Nokia E71 – My Review and Comparison to E61i

Now I guess you know I like gadgets being a geek and all, and I always liked the look of the Nokia E61 with it’s big screen for surfing…but it was ugly as hell.

Thankfully Nokia updated and came out with the Nokia E61i with a camera (albeit a basic one) and a funky new full metal body which was sexy as hell. I grabbed myself a Nokia E61i back in May last year.

I have to say I’ve been really happy with the phone, it’s tough and it just works. It has been getting a bit sluggish lately but I have filled it up with stuff and it’s took a bit of a battering.

So recently Nokia announced a new update to the family, the far sexier and slimmer Nokia E71. It dead leak a fair while before that, but you can never believe those dodgy prototype photos.

Nokia E71

The specs are pretty impressive, it has an updated camera (with Autofocus!) and it has GPS, finally I have less excuse to get completely lost now. It’s available in Grey Steel and White Steel, I of course opted for the far more manly Grey version…the white one looks a bit Apple-fanboi-ish.

Introducing the Nokia E71.

Nokia E71

As you can see it’s far sexier than the previous one. The back is sweet too, the whole thing is a bit of a fingerprint magnet though.

Nokia E71 - Back

Thankfully it comes with a nifty leather pouch.

E71 Leather Pouch

It’s also quite a bit narrower than the E61i at the expense of a bit of screen size (2.8″ vs 2.36″) but it runs at the same resolution (320×240) so it appears a bit sharper.

Nokia E71 vs E61

And slimmer, the buttons are almost exactly the same. Thankfully though they’ve dumped the stupid proprietary connection and are using the USB interface like the N-series phones. It also has a standard headphone jack (well almost standard its 2.5mm rather than 3.5mm but the adaptor only costs about RM9).

Nokia E61 vs Nokia E71

The build quality is excellent just like the previous one, the audio and video capabilities have improved a lot and it’s a lot more responsive due to a new processer.

It seems to have had quite a few features integrated from the N-series. One thing that really bugged me was there was no recurrent alarm feature on the E61i – I had to manually set the alarm every day! The E71 has that feature, without having to download a 3rd party app.

The camera is a little better than the E61i, but it’s not really noticeable, the pictures are a little disappointing but then what can you expect with an imaging sensor the size of a grain of rice.

The layout is very similar to the E61i but more compact as can be seen above, the keys are a little smaller and they’ve removed the spaces between the keys and lost a couple of keys. The keys do have a ‘pillow’ shape though so if you mash multiple keys with your fat digits the phone still knows which one you pressed harder and gives you the right result. I find it a little harder to type fast on than the E61i but it’s still reasonable, I guess I still need a bit of time to adjust to it.

Nokia E71 - Grey Steel

It also has predictive text, which although is an old thing for standard number keypad type phones, it’s a fairly new thing for phones with a QWERTY type keyboard. It also takes a bit of getting used, it’s a little annoying sometimes, but sometimes can help speed up your typing (if you’re using common words). It also helps a bit if you mispress the wrong key due to the new smaller keypad as it will suggest the correctly spelt version of the word.

The browser still flakes out now and then which is annoying, but the net surfing is great in the full screen mode.

It does lack the accelerometer feature the N-series have and it’s sister model the E66 also has, that would be a nice addition but I guess it doesn’t suite the demographic of this phone (But I want the light saber app!).

So far it’s been a good experience, mostly importantly for me Twibble and Gmail apps work fine! Although Twibble does default to numeric mode when I try and send a tweet.

Interface wise it’s a bit more configurable than the E61i as it has a switch feature allowing you to have 2 completely different setups, one for work and one for leisure. You can have different shortcuts, notifications and themes for each layout.

The retail price is RM1,950 – of course the street price is less and it’ll go down in the coming months.




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35 Responses to Nokia E71 – My Review and Comparison to E61i

  1. She's Jess August 18, 2008 at 12:23 am #

    What abt the GPS network works like?

  2. Emily August 18, 2008 at 12:30 am #

    Thanks for this post!

    I have been thinking of upgrading from E61i to E71 because of the 3.5G connectivity and supposedly better camera quality but now you mention that the quality of images is not such an improvement after all? 🙁

  3. paul tan August 18, 2008 at 2:25 am #

    i love my e90

  4. ShaolinTiger August 18, 2008 at 4:26 am #

    She’s Jess: It’s a bit slow because it’s a phone but it works well. Nokia Maps 2.0 is much better than the old one and you can get 3rd party navigation apps like MapKing.

    Emily: Well it has autofocus and a bit of a flash which is better than the old one which had no light at all. I’ll compile some pics from it later and post them so people can have a look.

    paul tan: E90 rocks!

  5. Emily August 18, 2008 at 4:38 am #

    I’m looking forward to the photos! Thanks.

  6. kevin August 18, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    why dont you go for HTC(dopods)/MWG(O2)/Blackberry instead?

