Some time ago, my wife and I switched from a contracted cell phone service to Straight Talk pre-paid wireless and, for the most part, have had no complaints about that choice. When we made the switch, we were a bit limited on money so we ended up purchasing the most affordable phones they had available. But, when we did that, we also intended on upgrading to better phones at some point.
By this past Christmas, the phones we originally purchased were starting to get worn out. Since we wanted to replace them anyway, I decided to do that as one of our Christmas presents and, at her request, purchased a couple Nokia E-71 Smart Phones for $98 each.
I currently have a mixed opinion about this purchase.
Compared to our other phones, these were definitely an upgrade. They have a bigger colored screen, full QWERTY keyboard (which I personally love because I text a heck of a lot more than I talk), a better camera and the ability to add apps. The phone also has a bunch of tools I use on a regular basis, including GPS and a dictionary (which came in very handy when we were playing Scrabble a few days ago).
When I first saw this phone, I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t be very durable. I spent a lot of money on it and hated the idea of it falling apart just because I set it down on the table a bit too hard. However, it does seem to be holding up well, despite being dropped numerous times.
In fact, as far as the phone itself goes, I really don’t have a lot of complaints. However, when it comes to using it, I do have to admit I’m somewhat disappointed.
The last phones we had from Straight Talk used Verizon’s cell network and my wife and I rarely ran into an issue with dead spots. The Nokia E-71 uses AT&T’s network and I’m less than impressed. I can get plenty of bars on the other end of town. But, in my house and the surrounding part of the city, bars are very hard to come by. And, I don’t mean I run into one or two dead spots. I mean I can walk through an entire store (like Walgreen’s up the street from me) and not get a signal at all. The phone is almost completely useless when we’re home as a result of that.
So, while I would definitely recommend the Nokia E-71 to anyone looking to purchase a prepaid cell phone from Straight Talk, I do highly recommend making sure AT&T has good coverage in your area or you might feel like you wasted your money.