I’ve had the Nokia E71 for two weeks now and admittedly I am still in awe at the device.

I’ve been looking for a new phone for a while and had been waiting patiently for the iPhone 3G’s South African launch. But when Vodacom did the unforgivable and postponed the launch for the 3rd consecutive month, I started looking for something better.

First impressions of the phone is WOW! Its an absolute stunner to look at it. With its dark metal finish, the dimples on the back and the big screen makes this phone very pretty.


Its officially the thinnest smart phone and has an awesome form factor that fits comfortably into any pocket without bulging or being uncomfortable.

Check out the full specs on the Nokia site. The box has a nothing extra fancy in it and ships with the standard stuff that we have come to expect from Nokia: a very small charger, a single ear handsfree headset, a leather strap, a leather pouch, cd, booklets and of course the phone and battery.

The battery that ships with the phone is absolutely great! I keep the Bluetooth and wifi on all day for syncing with my laptop and for my push mail and I really hammer out emails on the phone all day long and I’m currently having to charge my phone every 2nd day.

I have setup Mail for Exchange and Nokia Email for my work and personal emails. They are both push mail clients and were phenomenally easy to setup. With super easy interfaces.

The phone bears a nice big bright screen. Its fairly easy to read under bright light conditions as well. It rings fairly loud and the built in loud speaker is nice and clear and the mic does a great job while I'm in the car.

The vibrating feature is a bit half-assed though. Having the phone on silent with vibrate only is not going to work for me, so I’ve had to edit the profile to beep once just to make sure it catches my attention.

The keyboard is cool, though the spacing between the buttons make it easy to mistype. The shift key is also in a very arb place and its fairly difficult to use at first, but you get used to it after a few dozen emails. But expect to be using the backspace button quite a bit.

The phone is a finger print magnet! I’ve had to start keeping a little clothe on my desk to wipe it down every now and again, because the prints become disturbing after a while.

Symbian has definitely made lots of improvements on the OS. I was using a Nokia N80 previously and found that with 4 or 5 applications open at a time, the phone lags or even crashes and restarts itself. But the E71 does an amazing job of multi tasking. I have used upto 6 applications at once and have yet to see any sign of lag on the phone. Switching between them is seamless too.

I love the search feature on the phone which works the same as Windows Vista’s Search.
I love the fact that from the homescreen, as I type, it sorts the contacts list, which makes for quick and easy calling.
I love how I can type a contacts name in the TO section of an SMS and it will auto search my contact list. It also supports auto complete, which is really clever.
I love waking up to find the weather report on my phone waiting for me.
I love how easy the alarm clock is to setup with multiple alarm settings that are each highly configurable.

Packed with a huge onboard memory, I have been installing applications on the phone from Nokia’s new Labs website called BetaLabs. There are some really great apps out there as well.

Talking of which, the default themes on the phone is absolutely shocking! It reminded me of Windows 3.1.1 and the very first hour of using the phone, I set out looking for a new theme! I also realised that there are SO many really stupid themes out there... but I found one that I really like!

I also don’t use the second home screen. Maybe because I’m used to having only one home screen, so for now, I don’t see the point of the feature. And I also HATE that all new SMSes, Missed Calls or Voice Mails are listed at the bottom of the phone as buttons. Its really annoying to have to scroll down through all items on the home screen to get to the SMS icon. Why did they do this? Maybe I'm missing the point.

I’ve read a lot of great reviews for this phone and I would like confirm that this is an absolutely great handset. Nokia has really done an awesome job with this phone, so well done Nokia!

I highly recommend the phone to anyone who is looking for business focussed device!

I got the Nokia E71 from MTN on a ProCall 120 contract for the MTN Service Centre at Canal Walk within 30 minutes of applying. I was helped by the most competent sales staff that I have encountered in a VERY long time, so well done MTN!

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6 Opinions

  1. angel // 14 September 2008 at 20:32

    hhmmmm... you may just convince me!

  2. HoTsTePPa // 23 September 2008 at 00:36

    :) I still stand by the buy! Highly recommended!

  3. Anonymous // 01 October 2008 at 14:35

    hi. do they only have it in the grey?

  4. Anonymous // 11 November 2008 at 13:08

    I really love my E71 as well. Was using the E51 before so it seemed easy to upgrade to the E71. But I agree with you that the missed calls and sms notifications are strange. They where much better on the E51. Also I'm so frustrade with Nokia for releasing this wonderfull phone, powerful and robust. It comes with a great charger, usb cable and even a nice pocket for keeping it away from scratches...BUT then they send a stupid, worthless, no good, low quality headset with it.. why oh why... Nokia have great headsets that they sell for E71 like the HS-44+AD-44. But no they choose to ruin the overall feel by sending a crap headset with the phone.. stupid misstake that really would heighten the overall feel.

  5. Anonymous // 22 November 2008 at 10:08

    I've had a HTC s710 and a blackberry curve but think the E71 is by far much better. Also very cheap in Saudi. Could pick one up for about R2300.

  6. HoTsTePPa a.k.a. DChetty // 28 January 2009 at 21:03

    My blog has since been moved. I have many new Nokia related posts on my new blog, so please feel free to visit it at http://dchetty.co.za