Review: Nokia E71

9. September 2008 at 00:11

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The Nokia E71 is the successor of the Nokia E61(i). There are also huge changes being the new sexy hood, GPS or the improvements in the UI. However, can the E71 convince or is it just a boring business smartphone?

Main advantages:

  • Build quality
  • Battery life
  • GPS
  • WiFi
  • Size

Main disadvantages:

  • No camera key
  • Heavy

Sales package:

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The E71 comes just like the E66 in a rather small and handy box. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any accessories. I think that this box represents the compactness of this device.

The box contains:

  • The Nokia E71 (RM-346)
  • Battery with 1500 mAh (BP-4L)
  • Carrying Case
  • UK Charger (AC-5X)
  • microUSB cable (CA-101)
  • Headset (HS-47)
  • 2GB microSD card
  • CD and manuals

I like the carrying case which looks pretty nobly and which protects the E71 really good. The charger and the headset fit perfect into the E71 whereby the headset isn’t the best. All in all, the deliverer is pretty generous, especially with the 2GB microSD card and the carrying case. Here a unboxing video showing the device, the box and the accessories.

Built quality:

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Holding the E71 in the hand you’ll be absolutely blown away. It feels really good in your hand and you will not give this little beast away. Expect the keys, top, button, a little part of the back and the sides everything is made out of really good looking stainless steel. Everything, being the protection for USB, microSD card or the battery cover sit pretty solid and good. Unfortunately, the shiny front and the back really attracts fingerprints like nothing else.


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Since the E71 is a QWERTY device it has obviously a lot keys. First of all we find under the 2.36” display following keys:

  1. Left soft key
  2. Right soft key
  3. Red-end key
  4. Green-answer key
  5. Contact key (one-touch-key)
  6. Calendar key (one-touch-key)
  7. Messaging key (one-touch-key)
  8. Home/Menu key
  9. Up on the d-pad
  10. Down on the d-pad
  11. Left on the d-pad
  12. Right on the d-pad
  13. OK, the middle of the d-pad

Due to the keys are arched they are really good to use, also when they’re looking rather small. They have a clear pressure point and aren’t noisy. Besides this keys you will find the whole compact QWERTY keyboard on the front too. In fact, they are really small and I had really problems using it the first days. However, the more you’re using it the better you will use it. After a while you can write emails or other text really fast and sure.

The one-touch-keys are indeed pretty handy and useful. So you can jump immediately to the calendar or your contacts. But what to do when you don’t use the calendar or contact book? No problem, you can edit the entries and personalize the keys. So you can use the calendar key as the ‘music key’ or ‘clock key’. You can even select two functions for one key ( short and long press).


The E71 has 110MB internal memory and comes along with an 2GB microSD card which is enough for music, pictures, videos and other data. Of course you can also use other microSD or even microSDHC cards if you need more memory. In the test my 4GB microSDHC card worked without problems and even 16GB cards should work too. E71’s 2.36 ” QVGA ( 240 x 320 pixels) screen displays the 16M colours very well. It’s really bright and you can read it also against sunlight. Looking at the screen you can’t even see a pixel.


On the back of the E71 you can find a 3.2 Megapixel camera with autofocus. Next to the camera you can find a little LED and a little mirror for self-portraits. Although the E71 is a business device it still offers a bunch of camera preferences. After you opened the camera-application you can see a toolbar on the right side. In this toolbar you can find a bunch of icons – switching from camera to video mode and back, scene modes, flash mode, self timer, sequence mode, colour tone, white balance, exposure compensation and viewfinder grid.



The icon “scene mode” offers you six pre-defined modes – auto, close-up, portrait, landscape, sports, night, night portrait. Furthermore, you can create your own mode and adjust and keep your favourite settings. So you always have the right mode for a certain moment. The close-up mode for example is the best mode to capture intricate detail of small objects. Unfortunately, the E71 doesn’t has a dedicated camera-key so you have to open up the camera application by using a shortcut or by open it via the menu. As the E71 doesn’t have a camera key, you need to focus by hitting the ”T” key. This works surprisingly well. Here some pictures taken with the E71.


The E71 can record videos up to 1 hour of length as well. With 240×320 pixels and 15 frames per seconds . This isn’t anything special but still good enough for uploading to OVI, YouTube, watching on the PC or on the device itself. To improve or change the video-quality, you can choose between various modes. For example colour tones like sepia or negative, white balance like sunny or cloudy and finally scene modes like auto or night.


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Since the E71 comes preinstalled with the music player we all know from the latest Nseries devices the E71 is also a pleasure for music-fans. It’s divided into Music and Podcast. In the folder “Music” you can find 6 other folders like ‘All songs’ or ‘Albums’. Unfortunately, the E71 has only a 2.5mm jack, thus you can’t use your favorite headphones. However, using an adapter you can fix this problem. The music quality with the provided headset isn’t that good but if you use other headsets e.g. a Sennheiser headset (with the adapter of course) , the music quality is much better. Just like on your Computer you can create easily own playlists of all your favorite music on your E71.

