Nokia E71 vs iPhone

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

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 client” – Yes it does, now try listening to 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 reviewAfter 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 πŸ˜€

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..

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!


60 thoughts on “Nokia E71 vs iPhone

  1. @pls I respect you as the man you are and what you’ve acomplished. That’s why I thought this post would be a match to your comment in my previous post. I really expect you to argue with your own personal view, even that it may look as a flame war to this blurb of mine. I’m looking at your blog and waiting πŸ˜‰

    @dextro that’s my boy :-p

  2. AC says:

    “I can even interact (copy files, synchronize) with my Linux desktop”

    I’d be VERY interesting in knowing how you do this — I’d love to ditch my MacBook and use something smaller when travelling but haven’t found a suitable replacement for iCal yet. And unfortunately Ovi Sync doesn’t yet work in Canada 😦

  3. AC says:

    Thanks for the links!

    The instructions for Evolution look pretty daunting, but I’ve heard Evolution also syncs with MS Exchange…

  4. Luis Figueiredo says:

    There are a couple of things that annoy me on the E71. First the 2,5″ phone jack. It works nicely with the bundled nokia earphones which suck. You’ll need an adapter to the 3,5″ standard, which are available for 3 euros.

    Joikuspot does work, but the lite edition doesn’t support https which limits your actions, but worse than that, it will inevitably crash your phone.

    My main complain about the E71 is the battery life. The phone is intended to be used for hours straight, but the battery will not keep up in more demanding usage.

    The ideal combo is a E71 and an Ipod Touch for music and web browsing.

  5. @Luis lucky me that already have such an adapter that came with my 5300 XpressMusic.. but, I don’t intend to listen to music on my phone as I already own an iPod nano 8Gb for that purpose.

    I haven’t stressed my phone usage.. yet. But I’ve been testing it on all scenarios (VoIP always on and e-mail over my wlan), and so far, so good. During the next week I’ll be out and will test it more. I’ll update this post accordingly.

  6. πŸ™‚

    @Paulo I am really not into turning the “e71” vs “iPhone” into something worth the trouble of a nice discussion. You like your phone, I like mine, lucky us. There’s not much more that matters.

    Anyway, I am sure we will find something worth a good argument in the future…


  7. air1 says:

    I actually believe that the E71 and the iPhone are fighting in different categories. The iPhone is more oriented fun/multimedia with a big screen and a touchscreen. You will have to wait a more “high end” version of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic to have an S60 phone to compare to the iPhone. (The 5800 XpressMusic is much cheaper than the iPhone, i.e. an unlocked one costs the same price as a iPhone tied to a contract).

    The E71 is more of a business phone – that doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for consumers, but that the core features are oriented around being efficient for voice, messaging, calendar and office applications. Which means that it does a lot of things that the iPhone doesn’t, but it lacks the fun and “sexy” factor of the iPhone.

    While I can see some people considering both the E71 and iPhone as their new phone, they’re so different that most people can take their decision pretty quickly. (As far as I’m concerned, I’m a happy owner of a E71.)

    It’s a weird habit to compare every high-end phone to the iPhone just because it got so much hype. It makes more sense to compare the G1 to the iPhone for example.

  8. Coen says:

    Have to agree with Luis, E71 and the iPod Touch is an ideal combo.

    I won (yes!) an iPod Touch (an iPhone you can not make phone calls with) and I can now see what the magic of the iPhone is. Nevertheless, I would never trade my E71 for an iPhone. But the Touch is a nice accesoirre for the E71.

  9. Doug Petrosky says:

    Just to clarify your flash update. The iPhone does not support flash but does support YouTube (not clear from your statement). Also, your rant against the SDK is old news even by your account because we are no longer on the “first SDK” and developers can talk to each other. Also, it appears that those developers are very happy with the SDK and that it is very good. Check out the number and quality of applications in the App Store for evidence.

    Connectivity is relative. How well will that E71 sync with my MacBook Pro running AddressBook, iCal, Mail, iTunes, and iPhoto? Can you keep me wirelessly synced with push support for Mail, Address and calendar. When I upgraded my iPhone to 3G, within minutes of activation, having never been with in 20 miles of my computer I was completely synced with contacts, calendars an email.

