I have just bought a new E71 to replace my old E50.
Both phones are well built. E71 is really beautiful; the QWERTY keyboard is easy to use after a day or two. E50 has anti-glare screen which E71 does not have (or it does not have the same effect). The font in E50 is too small while E71 has much bigger screen hence it is easier for my eyes. I managed to configure the E71 to use bigger font than the default. Somehow I did not find the same option in E50.
E71 use USB for connecting to PC which is an improvement. However, both still use non-standard headset connection, therefore I cannot use my B&O headphone. Why don’t people just use standard format? Also E71 does not charge itself via USB; weird! Most of the devices can be charged via USB; it helps to loose the charging adapter.
Nokia sound quality is good.
I have not used E71 long enough, but E50 can last 2 days when I travel.
Both phones use the same Symbian OS, the call and messaging function are good. E71 runs much fast than E50, most likely due to the faster processor. However, the whole Symbian platform used in E series is still not very friendly. Installing a new software is really hard. Here is what I did:
* Connect phone to the PC
* Go to some sites to download an install package, you need to choose different files for different phone models.
* Load the install package to phone by Nokia software, continue necessary actions in the phone itself.
After installing a new software, sometimes it is hard to find where the new application goes into the phone.
Configuring the phone is messy. The E series phones can do many things, however it has a very messy hierarchy menu system in which there are multiple paths to the same menu. Basically, beside the calling and messaging functions, the rest of the phone functionality is not well designed. To give a very concrete example: The Nokia PC suite software can allow you to load city maps to the phone (E71 has GPS and map functionality, however there is no way for the user to find out which maps have been previously loaded. As a product designer I find it very strange.
There are also some weird limitations, such as, radio can only be listened via headset. I did not understand why.
It takes forever to lock your position; I never able to do so. Users complained about the same issue in the Nokia forum; people said E71 took them 40 minutes to lock position.
I am happy that E71 is a good replacement of my E50. It runs faster and has better keyboard. Most of the time I only use calling and messaging features. E71 has many more functions like GPS, maps, radio but because of the poor design software I did not find convenient to utilize them.