My rationale for the Nokia E71
Last week I bought a Nokia E71, a few days before the iPhone 3G was available in stores. You may think I must be crazy for not giving into Apple, but I have my reasons.
I had the following list of requirements:
- Full keyboard (and not an on-screen keyboard)
- OS that I could develop for (Symbian ?)
- Not based on Windows
- Needed Wifi, GPRS, UMTS
- Wanted an SSH client (preferably putty)
- USB connection and bluetooth
- Small enough to fit well in my pocket
Looking at the Nokia E61i and E90, the E61i was lacking some features and the E90 is simply too big. The Nokia E71 actually combines a lot of both phones and is smaller, thinner and lighter. So when I read about the E71, I was sold.
The fact that Nokia is Open Sourcing Symbian is a welcome surprise as well, even when currently I am a bit disappointed about the availability of Symbian Open Source software. I hope a surge of Symbian developers can address that a bit, although I am happy with the Symbian putty, OGG player and Google apps.
I am still looking or hoping for:
- OGG support included in Symbian
- iCal integration in Symbian calendar
Task manager for Symbian(Keep Home key pressed)
- Good alarm clock application that can fade in and play OGG files (oggplay not sufficient)
- Open Source VOIP application or Skype for Symbian
- Pidgin for symbian
- Open Office document support
I was also pleasantly surprised about how well the Nokia E71 keyboard worked. The raised keys on the keyboard makes it very reliable for keyboard input even on this small format. That was one of the more important reasons for not going for an on-screen keyboard and ignoring the iPhone.
The Nokia E71 is also 100 Euro less expensive than the iPhone, but at these prices I bet that does not make the difference.
I have bluetooth working with CentOS to access the micro-SDHC card or use it to have Internet access over UMTS from my laptop. A future blog article will detail how to do this.