Now that I am finally in Udaipur, Rajasthan. I will be posting the bulk of my reviews from there. Firstly Happy Diwali to all my readers.

The Nokia E71 is a stunning device when it comes to looks. Although the E66 was described by me as a sleek and slick device, I must say the E71 sets new standard for sleekness. This phone is definitely thinner than its predecessor the E61i. the design elements are very much the same for the device and pretty much in line with the E66’s design elements. The dotted steel back panel (the black colour phones have dots, white ones have the stripes) has similar release buttons and in the same place, albeit slimmer, considering the dimensions for this device. The shut-lines are impeccable and it feels as if this device was made to withstand the vacuums of space. The amount of chrome used made me feel as if I was holding a limited edition phone. Even the E66 did not exude this feeling. Apart from the keypad and the covers for the Micro SD cardslot, the micro USB dock (made in rubber) and the buttons on the right side, nothing else is made of plastic. The entire body of the phone is in metal. Despite this at 127gms, its incredibly light.

The problems with the design of this device is the same which were faced by me in the E66, the phone is a fingerprint magnet. Although I had not problems this time when it came to using the buttons on the side. They are clearly raised. A bit hard for my liking, but I had no problems using them. The keypad has small keys in the front. The ‘qwerty’ keypad though very useful is a bit cramped for my needs. I am still getting used to the keypad as I have always been used to a numerical pad. There were many occasions when I pressed the wrong key. I wish the keys would have been a little wider spaced and/or bigger. I wonder how the button design for the E66 would look for the E71 (selection and other soft keys).

I was also disappointed to not find a dedicated button for the camera. I understand that the camera is supposed to be the least used feature, but I’m sure a dedicated key could have been assigned at the side for the camera. I am also disappointed with the inclusion of a 2.5mm headset plug. A 3.5mm plug would have really been better.

The public perception to this phone was very positive. I had a lot of my friends looking at it as a probable replacement for their phone. Everybody said that it felt as if they were holding a ‘phone’. They were very impressed by the design of the handset and the way it fit into their hands. I admit I have the same feelings. The E66 seems to have been trumped by the E71, but I still like the E66 for the slider and size of the keys and the dedicated camera key.

Coming back to the build quality and the materials used, I am impressed with the build quality. No part of the phone looks out of place. The shut-lines are impeccable as I mentioned earlier. I don’t see anyone complaining about the creaks and other related issue. Similarly, Nokia finally got the chrome colouring right (remember the N76!). The paint does not look like it will peel off soon. The battery charging pin is also placed at the bottom a la E66 and this gives a good minimalist feel to the handset. The E series really does convey a no-nonsense look.

Nokia has really upped the ante in the business series segment of the mobile phones industry. Such high levels of quality and design, means only one thing for the rivals, increased competition. I am eager to see how well do the other respond to the challenges put by Nokia E series.

Overall I would give the E71 a good 8.9/10 in terms of design, in terms of materials used a very good 8/10 and in terms build quality a high 9/10. The small niggles with the E66 seem to fade away in the E71. Kudos to the E series team, a brilliant job done.