In addition to being a quad-band world phone, the Nokia E71x also supports AT&T's 850/1900MHz HSDPA bands. Wi-Fi is also onboard as an alternative if you're out of 3G coverage. The 3.5G speeds made Web browsing fairly painless. CNET's site loaded in about 50 seconds, while ESPN's mobile site came up in 17 seconds, and CNN's mobile site loaded in 18 seconds.
General performance was good with minimal delays. We were also quite pleased with the multimedia experience. Tracks sounded rich even through the phone's speakers; we only wish Nokia had equipped the smartphone with a 3.5mm headset jack so we could plug in our own headphones. Video playback was smoother than other smartphones we've tested, with minimal blurriness and synchronized audio and picture.
The picture quality of the Nokia E71's 3.2-megapixel camera wasn't great. Though we were satisfied with the sharpness, the coloring wasn't very good, as it looked dark and orange.
The biggest hiccup we encountered with the Nokia E71x was with the GPS. Using AT&T Navigator, we tried to set up a route from CNET's downtown San Francisco office to the Marina District. However, on the initial try, the smartphone could not get a GPS fix and consequently could not find our location or give us a route. We were in an open area with a clear view of the sky on a sunny day. We tried for 20 minutes and even exited out of the application several times and restarted the phone to no avail, so we finally gave up for the day. However, the next day the smartphone was able to locate our position immediately and held its lock as we drove throughout the city. AT&T Navigator provided accurate directions, though slightly slow on the route recalculations. Yellowpages.com Mobile also worked as advertised, offering numerous business listings and their contact information, though we found that some of the search results were outdated.
The Nokia E71x has a 1,500mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5 hours (GSM)/4.5 hours (3G) and up to 13 days (GSM)/12 days (3G) of standby time. The smartphone provided 11 hours of talk time in our battery drain tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the E71x has a digital SAR rating of 1.53 watts per kilogram.