Bye-bye Nokia E70

That’s it. I had enough.

Nokia E70 was a dream phone found for me:

  • Nice form factor, but still with a very usable QWERTY keyboard when folded open.
  • Almost a big enough screen with an excellent resolution (640×480 or VGA).
  • Camera with minimalistic feature set (but not bad quality at all, if you’ve been following the entries below) for moblogging.
  • Wifi.
  • Very good browsers, especially the HTML one with preview mode, but also OK for WAP.
  • Downloadable applications for Exchange mail & calendar sync, GMail and even Google Maps.

Now, about half a year later of quite normal use I’m sending it back to where I bought it. And will just throw it away if they don’t want it. I couldn’t give it as a gift or sell it on eBay unless I wanted to make some enemies:

  • People couldn’t hear me any more. I love gadgets, but this one just needed some serious slapping around to physically rewire the microphone or whatnot.
  • The navigation key did not work any more for selecting or moving down. Both quite common things you want to do.
  • Bluetooth connectivity stopped working with my car hands free. No number of resets or reconfigurations help. Car dealer’s comment: “oh, you’ve got thaaaatt phooone…”
  • Also a try to send more than one contacts to another phone crashes with Bluetooth. And is extremely unstable over Infrared. Oh, and add USB connectivity to a PC to the unstable list.
  • I stopped using wifi, because you can not define global profiles that would automatically check wifi and offer to connect, or fall back to 3G if none found. This is only available in a few applications.
  • Exchange Sync just occasionally does not work when roaming. Sometimes I needed to go in the configuration, erase the password, save, come back, enter it again and it was fixed. Not every time though.
  • Built-in GMail integration is useless if you have more than 100 messages in your mailbox, the sync just hangs. And how many messages do you think a user has with a mail provider who gives gigabytes of storage and preaches against folders and pro search? (Fortunately, Google’s separately downloadable Java client is great)
  • Otherwise fast web browser uses silent crash as the remedy to any random page larger than around 150-200kb. Frankly, those are quite common these days.
  • All-in-all the Symbian Series60 operating system can be terribly slow and unresponsive at times.
  • Last but not least: paint on the most used buttons wore off in months. Not pretty.

I’m now back on SonyEricsson, K800i this time. First experience has been a bliss: lightning fast, very straightforward functionality and connectivity. And an excellent camera to top, I did not even take out my Ixus over the weekend.

Will need to get a separate PDA-like device again for e-mail & calendar, though.

Thanks, Nokia for the most solid idea I’ve seen so far for physical phone form, for talk as well as written communication. But innovation requires both a good idea and excellent execution.

  • Anonymous

    Mine was similar, the build quality flaws are most likely consistent across all units.
    – joystick/d-pad seems to have intermittent contacts
    – button paints wear out easily
    – buttons on the num-pad fall off easily. The “1”,”4″,”7″ buttons on mine are gone.
    Besides build quality, we have slow and bug-infested software all around.

  • David

    i have to admit software operates a bit slugishly when utilizing third party software. but aside from that the phone is the best business cellular phone i have ever used. all of the problems you list do not exist for me and i am an all around power user whom travels extensively. hell its even been in a car accident with me and still works like a charm.

  • Charly

    Interesting reading. I thought I had just got a Monday phone but I have exactly the same problems.
    I never managed to use the SIP connection to our Asterisk phone system despite getting the Guru’s in to set my phone up after I had failed miserably.
    It is a pity that a phone packed with really good ideas and features is spoiled by sub standard hardware and software that has not been properly tested before it is released, but the this has been my experience with Nokia they never seem to get one phone working properly before they release it and start on the next model.
    I never had these problems with my Sony Ericsson P910.
    The Nokia is going very soon, I just need to decide between the P1 or one of the HTC phones

  • Emmanuel

    Agreed. This is the worst phone I have ever owned. I will never every buy a Nokia phone again.
    The form factor is pretty good (slightly too large), but
    that is where the praise ends.
    I have been using the phone for about 9 months or so and
    find it to be unstable (unable to make calls multiple
    times a day), very slow (especially to restart so I can
    make a call again), buggy, the VPN cannot be configured
    without a Nokia VPN gateway (separate big $$) and its battery life is poor (with WiFi and 3G).