Nokia 6700 classic review: Sirocco Lite

GSMArena team, 13 July 2009.
Pages: 123456789

Tags: Nokia, S40

Camera is among the best 5MP snappers

The Nokia 6700 classic is armed with a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus for image resolutions of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels. Typical Series 40, the camera settings are rather limited but reasonable given the mid-range spot. The available settings include white balance, three quality levels going from basic to high, and various effects. Sequence shots and shooting in both portrait and landscape mode are also among the available options.

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The camera user interface in portrait and landscape mode settings are limited

The LED flash is only really usable with extremely close range objects and it can only be used as a flash, there's no option to use it as a video light. The shutter key can be half-pressed to focus before taking a shot, but that's about it - there aren't any metering settings.

It also lacks a dedicated macro mode, but the camera manages to focus on text from about 9-10 centimeters away, which negates the need for such a mode.

The camera is not the fastest in focusing and the time it takes to save a photo is pretty average too. The images it produces are about 1.5MB for a 5MP shot, so you can't email a full-res photo due to size limitations.

The Nokia 6700 classic image quality is very good, easily ranking among the best 5 megapixel cameraphones on the market. The photos have pleasing colors and good contrast with the noise levels still remaining pretty good. The amount of resolved detail is also among the best we have seen on a 5 megapixel phone.

Here go the samples so you can see for yourselves what a capable shooter the Nokia 6700 classic is.

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Nokia 6700 classic camera samples

Synthetic resolution

We also snapped our resolution chart with the Nokia 6700 classic. You can check out what that test is all about here.

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Nokia 6700 classic resolution chart photo 100% crops

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Nokia N97 resolution chart photo 100% crops

The Nokia 6700 classic has a small edge over the multimedia flagship Nokia N97 in both resolved detail and noise reduction algorithm. That again goes to confirm that what we have on our hands here is one of the best 5 MP shooters we have ever seen.

Video recording: low-framerate VGA

As far as video recording is concerned, the Nokia 6700 classic manages VGA resolution at 15 fps. The 3GP video clips length is only limited by the memory available. Unfortunately the video quality is far from stunning, with the low framerate taking most of the fun out of the VGA resolution.

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Video recorder interface

On the positive side the colors of the videos shot with the Nokia 6700 classic are pretty nice. Also, if you are willing to live with CIF resolution the handset can manage the more pleasing 30fps.

Here is a Nokia 6700 classic sample video shot at VGA resolution (15 fps).

Connectivity is fast

The connectivity on the Nokia 6700 classic is up there with the best of them. What keeps it from being a complete all-rounder is the lack of Wi-Fi, though in some countries people might not even notice. The reason?

10Mbps HSDPA and 2Mbps HSUPA, or in other words - very, very fast. There is of course the problem that those speeds are achievable in tests only, in real life they're much lower than those theoretical maximums. But look at it another way - operators are continuously upgrading their networks and you'll quite likely be able to take advantage of each improvement made by the time you decide to change your phone.

Yet you shouldn't forget that data charges do apply everywhere so internet over the carrier network usually ends up more expensive.

As for frequencies, there's quad-band GSM support with tri-band 3G, which means the phone will work anywhere, with the 3G support failing only with networks that use rare frequencies (like T-Mobile USA's 1700MHz).

Bluetooth with A2DP is hardly a surprise in this phone and the microUSB port that also acts as a charger plug is a plus. It also acts as an audio jack and the provided headset is a one-piece. Audiophiles wanting to use their own headphones will not be pleased.

And in the end, there's the trusty microSD card slot with support for up to 16GB. For transferring large amounts of data it's the fastest option - for loading a new card this is the recommended course of action.

Browser is upgraded

The Nokia 6700 classic has an integrated WebKit-based HTML web browser and guess what? Apple's Safari and Mobile Safari are based on WebKit, as well as Google Chrome, the browser for the Android platform and the Palm Pre. The browser in the 6700 classic shares code with some of the best out there and doesn't disappoint.

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The new and improved browser

The Nokia 6700 native browser still has its shortcomings though. The hardware is faster, or the software has been optimized, which means the scrolling is much faster and than on the Nokia 6303 classic, just don't expect anything like iPhone smoothness. Scrolling for more than a second brings up a minimap to help you navigate the page.

Flash is also not supported - there's some rudimentary support but it's just enough to display certain banners, not play YouTube videos. For that you need to use the mobile version of the site and videos play through the Media player. All in all not a very pleasant experience. We forgave the 6303 this pitfall as it only had EDGE to rely on, but with 10Mbps HSDPA, we expected better.

Lack of landscape mode and Google (or any other engine for that matter) search is another downer of the WebKit web browser. A flaw that sticks out like a sore thumb is the font rendering - it's very rough and zooming out at even 75% makes the text almost unreadable, and at 50% even headings become very mangled.

Opera Mini still comes preinstalled - a tradition on S40 phones. And it has its place, despite the big improvements in the built-in browser. The way Mini works is the page is rendered on Opera's servers and sent into a lighter format to the device, with the images compressed. While this spoils the quality somewhat, on a small screen (as most low-power devices that rely on the Mini have) you can't tell the difference.

The difference in quality aside, the compression really saves on data charges. For example, GSMArena.com clocked in at about 370kb through the built-in browser and just 70kb through Opera Mini.

Anyway, both applications are preloaded and you can choose the one that suits you best.

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The well known Opera Mini web browser

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