Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nokia 5610 XpressMusic (T-Mobile) Review

The recent phones i've been reviewing have been fairly thin so the Nokia 5610 XpressMusic initially shocked me with its girth. But comparing it to the n82, the 5610 doesn't look so fat any more. Similar to the other XpressMusic phone sold on T-Mobile, the Nokia 5310, the 5610 runs S40 5th edition. The firmware on my 5610b is V 05.92 14-03-08 (the initial production firmware). The box contains the phone, Nokia Battery BP-5M 900 mAh, AC-4U charger, CA-101 USB data cable, Nokia Stereo Headset HS-45 with AD-56 (remote control), 2GB microSD memory card, and Nokia CD with utilities and programs

There are no keys on the left of the phone. The right side has a very recessed volume rocker which is hard to push since it's so thin and a 2 level camera shutter.

Quick facts:
Name: Nokia 5610 (RM-359)
Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Weight: 111 g
Dimensions: 99 x 48 x 17 mm
Battery life (stand by): 312 hours
Battery life (talk): 360 minutes

My phone was manufactured in: (your phone's country of manufacture could vary) China.

The 5610 closed

The 5610 opened

Continuing the XpressMusic theme of the 5310, the 5610 is mostly black except for the ring of red around the phone and the two large blocks of red to the left and right of the display. A key differentiator of the Nokia 5610 from the 5310 is that the 5610 is in a slider format.

Coming from recent reviews of the E71 and 5310, I had high expectations of the feel quality on the 5610.

The sides of the phone feel solid but the battery cover feels hollow.

The sides of the phone have a faint amount of grip that is just enough to push your thumb against to open the slider. It's easier to push the slider from the bottom to open it.

Opening the slider will automatically unlock the keyboard while closing the slider will display the lock option for the center, after a couple seconds of being closed the phone will auto key lock (change this at menu > settings >phone > automatic keyguard). Auto keyguard does not apply when the slider is open.

Nokia 5610 to the E71

Nokia 5610 to the N82

The memory card holder is really nice and very similar to the sim card holders on most n-series phones like the n95 and n82. But its small size makes it hard to use.

The sim card holder is not as good with just a slot

The screen is a good size and resolution is standard Nokia at 240 x 320 pixels (2 inches) and can display up to 16.7 million (24-bit) colors. There is a light sensor to vary the brightness of the screen.

The screen is similar to the one found on the 5310.

Nokia 5610 in the dark:

The display is flush with the buttom soft keys but separated by the horizontal switch. The soft keys and call keys are finished in grossy plastic with the same feel as the plastic protecting the display. the soft keys and call keys provide good loud clicky feedback but overall feel cheap. The dpad is stiff so pushing left/right/up/down requires effort. The inside keys are also finish in the same slippery plastic as the softkeys. The is enough texture on the slightly bevelled number keys to feel each key as they as flush with each other. The keys at the bottom of the phone are still easy to hit in one handed operation.

As you may have noticed from the front of the phone, the 5610 features a switch just above the soft keys. This switch is spring loaded so it always returns to the center position. At any screen, sliding the switch to the left will switch you to the music player. Sliding it left again will reveal the radio. Sliding it one more time left will return you to the standyby screen. Switching between the 3 screens is accompanied with a nice sliding animation that would be nice to see in the rest of the OS.

As i mentioned before, the 5610 runs S40 5th edition. There are the usual tmobile customizations like tmobile icons, the right softkey can't be changed so it's stuck as t-zones, t-mobile's own IM & E-mail app, help,

The phone feels slow within the menus but the music/video player was more smooth and faster than the 5310.

As with other Nokia phones sold under T-Mobile, the right soft key cannot be changed from t-zones.

Although the Nokia 5610 support Flash 2.1 for animated screen savers, it cannot play FLV files from YouTube.

Not much is different between the 5310 and 5610 so you can refer to my Nokia 5310 review for details on the software.

The Nokia 5610 has no support for T-Mobile's 3G network. It's odd this phone doesn't have it but the lowly Nokia 3555 has T-mobile 3G support.

Sound Quality
With no support for T-mobile's 1700 network, the Nokia 5610 still managed to pull as much reception as possible in the NYC area. I experienced no problems with voice during calls and none of my calls were dropped.

