Nokia – Do Look Where Your Build Quality Is Going

Nokia look Where Your Build Quality Is Going

It has almost become an accepted fact that Eseries devices from Nokia have better build quality than their Nseries siblings, for a long time I thought so too. However, for the good or the bad, that belief of mine has been shattered. Eseries devices have disappointed too and that leads me to this post.

In the last two month or so I or my friends have picked up three Nokia E90’s and two N82’s and what is bad is that all but one have had some problem or the other.


I’ll start with the E90’s – Above is a almost new E90 that has been treated like a baby, literally. Yet, within one week of usage that is what I have, and believe me this is one reason I don’t want to use this phone again. The D pad looks battered for no reason at all. Moreover the device creaks like anything, the sides and even the battery cover is a little loose. Pure disgust. Moreover since this is a cosmetic defect, Nokia won’t cover it in the warranty.

The above was the story of the Mocha variant. This is the part where two of my friends got the latest Black E90 with the revamped keyboard. To their disgust, the thing still creaks – right out of the box. If that wasn’t enough, within two weeks both phones lost their inner screens i.e. some connector inside messed up and on opening the phone all they would get was a blank screen or some flicker.

So we went to the Nokia Service Center, which Nokia fortunately has quite a few of here in Chandigarh, India. What did they tell us? Please come back after seven days and we’ll have your phones fixed. SEVEN days? We made some enquiries and found out that almost a hundred E90’s in the region have had that fault and are awaiting repair.

Now is this a problem with a batch of phones that came out of China or something that bothers most black E90’s – I don’t know. The point is it shouldn’t be happening. Not with Nokia most expensive device if we take the 88XX luxury series out.


Moving back to the Nseries. This is an N82 which is barely a week old. Right from the first day it had something which looked like a dead pixel, but with time another friend found out that it wasn’t so dead, in fact it was growing by the day. The Nokia Service centers (all 4 of them in the city) did not have an replacement screen at hand and again put in the SEVEN day waiting period. Seriously, replacing the screen takes under ten minutes. Lastly, the N78 I have, has a piece of paper tucked between the battery and the cover to prevent creaks.

What bothers me the most is that all of these are high end handsets for which the customer pays a premium, yet he still gets the bad end of the bargain. A 800$ plus phone which creaks, has light coming out from under the screen and can’t last two weeks while it is being treated with the utmost care? I won’t want one, no matter what the features are.

Nokia, if I sum it up, you have three devices that have build quality issues out of a grand total of four. Is that where you’d like to be headed? My experience could have been a fluke but I doubt it. Something is surely amiss and its high time you fixed it.

I’m sure quite a few of you would have had such issues, feel free to share.

37 thoughts on “Nokia – Do Look Where Your Build Quality Is Going”

  1. Even I’m facing the same problem on my E90
    The build quality of Nokia products is going from bad to worse.

  2. Oh, the D pad issue is the same on the e61i. The reason for that is that the button’s plastic with some funky paint on it, so the thing wears off with use.

  3. my sand N95 developed a colour changing moving display in just 1 week, i got a new one after a month and dat too a plum colour

  4. YEAH
    my n82 has a lot of dead pixels on the screen.
    in three different places.
    its REALLY pissing off.
    was thinking of going to the service centre today.
    when u say 7 day waiting period, do they keep the phone with them those 7 days? coz i cant live a week without my phone.
    or does it mean come back in 7 days?
    and will they charge me for the screen?
    im from bombay.

  5. Yeah they gotta reconsider about the built qualities,that’s a must.My N80 and my wife’s 5700 both having these dead pixels,luckily the N80 has only one and it is there for almost 1year now,but the 5700 seems to be developing them bit by bit.
    Also the same disgusting thing happens to the N80’s D-pad.
    And the N95 8GB slowly starting to wobble….
    I got so many complaints……..

  6. oh god!
    If this is the case, i feel lucky with my n 82. No problems whatsoever. It has two dents on its back panel but thats because i have a daughter all of 15 months who has punished it with almost 10 drops of 1 foot.
    God has been kind but the point vaibhav is making is absolutely valid. Are we going to buy $500 – $800 phones and ‘hope’ it will work alright?? You go to any nokia center in pune and you will have a queue of people waiting to submit their phones to get them repaired.
    What about samsung? (sorry for asking and moving away from the blog, coz i have set my sights on innov8 ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. @ashu
    “sorry for asking and moving away from the blog, coz i have set my sights on innov8 :-)”

    its not a NOKIA blog.
    its a SYMBIAN blog.
    the innov8 is symbian, so ur not moving away.
    and EVERYONE’s dying to see who wins the n96 innov8 battle.
    but who’s stupid enough to buy the n96 for 36.1k?
    tho its less stupid than the iphone 3g.
    but still stupid.

  8. And then there’s the N95 slider issues, which range from really loose, to wobbly out of the box. Luckily there is an easy DIY fix available, but why should one have to do this with an expensive handset.?

  9. Seven days? You’re very lucky..

    In Italy we have waiting times of weeks if not months. Don’t you believe me? Take a look here.

    (Sorry for the Google translation, I hope you can guess the meaning of the comments)

    I had a 7710 away for 5 months, and when it came back it was still broken…

  10. I have an N95 8GB, the build quality is poor. I have a piece of paper between the battery and battery cover to prevent creaking when using the keypad. The most annoying thing is the excessive wobble in the slider mechanism which anoys me every time I use it.

  11. this is a real sad story …. Worlds # 1 company has these issues ….. I am really worried for new baby E71.

