1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.50 (4 Votes)
 Nokia N70  If the Nokia N70 phone had a twin, it has to be the 6680. Not only do both smart phones share an almost similar design, they also offer much of the same specifications, from 3G connectivity and RS-MMC expansion slot to the Symbian Series 60 platform. Fortunately, as with any upgrade models, the triband N70 does come with several enhancements including a 2-megapixel camera and an improved handset design. One question beckons. Can the N70 emulate the success of its predecessor?
 Design
At 126g and measuring 108.8 x 53 x 17.5mm, the N70 is not only the smallest and lightest member in Nokia's current N-series handsets, it is also slightly more compact than the 6680. More importantly, Nokia has done a good job in improving the overall aesthetics of the phone, giving a matt finish that's comfortable to hold and a classy metallic bezel around the display and keyboard. The candy-bar phone comes in two colors--Ivory Pearl/Auberg and Silver/Black--which should appeal to both genders.

Like the 6680, the N70 sports a 176 x 208-pixel LCD display that supports up to 262K-colors. The screen is generally sharp and comes with adjustable brightness settings for optimal viewing in daylight conditions.

We like that Nokia has added a spring-loaded sliding cover to protect the camera lens of the onboard 2-megapixel camera. However, the slide action is a little sluggish and could have been made smoother if metallic tracks were used.

Our biggest gripe about the design is its tiny keys. While the buttons are intuitively placed and ergonomically designed to offer good tactile feedback, the number pad is just too small for comfortable SMSing, particular for those with big fingers. On both sides of the number keypad are four buttons (for menu, media gallery, cancel and text pencil input).

The additional button, over the 6680, is the media gallery key which gives users convenient access to images, music and video. The gallery is presented in a wheel format where you scroll through all your photo and video thumbnails although the thumbnails take a while to load. The phone comes pre-installed with several animations for different occasions such as birthdays, kisses as well as film-making elements like opening/closing credits, countdown screens, etc., for budding mobile film makers.

As a premium phone, the N70 comes with a full range of accessories including a 64MB RS-MMC card, padded leather strap, screen cleaner cloth, handsfree earpiece, a USB cable and an installation CD.


Features
As with the 6680, the standby screen of the phone shows a row of application shortcuts and a list of calendar entries, which is a more functional interface (than a blank screen with a clock and operator logo) for those using the phone as a PDA. There are also multiple easy access icons for other key functions such as phonebook, messaging, calendar, gallery and print. You'll need to press the menu button in order to get to the regular menu screen.

Running the second edition of the Symbian Series 60 OS, the N70 offers a strong suite of PIM and messaging applications as well as Office productivity software such as Quickword, Quicksheet and Quickpoint. The handset also supports emails with attachments, scheduled email retrievals and Adobe PDF reader.

It should be noted that the 2-megapixel camera on the N70 is a standard CMOS camera, not the same as the Carl-Zeiss-equipped N90. However, picture quality remains good for both still and video captures. The shutter lag has been reduced compared with previous Nokia phones, but the camera still doesn't take too well to movements during a shot.

We found it easy to edit images and videos on the N70. Using the built-in tools, users can cut, edit, insert and string up videos together directly on the phone. Simple transition effects (fade to black/white) can be added, too. For pictures, the onboard image editor comes with preset frames, cartoons which you can insert onto the photo, after which you can scale, rotate and resize the image to the desired preferences. Do note that you have to apply the changes in order to save them.

Not surprisingly, the 3G-enabled N70 comes with the standard selection of connectivity options such as Bluetooth and USB. Nokia has decided to drop infrared from the phone, though. While the N70 comes with just 30MB of onboard memory for storing music,video and audio files, it does offer an expansion slot in the form of RS-MMC. A stereo FM radio has also been added as an alternative music entertainment.

Performance And Battery Life
Where phone performance is concerned, the N70 didn't disappoint with good reception and calls throughout our testing. The built-in loudspeaker mode was sufficiently loud, too, although not for noisy environments. Our only gripe comes from the slow transfer of PIM files during PC synchronization, a legacy issue that plagued Nokia's earlier smart phones.

Rated with a 10-day standby time, the N70 lasted no more than three days on normal usage, respectable for a smart phone. We'd expect a shorter battery life if more video calls were made.


>> See pictures and specifications

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