You can set your own MP3 as a ring tone too.

The 5610 has weak speakers with no bass. The audio quality is worst than the E61 and N82. It also only plays mono through the speakers.

Headset use
The 2.5mm headset. The 5610 also supports Bluetooth stereo headsets through A2DP but I wasn't able to test this.

Multimedia Features

The 5610 has a 3.2MP (2048 x 1536 pixels) camera with dual LED flash

The is no cover over the lense and is fully exposed. I wish Nokia put a plastic cover for the camera in the battery cover so if it got scratched it could be as easy as changing the battery cover to get rid of the scratches.

The photos produced by the 5610 are sharp. A slow shutter forces you to hold still for a split second when taking photos. The phone takes a picture a split second after pressing down on the shutter button but it's a lot faster than the 5310. Saving photos is slow taking about 6 seconds from after pressing down on the shutter so you can't take many photos in succession.

The small shutter key makes it hard to hold half way to autofocus so I ended up losing the focus a few times.

Macro photo (N82, E71, 5610)

Outside (E71, 5610)

Darkness (N82, E71, 5610)

5610 grimlock no flash (N82, E71, 5610)

The 5610 camera produces amazing results with its 3.2MP autofocus camera that resemble the 5MP N82 than the 3.2MP E71. Macro photos and non-macro photos turned out very sharp even without a dedicated macro setting. The dual LED flash did light up the room better than a single LED of the E71 but no where close to the Xenon of the N82.

You can connect the 5610 to your computer using Bluetooth or USB data cable. You can install Nokia PC Suite to synchronize the 5610 with your computer.

You can pair devices, you can send images/music files/video clips/themes and virtually any content via Bluetooth to another device. Each time you want to connect to another device, the 5610 needs to scan for devices even if you've previously connected with the device (this gets annoying if you Bluetooth a lot as you need to wait for the search to finish). If your BT is off you can still send media, the phone prompts you to turn on BT and will automatically turn off BT when the transfer is done. So if S40 can automatically turn off BT, why can't S60 do the same?

Sending files occur in the foreground (cannot multi-task) but receiving files occur in the background so you can multi-task during this time.

Pairing the 5610 with a PC gives you these features in the included Bluetooth profiles:
Dial up networking
HS Audio gateway
OBEX Object Push
OBEX File Transfer
Serial Port
Network Access Point Service

There are not as many profiles as on Sony Ericsson phones but its good enough for most people. I paired the 5610 to my laptop and E71 with no problems.

External Memory
A 2GB microSD memory card is included in the 5310. The memory card is obstructed by the battery so you can't hot swap the memory card.

Battery is moderate for a S40 phone. The 5310 lasts 3.5 days from full charge. Without a SIM card or placing the phone in flight mode, the phone lasted 5 days without a charge.

Unlike Motorola and Blackberry phones, the 5610 cannot be charged through the microUSB.

Build quality...........8
Features for $.........6 (T-Mobile $99 for 2 years)
Battery life.............4


*Attractive exterior design
*More advanced S40 5th edition operating system
*Great build quality
*Fast menu navigation
*Support for various IM and e-mail services like MSN and gmail

*Weak speakers
*Poor call quality
*Triband with no 3G support.
*No dedicated music controls except the front switch
*Complicated menu system
*no native e-mail client
*No 3.5mm headset jack
*cheap battery cover

Overall the Nokia 5610 is a great mid-ranged phone with a very compelling design and good build quality. The 5610 produces shockingly great images from its autofocus 3.2MP camera. The missing 3.5mm audio jack is shocking with Nokia pushing it as a music oriented phone. I had no issues with call quality and call strength with T-Mobile weak network in New York City.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nokia E72 E63 and E75

A promotional ad from Nokia was leaked onto YouTube (taken down already) and picked up by many phone blogs reveals the E75 slider and the E72 E63 a qwerty phone (a lot of blogs have them reversed with the E71-like device called the E75). Both are expected to be E-series midrange phones sporting the 369MHz Freescale MXC300 ARM1136JF-S solution, 2 or 3.2MP cameras, and GPS.

