The Straight Talk Nokia E71 lets you finally get a great prepaid smart phone at an affordable price and with an affordable plan. The unlimited Straight Talk plan costs just $45 every 30 days, and the first 30 days are included when you buy the Nokia E71 direct for $9.99 (refurbished).
You get a great set of features combined with Nokia’s very ergonomic interface. This phone was originally introduced at the same time as the iPhone 3G. Even though it got some great reviews, it got kind of lost in America amidst all the Apple publicity. However, as Joel Spolsky’s Nokia E71 review mentions, it remained popular in Europe where they got the jump on the texting revolution.
So what do you get and what can you do with it?
The full QWERTY keyboard consists of actual buttons and not the virtual kind you get on a touch screen phone. This means you’ll be able to type your text messages and emails as fast as you want.
While I don’t support the text message wars, if you have to take part, this phone should keep you in good stead. Of course, it will also do just as well for your instant messaging.
A real keyboard is definitely one the reasons for choosing something like the E71 over an iPhone or other touchscreen phone.
Speaking of old-fashioned emails, you’ll actually be able to check multiple accounts, such as your business, school, and personal emails. So if you get an important message as an email instead of a text, you’ll be sure to get it anyway.
The GPS device offers your free voice-guided navigation. You don’t have to worry about getting lost. You probably won’t even need to ask for directions to your next appointment. Since it’s your mobile phone, you’ll always have your GPS device with you, making it even more useful.
Once you get to your location or event, you can capture it for posterity with the 3.2 megapixel camera and video recorder. Having 3.2 megapixels means you can capture some great pics for printing.
Remember, however, that it’s a cell phone camera, which means the lens is really small. So don’t expect the kind of pictures with your Nokia E71 that you get with a digital SLR. However, photos of bright sunny places or people that are standing still will turn out well. Pictures in subdued light or action pictures will tend to be a little grainy.
You can use the photos of your friends (or their cats) as their Picture Caller ID.
Still, you can’t complain too much about 3.2 megapixels, especially when Straight Talk includes a 4GB microSD card to store them all in. I have a 4GB card in my regular Canon digital camera, and it takes forever before I run out of space before downloading or uploading them.
After all this, you can rest your fingers and eyes and . . .
When you’re done with talking, texting and taking photos, you can sit back listen to some music. You can get a cable to transfer your tracks or just use Bluetooth.
There’s also an FM radio if you want someone else to do the programming for you or just want to listen to some local talk radio.
Sometimes you don’t want to press all those buttons, and with the Nokia E71, you have the option to use your voice to command the phone or dial a contact.
After a while you can go back and . . .
You can check out your favorite social networks and web sites. Though Straight Talk did limit web surfing when the service was first introduced, they have lifted those restrictions, so you can now visit most sites.
Although not as extensive and well-known as the iTunes store or the Android store, Nokia has its own version of an app store called Ovi where you can download additional apps.
You can download and play games like Crazy Penguin and Blokus onto your Straight Talk Nokia E71 (okay, I'm not really into games).
You can also keep track of all you social networks via an app called Snaptu, and find out where your friends are with Foursquare.
While the Nokia E71 doesn’t have a huge screen (to make room for physical keyboard), the 320 x 240 pixel color screen should be large enough for what you need to do.
If you’re in an area where the coverage isn’t great, just find a WiFi location and use that instead to surf the web and send your emails and instant messages.
The Voice Recorder lets you record your mental notes or practice your telephone calls or short speeches.
I sometimes use this feature to record some ideas about work when stopped at a traffic light. They're naturally a little rushed. Once my son while playing with my phone played back some of these notes, and I admit they sounded a little pretentious and silly. I still claim they're useful though.
Of course the basic phone functions like voicemail and call waiting are there. It’s amazing that some companies still charge extra for these services (or don't include them with basic plans), but they’re free on Straight Talk, as they should be.
The battery life of the phone is good considering that it’s a smart phone, so it has a lot more going on. The talk time is about 10.5 hours. The standby time is up to 17 days, so you can realistically go a few days without charging the phone.
The Straight Talk Nokia E71 is a great option for a no-contract or prepaid smart phone with an affordable $45 a month plan.
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Here is my Nokia E71 story, WARNING it's LONG: Keeping up with the Kids and Grandkids -I am a grandmother of 11, mother of 5, and I needed …
Where to find themes Not rated yet
There were a bunch of sites to download themes for this phone, but the one I took note of was tehkseven.net. This seemed to have a cool community and the …