Nokia E70

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 in Uncategorized by jed

Nokia E70

So, I recently decided that I was going to buy a phone. I knew what I wanted, and I knew that the local Cingular store didn’t offer it. The phone I bought is the Nokia E70. I had used one of these phones back when I worked for Nokia, when it was simply called by its codename, “Zeus”. At that time, it barely worked. I could quite literally turn it on, set it on the desk, and it would crash within 10 minutes. But I knew even then that if they could work out the major bugs, it would be an amazing device.

Suffice it to say, it no longer crashes like it did. So I bought one. This page is dedicated to documenting my experiences with configuring it and with doing stuff (both useful stuff and just playing around).

Anyway, love it enough to overlook its faults (detailed blow).

Here is a short list of the stuff I like about my E70:

  • The keyboard is really comfortable. Way more comfortable than an MDA or a blackberry. Having your thumbs wider apart seems to make a huge difference (to me at least).
  • It isn’t a monster. I can fit it in my pocket comfortably, even in jeans. (117 mm x 53 mm x 22 mm and 127g)
  • Mail support is fantastic. You can do POP and IMAP (with IMAP-idle to simulate push email), blackberry, exchange (there is an awesome app that syncs over Outlook Web Access, and “just works”), and more
  • Make any mp3 a ringtone
  • Super easy configuration as a bluetooth tether to the laptops for internet access (I’ve used it both with my MBP and with an IBM T6X. Various download meters on the web report than I can consistently get ~175kbps on Cingular’s network)
  • You can upgrade the firmware yourself.
  • You can access the Mini SD card without powering it off (but you still have to remove the back cover–just not the battery).
  • The Web browser seems to be able to handle just about any type of web page, and does a really great job with formatting and readability

Stuff I don’t like:

  • Battery life is only 24-36 hours with light-moderate usage. If syncing mail continually overnight, that halves (I have it configured to sync continually from 7am-7pm, then every hour during the night). 802.11 usage cuts it down further, depending on how much you us it (I don’t use the 802.11 on this phone that much)
  • It is slower than it should be. Changing from portrait to landscape mode can take a few seconds, which is way longer than acceptable. I’ve seen versions with better performance, but those have been beta versions of upcoming firmware releases and have been a bit crashy for my taste
  • It crashes once a month or so. Much more with regular 802.11 usage.
  • The bluetooth behavior leaves a lot to be desired if you have multiple bluetooth headsets. I like to switch from my jabra to the one built into my car, and it just doesn’t seem to do the right thing. It will pair and connect, but I will not get any audio on the headset. If I only use one or the other, it behaves reasonably, but still flakes out once every 2 weeks or so. This is the thing that bothers me the most about this phone.
  • The web browser seems to consume a lot of memory, so much so that after browsing for a while, the phone needs to be reset. Last time I tried Opera as a replacement (~3 months ago), it didn’t work well at all (crashed multiple times within a few minutes).
  • Can’t find any games that I like for it

All in all I think it is a fantastic phone, better than the Blackberry, Treo, and HTC phones that I’ve played with. But I wouldn’t recommend this phone for a novice user, it takes a bit to get used to. And the form factor certainly isn’t for everybody, many people really dislike “bar” style phones (even though this is more like a gull wing).

Links to interesting and/or useful pages related to or about the E70:

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