Nokia E75
It's time Nokia started competing directly against HTC's numerous slider out QWERTY phones. I was shopping Manhattan and I saw a lot of LG QWERTY slider phones and HTC VOX-like phones. This phone will be a big hit for the teenage demographics who want the standard keypad for making calls and the convenience of the QWERTY keyboard for text messages.

Nokia E72 E63
Most likely to be released in North America carriers like AT&T, Fido, and Rogers, I speculate the E72 will be almost identical to the E71 except for minor differences like crippling carrier-specific software and WiFi features (GPS) removed as the E62 was to the E61.

Nokia said they were going to hit North America in a big way this coming year and it looks like their development efforts are finally ready to market. The QWERTY keyboard is a highly desired feature in the North American market (less so in Europe who are accustomed to T9) and these phones stand a good chance of increasing Nokia uptake here. Now if only Nokia can get carriers to sell these phones at a reasonable price.

Here's the Nokia promotional video:

<< Removed by Nokia >>

Source: GSMArena

Updated September 21, 2008:
Some additional photos of the E75:

Based on the size of the screen to the Nokia logo and keys, the screen will be a 2.4 inch similar to the N82

There's a camera! After the E61 mishap, all E-series have included a camera. A single LED can also be seen.

Note the WLAN MAC address on the label. This confirms WiFi will be on the E75 (no surprise to anyone familiar with the E-series)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Evening with S60 in New York

I just got back from An Evening with S60 at the New York Nokia Flagship Store:

There were so many people on the first floor that it was hard to move around:

The second floor was crowded too:

Eric from S60 was on hand to talk:

The S60 truck that made a lot of fake trunk sound and controlled by the accelerometer of a N82... yawn:

Something like this was cool when Sony Ericsson showed off a T610 controlling a Bluetooth car (CAR-100) back in 2003. It doesn't carry the same wow factor in 2008.

Showing off N-gage:

I had a chance to play the new Star Wars The Force Unleashed on the N-Gage and it was pretty neat. You make these patterns on the number pad to select the force to use like which droid to destroy and how to destroy it. There's a demo on N-Gage so I recommend downloading it to see for yourself.

The hor dourves present were:
- mini crab cakes
- steak on cracker
- fried shrimp
- slice of chicken
- asparagus wrapped like an egg roll

They had a number of Bluetooth headsets to give away and 2 N95-3s.

Free swag in a bag were:
- a pink hat
- a pink or grey cellphone pouch
- small pad of paper (I wish it were a monthly calendar for 2009)
- a sponge S60 lanyard
- a page of Legends telegraph (you can also read it online here). It's really lame.
- pen

I chatted up with a number of HoFo members like B0000rt, gwapz, and howard.

Overall there were just the usual things at the Nokia Store. I saw the N96 (one was circulating) which was smaller than what I'd thought it would be. The N85 (also only 1 being circulated) was small as well with an impressive screen. But you've seen both those phones on numerous photos on the web. Nobody from Nokia could talk about upcoming phones and there weren't any prototypes on display.

I feel there should have been more neat S60 software shown off like a demo of wiimote with tv out playing a ngage shooter projected onto a huge wall. Just something people don't expect.

Outside of many Nokia phone enthusiasts getting together at the same place at the same time, there wasn't much extraordinary. I think a good HoFo meet in Toronto is just as good.

All photos at the event taken by my E71-2!

Evening with S60 in NYC

I'll be attending the Evening with S60 event this evening at the New York Nokia Flagship store (5 E 57th Street, NY 10022) from 7:30pm - 10pm. Some Nokia developers/engineers will be attending since they're in town for the Web 2.0 Expo. They'll also have demonstrations, food, drinks, and giveaways.

I hope you've already registered at the S60 events page.

Looking forward to meeting all you phone enthusiasts!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Boingo goes Mobile! Includes FREE browsing

If you're a frequent flyer then you may have noticed a change in Boingo hotspots on your mobile device. Boingo has just added a mobile version of their authentication page (loads a lot faster and without the annoying Flash splash screen). But the best thing is that they now offer mobile users a chance to browse for free after watching a 15 second ad.

10/31/2008 Update: This offer has now expired so there's no more free Internet but you still get a mobile version of Boingo.

Here's the old un-optimized Boingo page:

So here's how the new Boingo page works:

After watching 15 seconds of ads you get 15 minutes of free web surfing:

Unfortunately this only applies to mobile devices so laptops still see the standard screen. Let me know if this offer changes by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I won a trip to LA from Nokia Productions/WOM World!

