Nokia 6710 Navigator review: Destination: Anywhere
Nokia 6710 Navigator unboxed: full house
The box contents of Nokia 6710 Navigator are pretty much complete - the only thing that might have been added is a leather phone case - but we may be asking too much here.
Along with the phone itself, you will find a wired handsfree, a short USB cable, a CD and a DC charger. The two extra features included for the first time in a Nokia navigator package are the solid car stand and a car charger. Now we're talking.
A manual, a quick start guide and a 4GB microSD Nokia card are also in the box. Just as a reference, the first Navigator shipped with a 512MB memory card.
Nokia 6710 Navigator 360-degree spin
Since the Nokia 6210, Navigators go in hand with a bar-shaped counterpart. Having just looked at the 6720 classic, we can gladly confirm that the latest Classic/Navigator pair is way more refined in terms of design. You're not to expect anything groundbreaking but the solid built and the quality matt plastic do rate very well. The past 6220 classic and the 6210 Navigator were inevitably affected we guess by the bad design spell Nokia were having a year ago.
The 6710 Navigator has nothing of its predecessor's cheap gloss though dimensions and size are almost identical. That's actually quite an achievement considering the bigger screen and the added zoom bar beneath it. The new Navigator has better ergonomics and feel, and the finish is outspokenly superior. The phone has a very good weight in the hand, and the overall build quality is commendable. The slide feels very sturdy and reliable and the controls are quite user-friendly.
Design and construction
Having mentioned the 6720 classic candybar, the subtle chin - the design feature that distinguishes both handsets - seems to make even more sense in the slide form factor. The navigation deck around the D-pad is comfortably raised to simply stick to your thumb. Thanks to the chin too, the dedicated Navigator key is really the centerpiece of the control pad.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty details, the new Navigator features a video-call camera in the top right corner. Right next to it is the ambient light sensor. The earpiece is centrally placed right above the Nokia logo.
The 2.6" display follows, with the large soft keys right under it. They are placed on each side of the D-pad and above the Call and End keys. The End key also acts as a Power key since there's no dedicated button for this.
The smallest buttons in this user-friendly layout are the Menu and C (Clear) key. They are conveniently raised from the surface, so their size doesn't really hurt their tactility. The D-pad is almost perfect but the small confirmation knob just doesn't feel comfortable enough. Finally, there is a dedicated key at the very bottom of the slider to launch the Maps application or to center your location on the map (if you have that on).
And while the Navigator key is no news, the handling of maps has received a major boost with the Zoom bar. The amazingly fluid zooming in and out on maps got us really impressed. Better yet, the touch-sensitive bar is also put to good use in the image gallery and web browser.
Sliding up unveils the alphanumeric keypad. Key size is on the small side, and the otherwise well defined buttons have a rather unreliable press feedback. The keys in the top row are notably bigger than the rest but somehow still don't have enough headroom, wedged uncomfortably close to the slider.
The curved bottom hasn't gotten to the numpad, which is absolutely flat. By the way, the low stroke and small size of the alphanumeric keys are our only concerns with handling the phone. Maybe some will be more comfortable with the minimalist keypad than we were. We sure encourage you though to handle the phone at least briefly - to just see how typing works for you and to try the otherwise smooth slider run, friendly controls and super responsive Zoom bar.
On the top side of the Nokia 6710 Navigator you'll find two apertures - a charger plug and 3.5 mm audio jack, which is more than welcome in a non-multimedia handset.
On the bottom side, we find the battery cover slit, the mouthpiece and the lanyard eyelet.
The right side of the Nokia 6710 hosts the volume rocker and the dedicated camera key, which is exactly the same layout as with the old Navigator. The controls are big enough but the volume keys are rather stiff and unyielding. The shutter key in contrast, is quite comfortable in both half and full press.
On the left, we come upon two essential elements. The microUSB port and the memory card slot are tightly placed together and use one common plastic lid that slides into the phone body when opened. It is a bit stiff to move, but we think it's a very elegant design solution.
The new Nokia 7610 Navigator again does not feature a protective camera lens cover. The back panel is made of fine matt plastic, which is absolutely fingerprint-proof and has very pleasing rubbery feel.
The dual LED flash is right above the lens and both of these are raised from the back and housed in a sleek protective plastic frame.
Releasing the battery cover is a formidable task. The rear cover is so tight you can barely open it without longer nails. It's the pry-to-open type we've seen on so many Sony Ericsson handsets and every time we opened it (it was quite often actualy) we feared it might break.
Underneath you'll find the BL-5F 950 mAh battery (also used in 6210 Navigator) and the SIM bed. Nokia claim to have doubled the talk and stand-by time of the new Navigator, while the battery has remained the same and the display has gotten bigger.
The battery went from full to flat in three days of somewhat modest usage actually - 20 minutes talk time, 1 hour of GPS navigation, taking around 50 still shots and a bit of tinkering here and there.
We are delighted with the great feel and ergonomics of the new Navigator. The minor keypad issues just couldn't ruin the great impression. The solid and user-friendly device offers a very good screen, comfortable handling and, not least, very decent looks. We're absolutely sold on the touch-sensitive zoom bar, which performs so impressively it almost feels as essential to a navigator device as a car mount.