The Nokia E71 and E63 are both business-centric smartphones from the stables of Nokia. They are both candy-bar, QWERTY-keyboard devices. They are both powered by Symbian OS 3rd Edition. At the core, they are one and the same device. I had already laid a basic foundation in my article on my first impressions of the E63. Simply put, the E63 is a cut-down version of the E71.
Here is a concise comparative review of the two devices.
Areas where the E71 trumps the E63
1. Camera: the E71 is equipped with a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera, while the E63 comes with a meagre 2.0 megapixel fixed-focus camera. Naturally, the E71 takes better photos than its younger cousin. As if to spoil things further for the E63, the highly intuitive N-series-like camera interface implemented on the E71 was dropped in the E63, and in its place Nokia decided to take us back to the days of the Nokia E61i.
2. Connectivity: the E71 has full connectivity options: Bluetooth, Infrared, USB, GPS, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS (3G), HSDPA (3.5G). On the E63, infrared, GPS and HSDPA are both missing.
3. Audio Quality: the E71 beats the E63 hands down in this department. While both devices have their speaker grill in the same position at the top, the E71’s speaker is physically bigger and produces louder and better sound than the E63.
Areas where the E63 trumps the E71
1. Price: this is a very important win for the E63 as the price difference between the two phones is between N15, 000 and N20, 000. Honestly, this difference is much considering that the E63 is an E71 with a few compromises.
2. Typing: both devices have full QWERTY keyboard, but the letter buttons of the E63 are slightly bigger than on the E71 and I find them more comfortable to use. Also, some characters like ( ) can now be typed directly from the keypad, while you will have to open a character menu to type them on the E71.
3. Flash Light: this is a first for Nokia smartphones and a very welcomed one at that, especially for those of us in this part of the world. The LED flash which works in camera mode only on the E71, works both as a camera flash and also as flash light (outside the camera mode) on the E63.
So is there a clear winner between the two devices? I think each device will win depending on what individuals are looking for.
If you’re not one of those who care about owning a good looking mobile phone, you don’t care much about taking stunning photos with your phone, and certainly don’t need top-end entertainment features on your mobile device, the E63 is your baby.
If what you’re looking for is a robust, stable, functional and inexpensive device that gets the job done, then the E63 fits that bill perfectly.