I'm so excited! I'm going to Los Angeles in October!

I got into work this morning and was surprised by an e-mail from WOM World:

Hi Eric,

Congratulations! I'm pleased to tell you that you're one of the winners of our movie death scenes challenge for Nokia Productions, meaning that you've won a ticket to the LA premiere of Spike's final cut of the movie on October 14th.

Our Assistant Directors have considered all the entries carefully and definitely felt yours was among the best for originality and effort, so well done!

The ticket is for the evening of October 14th where you will get a chance to attend the premiere with the Assistant Directors and the other winners, attend the Avril Lavigne concert afterwards, and live blog from the event for your community. We will also provide flights or other transport to LA from within the USA for you, and a hotel room for that evening.

Just let us know the travel arrangements that best suit you, to arrive in LA by 12pm on October 14th, and we'll start sorting things out. If you sadly can't make the date, the ticket will be offered to one of the runners-up.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

WOM World / Nokia

WOM World is a Nokia sponsored resource that provided me with some of the phones I've reviewed on my blog. WOM World had provided me a Nokia 5310 to create movies based on life for Spike Lee's movie in Nokia Productions. They had 3 video categories: Birth, Life, and Death. There was an added challenge given by WOM World for the last category and that was to recreate a movie death scene with your phone.

Here was my movie death scene submission:

It was so time consuming to do it with the Nokia 5310 they gave me but luckily I finished it in time. I actually went out to Toys R Us to buy the SUV and brought some lego characters from home.

It was all worth the effort!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Nokia 5610 XpressMusic Preview

The latest Nokia to join T-Mobile USA's portfolio is the Nokia 5610 XpressMusic. Sporting a similar design to the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic, the 5610 comes
red and white. I got a red one so it feels just like the 5310 I had for review but now in slider form. To think the 5610 is just the same 5310 in a new package would be wrong.

The 5610 has a 3.2MP camera with autofocus (no macro mode however), adds dual LED flash, loses the 3.5mm headset jack for a 2.5mm headset jack (I have NO idea why Nokia would do such a thing on a music oriented phone even though the 5610 is fat enough to fit the 3.5mm), and adds a gimicky slider on the front of the phone (allows you to switch to the music player and radio from anywhere).

The center key felt imprecise and the flush front keys felt spongy. The phone is light. The battery cover is thin, has a very flimsy latch system not typical of Nokia, and made with cheaper plastic. Considering most of the hand touches the battery cover, it's a bad place to put cheap plastic.

The little black square button between the microUSB and charger jack is the battery cover release.

There is a slight lag when navigating around the UI.

Finally a full game in a T-Mobile Nokia handset.

I just had to try this out. I really liked Guitar Hero and Rock Band on the Playstation 3 so I'm hoping I get a similar experience on my Nokia.
The graphics look grainy and dull but accurate to the screen shown in the ad. But it was just disappointing. The music was all done with MIDI (so retro and really bad) and it was very laggy. I stopped playing about half way through the first song.

I'm left very disappointed in the first hour of playing with the 5610. Although this phone is positioned higher than the 5310, I prefer the 5310 over this phone. Let's see if I'll grow to like this phone over the two weeks.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nokia E71 Review

While the business community is clamouring for the Blackberry Bold with its smooth styling, 3G, more powerful processor, and, finally, a full HTML browser, the Nokia community has been enjoying much of those features in the N-series and E-series of phones. If business users knew about the smooth, powerful, and flexible Nokia E71, they would pick this up in a heart beat. The firmware on my E71-2 is V 100.07.76 08-06-2008 (the initial production firmware). The box contains the phone, AC-5U charger, CA-101 USB data cable, HS-47 Stereo Music Headset, Nokia E-series carrying case, and Nokia CD with utilities and programs.

I must admit, I didn't think I'd get the chance to review the E71-2 NAM so soon. Thanks to WOM World for supplying me the E71-2 in this review.

