Nokia E71

My experience with the E71 - January 22, 2009

The E71 has a large set of features; the GPS and 3G support were a couple things new compared to the E61i that tipped the scales in favor of the E71.

The key features for me are SIP over Wifi & browsing.  There are lots of E71 reviews and several good blogs (i like e71blog.com) so I'll try not to repeat what others have done.

I bought my e71 from newegg.ca for ~CAD$375 in December.  The price is over $400 now, but Rogers sells them without a contract for $399.  The phone I received is product code 0569371 RM-357 E71-2.  Product code 0559585 is better since you can install the newest firmware on it without hacking your product code first.

I have GSM service with Fido, so I put my SIM into the E71.  It worked fine, even configuring SMS, MMS & GPRS automatically.  In my case this is a bad thing since the phone defaults to packet data instead of wifi.  After I had inadvertently used ~100KB of packet data (@5c/KB!!!) I contacted fido support and they disabled packet data for my account.  I'll re-enable it after I've configured the phone so it will only use packet data when I want it to. 

I called the support number listed on Nokia.ca.  I first asked for the new firmware that was released for the 0559585 product code.  I was told it's not available for my product as it is a "different phone".  After some arguing the agent (Ryan) even lied and said the 0559585 product code is for the European version of the phone.  Then I asked how do I setup STUN for SIP.  Ryan didn't know anything about VoIP, so after I insisted, I got another agent named John.  I got lots of run-arounds; STUN isn't referenced on nokiausa.com so it's not supported.  I pointed out it was referenced on forum.nokia.com, but the agent said that's not officially supported by Nokia either.  Eventually he said "Stun is not going to be supported by Nokia", so I pushed until I got transferred to a supervisor (Rebecca) who claimed SIP is not supported by Nokia.  After I showed her the US product page for the E71 lists SIP, she relented, and said she'd pass it on to customer relations to look into it and contact me in about a week.

I tried configuring a couple SIP accounts on the phone (CallWithUs & Gizmo) with no luck.  I tried downloading the Gizmo5 mobile client.  It installed but wouldn't work.   Then I found VBuzzer's configuration page for the E71.  About an hour later I got that working, so I re-checked my CallWithUs config and realized I made a mistake with my login info.  I fixed that and was able to make VoIP calls using CallWithUs (I don't have funds in my VBuzzer account).

I still couldn't get Gizmo to work; I like to use Gizmo since I have a GrandCentral number which I have setup to forward to my cell and to my Gizmo number.  I found the GizmoVoip.com is specific to Nokia phones & Gizmo.  No download for the E71, but the E65 is also s60 v3, so I tried it.  It crashed my phone, but not before adding a SIP configuration template for Gizmo.  The config template uses both the proxy and registration servers (CallWithUs and VBuzzer just use the registration server).  After editing the Gizmo template with my account details it worked.

I also played with YouTube for mobile.  With my old D-Link router the realplayer wouldn't connect to the stream until I set my E71 as the DMZ host.  I've had no luck playing flash video though (it seems Flash Lite 3.0 doesn't support the newer codecs in Flash10).

Overall I'm satisfied with the phone, but I wonder how long (if ever) before the time saving features of the E71 make up for all the time I've spent getting it to work.  :-(