Joel Spolsky's Nokia E71 Rave

E71 image courtesy of Nokia
E71 image courtesy of Nokia

Author and widely read tech blogger (Joel on Software), Joel Spolsky  published a rave review today of Nokia's newest QWERTY business phone, the E71.  Ever since this phone was announced, I've thought it would be a huge success.  Smaller, thinner and lighter than the Blackberry Curve or iPhone; tons of memory; fast, stable, expandable S60 OS and a keyboard that just about every reviewer seems to like in spite of what appear to be minuscule keys.

Joel certainly seems to agree, explaining why he chose it over the iPhone 3G and saying things like "... the best phone I’ve ever had and I’m loving it."  He does have a few complaints, mostly about the bundled Nokia software, specifically the WebKit browser, Nokia Maps and Nokia's Mail for Exchange preferring to use Opera Mini, Google Maps and DataViz RoadSync respectively.

I wonder why ATT and T-Mobile USA are seeming ignoring this phone?  Nokia really needs to make some deals to put the E71 on US carriers at an attractive, subsidized price. I think this phone would open the eyes of a lot of dedicated Blackberry, Windows Mobile and even iPhone users to the joy of S60's openness, huge software library, great multitasking and GPS support and industry leading voice quality and reception.  Though I've heard some rumblings that the E71's reception isn't up Nokia's usual standards. On the other hand, Gear Diary's Michael Oke says the E71's reception is as good as the N95's, which if true would be very good indeed.

How about you? If you have an E71 let us know about your likes and dislikes and especially how you find the reception in marginal areas.

7 thoughts on “Joel Spolsky's Nokia E71 Rave

  1. Im facing reception issues with my E71-1. The call quality is pathetic. The volume fluctuates drastically and this happens frequently. I feel quite embarrassed to ask ppl to repeat. Ive neva faced such a problem on any other nokia phone ive used.
  2. I'm with Andy on this one; our office was originally based in Grantham and the reception was sketchy at best, now we've moved out to a village the phone is pretty much unusable now. Sat side by side on my desk, the E71 and another Nokia (no idea of the model number) the E71 had no signal and the other had 3 bars.

    We've had the phones for 6 months now and are trying to get it sent back
  3. The phone is a nightmare in Cheshire villages and towns. City dwellers seem to be OK. Besides dropping the call it sometimes cannot decide what roaming method to employ and then shuts down and does a minor reboot. Nokia are aware of the problem but there is no fix. Compared with the signal strength in my old E65 this is a joke and I am charged for dropped call under 1 minute by 3 - not fair!
  4. I just got an E71, it's been perfect for what I was looking for.

    Parrticularly a good choice for people who do not want to get an expensive data plan for email - I can find a wifi connection often enough (at home, or at the university or at coffee shops) so I can just download all my emails by wifi. I was looking for a phone that can download all the emails (including attachments) by POP (instead of IMAP) so i can read them offline, and the E71 is excellent for this purpose.

    Excellent office applications as well, I wrote some of my cover letters and resumes on the E71. And as usual nokia's calendar functions are decent.

    Having said that Mail for Exchange is not very good - it requires you to specifically set which wifi connection to use, instead of giving you an option to "always ask" which connection to use when going online. That means going into the options and changing wifi connection settings each time you move from your home wifi and other wifi. Then again this is only for cheap bastards like me who don't want to pay for expensive cellphone data plans.

    Also, media support is poor as expected. Don't expect to really watch things on flash video, it is choppy at best. This phone is definitely not for entertainment unlike the iphone.
  5. Hello! I don't have a E71 but it looks like a nice phone. I think the small screen is a drawback and it will be for many people. Large touch screens are all the hype at the moment and that is what people will be buying!

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