While Nokia makes a habit of practically defining “featurephone” for the industry, traditionally it’s handsets like the N95 that hog all the spotlight, leaving Nokia’s few QWERTY phones in the shadows. Not that they’ve been trying too hard — while the E62 and E61i have both shipped over here, neither has featured 3G data in US bands, and the E62 even had the distinct pleasure of having WiFi stripped out. Enter E71, the successor to those phones, and Nokia’s very first QWERTY device to feature US-friendly 3G.
Nokia is also (finally) taking form factor much more seriously: at 10mm thick, the E71 is one of the slimmest Nokia phones to date, and Nokia claims it’s the thinnest QWERTY smartphone on the market. The E71 also attacks the drab, plastic looks of its predecessors with chrome accents and a glossy screen. The phone is incredibly pocketable, and comfortable to hold and use. Of course, with the smaller size Nokia had to cut down on screen real estate and keyboard spacing, but at a QVGA resolution there’s little suffering on that front. The keyboard had a much more rigid, clicky feel to it compared to the spongy keys of the E62, and we were virtually typo-free on it within minutes.
Gallery: Nokia E71 review
via Engadget Mobile by Paul Miller on 6/19/08