- battery life
- great amount of pre-installed software
- good keyboard feel
- 2.5mm headset jack
- confusing menus
- older and less-featured PIM applications than recent competition
From the excellent hardware design, to the carrier-branded add-ons, its clear that Nokia wanted to make sure that its already well-received E71 stayed that way.
The Nokia E71 was an unexpected worldwide success for the Finnish device maker, especially in the U.S. The QWERTY keyboard and S60 tweaks garnered plenty of positive reviews from both power and casual smartphone users. But upon hearing that it would be coming to AT&T, there was mixed opinion. While the E71 was indeed a solid model, past experience with Nokia’s S60 devices on AT&T left a sour taste in many users’ mouths.
The E71x is a bit different. Packing an upgraded operating system and a few other solid tweaks, this new smartphone seems set to change past impressions. And in my time with the device, it nearly does just that.
BUILD & DESIGN
The hardware for E71x is almost exactly like the original E71, except that it’s clad in an all-black color scheme. This does tend to make it an eye-catcher, and on more than one occasion has seen the device taken from my hands by a woman for closer inspection and eventual acceptance.
Screen: The front features the QVGA (320×240 pixel) screen. In my opinion, there hasn’t been a screen this well done since Palm’s m515. It performs *very* well in direct sunlight. It’s almost scary how good it looks.
QWERTY Keyboard: Despite the E71x being only 10mm thick, typing on the QWERTY keyboard is a pleasure. The keyspacing is excellent, and you really don’t have to do much in the way of aiming — which is also true of the similar Palm Treo Pro and Centro models.
And like its Treo/Centro and BlackBerry competitors, the E71x has a number of different functions that can be assigned to keys. Some of my favorite are utilized within the AT&T MediaNet web browser (a rebranded Nokia S60 web browser) to easily navigate a page and collect information.
I did notice more “light leakage” with the keyboard and the areas around the bottom of the screen than with the previous version. This might have simply been a manufacturing tolerance issue, but it’s definitely something that could throw some users off, considering the rest of the professionalism of the hardware.