    As for tethering, this is a contract issue that will go away in the next couple weeks.

    One final rant, the OS is fully multitasking as you can see by having iTunes audio running while talking on the phone and surfing the internet. Apple has simply limited third parties at this time (and probably for all time) to ensure that this is alway a fast and responsive phone first and foremost. (note: You appear to be able to keep an audio stream from a web page running after the browser is closed for your desire to keep last FM running.

    But in the end, these are very different phones and will appeal to very different people, so to each their own.

  10. says:

    i’m absolutely agree with you… before i read this i didn’t know what to buy..i found new things that s**k about iphone…that i wasn’t aware of.. thank you..

  11. Cas says:

    Hi, I have been raring to get a iPhone, but was also considering a E71 (cheaper and seems good). Now, I really want to get a E71. However, does it sync properly with MAC OS? That’s a big issue for me because I am currently using a Macbook Pro.

    But otherwise, funny and witty review to be (as mentioned by reviewer) taken by a pinch of salt. I guess E71 is really more practical than iPhone, and that’s what a phone should be, practical!

  12. Ling says:

    LOL this review was fantastic!!! It made my day for sure πŸ™‚

    @Paulo; Im curious — what do you think about the expected Nokia E63, the ‘slimmed-down’ version of the E71??

  13. Thank you for a review, I almost bought iPhone but then I decided to start to look since there must be better phones than that in the market and I bump to your post.

    I live in Barcelona, Spain. Over here with iPhone there is a same problem with operator that you seem to have. I have been waiting unlocked iPhone but I think I am not going to wait more and I will get E71. Here iPhone is sold by the worst and the biggest telecom Telefonica with the price and subscription deal that is just plain stupid for me. I am originally from Finland where operators cannot lock phones more than 6 months. Actually, before it was illegal sell phones binded to contract but thanks to some lobbying telecoms were able to change this. All phones used to be free and you could go to any operator and switch your number to that operator. So, what was the result of that? Well we had the cheapest phones and calls and when buying a mobile there was no hidden cost it was plain and simple. Phone price, Monthly fee and minute price + sms price. Oh, good old days…

  14. Maaz Hurzuk says:

    That was an amazing review. Fun to read and a superb way to say … IPHONE SUCKS ….

    I would soon be getting an E71. Thanks to you

  15. David says:

    Hello Paulo,

    very nice and funny review!!! I would really like to see you review the Nokia E71 vs Nokia 5800 and see how they stack up against each other.

  16. Anujit says:

    Dude: Your review of the browsers was pretty bad. Symbian’s browser is based on the same core as the the iPhone Safari. But the e71’s browser beats the iPhone hands down in features (loses in coolness such as pinching and flipping). And the e71 supports Flash natively. Go open youtube on your e71… you will see you get the same page you get on your computer. And the videos play. As does any flash content on any other websites.

    The e71 has hands down the best browser on any phone till date.

  17. oivnaiva says:

    ok ok do you think e71 is better than iphones???
    this is because you have not money….
    iphone is the best cellphone created in the universe
    He posibilite we put a loooooooooottt, of apps
    and you don’t have money, go fuck son of bichs

  18. sallee says:

    hi! i’ve been torn between buying E71+ipod touch, and an iPhone for a month now. im from the philippines and buying an E71+ipod touch 32gb would cost me 800 US Dollars. While getting the iPhone 16gb from the network provider with a $17 monthly bill for 24months would cost me $650 for the unit alone. while e71 can view and edit word files, i’m not sure if it is possible for iphone to do that. would anyone know if the iphone can view documents like word and pdf file? i only read from the apple website that you can view file attachments from the email through your iphone but i’m not sure if it can view and store files sent through bluetooth from your pc or mac. btw, i’m currently using macbook and E51. i can view files through my E51 but the screen is rather small and although it syncs with mac hassle-free, i want to replace it with a larger screen phone that will allow me to better view my word/pdf files without bringing my macbook. also, i want a multimedia player that can store more than 20gb of music and video. iphone is limited to 16gb while ipod touch has a max of 32gb capacity. i can say that this site is very helpful. though i’m not 100% decided yet, i’m thinking of buying the E71+ipod touch combo instead.