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The usage of the music-player is really easy. All you need is the d-pad and the volume keys to adjust the volume. To improve the music quality, you have an equaliser with 6 modes – Default, Bass booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock. You can also playback the music through the mono loudspeaker sitting on the very top of the E71. This one isn’t the loudest but loud and good enough for the living room, bath, class room or car. The music player supports following audiofiles: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), RealAudio 7,8,10, True tones, WAV.


The E71 offers nearly every connection you need. From W-Lan (802.11b/g, 54 MBit/s), GPS, HSDPA, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPRS, IrDA to micro-USB everything is under this sexy hood. Anyway, in the test Bluetooth works fast and great with the 6650, my computer and also with my SU-8W. When you insert the micoUSB-cable into the E71, you can choose between four modes – PC Suite, Data transfer, Image print and Media player. I usually use the Data transfer but if you like to have access to your internal memory you have to choose PC suite. Of course the E71 can receive and send emails. The internal email client is good and easy to set up. Downloading the attached html file you can view the email just like you know it from your desktop; with all graphics and so on. More over, you can receive emails and with attachments like pictures, MP3 and other files.

Thanks to S60’s excellent open source webbroser or 3rd party applications like Opera Mini you can have the full internet on your E71. Using GPRS or rather W-Lan you can enter the world wide web really fast and easy. The pretty nifty mini map helps you to navigate through the website. More over, you can zoom in and out the pages and download pictures from websites you like. To be up to date you can also subscribe to RSS feeds really easily and read them wherever and whenever you like.

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As already mentioned, the E71 offers build in GPS with A-GPS. Using the GPS and Nokia Maps you can see where you are or where you friend lives- either in map, map3D, satellite or hybrid mode. Furthermore, you can see how to come to the train station or any-other place. This all is for free but live navigation, which most the user are looking for, isn’t. You have to buy licenses to use Maps as good as possible. The GPS works good and in addition with A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System) you can get a faster GPS-fix.  It always depends on your location but you should get a GPS fix within a minute or even less. Nokia is offering a program called Sports Tracker using the built in GPS of the E71 to give you information about speed, altitude and many more.


The E71 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. I have to confess, that I can’t judge this category that good because I’m a S60 user for some years. However, for a new user it’s pretty tricky to find into the menu. I’ve seen a lot user pressing the navigation key to get access to the menu which is the wrong way. After pressing the home key you can find plenty of icons and some folders. The icons already say what they stand for and furthermore you can read the application’s name. If you don’t like the menu structure you can create new folders, delete some, move the application as you like or change the menu view from Grid to a List. Furthermore, you can choose between several standard themes and hundreds more which are in the World Wide Web. For those with bad eyes you can also change the front size.

For totally new S60 user the E71 has a really helpful tutorial application which explains a lot functions of the E71 and how to use them. Thanks to the huge amount of RAM and the ARM 11 CPU with 369 MHz you can navigate fast thought the menu and use a lot application at the same time.

Business and Organizer:

Looking the first time at the Nokia E71 you can see that this is a business-monster. Indeed, it belongs to Nokia’s Eseries which offers the user special business applications which works pretty well. In the menu you can find a folder called ‘Office’ in which you can find following business applications:

  • Active notes
  • Search
  • Calculator
  • Quick Office
  • Converter
  • Notes
  • Clock
  • Printers
  • Calendar
  • Zip
  • Adope PDF
  • Wlss keybd.
  • Dictionary
  • Intranet


Quickoffice enables Word, Exel and Powerpoint files. This is the premium version so that you can create or edit Word, Exel and even Powerpoint files. This is really useful and easy, especially since the E71 has a great QWERTY keyboard which allows fast writing.

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To don’t miss any meeting you have the calendar entries on the Stand-By-Screen. You can create a to-do list, a memo and also some more. The calendar, the contacts and your bookmarks you can synch with the PC using the PC Suite. In the test it worked also pretty well.

New text messages, E-mails, and missed calls can be displayed on the Stand-By-Screen too. If there is such a missed event the LED right under the d-pad starts to impulse pretty fast till you pressed a key.

Battery life:

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The E71 uses the BP-4L with 1500 mAh. Depending on the usage the battery least several days. It really impressed me. All in all the battery is really strong and ensures a long usage.


The E71 comes with a bunch of total new or with new E-series applications. So you have the already mentioned musicplayer, as well as the Podcast application and the new Nokia Maps and Search. The total new applications are: Dictionary, Intranet, Modes, Encryption, Contact Search and a new Calendar. I like especially the dictionary, Contact Search, Modes and the calendar. Modes is a pretty handy application which allows you to easily switch between two different surfaces with different themes, backgrounds, shortcuts and enabled applications.


The contact search allows you to easily and quickly search your contacts by easily typing the first letters. If you search for Norman John you just need to type in 6 or 5. More over there are some cool transition between the screen which look really smooth.


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No doubt, the E71 combines almost everything you need into a small and sexy hood. It is built very well and offers all functions you need.