Finally we come to the part of the keypad that is not on the swivel - right below the display the two soft keys are located -their functionality varies according to the phone's current state. The Call and End keys are right below them. The Menu and Clear keys are located on the sides of each of these. We did experience some troubles as we tended to press the captions instead of the buttons for the first few days of dealing with this phone. Some members of our team tended to press the Menu and the Left selection key simultaneously, but that is not a major concern and only takes a while getting used to.
Dead center on the D-pad is the Joystick. Now, this is where this phone really lacks in user-friendliness. Having worked with all kinds of navigation solutions, and a lot of joysticks in particular, we can hardly think of any to have behaved as badly as this one. It really does seem to have a mind of its own and ever too often pressing it to the right requires three or four attempts for example. Pushing upways more than often led to pressing the confirming center. This is the probably the biggest letdown of the 5700 keypad. Still, we believe that it will be appreciated by all, except for the QWERTY freaks.
The even white backlighting of the keypad is strong enough and ensures great usability in dark environments. The display is also quite visible thanks to the ambient light sensor.
The display in Nokia 5700 may not be oversized, but with its 2.2" diagonal it is on the right side of big in its class. Moreover it is one of exceptional quality and with its 16M colors and QVGA resolution provides fine and smooth graphics. The emphasis here is its legibility under direct sunlight. When exposed to even the brightest sunlight, Nokia 5700 is doing an incredible job up to the highest Finnish standards. We have been repeatedly mentioning Nokia's hybrid electronic displays consisting both light emissive and light reflective elements in our reviews. Nokia 5700 is another step ahead of the competition in this seemingly one-horse race.
Nokia 5700 signal reception is just what you would expect from a Nokia smartphone - flawless. The loudspeaker of the phone is also good, and as we already mentioned - due to its position it is hard to muffle it in your pocket or when you put it on a table. Ringtone volume is loud enough and is audible even in crowded places. The vibration of the phone is as strong as you would have hoped, so missing a call, even in very noisy environments is not an option. The phone has brilliant speaker quality and the sound during calls is very clear and without any interferences.
The heart of Nokia 5700 is its Symbian 9.2 OS. It uses the well known S60 3rd edition graphic user interface. Beside, Nokia has improved it by adding Feature Pack 1, which we first experienced in the high-class N95. The strongest advantage of Feature Pack 1 is its repeated alarm clock and the fact that its voice recorder is not limited to a miserly minute and allows hour-long recordings and quality customization.
We find the blue circle displayed on running applications' icons in the menus useful, as it reminds you to turn off applications you do not use anymore to save some RAM. A thing we ought to mention here is regarding the phone's speed. Armed with Nokia's fastest processor, this phone is truly as fast as you can possibly demand a smartphone to be. The menus open in an instant and any command is executed in a blink of an eye. Not even the N95 is that well performing in terms of speed.
|Pushing upways more than often led to pressing the confirming center. This is the probably the biggest letdown of the 5700 keypad. Still, we believe that it will be appreciated by all, except for the QWERTY freaks.|
The display naturally features an active stand-by mode. You have a band with icons for instant access to pre-selected functions at the top of the display and scheduled events from the calendar together with tasks in its bottom. When selecting the shortcuts you can choose any application or even a website. The two softkeys' functionality is also configurable. The left one however will wait about a second before executing your command. The reason for this is the standard keylock pattern of left selection key and asterisk. So when you press the left key the phone will wait to see if a lock command is to follow. This handset, like many of its Symbian siblings, does not support keypad autolock. In the bottom area of the display you will also find the title of a running song or the name of the tuned radio station.
The phone has an Offline mode, switching off transceivers but allowing the use of the other capabilities of the device. It is also used if you start the handset without a SIM card. The radio is not available in Offline mode. Other functions, such as Bluetooth connectivity and music player are usable though.
As with any smartphone, a Task Manager is present. It is launched by a longer press on the Menu key on the keyboard. This pop-up allows switching between applications and you can shut any application down by pressing the Clear key. Generally, the red End key does not close an application, but just minimizes it and it keeps running in the background, so unless you leave applications by pressing the exit key or use the task manager for closing them, you might end up with a lot of applications running and eating up your precious RAM. Luckily, the phone has enough RAM so a few minor applications will not slow it down at all.
The phone's main menu has four different view modes. The first two are the well known grid of 4 x 3 icons and the list view. There are also two additional looks brought in by the Feature Pack 1. Same as in Nokia N76, there is a V-shape and a Horseshoe mode. Both are 3D and look quite nice but are very hard to use. Navigation in any of them kills the joy of navigating the phone. Most of the submenus also allow changing the type of view. We have already mentioned that navigating the menus is amazingly fast with instant response to keypresses and no delays.
Nokia 5700 has 38 MB of internal memory, expandable through the already mentioned microSD memory card. Luckily, the retail package of the 5700 will be including a memory card of quite ample size (1GB in our case). This is a smart move by Nokia, which benefits the phone's musical image as there is enough memory for all your favorite songs without extra spending.
As with all recent Symbian smartphones, a great feature of Nokia 5700 is the voice recognition system, which can be used both for dialing contacts and starting applications. It is not voice dependent as it doesn't need to have your commands pre-recorded. It handles most of the voice commands you give it but still its performance in that area doesn't go anywhere near Nokia N95. The voice recognition of the latter is still unrivaled.
There are 6 preinstalled themes in Nokia 5700, which is a respectable count compared to most other Finnish models. Along with the standard Nokia theme, there are 5 others, which all have names related to music, a reiteration of the phone's music image.
The five predefined ringing profiles (six if you count the Offline mode) are no news when talking about Symbian. They are probably enough to deal with almost any situation a regular user may have to deal with. Should you need more, creating a new profile or modifying a currently existing one is only matter of a few seconds.