E71 NAM Review – Testing Nokia’s Mettle
E71 NAM Review – Testing Nokia’s Mettle.
Oh yes, another review of the E71. Like others I’ll try to make it a little different.
Reasons why I chose an S60 device, choosing one with a full qwerty keypad, and why I chose the E71 specifically. Previously I’ve used the 6620 for almost 7mths back in 2005 and it was a workhorse and bulky. But it left a feeling of nastalgia in me.
The principles of choosing another S60 device instead of another “feature-phone” were mostly the same this time around. I wanted the familiarity of using the OS with enough of a challenge – more on why later – yet the simplicity of being able to quickly use the core features quickly and intuitively. Furthermore, that old 6620 was ROCK solid & took a beating & still kept on ticking, however I left it because its bulk not only was too obvious but uncomfortable in dress pants.
Most people argue the reason for a smartphone is the choice of applications – and its true, for the most part. However there is much more at the core of a smartphone that surpasses a feature phone. Calendar – the ability to create complex (more than a title, start/end time, alarm) Meetings (not simple appointments), Anniversary, To Do, or Memo’s, all with alarms. Phone Book is pretty much equal but its prowess favors the smartphones when it comes to using it in a corporate server synchronization situation. Email – feature phones can pretend all they want but in day to day use they pale by comparison: especially with attachment handing. Finally there is the ease of using these core features and speed in accessing them trumps feature phones.
Many will say why not choose a solution based on java which corporations & consumers in North America choose in abundance and is the current leader. I work to support such a model, but for my needs as a consumer I didn’t wish to be held back on a closed ended smartphone that didn’t give me much of a selection of software focused for consumers. Furthermore, the only reasons for such a dominance is that they quickly established a name for themselves for push email early in the game. Put on top of that the familiarity & likeness that consumers buy what they use at work or to purchase what their peers advise, still holds true (ie Windows vs Mac).
I chose the E71 for the following reasons. S60 – a smartphone platform with great choice of both consumer & corporate focused software. Stability of a proven OS in the majority of all the companies product line, but also licensed to others – showing no fear of competition. Early reviews said this device was beautiful (that it STILL is), the smallest, and still maintained WiFi, dual band 3G/HSDPA radio, and GPS with quadband EDGE radio. Lastly was the overwhelming early accounts of stability, speed of the OS compared to its counterparts and build-quality! This is what I want to focus on.
For the past 40days that I’ve owned my E71 I’ve LOVED it and it was my primary device day in & out. Actually I requested a tester model from Nokia WOM world just days prior to buying it and couldn’t wait to setting the shipping/customs’ delays more than a week and just purchased my own. Should the customs issues get fixed the WOM model will be my wife’s for 2wks and she’ll be a true review coming from a newb to any smartphone.
Quality. Something many company’s are known for that lately have lacked in their products. RIM on the BlackBerry (Pearl, Curve & now Bold: suffer from Trackball dirt) and SonyEricsson (K850i – huge firmware bugs beyond repair, Touch-capacitance keys) both no longer making robust products because service for new parts also helps their revenue stream if in the hundred thousands sent in every quarter. Choice of cheap and shiny plastics is becoming a horrible trend. This E71 uses metal in most of its shell and its sheik.
Build-quality is something you really cannot ascertain if you baby your phone or only have a tester for 2wks. 5 days a week this thing was in my pants pocket resisting dust under the screen, jacket zipper slapping across the metal as I walked with it in my hand. But the real test was the 2 days straight that I accidentally dropped it. First day it dropped was getting out of a cab on my way to work. The drop was from knee height as it slipted while I was getting out; and although the weight is nice on the E71 its surprisingly balanced. The metal case is from stainless steel so when it dropped I hardly heard it at all. I looked back behind me after taking two steps away from the cab – just by habit – and there it was screen up smiling for some bloke already running to grab it. Sorry sucker I’m more alert than that and quicker than him to retrieve it. Suffice to say it had two small scratches/scuff marks on the top & bottom edges of the device. Whew I thought.The real test to the E71’s mettle (pun intended) was the next night – a Friday. You know what that means … heavy partying and carelessness. Either I was jinxed by a friend warning that I’ll drop it because I kept checking for emails, or it was me being too tipsy and unbalanced when I was walking I don’t know. But when it dropped from chest height (I’m 5’11”) I paused in mid stride. I picked up the injured E71 and it was completely fine, pressed the buttom and screen came on. I laughed out loud and said its ok! 2hrs later after sobering up on the walk home I noticed the fear of all cellphone owners … the cracked screen! GASP!
Now what you are about to see next may not be suitable for new cellphone owners. It may cause increased blood pressure, affixed stairs, and unsettling shaking in the more experience cellphone owners amongst you. Be prepared for I’m about to show you the E71 cracked screen & sidwalk damaged!
Well as you can see the screen is cracked almost all the way through, but there is no LCD bleeding (like calculators are famed for). The screen shots show no internal screen resolution damage. Whats even more surprising is that my E71 is STILL exquisite! There are no issues in operation of this device and its lasted all weekend, no battery issues, no moving or loose parts within it when shaken vigorously.
After 3wks of excruitiating waiting for another shell, I’ve replaced the screen of my precious E71; however I suggest against doing it yourself like I did, as you may chip off another piece of the phone in the process without professional tools. Pay the cost to have it done right by Nokia as you E71 will look brand spanking new. This will be my next step. And yes I LOVE my E71 & S60!