I personally love my E71. It looks amazing with its thin profile and classy use of chrome, very good build quality with little to no creaks, and a flexible robust S60 operating system.
Here is my E71 with the included OEM pouch:
In case you don't have a E71, a thin ring around the D-pad serves as the LED notifcation when you miss a message
But like most of Nokia's line of phones, the E71 is not without its flaws like weak e-mail program with no HTML support. But I want to bring to your attention a simple straightforward flaw in the design of the E71 that reminds me that Nokia still needs a lot of work.
Being designed by Nokia for the E71 and included with the E71 retail package, the case is exactly the right size for the E71:
The exposed stitching definitely looks nice so here's a close up:
A classy Nokia Eseries logo is etched onto the outside. The outside material is soft to touch and feels like leather.
The Nokia E71 easily slides into the case with its soft red fabric interior:
The bumps of the phone like the D-pad ring and the camera will slowly make an imprint on the case:
Now you might be thinking, what is this whole blog entry about and what's wrong with the case? Well just look at that last photo of the E71 in the case. If the LED message indicator is around the D-pad, how can I tell I missed a message when the case covers the D-pad?
It's sad that RIM got this right in every single Blackberry they've ever put out:
Look at that huge exposed notification LED at the top right of that Blackberry.
Yes, it's pretty to see the D-pad blink, sort of like the Blackberry's glowing trackball, but the practical usage tradeoff is ridiculous. If I have the E71 in my pocket or in a belt holster, I can only see the top of the phone so a notification LED should be at the top not on the face of the phone.
The good thing is that Nokia really shows a willingness to listen to consumers and the changes from the E61 to the E71 reflect that. I'm hoping Nokia's next QWERTY keyboard phone will show an improvement in this area.