eThis or iThat
August 20, 2008 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Please give me tasks for the Nokia E71 and the iPhone that will highlight the advantages/disadvantages of each.

I am trying out both of the phones before I make a purchase decision, starting with the E71. This is a big upgrade from my last phone, so offer me some suggestions that I wouldn't think of as a non-smartphone user. Thanks!
posted by Eringatang to Technology (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
qik is a pretty big advantage for the Nokia. Imagine you are getting harrassed by a cop while getting a ticket... and streaming it on to the web and recording it. Or you get into a wreck, and you have the whole after-the-wreck thing recorded so no one can change their story later. As an iPhone user, I am very jealous of this service.
posted by aburd at 6:09 PM on August 20, 2008

The E71 is a business class phone. Are you a business user? If so, you can assume you will be happier with that one. There is no word processor or even cut and paste on the iPhone.
Don't care about that stuff? The iPhone is uber slick for music, photos, video, web browsing, etc.
I don't know much about the E71 but my opinion on the iPhone is this: it is a very nice phone but if you really are demanding about a phone delivering on basic features and doing it properly, go with the E71. If you want a cool toy to show off get an iPhone.
posted by GleepGlop at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2008

someone somewhere wrote that the Nokia smartphones excel at creating content, and the iPhone excels at consuming content. can't rememebr where I read that but it's a good summary of all the reviews and opinions I've encountered.
posted by randomstriker at 6:29 PM on August 20, 2008

Copy & Paste.
posted by Memo at 7:07 PM on August 20, 2008

I have a Nokia E61, the precursor to the E71, and I'm basically just waiting for my contract to run out. It was a neat wizbang gadget for a couple of months, but it's really mostly annoying nowadays. Little things like having to choose between a voice call and video call every time even though the phone has no fricking camera, and that the browser is slow as hell and it's constantly losing its wi-fi connection, and that it stopped being able to sync once I upgraded to Leopard, or that launching the contacts or the calendar or the clock each take a couple of interminable seconds, or that the button on the side right below the volume controls lets me accidentally launch the voice recorder, which takes a couple of seconds just to go back and quit.
posted by boaz at 7:17 PM on August 20, 2008

Whoops. Meant to hit preview. Basically, I'm pretty disappointed in the S60 devices, and I'm more thinking about whether I should get an iPhone, a BlackBerry or a dumb phone for my next one. The Nokia smartphones have all these neat features, but I find mine really slow and awkward for everyday use.
posted by boaz at 7:24 PM on August 20, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. I am now browsing mefi. It looks alright but not amazing. Any other creative scavenger hunt type suggestions appreciated. I am not sure, but it may be that the E71 is faster than the E61.
posted by Eringatang at 7:46 PM on August 20, 2008

Concerning boaz's frustrations, I have the E51 and had the E50 before. I liked the features of the E50 but found it to be buggy and slow. Fast forward a year, and the E51 is everything the E50 was supposed to be: fast, reliable, flawless, with a few additional features (e.g. WiFi). I am completely satisfied with my E51 and don't see the iPhone meeting my needs.

Everything I've seen/heard/read indicates the same sort of improvements going from the E61 to the E71. I'm very tempted to spring for the E71, given the auto-focus and GPS.
posted by randomstriker at 7:55 PM on August 20, 2008

Yeah, if I had previewed properly, my post probably would have ended up less ranty. ;) and admittedly, the E61 is a 2 year old phone; Nokia's had a lot of time to smooth out the rough edges.

OTOH, one thing I think is in the iPhone's favor is that Apple has been, and presumably will continue, providing software updates even for their 1st-gen iPhones, while, for my Nokia, there was one minor update (that I'll avoid ranting about) about 4 months after I got it and then nothing since.
posted by boaz at 8:13 PM on August 20, 2008

First, download Opera Mini for the Nokia. It is vastly supperior to the native browser. Then try writing an email.

After that, throw your iPhone in the river. It's a toy, not an enterprise class device.

Disclaimer: I work in a large (100,000+) multi-national, in IT, supporting wireless & mobility devices. Geeks like iPhones. People who want to actually work like Nokia E61/71.
posted by Mephisto at 11:15 PM on August 20, 2008

I wish mefi had the ability to edit posts. Apologies for the spelling mistakes above.
posted by Mephisto at 11:16 PM on August 20, 2008

You can have the Nokia act as a wireless access point with Joiku Spot. It's handy being able to provide an internet connection to a wide range of devices without having to fiddle with cables or install software on each device.

I was going to make it into a FPP as I think it is pretty cool, I just want to test it a little more first.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 11:22 PM on August 20, 2008

oh, you should use VOIP applications like Fring, Gizmo, etc. Super cheap long distance for pennies per minute.
posted by randomstriker at 11:53 PM on August 20, 2008

Nokia E series (and N series) excel as communication devices, I heartily second the Randomstriker comment that Nokias are good for content creation and editing, while the iPhone excel as an entertainment device, consuming and displaying prepared content.

