Nokia N70


3 Jan 2006

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Product: Mobile phone
Price: €550 Incl Vat SIM free
The Nokia N70 symbolises the next generation of multimedia handsets, offering significant advancements in terms of the market leader’s still-photography and video-capture capabilities. This Nseries product represents Nokia’s biggest assault yet on what it terms “the digital convergence of mobile devices”.

Overall it’s a fantastic phone for work and entertainment, but there are some negatives.

The N70 is a smart phone in every sense of the word. It supports 3G, has a two cameras, three times more memory space than its forerunners (a whopping 32MB of free operating memory), a radio, an MP3 player, memory card slot, internet access, email and can display documents in Microsoft Office or PDF format. The game offer is also quite extensive.

It’s one of those phones that looks even better in reality. Stylish, subtle and professional, it has a convincingly luxurious metal feel, despite being made of plastic. The TFT-type display, which is able to show 262,000 colours, is of top quality.

At 126g and measuring 108.8 x 53 x 17.5mm, the N70 is not only the smallest and lightest member of the Nseries handsets released to date, it is also slightly more compact than its predecessor, the 6680. Despite these dimensions, it’s still considerably clunky. The keypad is smaller than previous models, but typing is smooth and comfortable.

This phone works with both GSM and 3G. On top of this it makes video calls. The set-up is straightforward — when you select a name or a phone number you choose Video Call from the context menu, then look at the front camera lens. Admittedly I’ve still to find someone who is able to receive a video call from me, but I’ve been reassured that it works in a similar way to the 6680 model.

The phone houses a 2MP camera, which ranks it up there with the few exceptional phones that can produce the same picture quality. Video shooting is good and the duration of each video recording is only limited by the free memory space. This reviewer managed to capture an entire father-of-the-bride wedding speech on camera. Sound and picture were of perfect quality, naturally!

Downloading songs and videos clips from the internet is another big plus. It’s easy to use and only takes a matter of seconds. The King Kong movie trailer from Vodafone Live! only cost 50 cent and impressed us no end.

Multitasking between applications is my biggest gripe. In most phones and previous Nokia phones, you need to press the red key if you want to move from a running application to the main display. In this phone, however, the programme is closed off, ie it does not run in the background. I had to quit out of the browser when I navigated to another programme, only to restart it and wait all over again when I wanted to resume surfing. Hopefully this is not a steady new feature. Sound quality of phone calls is another downside. You’d expect perfection for the price but the quality is merely standard.

All and all, this phone is possibly one of the best on the market; it makes a good PDA-camera-mobile alternative.

By Lisa Deeney