  12. My N82 has many littles scratches on the external part of the screen, curiously I use it a little more than a month and I use it inside my pants’ pocket, every day appearing more scratches on the phone because of the synthetic material that the pants’ pocket are made of. I’ve used a N73 more than 10 months and a N95 8gb more than 4 months before buying a N82 and the N73 and the N95 never have had one single scratch on the screen and I allways used thy in the very same pants’ pocket. You can believe in me: there are more than 100 scratches on the screen of my N82. Another thing: the buttons of my N82 aren’t working good anymore, they make noise when pressed.
    A detail:
    My N82 is made in China, my old N95 8gb and N73 were made in Finland.

  13. I guess average life of a cell phone is not more than year…
    I always chg my phone b4 the guarantee period gets over…

  14. I buy one phone that suits my needs and use it till it dies, I don’t believe in wastefulness but anyways.

    My current phone is an N95 and still going strong, I think less than 1/4 of its life is over. Previously I had a 3660, used that one for 4 years.

    Just wanted to chip in that phones aren’t toys for everyone, to be replaced frequently.

  15. @jamal… I understand …. Bt these days the quality of cell phones has gone so bad… i am in tht opinion if u trade out for a new one it will be beneficial …. I did the same for my N95 and got E71…

  16. Ashu, you are not deviating at all like Aatif said. Even otherwise comparisons and other opinion of anything is most welcome. Infact I’ve covered the Innov8 here before:

    Samsung’s build quality might be a little better, but a lot of their phones in general have a very plastic feel, which I hate.

    Marco, that is exceptionally poor. Fortunately, I’ve not had such a bad experience ever. Nokia service centers usually take time, but get the job done.

  17. Yeah Vishal, the target of my comments was Nokia. They think that looking the other way with regards to build quality will get people to upgrade faster. Well guess what, I’m planning for my next phone to be an HTC Touch Diamond successor or a Samsung innoV8 successor.

  18. From what I’ve heard about the E71, it seems to be a reliable device ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nokia’s phones are getting more plasticky day by day ๐Ÿ™

    We need Metal in them ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Well, I got my last and final NOKIA last 3 years – The 3230. I remember changing its housing 3 times (because of the build quality issue) and now it just lying inside its original box in my drawer – total malfunction. Since then I switched to another Symbian that is Panasonic X800 (2005) and it still act as my primary phone today!. This year I bought a Samsung i450 and Sony Ericsson W960. The build quality of Samsung device is very good. My wife slipped the phone 3 times since March 2008 without any ‘injuries’. Man, I do love Symbian, but the current N and E series of Nokia really annoying. Switch to Samsung Symbian – the build quality is better than others.

  20. hi,
    i let me give you my cases:
    1. e51: detected radio-tuning rumbling sound upon buying – returned it for defect & purchased a P1i – which works fine.
    2. e61i: D-pad issues: loose-contact or something detected upon buying – returned it & purchased motorola E6 – which works fine.
    3. e90 red: my most expensive gamble: when we increase the caller volume with the D-pad, we get a rumbling sound. upon complaining to the regional sales manager for the same, i ended up helping him “discover” the same problem in his own device. i got it replaced with another e90 red which works fine. i even updated software to ver.200 or so & it works fine.
    4. E50: when the caller speaks, you hear a rumbling sound; the nokia “care” center asked me to leave the device for “a few days” when they’ll call me back… i ended up requesting a replacement which i got.

    readers may envy my getting replacements; but you should all know the “blood sweat & tears” i had to go through to get them replaced!

    on the contrary:
    Sony Ericsson P1i has been very good to me. albeit a few usability issues (that are actually part of the design itself), the device just works.

    i do know P1i has its share of rants from users, but in terms of build quality, i think SE has maintained its class – so far, so good.

    best regards, suresh, chennai, india

  21. @Suresh,

    Am also from Chennai, where did you buy your phone that they allow you to return it and buy another? Can you name the store and location please? This is certainly interesting…i did’nt know any store which did that!

  22. Worst Nokia phone was 5500 sports….. they said it was “Built for all conditions, the durable Nokia 5500 Sport is shock, water, and dust resistant ” but it acted exactly opp of the above..

    SHAME !

  23. i bought my nokia E 90 in july 2007…. i had some noise problem after using it for around 10 months… d keypad polish problem shown in d pic was same fa me too.. nokia could not repair my phone n after 1 month i got a replacement…But even d new fone has d same polish problem with d keypad …it looks so bad…..

  24. Blame it on China:
    “Now is this a problem with a batch of phones that came out of China or something that bothers most black E90โ€™s – I donโ€™t know.”

    I thought China never makes highend N/E series Nokia phones?

  25. Funnily enough my N95-8GB from Bangladesh of all places has wowed me with it’s exceptional build quality since purchase in January 08.

    It’s a “made by nokia” branded phone, so the original factory is most likely in China.

  26. mine the new version of E90 RED with the Flat keyboard. When I receive the unit I found that the outside screen was filled with Sand, you hear me it is Sand and not just Dust. After one week of usage the back cover near camera shutter start cracking and made annoying noise. come on Nokia, can’t you hire better QC person???

  27. same here.. my n82’s keypad creaks a lot.. and the chrome is now flaking on the inside.. took it to nokia care (i actually had to think about going to them over a few days… have never had a good experience with them.. back in 2005 they took 2 moths to change the screen on my 5100 and charged me a quarter of the phones price for it)and they said physical damage is not covered.. i mean cant u see.. its breaking on the inside..

    1 cant blame china.. they’re just doing what they’re being asked to do.. the china factory is in the end owned by nokia only and they follow the same quality control.. but yeah.. a finnish model phone i had never had any build issues..

  28. Well got Tmobile in the US. I have had 6 yes that is correct 6086 phones sent to me. I don’t think I have had one more then two months. After the last 6086 died I demanded another phone. In steps Nokia 7510 I had about 5 hours and it is going back for exchange, camera does not work. Nokia’s build quality sucks period. Made in China.

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