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  1.    #1  
    Well, I've now had it for almost a week and played with a lot of it's functions at this point. I'm still impressed and loving it! Nice phone, good pda, good gps, reasonable media player. Please take this review as coming from a newbie to Symbian OS as I've never owned a Nokia phone in my life let alone a Symbian OS device. My previous phones were either Samsung, Motorola, and the Treo 650 was my first Smartphone. My PDA experience started with a 3COM Palm IIIx, moved to a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 (Linux!), and then back to the Palm Treo 650 and later 680.

    Before I really get started for those who don't know here is a list of some of the highlighted features of the Nokia E71: 3.5G GSM (unlocked in my case), 320x240 2.4" 16M LCD, 3.2MP AutoFocus Camera with Flash, .3MP video call camera, Integrate GPS plus assisted GPS, 110MB Storage, MicroSDHC slot (I'm using an 8GB card currently), Full keyboard, WiFI b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (supports A2DP/AVRCP, and others), FM Radio. So a pretty loaded device.

    First thing I'm noticing is that the Nokia heritage definitely comes from the cell phone side vs the Treo's PDA heritage. Where in the Treo the cell phone aspects really are wrapped up primarily in the phone application, the E71 phone aspects seem more baseline in the OS. The only real phone applications are the call log application and the address book application. There is no phone application beside being on the home screen to start dialing. Much like on the Treo's home phone screen, you just start typing in either a number or a name and it begins it's search through you contact database, or just dial the number. Feel right at home here for the most part, but kinda weird not going to a "phone" application to use the phone. No problem, I'll get used to it.

    The contacts application works well. No categories, but as I use it more I realize I never really used them that much on my Treo either. Most of the time I just used the search function to find a contact, the same as I do on the phone. Categories seem to work better on the desktop than on the phone for me. Lot's of fields and some nice shortcuts for dialing and text messaging. I would say on par with the Treo 680 if not a tad ahead for shortcuts to start dialing or SMS tasks.

    The calendar is ok. Here I really do miss categories. Helped me quickly glance at the calendar and spot person vs work vs school related items. I'll deal but would really like to see categories added in a future firmware update. Other than that the calendar works fine and the fact that upcoming events show on the home screen is helpful. It's nice that when in the month view you see a list of events for the highlighted day to the right, just kinda small given the small screen. I have to give the nod to the Treo 680 calendar here, but the E71 does ok and won't hold me back.

    The notes applications again have no categories, but you can create sub folders which can accomplish almost the same effect. Works well enough. Predictive text helps typing along very nicely. One nice feature is that using Active Notes you can attach multimedia to a note. The only benefit I see here is if I'm taking notes at a meeting and wish to take a picture of the white board I can attach the picture to my meeting notes. So I'll give the nod to the E71 over the 680 here, but barely.

    At first text messaging was ok, and subpar to the Treo 680. No threaded messages and a kinda clunky interface. Then I found out about some beta software from Nokia called conversations. This fixes the SMS/MMS interface. Threaded messages with picture icons, and just an overall better interface in my opinion. It's beta software so bugs may crop up, but once I found the correct version to install (the E61i/E70 version) it seems to be running very well. As it comes stock the Treo is better at SMS/MMS message handling. With Conversations by Nokia installed they are even.

    General navigation of the device is not as clean as the Treo. You have to be ready for a menu driven folder driven type of layout and navigation. It's not bad, and I'm quickly getting used to it, but it's just not as sweetly simple as the PalmOS interface. I would say both are about equally customizable out of the box with-out third party apps. I miss the Treo here a little, but I'm getting by with out to much trouble.

    That's the basics, now the fun stuff.

    Oh, how have I survived so long on EDGE alone? 3.5G speeds are such a relief. This is where the PalmOS really is killing the Treo line. It really is that much faster. As an added bonus I can connect up to WiFi spots with the phone to make it even quicker (or just keep the bandwidth of my phone account). Be warned, you MUST have a unlimited internet plan with this phone. There are just to many ways to burn through data before you know it. Don't get this phone if you don't want to use data. The nokia web browser works better than blazer in my opinion, though I'm still getting used to the interface. Part of that is probably the speed difference, but it also seems to handle newer page technologies better (AJAX, Flash, etc). I've also installed Opera, but haven't played around much with it. Oh and bluetooth DUN with MacOS works no problem, and tethering via cable is supposed to work as well (though not tested yet). Phone battery life is better that than the Treo 680, even with 3G up and running.

