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Nokia E71 review

hei i think u better buy this stuff than blackberry.. this review i take from pcmag.com
read this

Call it the Lingonberry. Nokia's new E71 is one of the most beautiful, luxurious-feeling phones I've ever used, and it's a direct attack on RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9000. This excellent handset is sure to take European executive suites by storm, but for it to triumph here in the U.S., Nokia needs to Americanize its software a bit more

Slim but solid at 4.49 by 2.24 by 0.4 inches and 4.4 ounces, the E71 features a grooved stainless-steel back and small, domed white keys. You'll need precise fingers to enjoy this keypad, but it's as sharp as a handmade Italian suit. Overall, this is one seriously elegant-looking device.

There are plenty of action and command buttons, including volume and quick-access controls that take you to the home screen, calendar, contacts list, and e-mail program. The number keys are overlaid on the QWERTY keyboard, which is small but has very good tactile response. Nokia did make one irksome misstep here: Rather than being below the rest of the number keys, as it is on every other phone keypad, the "0" is next to the "9." This will likely cause some misdialing while you become accustomed to the layout.

The 2.36-inch 320-by-240-pixel display isn't huge, but it's bright enough for everyday work and can be easily read in sunlight.

The E71, a quad-band EDGE, dual-band HSDPA device, will come in two versions. The U.S. handset will work on AT&T's high-speed network here and on slower EDGE networks abroad. The European version, meanwhile, will work on high-speed networks in Europe, but on AT&T and T-Mobile's EDGE networks here. T-Mobile users should buy the European version, if they can; for them, the U.S. version will work only on EDGE, and with the European version they'll have access to high-speed networks at least when they're in Europe. The phone also supports Wi-Fi; I connected it to WPA2-secured networks without a problem.

The E71 excels as a voice phone: Reception is solid, and the earpiece sounds just plain beautiful. The speakerphone's speaker is in the top of the phone pointing upward, which is a little odd, and it could be a bit louder. Transmissions through the microphone and speakerphone mic sounded a bit hollow, with some background noise getting through. The handset supports wired and Bluetooth headsets and has Nokia's usual mediocre voice dialing, which mostly-sorta-works. I got 4 hours 43 minutes of 3G talk time out of the huge 1,500-mAh battery, which is a decent result for a 3G phone.

Running the Symbian Series 60 Version 3 Feature Pack 1 OS, the E71 is the fastest, smoothest Symbian device I've ever used, likely because of its beefy 381-MHz ARM11 processor. There's about 115MB of free space to install programs and save data, or you can tuck a microSD card into a slot in the side. Our 8GB SanDisk card worked well. To connect the phone to a PC, you can use a microSD cable or a surprisingly speedy Bluetooth 2.0+EDR connection.

There's a lot going on with this high-end PDA phone, and that's not even counting the thousands of third-party Symbian programs out there. Google Maps, Gmail, Go, and Yahoo! all run on Symbian, for instance. You get support for text and picture messaging out of the box. For instant messaging, you can download the free Gizmo application, which integrates AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! IM. In testing, it worked fine. The e-mail program works automatically with POP3/IMAP accounts, and syncs e-mail, contacts, and calendars over the air with Exchange 2003 SP2 or newer servers. The IMAP client is smooth, although it doesn't feature push e-mail, as BlackBerry does. The E71 has a strange way of handling HTML e-mail. Messages are delivered in plain text, with an HTML version attached, which you can open in the Web browser.

About the browser: Nokia's WebKit based app (which uses the same core as Apple's Safari) is even better at formatting pages than the iPhone's, because it incorporates Flash. The implementation isn't perfect, but it's certainly better than no Flash at all. It worked fine with the simple games at Orisinal.com, but CNET TV's Flash videos crashed the browser.

Ultimately, though, I prefer the mobile Safari browser because the iPhone's screen features more pixels. The E71's features the same resolution (320 by 240 pixels) as most Windows Mobile devices and the BlackBerry Curve The iPhone's 320-by-480 display offers double the real estate.

