Chapter 25 – Best Eseries Ever

In my first blog post about the Nokia E71 I proclaimed its killer feature to be a lanyard loop, enabling the display of my growing collection of cell phone charms. It was a joke at the time (kinda); what I really meant to say was that right from the get-go this phone seemed like it was made for me.

By October of 2008 I had trialled a variety of smartphones from Nokia’s WOM World. The N82, N95 (8 GB version) and E90 had all come and gone. All of them were fine devices, but not a one threatened an early retirement for my E61i. The E71 was a different story, being the official update from Nokia and all. It was smaller, yet had the same screen resolution and a better qwerty keypad. The camera had autofocus and a flash, and best of all there was a version with 3G data service tuned for the Americas. The lanyard loop sealed the deal.

3G data became a lot more useful when Fido, my carrier, started selling Apple’s iPhone 3G — and offered a 6 GB/month data package for $30 CAD. It was still a rip-off, to be sure, but at least it was better than the 3 megabytes I was getting for $25 just two years prior. It was around this time that I started using an app called Qik to stream video from my E71. The results weren’t stellar, but it bears repeating: in 2008 I was streaming live video to the Internet from my mobile phone.

Another S60 innovation was an app called JoikuSpot, which enabled my E71 to broadcast access to my cellular data via WiFi . Such things are taken for granted today, but in 2008 the idea of tethering your phone to a laptop instead of using an expensive hotel Internet connection was the stuff of magic. Only problem was that JoikuSpot, even the paid premium version, was a bit finicky about providing a stable connection. But the idea was bang-on, even if the execution was sometimes lacking.

My E71’s star turn was a week in Hong Kong to ring in 2009. I booked that trip in August of 2008; students of economic history will recall how the global economy kind of went to shit the following month. Despite the doom and gloom I resolved to enjoy myself, and my biggest indulgence by far for that trip was the data roaming fees. I made a pilgrimage to the local Nokia Flagship Store, where I tried the new flagship N96 for the very first time. I would end up trialling that device from WOM World the following month, but it wouldn’t woo me away from my E71.

Truth be told, my most vivid memory of this vacation had nothing to do with the phone. Someone at my hotel had pegged me as some kind of patsy, and sent no less than five, shall we say, “working girls” to my room over the course of an afternoon. Serves me right for blogging instead of taking in the sights, I guess.

My E71 came along on another, more fateful trip in the summer of 2009, one that would put it out of the spotlight and pretty much change my life forever…