    Multimedia out of the box beats the Palm hands down. Though the Treo 680 comes with PocketTunes the sound quality is no where near the Nokia E71. That's using my own headphones. Out of the box the E71 media players handle mp3's, podcasts, realplayer streams, etc no problem. The equalizer has some nice settings (I like bass boost myself). Bluetooth audio is very clear and strong using my Sonorix C3 headset with my Sony EX71 headphones. Video player is reasonable, handles 3GP, MP4, and realplayer video. I haven't played with the FM Radio yet besides looking at the interface. You have to use a pair of wired headphones (which act as the antenna) to use the radio. Interface looked fine. I also haven't looked into third party apps yet, but there seems to be a few media players available. Out of the box the E71 wins. Even with some third party apps installed on the Treo, I think the E71 is better or would be with it's own third party apps.

    GPS is nice, I've played around with it a couple of times and it seems to pick up signal quick enough and is accurate. Even handled its first test as I was riding inside the Metro train above ground. I like the Nokia Maps interface, but won't be paying extra monthly charge for the turn-by-turn voice guidance features. I'll just give the free google maps application a go. Either way the GPS is a very nice feature.

    The camera is nice compared to the Treo 680. Higher resolution and flash are very welcome. I do miss the simplicity of point and shoot though. The E71 has autofocus so to take good pictures you need to first press the T key to let the camera focus before pushing the shutter key to take the picture. I guess that's the price to pay for better pictures. Video recording mode seems to work fine. Again both mode has a boat load of features which are more on par with a regular digital camera than any cellphone/smartphone camera I've had before. E71 wins again.

    For those curious, the keyboard is fine. To me it's on par with the Treo. Slightly different layout, but I've gotten used to it quickly. With the use of predictive Text just about everywhere in the phone typing for me seems to be a tad faster than on the Treo. Either way, no loss here, I feel they are on par with each other for the most part. Also, I rarely miss the touchscreen. They really did design it well with out the need for the touchscreen.

    Final thoughts.

    It nice, and I'm happy. This phone is well built, feels solid and is thinner than an iPhone 3G. Big BIG change from my Treo 680, my 680 feels like a cheap toddlers toys in comparison to the E71. The only resets/crashes I've had were because of me installing the wrong version of beta software on the phone. The fact that I can install what ever third party software I want just like I did on my Treo (as opposed to only those blessed by Apple on the iPhone) is wonderful. That is what a smartphone is about. I do miss some of the simplicity of the Treo interface, but small price to pay for a much more powerful device. I can only hope that future Treo's with the Linux OS are at this level of functionality with the beautifully simple interface of the PalmOS. Otherwise I may be on Symbian S60 devices for a while. Cheers!
  2. #2  
    This phone has definitely been on my radar. Nice post.

    How much did you pay for it though?
  3.    #3  
    Thanks, I debated it for a while, but very glad I got it.

    I got it for $390 plus free 3-day shipping from But, looks like they've moved the price backup $410+$9 shipping. is still $400 for it, but never know when they will actually ship it.

    Not cheap, but I think well worth it, and I always like having the freedom of unlocked (though the 3.5G in my version the E71-2 will only work on AT&T here in the states).
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  4. Hicks's Avatar
    936 Posts
    Global Posts
    938 Global Posts
    Nice review thanks for that. I am still undecided between the Nokia E71 and the iPhone 3G. I have 3 months left to decide until my current contract runs out.... Decisions, decisions.
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer- Albert Einstein.

    Palm M505> Palm Tungsten E> Treo 600> Treo 650> Treo 680> Sony Ericsson P1i (running Styletap BETA)> iPhone 3G 16GB

    Macbook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  5.    #5  
    No problem, I was like you trying to decide between the iPhone3G and the E71. Even tougher was the fact that work probably would have paid for the iPhone3G. In the end though, it was the lack of freedom to install what ever application I wanted, the inability to tether to the 3G, and the limited bluetooth functions that pushed me away from the iPhone. Though I would have loved that big screen and slick interface!
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  6. #6  
    thanks for the review. I am considering this as a replacement for my 700w. How does it work with Exchange corporate email "over the air" sync? This is one of my major requirements.

    Thanks in advance!
  7.    #7  
    Sorry, I don't use MS Exchange on my E71, I access all 5 of my email accounts via SSL IMAP. It does appear to be well supported though based on this information:


    Hope that helps.

    Oh, two small updates.

    1. Contacts does have categories, but it's kinda weird how they are implemented. They are listed like regular contacts, but if you select them it then shows you only the contacts in that category. Weird. Again, doesn't really matter to me, but it's not as nice a setup as the palm.

