"Expensive to own / not a great business phone"2.5 starson by lieving
Pros: Fast reliable OS, good battery life, simple navigation, voice command, looks great, predictive text works well, can load Opera Mini, Google Maps, built-in RSS (through Nokia browser), GPS, WiFi (when you need it), good PDF reader, good for texting
Cons: Bundled ActiveSync limited to 1 Exchange email box, QuickOffice only reads Office 2003 or below, ugly OS, decent email connectivity requires additional software, UGLY calendar/contacts/OS, limited additional software
Summary: Nokia bills the E71 as a 'business phone', but is it really? I personally bought the phone because I was looking for a Qwerty phone that had ActiveSync but didn't run WindowsMobile.
The first surprise is that the Nokia ActiveSync only supports one Exchange account. Want more? Head over to DataViz and cough up $50 for RoadSync. Nothing against RoadSync (I recommend it), but a business phone should support full ActiveSync out of the box.
Nokia says that this phone comes bundled with Office. It does...although if someone sends you a file in Office 2007...you guessed it, another $50 to the makers of QuickOffice.
Ok, so it doesn't do great Exchange out of the box. How about other email (like GMail/Yahoo!/Live/Hotmail)? The phone supports POP, but not full IMAP. In IMAP the phone only will pull the headers down and the user has to wait for a painfully long time to open the individual emails.
But Nokia has a messaging solution - Nokia Email. My early tests are that the product is OK. It pushes email and supports HTML mail. However, the user is limited to the number of folders that can be synced and in my testing I cannot get all my selected folders to come down to my phone.
The Nokia Email service was in Beta until last week (April 2009) and it still has some bugs to work out. The email application UI doesn't really fit into the E71 UI and the whole thing kind of feels bolted onto the phone.
There is more bad news. Nokia states on it's website that this new messaging software is free while in trial and hints at some unspecified charges in the future for this service.
So - buyer beware - if you want non-Pop email on this phone, be prepared to buy extra ActiveSync software and/or pay some unspecified fees to Nokia for their messaging solution.
Additionally, the presentation is barely up to US standards. The address book is almost a joke, it is so bad. Good luck viewing a note for a contact - the only way to do it is to edit the note.
The calendar month view is good, the agenda view passable, and (again) the individual appointment view is horrible. (To be fair, for a mere $25 extra, Handy Calendar can greatly increase the look and functionality).
So why did I give this phone an OK rating? The OS is lightning fast and the precious few applications that run on Symbian (Google Maps/Opera Mini/RoadSync) are very stable.
The battery life works well. If you turn off the phone, a charge can last for days with constant push email on.
The phone shines for quickly accessing the communication. Start typing the name and then choose to call/text/email from the popup menu. Anyone with a Palm will already expect this, but people stuck with WindowsMobile will find it to be a revelation. I have to say that it is refreshing to have a browser-enabled phone where it is easy to make phone calls.
So who is this phone for? It barely works for me as an email phone. RoadSync is recommended if you plan to use it with Exchange. But the cramped keyboard, the expensive software and the lack of out-of-the-box functionality (especially regarding email) would have me steer you towards a Blackberry Curve or the Apple iPhone.
I wouldn't recommend this phone for heavy email users. It will just frustrate. And the total cost of ownership is high considering that I already bought the phone unlocked from Best Buy.