Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nokia E71: Three Years in Review

Even surrounded by numerous 3.5+ inch touchscreen smartphones, the Nokia E71 still stands out as one of the best QWERTY keyboard equipped phones for me.

The Good
I'm still using it and nothing inside the E71 has failed on me.  This phone is like a tank and I'm fairly confident it could last me a few more years of use.  My usage pattern has likely changed in the 3 years I've had the phone, but at this point I mainly use the phone for company e-mail through Mail for Exchange (improved a lot since I had the E71), Smartconnect, Garmin XT (one of the best navigation software for a smartphone and still better than most available for Android), notes, texting, and making phone calls.  I no longer use it for browsing the web after I got a Nokia N900 and most web pages don't render properly in the old S60 browser.

In the 3 years, I've dropped my E71 a lot of times and the most I've got is chipped corners.  Definitely a tank.

Its design is timeless.  I still get compliments on the elegant, thin design of the E71.  It's unfortunate that most will not consider getting a Nokia and S60/Symbian is not easy to configure compared to an iPhone.

The Bad
In the 2 years since I wrote my first year of use review of the E71, a few things have changed from wear and tear:

1. After 1.5 years of use, dust was getting under the display through the 2.5mm audio jack:
I had to seal the 2.5mm audio jack with scotch tape.  It looks ghetto but I'd rather have the tape there than more dust.

2. A little after the 2 year mark, the included BL-4L battery couldn't hold more than a day's charge and started to bulge like most old lithium polymer batteries so I got another battery and it's back to normal again.

3. I get the random "out of memory" issue so it requires a battery removal.

Going Forward
After 3 long years of travelling the world with it, I've retired the E71.  The E71 reminds me of the time when Nokia was on top of the world with some great designs and some great devices.  I'll miss the comfortable keyboard and robust design.  So long E71, you'll be missed.

If you're still carrying around a Nokia E71, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the phone.


Callum McPherson said...

I shelved my E71 when my son was born because it had the highest radiation of any phone on the market (I think only second to the Blackberry Bold).

I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy S2 for a while now (with all the fancy stuff) but I really miss my E71, I just crave the feeling of real buttons and a rock solid design. Some say it was Nokia’s greatest model (they cheaped out with the E72 & E73 etc with less features and more plastic), seriously the 71 was/is brilliant, built like a tank, awesome typing comfort, kept my life in complete order and the battery life was great. Sure it had downsides like a 2.5mm audio jack and not the phone for you if you spend all day on Facebook and youtube but if you’re looking for something primarily for text/email/calls/organisation then I think it could serve you well for years to come.

I’m reading up on the effectiveness of SAR-Shield and other radiation blockers with a view to go back to my E71, I know it’s like an antique by today’s standards but if it works it works!

Drew said...

Nokia e71 users (or graduates),

I need your help. I bought my e71 in 2009... I'm still using to this day, well, WAS using until early this month, Aug. 2016. I understand this is like trying to keep a Ford model A going, and my e71 may not live to see another day, but I just ran across this blog, so I'm throwing this plea out to the universe in one last desperate attempt for its survival.

Issue (cause of demise): the charger's wiring finally broke. May be able to snip out frayed ends and solder back together, but that's beyond me. Finding genuine parts like the charger is its death nel. I have the AC 5 wall charger and not having the best of luck tracking down a replacement. Universal ac/dc power adapters don't come with a 2mm barrel plug.

I'm at a cross road and truly lost.

If anyone has a lonely AC5 charger setting in some dark corner of your closet, would you consider giving it a new home? And in fact, if you have an old e71 in that same lonely state, would you consider giving it a new forever home?

I'd like to learn about keeping it going, and I learn by disassembling. I am not about to disassemble my e71.

The reason I have kept this phone... the qwerty keyboard and the heft/the build quality, it's a Nokia Nokia. I am open to other phones, but a real qwerty is a must, along with the feel in the hands. OS, even outdated, not crucial, mostly texting and some phone calls (network it needs to run on is at&t).

If you can help, or have meaningful suggestions, please contact me at nokiaphone @ moasey dot com.

Thank you.

Drew M-K
Sacramento, CA (USA)