  19. @sallee hi there! actually the e71 has a small screen compared to the iphone’s, but still is quite usable and has saved me on some special occasions.

    unfortunately, i’m unable to answer your questions on the iphone side, like if it supports reading doc and pdf.

    e71 + ipod touch, seems like a good choice for me πŸ˜‰

    good luck

  20. Ben says:

    The only thin i have to say about this is that how come the iphone can support subfolders on microsoft exchange and the e71 cannot. How can you use e71 as a business phone when al you can see is your inbox.

    Personally blackberry all the way for a business e-mail based phone.

    • I don’t use MSExchange but IMAP instead and I’m OK with subfolders. Anyway, the software updates on the E71 have been targeting MSExchange stuff. Perhaps you should take a look at them and see if it’s enough for you.

  21. Thanks buddy, your article is very fun to read and also very true. I just threw away my iPhone in favor of an E71. Man how i missed a real keyboard…


  22. Roland says:

    Hello Friend,

    I read you comparison with interest. I too have a Nokia E71 because I cannot afford an iPhone right now.

    One of the reasons that the Nokia e71 is a such a good phone is because Nokia have recognised that they need to improve their product to keep up with the iPhone. So we the consumer are the winners and not Nokia or Apple.

    Also we must remember that Nokia have made 1000′ s of phones, Apple have made only 1 and Apple almost got it right first time!

    We must not forget that Nokia and other manufacturers cripple their phones, there is always some feature missing, somewhere on a Nokia phone, later releases of phones are missing features that earlier phones had? why? and now we learn (rumour) that the Symbian OS may be moving to MobileLinux OS sometime in the future. So once more Nokia is learning from Apple by choosing a Unix type OS.

    We can both enjoy our Nokia E71’s while we have them, but we should thank Apple for giving them to us, and remember the mobile phone of the future will be much better than either the iPhone or the E71. Of one thing I am quite certain and that is that it will not have a keypad as we know it.

    A happy Nokia E71 owner until I get the new Apple iPhone.

    Best regards Roland

  23. Sawan says:

    If you want to re-kill the iPhone/3G/3GS, compare it to the Nokia 5800 or Nokia N97 or Samsung Omnia HD. But not the E71.

    I’m going to buy the E71 btw.

  24. Brennan says:

    Cool review. really liked it!!! E71 is what I’m thinking to get at the moment. Just one question. Does it allow you to save SMS messages to computers?

    all the best

  25. Mike says:

    I have been using the Nokia E71 for nearly a year now and I am really happy with it. I also have an iPhone which also is a suprb peice of kit.
    I am not sure why one would want to compare the two phones, they are very very different beasts.
    The E71 is all about creating and the iPhone is about consuming.
    The iPhone is like a Ferarri, no one really needs one, but jolly nice if you can afford it and it wont get you up a muddy slope in Hull.
    The E71 is like a Hummer – say no more.

  26. Teddy says:

    The nokia e71 is a gereat phone and 3.8m people who own it think so and so do th 5m people who one and iphone think the iphone is great. Its all about what you like.

  27. G. Ferreira says:


    Paulo, how about this new iPhone 3GS. How you compare to the Nokia E71 ? I have a friend who unblocks everything on an iPhone…he’s living for it and earning a lot of money!! Would your review change sides after that ?

    I have the E71 and I’m considering on changing it. After 1 year and a half, it got slower, my speaker sometimes ‘crashes’, battery life is bad and sometimes it simply stops and I have to reset it.

    Hope to hear from you…

  28. @G.Ferreira

    Just for curiosity, I’ve tested a jail-broken iPhone 3GS and I must admit that it’s nice to see some Apple store blocked apps making into Cydia, which enhance significantly the usability of the device.

