There are four preinstalled themes on Nokia E71. The rest is left to the imagination of the user, as you can download as many other themes as you wish. Before doing that though, make sure you they are meant for landscape QVGA or you might stumble upon compatibility issues.
The phonebook of Nokia E71 isn't any different from other Symbian handsets. We aren't really surprised by the lack of change, as it can hardly mean any more business. It is simply great - offering storage space for a virtually unlimited number of contacts and fields, with all the available memory potentially usable for the purpose. We can hardly imagine anyone filling that up.
Contacts can be freely ordered by first or last name, and can naturally be searched by gradual typing of any name.
Editing a contact offers an enormous variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like. You can also create new fields if you happen to be able to think of any. Personal ringtones and video are also available for assigning. If you prefer, you may group your contacts and give a specific ringtone to each group.
The Call log application, although not exactly a part of the phonebook, is also one of the Symbian elements. It can hold up to 20 call records in each of the tabs for outgoing, received and missed calls. These are all accessed by pressing the Call key in standby.
If you access the Log application from the main menu, you'll see a detailed list of all your network communications for the past 30 days. These include messages, calls and data transfers. You can even filter the entries (by contact or by type), a useful feature if you're looking for a specific call.
What we have here is Eseries, Symbian and QWERTY, end of story. The full-fledged keyboard and the software support make for a great messenger. From a nice and intuitive editor to advanced predictive input and error correction - it's all there.
There are four message editors aboard: SMS, MMS, audio and e-mail. The SMS editor is the well know intuitive application for all Symbian S60 smartphones. It has a counter of the characters left to the limit of 160. There is also an indicator in brackets showing the number of separate parts the message will be divided into for sending.
It goes without saying that a delivery report can be activated. The reports pop up on screen, once the message reaches the addressee and are subsequently saved in a separate folder in the messaging sub-menu. When you are exiting the message editor without having sent the message, the editor prompts saving it to the Drafts folder or discarding it.
The MMS editor has virtually the same interface as the one we just described, with the added subject line being the only difference.
The audio message, albeit technically a type of MMS, was obviously deemed important enough. There is a separate editor, which can either record the message on the spot or use a previously recorded sound clip.
Email is the highlight in the Nokia E71, as it supports a wide range of personal and corporate email standards such as Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Nokia Intellisync Wireless Email solution, along with System Seven and Visto Mobile. Encryption is also on board, as well as mobile VPN support for connecting to secure corporate Intranets.
It seems Nokia has got everything covered except for Blackberry Connect support. The company has announced that since they are offering a push email service similar to that of Blackberry Connect, they are now direct competitors and as such, they would no longer offer Blackberry Connect support starting of Nokia E71 and E66.
It's a really odd decision and it clearly shows that selling their email service to end customers is more important to Nokia than selling their handhelds. While this may sound perfectly reasonable to Nokia marketing department, it might turn out as a deal-breaker to some potential E71 buyers.
Anyways, Nokia have added some new features, which are not present in other similar devices. First of all, it's the ultra easy email setup. If you are using any public email service (it has to be among the over 1000 supported providers), all you have to do is enter your email address and password to start enjoying emailing-on-the-go. Nokia E71 takes care of downloading all the relevant settings to get you going in no time.
The client can download headers only or entire messages, and can be set to automatically check mail at a given interval. There is also support for attachments, signatures and basically everything you can think of. Push email support is also on board, so we can hardly think of anything the E71 lacks in this department - except for the BlackBerry connectivity.
As a whole, Nokia E71 is a dream texting device. It might not be the best but it sure is the most pocketable messenger, which should really count for something. Nothing beats the large keys and screen of Nokia E90 for example but then, the Communicator is not something you just slip in a pocket.