Disclaimer: I know this post will raise some discussion as I know there are many iPhone lovers, Nokia lovers and boy lovers out there. But please, do not take me wrong on this. This post is 100% my personal opinion and as such does not need your personal approvement.
Update: If you think I’m a dork, it’s OK, I can live with that, but I won’t permit such behavior as trolling! So, any hate comments will be promptly deleted.
First of all, this post was meant to be a Nokia E71 mobile phone review, but my previous post raised some comments on my rather biased claims about the E71 “kicking the ass off iPhone” (I actually said iPhuck, and that’s probably what triggered all this situation). So, I’m not just doing a review but also comparising the two devices.
Note: Even that I’ve tried an iPhone for some time now, I do not own one. So beware that my arguments may not be accurate. I expect you, iPhone owners to help me keeping this straight. Let’s start..
E71 on top of iPhone
The E71 is slightly lighter and slimmer than the iPhone, [114 x 57 x 10 mm] vs [115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm]. It provides a QWERTY keyboard while the iPhone relays on the touchscreen both for navigation and text-input (more on this later). On what concerns visual interface iPhone presents you with a 3.5″ wide screen while E71 has a smaller 2.36″, whose quality differences are deepened by 480×320 vs 320×240 pixel resolution respectively. Also no one doubts iPhone UI is extremely appealing, one of Apple’s breakthroughs against Symbian “standardization” on mobile user interfaces, even that some people have complained about freezes and slower usability with recent software updates.
They say that an Operating System marks the difference. Well the stripped MacOS inside the iPhone does the trick for the fashion whores, but I much prefer an OS with true multi-tasking that enables me to listen to music while writing an e-mail and having a chat in my favourite IM client. “Oh my god, my iPhone has a Last.fm client” – Yes it does, now try listening to Last.fm and getting it into background so you can do something else. Sorry no can do.. Yes, yes, you can even argue that background applications eat battery and you are right if you tend to leave those applications running unmanaged, which would tag you as dumb. But hey, this dumb here has a Nokia. I can buy a couple spare batteries and carry them around. You, iPhone owner can also.. oh wait, no you can’t! I totally forgot you have an irreplaceable battery.
On the multimedia side, iPhone is a clear winner.. if you want to upgrade your old iPod. Everyone knows that iPhone has all the iPod abilities plus native integration with some media-sharing services and iTunes store. But hey, E71 has a better camera (3.2MP vs iPhone’s 2.0MP), native podcasting support, Ovi and other media-sharing services too. Now, E71 has MMS, video-recording and video-call support (it has a tiny camera in the front specifically for that use) while the iPhone does not support any of these. Some of you may say that you don’t use MMS and that it’s lamme when you use it to receive football goals footage or nude chicks licking each other, but let me ask you: you took a picture of you and your girlfriend. How are you going to send it to her?! And that brings me to the next point…
Talking about connectivity, E71 beats the shit out of an iPhone. Bluetooth in the iPhone is so limited that even a guy with a couple yogurt cups and a string would have more functionality. You cannot pair any kind of Bluetooth devices at your will. You will not be able to send files to other phones, and not even use your 3G connection through Bluetooth to access internet on your computer. Well I can do this and much more with my E71. I can even install JoikuSpot which converts my 3G phone into a wireless gateway.
Also E71, as most of the S60 mobile phones now natively support VoIP (SIP). I’ve got mine registered with Ekiga in one minute. Oh yes, and I use it, more and more as Symbian allows you to use VoIP over GSM when available!
Just on a side-note, I installed Fring, an IM/VoIP/file-sharing service. Very cool also supports MSN, Google Talk, ICQ, Yahoo, a lot of SIP registrars (like VoIPBuster and Gizmo), GMail notification, Twitter (only chat) and Orkut for the social-networking fanatics!! For the iPhone I’d recommend the same tool as it’s available through the Apple Store.
Of course we couldn’t go on without talking about web browsing and e-mail support. iPhone has a bigger browsing area, faster and smoother scrolling and great Flash support(1). Symbian’s web-browser is OK but I truly recommend installing Opera Mini. No arguments here, iPhone definitely wins. But what about e-mail support?
Well I must admit that to me Nokia win’s by far by just having a physical keyboard instead of the touch-sensitive virtual one.Many people have complained about the iPhone’s virtual-keyboard and I quote a Wired review “After three days of iPhoning, typos were relatively common. After three hours with the E71, they’re pretty much nonexistent“. Also E71 brings a very realistic text-to-speech engine with Portuguese (as spoken in Portugal, not Brazil or other Portuguese speaking countries) support that you can download for free almost seamlessly while configuring this option. I love having some unknown girl called Isabel reading my e-mails or SMS with that sexy voice! My girlfriend keeps asking me who the hell am I talking to.. works like a charm 😀
Still on the keyboard issue, have you tried using the iPhone keyboard on the move? I tried while on the train and god, please help! Things just get worse when you’re inside a car, or even drunk.. yep, happens to me all the time!!
Now, what I didn’t expect and discovered soon is that iPhone doesn’t support copy n’ paste! Allow me. WHAT THE FUCK?! Must. Resist. Saying. ROTFLOL. This is one of the most basic features for using the web, e-mail, office-tools all together. And yes, E71 includes QuickOffice. Does the iPhone have something similar?!
This review could continue and enter the gaming or the SDK worlds, but personally I don’t give a fuck about the first one and I hate the second, since the Apple SDK is just a bunch of more shackles to developers. I’m not saying that Symbian’s SDK is perfect, no, not at all. But come on, when Apple released their first SDK they asked us to sign an NDA which specified that developers couldn’t exchange info between them regarding everything that concerned iPhone applications development. They don’t even support Java. Well fuck you and your SDK. Oh and Symbian will become open-source soon..
Both are mobile phones. Both are beautiful pocket friends to have around. But in the end, for me, my Nokia E71 wins and that’s why I’ve bought it! Apple tries to block their users to do things the way they want it. Nokia let’s me choose whatever application I want to install without having to jailbreak my cellphone. I can even interact (copy files, synchronize) with my Linux desktop and my Macbook seamlessly without having to use the Nokia PC Suite which happens to run only in Microsoft Windows.
Nokia E71 - my precious..
Oh and just for your information, in Portugal the iPhone is only available through mobile operators with some stupid contracts. The E71 is network-free for just 419 Euro (as we speak at Ensitel stores).
(1) – Celso Pinto pointed me out that IPhone doesn’t support Flash. I must admit, I didn’t try YouTube. Thanks dude!