Quick facts:
Name: Nokia E71-2 NAM (RM-357)
Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 WCDMA 850/1900
Weight: 126 g
Dimensions: 114 x 57 x 10 mm
Battery life (stand by): 480 hours (WCDMA)
Battery life (talk): 270 minutes (WCDMA)
CPU: 32bit Freescale MXC300, 369 MHz ARM1136JF-S
RAM: 128 MB (accessible: 71 MB)

My phone was manufactured in: (your phone's country of manufacture could vary) Finland.

The phone doesn't stand well on its sides so here are the side profiles:

Top of the phone

The speaker and red power button. It may look odd being colored red but you won't notice it on a daily basis.

Left of the phone

The microUSB, microSD slot, and infrared port. The slots have a slight bump for your finger to nudge open.

Right of the phone

The recorder, volume rocker, and 2.5mm headset jack. The volume rocker is a lighted and sturdy unlike a number of other Nokia phones (like the N95).

Contrasting greatly against the calculator-like E61, the E71 brings beauty and high built quality long enjoyed by 88xx owners to the E-series of phones. The etched stainless steel battery cover and chrome finishing give the E71 a luxurious feel. Chrome and metal also mean you'll have lots of finger prints. The E71 exhibited no creaking.

A little more than 2 years separate these two phones and Nokia's design has come a long way to improve the E-series' appearance dramatically.

Unlike the E61, Nokia has included rubber padding under the battery cover to prevent annoying battery cover creaking i had mentioned in my E61 review.

The battery cover has an etched pattern which increases grip and feels very good to touch. However, with a metal battery cover, it gets very warm after calls.

The status LED lies right under the d-pad so the ring between the center key and navigation ring will blink when an e-mail arrives. Unfortunately the LED doesn't blink frequent enough and not bright enough to notice. I couldn't tell the differnce between the normal blink and the email notification blink.

The keypad light is relatively weak. As with most phones these days, lighting is controlled by a light sensor.

The SIM mechanism is similar to the E61 but even worst. I have a hard time sliding out the SIM card from its holder.

The Nokia E71 beside an Apple iPhone - it's here just because I know somebody will compare the two:

Quite a contrast in design. One is loaded with buttons while the other is a minimalist.

On my E71 preview I was criticizing the E71 for dropping the wonderfully large 2.8 inch screen from the E61 to a dimuitive 2.36 inch. But once I started using the E71, I totally forgot the screen size was small. The faster CPU, 3G support, pocketable size, and beauty make this screen size just perfect for the E71. The E71 perfomed well under direct sunlight with emails readable without having to tilt the screen.

The E71 display has a higher contrast compared to the E61. It looks similar to the N82 but brighter

To help conserve battery power, the E71 has a power saver timeout that blanks the entire screen and blinks the LED under the D-pad. To turn on the status indicator and time screensaver when the phone is idle, go to Profile > Breathing Light > Off:

It's small, no doubt about that. But the keys are highly domed so they're easy to pick out. The tactile feedback is better than the stiff E61 keys. I have an Asian E61 so I have a number of characters on my E61 that I don't often use like Yen but the E71-2 is better optimized for the North American market. There is 1 less Shift key and CTRL and CHR now share one key on the E71. This improves text input a lot.

Space bar has at least two sensor and feedback points so when you hit it at the center, it feels ackward to get two separate tactile feedbacks.
Unlike the older E61, there are less alt/shift/ctrl keys on the phone. The typing software has been much improved with a lot better capitalization handling.

I've typed this review on the E71 using Quickoffice (the E71 comes with a full version with edit capabilities) and find it very comfortable typing long messages or documents on it. I would have gotten tired typing the same thing on the E61 since its keys are too stiff.


The E71 is a snappy phone with very fast response throughout the menu.

As you may have heard, or not, that the E71 runs S60 FP1 but with some modifications. I'll go over some of the more common additions/changes:

The much talked about Modes:

With modes you can switch between two modes. Each mode controls:
* home screen application short cuts
* Enabled home screen plug-ins
* Active mailbox and preview style
* Theme
* Wallpaper

Typing on the standby screen will now match first and last names in your contacts. Unfortunately, the Contacts no longer matches contact names separated by ; as stored by Sony Ericsson phones.

The old E61 use to display a huge lock but the new phone locked screen displays a bit more information:

Notifications such as incoming text messages and voice messages are now displayed as small bubbles at the standby screen bottom:

As mentioned by almost everyone, the home key no longer brings you into the menu but into the active standby screen (unless you're already at the standby screen so it'll take you to the menu).