    2. SpashID currently has a bug that if you set at password the program will crash. Yeah, kinda defeats the purpose. They say they are working on it. I'm still using splashid just to hold the records for now, but I've turned on the phones encryption mode which encrypts all the phones data. Nice little feature (and also encrypte the microSD card).

    Yep, still loving the Nokia.
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  8. #8  
    Thx ... appreciate the response. If the Treo 850 does not get here fast, I may just go this route.
  9. #9  
    One more question. I constantly have to switch my phone to silent/vibrate back to ring. How easy is the E71 to switch to silent/vibrate and back?

    The Treo is very east with the toggle switch.
  10.    #10  
    That's another downside to the E71, there is no easy way to switch, and the side volume keys won't mute the ringer.

    To switch from silent/vibrate from ring, you push the red powerbutton (assuming the phone is not locked or on keyguard) and then select silent from the pop up menu. Definitely not like having the dedicated switch, I miss that. If it's locked or on keyguard you first have to unlock it before switching.

    To silence a ringing call you have to hit a key on the keypad, not as convenient as just feeling the side of my phone through my pocket and hitting one of the volume keys to silence the call.

    Oh, well, trade offs I'm learning to live with. Maybe I'll find some better way or add on software that improves this. I'm still pretty new at this symbian os.
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  11. #11  
    D-Caf ... Well, I jumped on the E71 today. So far so good. Which version of Conversations did you load. The website does not list the E71 as compatible with any of the various versions?

  12. #12  
    Sorry, I re-read your original message and see which version you used. I loaded it and works great so far.
  13.    #13  
    Cool, let us know what you think after a bit. And if you ever figure out a quick way to switch between silent and normal mode please let me know.

    One thing I'm still getting used to, real multi-tasking OS. Takes some getting used to the fact you don't have to close every app before going to another one...
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  14. vash's Avatar
    1 Posts
    RE: Profiles in Symbian OS

    For SonyEricsson phones, I know they have a button that you hold down to toggle the ringer - I wish Nokia would implement something similar.

    I know this won't solve everything, but I recently discovered a program that you can install on Symbian phones called Handy Profiles. What you can do is create a set of rules where the phone will switch to a specific profile. i.e. There are timed rules - where you can set a time period where the phone will switch to silent. So for my N73, I have mine set so that the phone will automatically go into silent from 12:00am to 6:00am.

    Another type of rule you can create is location - when you create the location rule, the program will scan the surrounding Cell towers; then the program will estimate your location based on the triangulation of these cell towers. Once you enter the location again, the program will trigger the profile. I haven't had the chance to test all the features out, so I'm not sure how well this works in practice.

    This is the first time I've ever encountered a program like this. So I hope this helps.
  15.    #15  
    Hmm, that sounds pretty cool. Would help for regularly scheduled meetings.

    Wonder if the built in GPS helps with the location mode. Interesting.

    I'll have to look into it, thanks!
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by D-Caf View Post
    And if you ever figure out a quick way to switch between silent and normal mode please let me know.
    Try pressing and holding the number key (#) while in the active standby screen. Unless I'm misremembering, that toggles between 'Silent' and 'General' on the E61 and I think it's pretty standard on Nokia phones. Not as nice as the Treo/iPhone solution but better than going via the power button IMO.
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcol View Post
    Try pressing and holding the number key (#) while in the active standby screen. Unless I'm misremembering, that toggles between 'Silent' and 'General' on the E61 and I think it's pretty standard on Nokia phones. Not as nice as the Treo/iPhone solution but better than going via the power button IMO.
    Thanks, but no such luck , tried it and all it does is start typing # a lot and searching through contacts for matches to # (if the phone isn't locked, when locked it does nothing).
    Last edited by D-Caf; 09/11/2008 at 08:41 PM.
    Zaurus SL-5500 + Cell Phone --> Treo 650 GSM --> Treo 680 --> Nokia E71
  18. #18  
    I found in the online tips that holding down the # key should toggle to silent profile, but I found the same thing as D-Caf. Just get a munch of # characters and search on my contacts.
  19. #19  
    Hey guys,

    I have an interesting question. I thinking about buying the US version of the Nokia E71. The E71-2. But I'm going to Europe in a few weeks and I want to buy a SIM card when I'm over there and use the phone there. Will I have a problem using the US version E71 in England?

    I won't be using the phone in England for any 3G related stuff obviously. Just want to use it for talking and texting.
  20. #20  
    I believe the NA version is only different with regard to 3G frequencies. It is a quad band phone, if I remember correctly, so it should work fine for voice over seas. (Correct me if I'm wrong)
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