned my attention to some of the features. The interface is much more responsive than the E61i, especially in the messaging and imaging applications. I took some pictures with the 3.2 megapixel camera and they came out great. The typical graininess is their as to be expected from a small CCD. The built-in email client is speedier and self-configures easier. I need to test their push-technology email client.
Speaking of which, the most notable omission is Blackberry Connect support. I understand that Nokia and RIM aren’t on good terms but as a business device it needs to support it…. period.
As a phone I am very happy with it. The sound quality is great. Over time with the E61i I noticed that the maximum volume level was too low (both incoming and outgoing) but this has been fixed in the E71.
Let me finally say that I am a huge fan of the iPhone/iPod touch family of offerings. This phone is not one. But it is an incredible smartphone. I took a trip this week, kept my critical client files on the phone and sent them to some vendors while away from my desk…. nobody was the wiser!
Check back for updates as I live with this phone as a more extensive review will follow.
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