Nokia might have a more flashy range of handsets that cater to the young and rich, but when it comes to the business world, the Finnish cell phone manufacturer doesn’t come up short either. The Nokia E71 is the natural successor to the E61i, and it is only fitting that the E71 does offer notable improvements over its predecessor, despite having a rather small display size which is in contrast to the other hot handset in the market today – the Apple iPhone 3G. Targeting the business and serious power user crowd, this Symbian S60-powered smartphone comes with a traditional QWERTY keyboard.
Take one glance at the Nokia E71 and one thing will strike you – the handset’s slim form factor. Seriously, you can’t get anything slimmer than that in the market at press time, and all this is done without sacrificing any of the power features that one would expect from a top notch business class smartphone. The E71 prides itself being a quad-band handset that supports HSDPA connectivity, ensuring you get the fastest connection speeds possible where the signal is available. In addition, you also get 3G, EDGE and GPRS for times where HSDPA is unavailable.
Users who have problems reading maps will definitely appreciate the built-in GPS capability that will work with a pre-installed version of Nokia Maps that boasts over 200 different maps that can be downloaded for your convenience. If you don’t have a soft spot for Nokia Maps (I personally prefer Google Maps), then you are free to purchase and install your own GPS software. The use of Assisted GPS (A-GPS) for short also greatly reduces lock-on times under certain conditions – perfect for the harried traveler who has places to go with very little time and space in between for hiccups.
The 3.2 megapixel camera might not come with a Carl Zeiss lens unlike other N-Series handsets, but it does feature an autofocus and a flash to help you out in less than ideal conditions. One thing that is worthy of mention would be the autofocus that seems to work pretty well focusing much faster compared to other cameraphones, ensuring you won’t miss out on that Kodak – or should I say, Nokia moment. is also a secondary camera up in the front that allows you to make video calls over 3G, helping you keep in touch with more than just a conversation via a voice call.
Being a business-centric smartphone, it goes without saying that there must be a compromise when it comes to the screen and keyboard. Granted, Nokia could have opted for the Communicator series or take on a slider form factor, but both options would rule out the possibility of the current slim design that the E71 boasts. Hence, the need for a QWERTY keyboard that offers a speedy type rate for thumb typists while having a display that is not too small so that your important e-mails can be read in full without missing out on important details.
The Nokia E71 is no slouch when it comes to e-mail support – Web-based e-mail services are a breeze to set up as all you need to provide are the account name and password, while Nokia’s servers will take care of the other details. Those who are more into the enterprise class will be pleased to take note that Microsoft Exchange, Visto and SEVEN Always-On-Mail are supported although you will need to have the extra bit of technical know how beforehand. Integrated mobile VPN (Virtual Private Network) also ensures that your data and security will not be compromised wherever you go.
Once you’re done with work, the E71 is more than ready to play as well. It offers decent audio quality that might not be up to par with Sony Ericsson’s range of Walkman phones, but it should be enough for everyday use. Compatibility with the more popular audio and video formats are all thrown in, so you don’t have to worry about keeping a video converter software handy. The integrated FM radio enables you to check out what’s hot on the local airwaves once you’re done with your collection of MP3s.
Other noteworthy features of the E71 that ought to be inside a phone of its class and calibre include Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity with A2DP support, 128MB SDRAM, while a microSD memory card slot is there to help you expand your memory capacity by up to 8GB. That means microSDHC memory cards are supported, and it remains to be seen when 32GB versions are out as to whether the E71 is capable of handling those as well.
The Nokia E71 ought to be perfect if you want a business-savvy phone that knows how to kick back and relax when you want to do so. The main drawback would be the 2.3” display, but with all the features and capability that this handset offers, it isn’t too much to ask you to bear with that one weakness, is it?