  7. pinkpau August 18, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    ST can your phone do video calls /eyes

  8. KY August 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm #


  9. grace August 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    Not really a Nokia Fan here. 🙁

  10. ShaolinTiger August 19, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    Emily: Sure will try and remember them 🙂

    kevin: I’ve looked at them all, E61i was way better than the rest especially for the price and E71 is just a nice update on that with GPS and more of the media facilities from the N-series phones.

    pinkpau: Yes and it can use the intraweb /eyes

    KY: Do it!

    grace: Yah I wasn’t, I used SE for a long time but I have to say Nokia are much better now.

  11. kevin August 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    huhu didnt realise that it cost that much more!

    i now only use my pda for GPS navigation. i’m a heavy texter so even with qwerty/touch its hard.

  12. ethanhunt August 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Dude i bought this phone when it came out early july. I posted in a couple of forums about this issue and also in nokia’s main discussion forum. It seems that there’s a bug in the software for the camera. Check out this entry.

  13. ShaolinTiger August 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    kevin: When I was looking at E61i the others were over 3k and E61i was RM1800 and it had just come out.

    ethanhunt: Interesting, but not a problem that’ll be replicated in real life use IMHO.

  14. tom September 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    Still thinking over this with Samsung i780…
    Hmm… A great review here on E71. Love it.
    Gives me better stand now..
    I think I would go for E71.

  15. ShaolinTiger September 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    tom: Go check it out, so far I’m very happy – it’s a good phone.

  16. aDAm September 24, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    motorola rAwkSS!!…anyway,thinkin of gettin nokia n96…but,does it available in market yet?

  17. cass September 26, 2008 at 3:20 am #

    this izzz an awesome phone! bought it for the bf and he loves it!

  18. ShaolinTiger September 26, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    aDAm: Moto are good if you just want a very simple phone. N96 is available on the market yes.

    cass: It is indeed!

  19. Joe November 9, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    I’ve just bought Nokia E71 and what else do I ask for, everything I want can be found in this cellphone. It looks trendy and slim but the big tumb up is actually the functions. The best function is the GPS. Never regret buying it.

  20. ShaolinTiger November 13, 2008 at 4:41 am #

    Joe: Totally agree, what more could you want? Especially for the price – it’s an excellent phone!

  21. Terver Uza January 14, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    for the large nature of d E61i, it really rocks but d GPS on the E71 is just the added advantage over the E61i.

  22. ShaolinTiger January 15, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Terver Uza: Plus the E71 camera is better and has a flash.

  23. Rahul January 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    Guys among all the buzz .. some one plz tell me i m thinking to buy one E71 and is it worth buying ??
    n that’d be gr8 if some one cud tell me if it works on CDMA also … !!
    Thanks in advance …

  24. ShaolinTiger February 5, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    Rahul: Yah definitely worth it, the best value Nokia phone right now.

  25. Rahul February 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks Tiger !
    n does this works on CDMA ? ..

  26. Abby March 24, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Have been Using the Nokia E61i for a while now & its been a Great Phone to use, more than my own needs, So i had a play Around with the Nokia E71 & i am not pleased with the Screen Size & The Cramped Keypad, It Just does’nt Feel Right, But Its is Faster & Has Built in GPS, But it Just Does’nt justify the extra Price tag, for this Feature.

  27. ShaolinTiger March 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Rahul: Don’t know you have to check the specs.

    Abby: Yah I had the same issues, the smaller screen size and the cramped keys. The better camera, the GPS and the generally better OS won it for me tho.

  28. Gary March 31, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    I love my e61i it rohcks..Wid d big screen surfing is grt n typing too…

  29. Abby March 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    I say Go for the Nokia E61i if you want Large Screen & Typing with ease, i know i’ll be Keeping My E61i for a long Time. Its just Rocks.

  30. mantissa April 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Sounds a bit strange to say but I migrated from E61i to the E71. I must add that eventhough the interface is MUCH faster, there’s part of me that kind of misses the E61i. The larger screen, the smaller fonts I had in GMail for Mobile, seemingly better camera image quality on the E61i, E71 overall for me at least wasn’t -that- huge a jump. For those of you looking to migrate from an E61i to an E71, just be warned that the interface keys are a bit different in ordering as well.

  31. Abby April 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    I’ve noe got the Nokia E71 now, & there only little Differance in Spec, & a big differance in Price tag, but the E71 is faster & smaller with the added bonus of GPS, i must say the Camera on the E71 is terrible, unless your in really bright conditions. Its a personal really, But i Prefer my Old E61i.

  32. Abby April 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    I can Type better on my Nokia E61i, as the above Comment was typed on the Small & Cramped E71. Which has Several Mistakes.

  33. Joe Li April 22, 2009 at 4:16 am #

    can some owner of a E71 try and let me know if the vidoe recording lets you zoom whie recording. This is the reason i had the e61i.

    comment on the e71, it should be the same size as the e61i it’s perfect for it’s physical, becaues of it’s keyboard size.
    holds better when you really want to do speed typing with 2 hands.


  34. David June 25, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    WOW!! Ok i HAD the E61i and it got stolen, so my dad got me the E61 which is all-right, but ugly as hell. He’s thinkin of gettin a E71 for me and keeping the E61i… But i’m thinkin i should tell him to take the E71 instead!!!! Thanks for all the comments guys!