The E71 looks more like a Blackberry killer, but don’t be fooled: This great white hope from Finland is a smart device that gives the iPhone a run for its money in a lot of different areas (yes, really).
Despite its obvious lack of an oversized touchscreen interface, Nokia wins points for a remarkably trim profile (10mm vs. 12.3mm), decent 3.2-megapixel camera (instead of 2.0), and the fact it’s not tied to any carrier (yet). Most of all, we’re stoked they avoided the overcrowded iClone bandwagon by sticking to what they do best: gorgeous hardware packed with a satisfying range of fun(ctional) features.
Setting up Nokia’s Mail for Exchange program required no IT help or time. QuickOffice let us create, edit and send Word/Excel/PowerPoint files on the fly while we browsed PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The E71 is stocked with enough apps and goodies to keep even the most overworked road warrior on the ball, but it didn’t feel too “business.” That’s mostly due to the fact that the E71 has two separate customizable home screens. One is designed to house all of your work apps like Excel and PowerPoint while the other is geared more towards entertainment with programs for audio, video and gaming. Switching between the two is dead simple, a dedicated button at the top of the menu lets you toggle between the two screens instantly.
The phone’s 2.36-inch, 320 x 240 QVGA display is only slightly smaller than the iPod Classic’s, and though the resolution can’t top the iPhone’s, with 15 fps, the E71 is still solid for YouTube clips. The slightly rejiggered QWERTY took some getting used to (the Q-A-Z keys are flush with the chassis), but the learning curve was significantly faster than any touchscreen we’ve tapped: After three days of iPhoning, typos were relatively common. After three hours with the E71, they’re pretty much nonexistent. Oh, and did we mention the E71’s got battery life for days? Yes, literally three of them.
get-gadget: Up to 8 GB in an easy-to-access, external microSD slot. Quick and seamless OS. GPS, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth (you name it, it’s basically got it). Vivid screen (even in direct sunlight). Textured stainless steel backing prevents slippage. Relatively lightweight (127 grams = 6 grams lighter than iPhone). Hit any letter on the QWERTY pad and predictive text calls up that section of your address book.
TIRED: No standard 3.5mm headphone jack. 3.2-megapixel camera’s optics could be better. LED flash could be way better. N-Gage gaming platform not available. Screen’s wide, but not wide enough to do a feature-length film justice. For $500, you could get TWO 8-GB, 3G JesusPhones (with $100 left over to put toward AT&T’s data plan).