Exceptionally good at viewing and editing documents, the E71 comes with QuickOffice 4.1, which opens and edits even complex Microsoft Office 2003 documents easily. To get support for Office 2007, though, you'll need to spring for a $70 upgrade to QuickOffice 5.0. The included Adobe Reader LE is the best mobile PDF viewer available. In fact, the phone's office apps do better at displaying complex documents than Microsoft's own Windows Mobile apps.

The music and video players aren't particularly noteworthy, but the E71 has intriguing podcast and FM radio clients. Both the podcast and FM radio programs have built-in connections to online podcast and radio station directories, unlike some other clients, which force you to dig up and type in URLs or frequency numbers. The handset supports Bluetooth stereo and features a 2.5mm headphone jack, so you'll need an adapter to use standard music headphones. You get support for AAC, MP3, and WMA audio files, and you can sync with either Nokia's own PC Suite software or Windows Media Player. Video support consists of MP4 and 3GP files at up to 320-by-240-pixel resolution.

Simulated outdoor and daylight shots from the 3.2-megapixel camera were red enough to worry me, and bright areas were blown out. In low light pictures looked noisy, and in very low light they were blurry. I'm hoping Nokia improves the camera before launch. The video mode, though, takes sharp 320-by-240 videos at 15 frames per second. And a built-in sharing client lets you quickly post your pictures to Flickr or Nokia's own Ovi service, right from the camera menu, which is a nice addition. There are plenty of other innovative features here, too, such as wireless keyboard and printing drivers, two different notepad programs, and a text-to-speech program that reads your messages out to you.

The E71 syncs with PCs (but not Macs) using Nokia's PC Suite software, letting you link up your contacts, calendars, and tasks with Outlook, Lotus Notes, or the built-in Windows programs. It also lets you use the E71 as a modem for your PC.

In Europe, Nokia's E-series devices are considered business-friendly when paired with solutions from Visto, Seven, or Nokia's own Intellisync unit. But since most U.S. businesses prefer Microsoft's or RIM's back-end solutions, E-series devices have more of a counterculture appeal with those who like Nokia's energetic embracing of open-source principles and community development efforts.

Nokia's one-size-fits-the-globe approach makes the E71 feel a little awkward at times. The phone is stuffed with icons for programs that simply don't work in the U.S., including push-to-talk, Internet telephony, video calling, a music store, and an app for Intranet access. Also, my E71 wasn't tuned for AT&T's network, so I got slow 3G speeds, but Nokia claims that this should be remedied with the final firmware.

The integrated GPS also felt a little unpolished. The E71 runs Nokia Maps 2.0, which has an impressive feature set. The maps are gorgeous, including outlines of individual buildings on city streets. The system provides driving and walking directions to thousands of points of interest, including restaurants, banks, and forms of transportation. But the GPS took a long time to lock onto my location. For the first half-hour, the system thought I was in Sweden, and I couldn't get it to recognize a New York City address I searched for. What's more, directions aren't free. For walking directions, you pay $7.79 per month or $39.01 a year. For driving directions (which adds voice prompts), it'll cost you $14.03/month or $109.25/year. Live traffic data is available only in Europe.

It's difficult to compare the E71 directly with the yet-to-be-released BlackBerry Bold, but this phone is far sleeker than its existing rivals, the BlackBerry Curve and Motorola Q9h and at around $500, it'll be around half the price of the Nokia E90 Communicator. The E71 is speedier and simpler to use than the Q9h, though the Q9h has a better keyboard. The Curve is less expensive, and is easier for e-mail, so it's a more mainstream choice here in the U.S, but, with its excellent looks, copious features, and maverick appeal, the E71 could easily become a viable competitor.

The Nokia E71 will go on sale later this summer direct from NokiaUSA.com for approximately $500.

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