I have both, the Nokia e71 and BB 8330. I initially got the e71 and used it extensively. It is great for multimedia (audio/video), streaming videos, internet radio, and has hundreds, if not thousands, of useful applications. All kinds of known connectivity are supported - USB, WiFi, GPRS, 3G, Bluetooth, IrDA. The Symbian OS is extremely fast even when multi-tasking. Battery life is amazing - 3-4 days with my normal usage, YMMV.
The only shortfall was that due to my company's IT and Security departments, I had to set up work-arounds to get email. I have read reviews where if ActiveSync is set up to work with Exchange, email set up for e71 is extremely easy.
All other well-known email providers - Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, work very well with the e71. This would be comparable to the BIS provided by RIM.
A few months after I acquired the e71, I was issued a BB 8330 from my work place. I like the way it is integrated with my intranet, Exchange and AD. Other than that I feel it is a cumbersome device. The BB interface is not intuitive. BB owners take pride in the existence of abundant shortcuts. But coming from the e71, I feel that the shortcuts exist because of lack of buttons and/or interfaces. Moreover, the BB OS is slow. The battery needs to be recharged every day with my less than regular usage - no video or audio, no streaming internet radio.
BB is a very powerful email machine because the SW, HW and infrastructure (BES, BIS) have been built to provide one single thing - email.
The e71 is an overall excellent device. However, Nokia is not in the email hosting business (it does offer free email hosting in Beta). It works well if IT department sets up email in a more open format - IMAP, POP3, and stumbles (through no fault of the device) if mail servers are not set up for external access.
By the way, as the e71 is an unlocked and no-contract phone, I used it with a prepaid account and cheap, no contract, data plan through AT&T.
Last edited by jhingalala : 04-23-2009 at 02:26 PM.
Reason: Added mention of battery life.