E71 Review Part-3: Software, Music, Battery, Screen
In the first part of my review of the E71, I talked about the design aspect of the phone. In the second part it was the lighting aspect of the E71. In this post, I will concentrate on the software, music and battery life and screen orientation of the handset. Let us see how it performs in this aspect.
The S60 is what does duty on the E71. The E71′s Operating System (OS) is same as the E66′s OS. Though both use slightly different versions, probably because E66 has an accelerometer and the E71 has a landscape orientation only. The S60 version used here is no different from the the one that does duty on the E66 in terms of features. Both offer the same user experience to the user. The icons that I saw in the E66 are the same ones used in the E71. I am not a great fan of these, maybe a little colour would do the trick. Overall I found the E71 a little slow (surprised!) as compared to the E66. There are times when it lags. Also the menu transitions which I liked very much in the E66 is not so visible here [:(]. The demanding users will find that it (E71) performs upto the expectations of a smartphone. Expect a couple of hiccups once in a while.
In these past few days I have extensively been using the Nokia Email Service (NES) which is in beta-3 testing to check my mails (Will give you the lowdown on that in another post), the web browser to browse and download, the search function to search for things online, fring to chat and post updates on my twitter channel, etc. Most of these functions are being done simultaneously. I found that once in a blue moon the device freezes, because of so many things being asked of it. But with such demanding usage also, I did not find S60 slowing down, it still performed as quickly when one would not use so many features. But it does not negate that the E71 is slower than the E66.
The ‘bubble’ feature which shows you your missed calls, messages and voice mail messages is present here also. I am a great fan of this feature, something that must come to the N series. The Active Standby Mode is also very good (A major overhaul is needed now, as it is crowding up and fast!). The Switch Mode feature which is unique to the E series, performs brilliantly and does what is expected of it. Just like in the E66, here also one can customize it accroding to ones needs, enabling applications, changing themes, etc.
I would give this experience a 9/10. The S60 performs just as it is supposed to. The slight lag in speed is not a dealbreaker. The S60 really shows what it can do. But I know there is room for a lot more. I will post a small list later on what all can be added to the S60. Oh, I forgot to mention editing is also possible in the Quickoffice application, a big boon for power users and business executives.
Now this one department, I thought will not be good on the E71. I was completely taken aback by the audio solution offered on the E71. THe mono speaker is much better positioned and is clearer than the E66′s solution. I don’t know if the same hardware is used for both. The volumes were high for the speaker, something that the E66 lacked to an extent. Using the headset, I found the music player performing nearly as good as my N82 (did I just say that???) very clear, very loud. I am no audiophile and so really can’t describe the intracacies of music output. All I can say is that I did find it lacking a little punch. Not a phone for the music enthusiast. But when I compare it to the E66, the E71 is miles ahead. Way better music delivery and clarity; I am definitely impressed.
If you like listening to music occasionally, you will not be disappointed with the performance of this phone. The speaker is a revelation and the music player is outstanding! I would give it a 8/10. The E71 is an instant improvment over the E66 in this area. Though a lot more improvements can be made.
With the E66 I remember getting upto 3.5 days of battery life. The E71 seems to be pushing into 4-5 days. I have had heavy usage of the phone and even after that the battery doesn’t seem to be in any mood of dying out. I have been recharging the phone because I thought the phone would not last long with the current amount of juice left (N series users know what I’m talking about). But no I feel that this battery has been designed to defy all logic. This battery refuses to die out! Even though I spend close to 3-4 hours online (my data connection has been constantly on for the last 5 days now… thanks to a flat rate and unlimited data transfer!), sending SMSes and receiving calls, not only that, I have also been tinkering with the phone and checking my email almost every 15-20 minutes on NES. Yet I have been recharging the phone once every 3 days this, especially when I have lost only 3-4 bars. This phone can easily give 4-5 days on a single charge in my opinion. Of late I have also been using this as my modem to connect to the net on my laptop. The battery of the E71 is simply superb. Its the stuff legends are made of (Ok I admit, I have taken this line from some movie!). But on a more serious note. The E71 outperforms all the Nokia smartphones or featurephones I have seen. The BP-4L is a powerhouse of a battery. When will N series users get this kind of battery life? I am going to give the E71 a full 10/10. With the slim battery, the E71 acheives what no E or N series device has achieved till now, a fantastic and long lasting battery life.
The screen of the E71 is in landscape mode. Most phones that I have used have been in portrait mode. The portrait mode has its advantages over the landscape mode. The portrait mode in the E66 allowed for a better Active Standby Mode. But it had its disadvantages when one was to surf the net. The E71 has a 320×240 QVGA screen, capable of displaying 16.7 million colours- all of that in a 2.4″ screen. But I miss the accelerometer found in the E66. I wish it was there in this phone too. I would give the screen a 9/10. The Active Standby crowds easily in this orientation and phonebook viewing can be a bother. But the superb resolution, colour reproduction and ease of use at the time of surfing or checking mails and messages are its biggest positives.