Nokia 6710 Navigator review: Destination: Anywhere
Display: big, bright, great
The Nokia 6710 Navigator screen supports QVGA resolution and up to 16M colors on a 2.6" diagonal. More importantly, the 6710 Navigator display clearly has none of the issues we feared having reviewed its candybar counterpart, the 6720 classic. Color rendering is spot-on on the vibrant screen and sunlight legibility is the usual Nokia high. In fact the Navigator display fares even better under sunlight than the regular Nokia displays, which remain perfectly legible but loose most of their colors under bright light. With the latest Navigator the display retains some color even under the brightest sunlight. We would certainly like to see more of that crop of displays in the future.
The 6710 screen estate alone is a good enough reason to upgrade from the 6210 Navigator, and even more so, the original 6110 Navigator. In the world of standalone car nav systems 2.6" is far from top notch, but it's acceptable for a mobile phone - especially when you use it handheld in the street. Touchscreens like the iPhone 3GS, HTC Touch HD or Samsung Omnia HD clearly have an advantage but the Nokia 6710 Navigator gets some leverage out of the native nav software and complimentary lifetime license (not to mention the cool dedicated accessories that come along).
The small font of the navigation interface is a problem, a`s it doesn't make for comfortable reading when the phone's placed on the dashboard of the car. The good news is that the auto-rotate feature works in Maps - one of the major flaws of the old 6210 Navigator was its inability to display maps in landscape mode.
Backlighting is nice and even, and darkness poses no obstacles to usability. The ambient light sensor takes care of the display brightness, so it's never intrusive.
User interface is familiar
The Nokia 6710 Navigator runs on the Symbian 9.3 OS with S60 3rd Edition user interface. It has Feature Pack 2 with only slight changes.
For the homescreen, you have the three standard options. The first two are Basic - you can assign shortcuts to the D-pad and the Vertical icons bar, which has four tabs (shortcuts, calendar, music player and personalization) and doesn't hide much of the wallpaper.
The third option is the "Horizontal icon bar" or what most of us call simply Active standby.
A bar of shortcuts, which you can rearrange and replace, and below that are several sections arranged in rows, which show information on various things. First up is info on upcoming calendar events. Under that is the very useful Search application that can search both the Internet and local files.
Then it's info on email account showing the number of unread messages and sender and Re: fields of the most recent message. Under it is the status of the Wi-Fi connection.
Song info shows up just under the shortcuts bar when the music player or radio is running. Unlike other implementations of the Active standby, with this one you can't select which sections are displayed.
Finally, the S60 UI Feature Pack 2 brings some graphical improvements as well, such as animations when browsing the menus. They cause the UI to run a little slower, however, so they're not really worth it.
The task manager appears on every pop-up menu, alternatively, you can still use the well-known shortcut of pressing and holding the menu key to bring it up. The blue circle next to the icon of a running application is a well known Symbian indication reminding users to quit unwanted applications that are still running in the background.
You can choose an image as a background for the incoming call alert from contacts without photos. The last thing is the "Audio themes". An audio theme sets new sounds for every sound notification the phone offers. Some fields even have the option to read out a text you've written instead of playing a tone.
You can also set up whether sliding the phone open answers an incoming call and what happens when you close the slide. Using the accelerometer, calls can be silenced and alarms can be snoozed.
The 600 MHz ARM 11 CPU is fast and is the speediest you'll find in a mid-range Symbian. Navigating the menus is quick with an instant response to user commands, but the menu animation do take their toll if you enable them. Also, the browser can become unresponsive for a second when rendering complex web pages.
As with all Symbian phones, there is a built-in voice recognition system. It does a good job, being fully speaker-independent and recognizing a fairly high percentage of our commands.
Telephony is good
Signal reception is great on the Nokia 6710. The phone has commendable speaker quality and the sound during calls is clear and free of any interference. Vibration is also strong enough to make sure you never miss an incoming call or message. There's an option to reject calls with an SMS but smart dialing is still missing.
The results from our loudspeaker test are at your disposal - the Nokia 6710 Navigator posted very good results in this category. Check out the table showing how it stacks up beside some of the handsets we've put to the same test. If you want to find out more about the test itself or a complete list of tested devices, hit the link.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|Nokia 5730 XpressMusic||68.7||61.7||75.1||Average|
|Nokia 5800 XpressMusic||75.7||66.5||68.5||Good|
|LG KM900 Arena||70.9||68.2||78.3||Good|
|Nokia 6710 Navigator||75.8||67.7||77.5||Very Good|
|Samsung M7600 Beat DJ||75.7||75.7||77.8||Excellent|