    On the E71 side, I only complain about photo quality and lack of applications. It’s not slower, because I keep it on a very tight leash, but still I’m eager for more. And on a side note, my HTC Hero is coming.. review soon πŸ˜‰

  29. je yutan says:

    Hi Paulo
    Great comparison of the two phones.
    BTW, could you teach me how to install my Ekiga in my E71? I couldn’t get it through. Thanks

  30. James says:

    I can see why you prefer nokia, most europeans do, We americans perfer iphone 3gs Os 3(jailbroken and unlocked) and blackberry bold9000/curve 8900.

  31. Roland says:

    Hi, I last posted May 30th,

    Recently the Environmental Working Group has posted a Radiation Comparison for many phones, it’s interesting to note that the E71 has very slightly higher radiation.

    E71 = 1.41 W/kg or 1.23 – 1.40 W/kg
    IPHONE = 0.24 – 1.39 W/kg or 0.52 – 1.19 W/kg

    You can check this information out yourself at the Environmental Working Group

    I still feel the iPhone is a better choice if you take into account the histories of these two companies the iPhone, I believe, has a better philosophy toward humans as well as a massive amount of applications. The e71 lacks some essential applications which interact with productivity websites for example a “Remember the Milk” client.


  32. What a great comparison and review!
    I’ve been wanting to get an iPhone, but just realized that I don’t really want a touchscreen keyboard. Tried my Mom’s LG phone and they suck, esp. when you have long (and beautiful) nails.

    E71 looks like a blackberry and business-like. I was sold like 15mins after doing some research online.
    Now reading this, I can say my mind is set.


  33. Jeanette says:

    Unfortunately I let the sales guy talk me out of the e71, I got the e63. I loved it until I couldn’t pair it to my mac to use it as a modem. I have limited knowledge so I called cell provider, apple and nokia support to no avail. Have any info for me? I would appreciate it.

  34. Roland says:


    I feel your pain! You can use JoikuSpot.

    I had an e71 and I was being cheap and draining diesel out one of my 4×4’s to the place in the other, anyway the phone got trashed with diesel (amazingly it still sort of works except for the microphone and the screen has gone dark and it smells of diesel) so I took the opportunity to buy the iphone I have referred to in earlier posts.

    Anyway pairing up was not that exciting on the e71 until I went and purchased JoikuSpot which is essential software that will turn your phone into a wireless router. Worth every cent and you can encrypt and protect you mobile wireless router and share it with other users.

    For instance when we go to Rainbow beach on holidays, I use JoikoSpot so my kids can share internet access on their laptops.

    Joikuspot is way better than any pairing or internet sharing solution provided by Nokia and you will be able to use it on your e63.

    By the way, I have two e61’s in the home so I do like good well made Nokia’s. I have had the e71 and e63s for about 8 months or more and the iphone for about 6 weeks or so so I will try and provide a fair comparison soon.

    I hope this will help you.

    Best regards

  35. seshan says:

    hi guys iam a grade 12 student from canada . what phone would you guys reccomend an iphone 3G( no money for a 3gs) or an e71

  36. @seshan: Definitely an IPhone. Nokia is dead both as a mobile platform and as a provider of high-end devices. I’ve owned an E71 for 13 months and as my unit started refusing to power-up every once in a while and practically no good apps came out of Nokia or the market in general I’m giving up entirely on Nokia and buying a 3GS today.

  37. @seshan i’d go for an android phone. htc hero, for instance. i have one for half a year now, and it works like a charm. i’m “upgrading” to an htc desire, though πŸ˜‰
    but if you really need to choose one among those two choices, i’d follow Ricardo’s opinion.

    @Ricardo i disagree when you say that Nokia is dead, because they’re not. i do agree that Symbian is not what we’re are used to at the moment (android, iphone os, webos, blackberry os) but they have meego with Intel (previously known as maemo) and there’s no statement they won’t be adopting Android soon.

  38. businessmarketingplan says:

    Time Flies and both these large Market players have problems. Symbian is looking tired and the Iphone 4 is the first IPhone to run into major technical problems. I am looking forward to the new Microsoft Phone in November. Hopefully that and a fixed IPhone will provide me with a difficult choice for my next phone.

  39. gaialy says:

    I love my e71 and can defintely count on it for calls, messaging, camera, bluetooth, and I love quick office! But since I need my music, enjoy videos on the go and love the apps, I got the ipod touch, too.

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