Deleting access points is instanteous and no longer displays a 'deleting' dialogue.


The calendar has been revamped but displays the same amount of information. The meetings use to appear as a popup but now appear to the right of the calendar.

To the delight of corporations, the E71 now supports encryption on both the phone and memory card so if a device is lost then data from it can't be stolen when phone lock is enabled. You can turn this feature on at: Tools > Encryption. Be aware that enabling encryption on the memory card will prevent it from being used on other devices.

File Manager
The E71 has better file extension support allowing you to open a FLV Flash movie straight from the file manager.

Ugly icons
High contrast straight forward icons help business users easily identify applications.

It looks like a step back from the usual colorful icons in other S60 devices but you'll quickly get use to it and enjoy their no nonsense look. Thankfully you can replace them with themes that include icons.

The Nokia web browser supports full HTML support and renders pages to look like browsing from a computer. The browser also supports embedded Flash for handling web site that rely on flash for navigation or content like YouTube. Eat your hearts out iPhone and Blackberry users. Nokia has further refined the browser. An example change is the browser now prompts to ask if you want your password saved.

Unfortunately the browser crashes more often than my other S60 phone like on pulse24.com.

Note that some software don't work with the E71 so be sure to test out all your applications. This is what I've observed:
- Best torch doesn't work but S60SpotOn works
- Panoman doesn't work. Complains that 'camera in use'.

Additional Software included with the E71 not included with other typical S60 devices are:
- Active Notes
- Dictionary
- full version of QuickOffice (with edit capabilities)

Although Nokia does not offer a central application store for S60 devices yet, they do offer Nokia Mosh for finding free software. I found software that turns my camera LED into a flashlight, called S60SpotOn, on Mosh.

A weak spot in the E71. The iPhone uses webkit for their browser and so does Nokia on their S60 phones so why does the iPhone support HTML in emails while the S60 doesn't? The recently released Blackberry Bold supports it so it's a good feature to add soon if Nokia is listening.
Email allows you to highlight the sender and recipients but you still can't copy or email them individually.
Unlike the Blackberry, the E71 will continue to display a wallpaper behind emails messages instead of a flat color as it does when scrolling down the contacts page. This can make reading emails difficult if the background has similar colors to the text.

Much to the bemoan of a few users, the Nokia E71 no longer supports Blackberry Connect unlike its predecessor, the E61 and E61i, which do. The E71 supports Microsoft's Exchange Active Sync through their Mail for Exchange software. E71 users don't have to worry about outages when RIM upgrades the Blackberry network. Two strong functionality in Blackberry lost in the E71 are PIN and chat. Both of these functions bypass the costly sms and data usage. The older Blackberry Connect for Nokia supported receiving PIN but not sending. I'm hoping Nokia addresses this functionality gap by hosting a chat server for their included IM software and put some marketing dollars to educate the public.

During my time with the E71, I only recall two reboots in the three weeks I've had the phone. One just happened while I was writing this review.

Those who say S60 is designed mainly for creating and not geared as much to consume multimedia must not fully use their phone. Out of the box the E71 supports H.264 video, the same video format used by the iPhone. With some added third party software like Coreplayer and MobiTubia, the E71 can open DiVX movies and stream YouTube videos. With the included 2.5mm stereo headsets (or get yourself a pair of AD2P stereo Bluetooth headsets) and music player supporting album art, you can easily have your favorite MP3s blasting in your ears. If you're an audiophile then you can install OggPlayer. S60 gives you more flexibility than both the locked down iPhone and the "lacking in software" Blackberry.

The E71 includes a 3.2 MP camera with autofocus and macro mode.

The E71 sports a LED for flash and a mirror for self portraits

The E71 uses the same camera software as the N-series line of devices.

Camera uses the center key for taking photos so the menu is hidden by default unlike other s60 devices with a dedicate shutter button. Since the center key takes photos and makes menu selections, you can't take a photo with the menu displayed. press the left soft key or right on the dpad to show menu and hit left on the dpad to hide the menu.
You can silent the camera but the led will automatically flash
As mentioned on most reviews, the T key is used for autofocussing. Focussing is quick taking half the time of the N82 but the focussing is not as accurate as the N82.