This is kinda the "gist" of the iPhone, everything, including communication, is treated as "presentation". Very very slick presentation indeed, but depending on your needs for interaction with said presentation you might find yourself frustrated.

Another way of putting things; the Nokias are adapted and built to a specific usage. With iPhone you build your usage around the phone :)

IMO, perhaps with the next generation of iPhone, Apple might reach the biz and com level of Nokia (and Nokia might reach the usability and beauty of Apple).

I have not used one myself, but have you perchance considered the Blackberry thingies? That could land you somewhere in the middle.
posted by gmm at 12:07 AM on August 21, 2008

aburd, qik is available on cydia if your iphone is jailbroke...
posted by gergtreble at 2:06 AM on August 21, 2008

Here's the low down on the E71:
It's much faster and more stable than the E61. It has HSDPA (so up to 7.2mbps data connection where supported by your provider), WiFi, 3.2MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. The QWERTY keyboard is great - it takes some getting used to but it's worth it. Try typing a long SMS or email on the E71 and you'll see the benefit.

I've never owned an iPhone but I can tell you a couple highlights the E71 can do that I would want to test on the iPhone when you have the chance:
Push email over IMAP (so that includes Gmail)
QuickOffice (so word processor and spreadsheet)
AcitveNotes (this is a new thing for Nokia - it's like the old Notes application but supports images, audio and other objects)
Adobe PDF Reader
Readily acts as a high speed data modem (dependent on your data plan obviously)
Supports MicroSDHC so that means up to 16GB just now, with larger cards by Q4
Symbian and Java applications with support for background tasks (I frequently run MSN messenger and Skype in the background on my phone, along with a push email notifier)
It has a great Music Player and rivals the capabilities of most other handsets (though the iPhone is much slicker)
The calendar is the best I've ever seen. The interface is extremely user friendly and it's quick and easy to add/edit entries.

I can't think of much more but I really do love the E71.

To put this in context (and give full disclosure):
I work for a mobile phone network retailer; we sell the E71 but not the iPhone. I do, however, have a number of contracts from other networks too, including phones we don't sell. The iPhone is NOT one of them - it just doesn't suit my needs. We did sell the E61 but it wasn't too great. I would never have bought one. Got the E71 on release day. We have had only a single faulty return the the units seem pretty reliable (YMMV).
posted by TheAspiringCatapult at 3:16 AM on August 21, 2008

One more perspective for the mix. I had a Nokia E70 for a couple years, and loved loved loved it. (If you search Ask MeFi, you'll probably find me shilling for it several times). I was also trying to choose between the E71 and the iPhone, and I ultimately chose the iPhone although I had several misgivings about its lack of content creation capabilities. The truth is, though, I spend 95% of my time consuming content. For the other 5%, I can bring a better device when needed, or make due with the iPhone's rudimentary camera and audio.

The other deciding factor for me was network. The E71 was only going to run on AT&Ts 3G frequencies (and T-Mo hasn't really rolled theirs out yet), so the advantages of buying an unlocked device mostly fell away. If I were traveling out of the country every month, I'd feel differently. But I'm not. Paying the premium for an unlocked device became a lot harder to justify if I wanted to take advantage of 3G speeds.

As for the rest, I've been surprised (and delighted) by how quickly all of my other misgivings fell away. The ability to easily get and install third party apps is a huge upgrade from iPhone 1.0, and while it's true that S60 has a huge and thriving third party base, installing apps on my E70 could be very hit or miss.

I've played around with the E71, and its a huge improvement on the E70, which I was already in love with. But it turns out, I don't miss it at all. The iPhone has a few annoyances/bugs/shortcomings, but by and large, it just works. And I'd echo what another poster said about OS support. Upgrading my S60 phone was a) always a pain in the ass, and b) only incrementally useful. As evidenced by the 1.0-2.0 upgrade, the iPhone is a different kind of platform.
posted by j-dawg at 8:45 AM on August 21, 2008

JoelOnSoftware just published a detailed and extremely positive E71 review (and he is a vocal iPhone supporter).
posted by kalapierson at 6:50 PM on August 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions here. In the end, I like them both, but the E71 is the one I want to have in my pocket at all I gave the iPhone to my husband and he is estactic, and when I want to "consume content" the iPhone will be there for us to share. The features that sold me on the E71 were the typing (didn't even turn on autocomplete), the internet phone calls (works seemlessly with address/contacts using gizmo and will save me on mintues) and the ability to be a modem (at decent speed when the 3G network is available). Those last two will pay for the price difference in a year (but since I ended up keeping them both it doesn't really matter). The E71 also displays my appointments for the day on the homescreen. It's just a detail but it's very thoughtful. Even though I'm design-minded, the prettiness is secondary to me over the designed functionality.
posted by Eringatang at 1:49 PM on August 25, 2008

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