Nokia N71 review: A matter of taste

GSMArena team, 19 June 2006.
Pages: 123456

Nokia N71 is another Symbian 9.1 smartphone in the collection of Nokia. The new clamshell is well equipped and is aimed in the mid-range of customers. It is based on the S60 3rd edition user interface. N71 has 3G UMTS support and can offer fast data transfer via GPRS and EDGE. Besides the 2 megapixel camera there is also a VGA one for video calls. The construction and design of the phone are quite controversial as it is bulky and somewhat unstable in hand, but this, of course, is a matter of personal taste.

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Nokia N71

Key features:

  • Nice display
  • High-quality 2 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • VGA video calls camera
  • 3G UMTS
  • 128 MB miniSD card included
  • GPRS and EDGE fast data transfer support
  • Bluetooth, Infrared and USB (Pop-Port)
  • Very fast user interface response
  • FM radio

Main disadvantages:

  • Bulky size
  • Unstable construction (this issue may occur only in our test sample)
  • Slightly unhandy top part of the keypad
  • Very small On/Off/Profiles button
  • No compatibility between older Symbian applications and Symbian 9.1

Nokia N71 is based on the 3rd edition Series 60 Nokia user interface and thus is very much alike Nokia N80, E60 and N91. All four phones have huge possibilities but lack software as the S60 UI is brand new and the developers have not yet produced applications for it.

Grey and silver

Nokia N71 looks and feels very big for a clamshell. The phone is rather thick and wide. The design is well balanced in the two-color scheme of gray and silver outlining. Its dimensions are 98.6 x 51.2 x 25.8 mm and when you hold it in your hand you will feel frustrated with the sheer volume of this piece. It is heavy too, 139 g.

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Nokia N71 held in hand

Of course, there are people who like solid, massive phones and they will most definitely enjoy Nokia N71 but it is much too big for our taste - especially when it comes to clamshells.

Massive but not solid

A big surprise in N71 is that although it is a big phone and is supposed to be very stable, there are some construction mishaps in it. The most major one is the top part of the clamshell. When it is closed, it plays a bit to the both sides. Probably that comes from the poor hinging of the two parts.

The opening and closing mechanism, however, works perfectly. It produces a click sound so you would know when you have reached the desired position. Nokia N71 has two opened positions. The first is for video calls and the phone is not fully opened yet. We usually call this a "sitting" position since in that position the phone is made to "sit" on your desk while you are making a video call. If you go all the way, it will seamlessly open entirely.

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Semi-opened and fully opened N71

The front panel consists of grey plastic and shelters the external display silver frame. On top of the display is located a NOKIA sign and below it is the functional key. This key is used for silencing or rejecting incoming calls, pausing and playing music, etc. The camera lens and the flash LED are beneath the silver frame.

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Nokia N71 front Camera lens and LED flash

The back of the phone has a very clean design and only has a white NOKIA sign on the very top and the battery cover with its release clip. The bottom of the back side of the phone is bordered with silver plastic. The battery and the cover are one whole set - the capacity of the Li-Ion battery itself is 970 mAh. It is integrated with the plastic cover with the use of plastic clips. The SIM card slot is in the top part of the battery bed and the card needs to be pushed inside the phone's body and then be pressed by the battery.

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Nokia N71 back Under the battery cover The SIM card slot

The left side of the phone is for the loud speaker grill and the Infrared port. The port is on the top and the grill is located on the bottom. The right lateral side of the phone is empty. The bottom of the closed device holds the On/Off/Profiles button. It is located on the front panel's bottom. The back panel's bottom doesn't have anything on it. The top of N71 is reserved for the clamshell mechanism which is in silver, the Pop-Port connector and the miniSD memory card slot. The slot is protected by a tiny plastic which I, myself, consider unstable and easy to lose.

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Nokia N71 left side Right side Bottom On/Off/Profiles button

When opened, the phone's top part consists of the main speaker on the top, a small N71 sign on the left, the video call VGA camera on the right and the main display grey frame. The bottom part of the opened device is reserved for the keypad and the microphone on its bottom. They keypad is divided in two.

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Nokia N71 opened VGA video calls camera Keypad of Nokia N71

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