N82 macro mode without flash:

E71 macro mode with auto flash (yep, it fired):

E71 macro mode without flash:

Outdoor auto:

Overall, the E71 produced grainy photos even under direct sunlight. Colors reproduction was not accurate with photos coming out bluish or reddish. Hopefully Nokia improves this in their next firmware update. I tried to use the E71 to take some photos for my food blog, but the outcome was disappointing.

I have taken a number of photos with the E71 on a recent road trip that you can see here.

The maximum video recording resolution supported by the E71 is 320 x 240 pixels which is perfect for uploading to YouTube.

These are the available quality settings:
High: MP4, 320 x 240 pixels, 394 kbit/s
Normal: 3GPP, 176 x 144 pixels, 184 kbit/s
Sharing: 3GPP, 176 x 144 pixels, 82 kbit/s

The E71 had about 2 bars less than the N82 when reception was not perfect. Although bars isn't an accurate measurement of a phone's reception, when the N82 had 2 bars and the E71 had 0 bars and couldn't make or receive calls, the bars make a difference. There are a number of threads on Howard Forums complaining of reception issues. However, within a call i never encountered drop calls unlike my iPhone 3G friends.

The audio was not as loud as the N82 but good in a quiet setting.

I didn't have a chance to test this.

Unlike the Blackberry and iPhone, the e71 offers a wealth of Bluetooth profiles that allows you to share files with other devices, listen to music over a wireless stereo bluetooth headset, or sync data to your home computer.
As with all E-series devices, infrared is included to share data with older devices or laptops without Bluetooth.
connecting the E71 to a computer using a USV cable will automatically keypad unlock the phone (but not phone unlock) allowing you to select the connection type (mass storage, nokia suite, etc.)

The WiFi sensitivity is similar to the Nokia N82. As usual, the sensitivity is weaker than the standard Centrino package from Intel for laptops.

Global Positioning (GPS)
The E71 has an integrated GPS chip to get an accurate position of the phone.

Here is a comparison of the N82 to the E71 GPS status screen:

Both phones had their GPS started at the same time from cold boot

The N82 was consistently faster at locking a position and much more sensitive. The N82 usually took half the time to lock compared to the E71.

TIme to lock is dependent on your location and weather conditions. Turning on assisted GPS in Tools > Settings > General > Positioning > Positioning Methods will reduce lock time but requires a data connection.

External Memory
Unlike most other S60 Nokia handsets, the E71-2 NAM does not include a memory card with the retail package. However it easily supported the 2GB microSD and 8GB microSDHC cards I had on hand. The small slot and rubber cover make inserting the memory card very tricky. Make sure you don't insert the card upside down because it's really hard to take out. The memory card goes gold connector side facing up.

The E71 uses Nokia's longest lasting phone battery, the BL5L, with 1500mAH. The E71 consistently lasted at least 2.5 days of usage before needing a charge. I spent a whole weekend without a charge and this included having the phone on dual mode (3G and GSM), e-mail synching throughout the business day, browsing the web for about 10MB of data, and occasional phone calls for about 30 minutes total. A great battery where i didn't need to think about charging as i do on my N82.

After 3 weeks of testing the E71, I had a hard time letting it go. With a beautiful compact design, the E71 is quite a looker. The E71 supports Rogers and AT&T highspeed 3G HSDPA networks and 802.11b/g wifi giving users a variety of connection methods. Nokia's open nature with software ensures a wealth of third party software is available for the S60 platform. If you're a business user who doesn't need Blackberry support or a frequent text message sender looking for a phone with a QWERTY keyboard and multimedia capabilities, I highly recommend taking a look at the Nokia E71.

Build quality...........10
Features for $.........8
Battery life.............10


*elegant compact design
*lots of memory to run apps simultaneously
*Great build quality
*Great incoming sound
*Amazing phonebook organization
*fast navigating menus
*lots of existing S60 games/apps
*great built in web browser
*landscape screen
*long lasting battery
*good tactile keyboard feedback

*slow locking GPS
*no support for HTML in e-mails
*relatively weak RF
*grainy camera
*Paying for navigation in Nokia Maps
*small screen
*buggy software
*tight keyboard
*smudges easily