A few months ago I wrote about the E51 which I was using. Recently, I received the E71 for which my hopes of seeing any noticeable improvement over the E51 were low, especially in regards of the small keyboard and its tiny keys. However, after using the phone for a few weeks now, I must say that I am very positively surprised. The build and haptic quality of the keyboard is just excellent. As a matter of fact, I am typing this post while driving to and from work on the subway.
One of the only notable downsides to this phone however is that the software issues with inconsistent button mapping still exist and usability in one other area has even gotten worse, namely for the Maps application. Here, the * and # characters are still used for zooming in and out. On a qwerty keypad this however means you have to press Function + u or j to get the * and # characters. How productive is it having to use both hands for zooming in a GPS-enabled maps application? Clearly this application was not properly adapted to this phone.
Other than those Software issues the E71 still is a great phone. I just cannot stress enough how good the keyboard is.