Nokia 700 review: Agent seven double-oh

GSMArena team, 31 October 2011.
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Nokia 700 360-degree spin

In automotive terms, the Nokia 700 would be a supermini. It's less than a centimeter thin and below the 100g threshold, but still packs a punch. The exact dimensions are 110 x 50.7 x 9.7 mm and 96g.

Unboxing the Nokia 700 brings no surprises

The 700 comes in a standard Nokia box. You get a presumably very power-efficient charger that ends on a 2mm plug. The phone does charge off USB too so you can still use a microUSB charger to juice up your Nokia 700 and other assorted gadgets.

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Other than that, there's a long microUSB cable and a typical one-piece headset. There's no microSD card included in the retail package, you'll have to rely on the 2GB of built-in memory for storage out of the box.

Design and construction

The Nokia 700 is touted as the company’s most environmentally-friendly handset to date. Internals are made of recycled materials and bio-based paints are used for the finish. Nokia claim 60% use of sustainable eco-friendly materials.

To make it even better, Nokia managed to mix them all together into one very solid shell - the thin body is a well-balanced mix of plastic and metal. It's neither too heavy nor too plasticky. You see mostly metal on the back and mostly tough Gorilla Glass on the front.

Our test unit is the Cool Grey color option but a selection of paintjobs will be available: Silver/White (which we used for the preview), Coral Red, Peacock Blue and Purple.

The Nokia 700 has a 3.2" nHD (360x640) ClearBlack AMOLED display. AMOLEDs offer unrivaled viewing angles and deep blacks and, at 229ppi, the screen is pretty sharp.

The ClearBlack technology does a good job of reducing reflections, which improves outdoor visibility. Early AMOLEDs had trouble with sunlight, but that's not the case with the Nokia 700.

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The Nokia 700

The display posted impressive 504 nits of brightness - not the brightest AMOLED (that honor still belongs to the X7), but it beats Samsung's SuperAMOLED Plus and it beats a lot of LCDs (which are typically brighter than AMOLED since they use a backlight), including the screen of the iPhone 4 (but not the 4S).

Here's the comparison table that shows the values we measured for the Nokia 700 and several other phones. Keep in mind that all AMOLEDs have theoretically infinite contrast.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia N9 0 349 0 596
LG Optimus Black P970 0.27 332 1228 0.65 749 1161
Apple iPhone 4S 0.14 205 1463 0.52 654 1261
Apple iPhone 4 0.14 189 1341 0.39 483 1242
HTC Sensation 0.21 173 809 0.61 438 720
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S 0 263 0 395
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc 0.03 34 1078 0.33 394 1207
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II 0 231 0 362
Nokia 700 0 234 0 504
Nokia E6 0.52 757 1456 0.57 1004 1631
Nokia 701 0.64 619 964 1.12 1022 905


Above the display, you'll find a proximity sensor to disable the screen during calls and an ambient light sensor. There's a slim earpiece at the very top, but no video call camera in sight.

Below the display there are three hardware buttons: the Call keys and a centrally-placed Menu button. The keys don't protrude much, but they're still easy enough to press.

At the very bottom of the front there's the loudspeaker grill, a strong design accent at that. Projecting slightly from under the rest of the front, the loudspeaker forms a subtle chin. This is the perfect position for the loudspeaker to blast sound around the room. The thin metallic grill is a prominent color accent and it is also where the primary microphone is placed.

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Above and beneath the display

The right side of the Nokia 700 features a total of 4 buttons - all of which are very thin, barely protruding and not the easiest to press. The volume rocker is at the top, followed by a lock button and the shutter key. The lock key can be particularly hard to find and press just by feel.

Much like other recent Symbians, if you press and hold the lock key, the LED flash will turn on even if the phone is locked. Do the same to switch it back off.

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Shutter key, lock button and the volume rocker on the right

The left side of the Nokia 700 offers no controls whatsoever but emphasizes the design of the handset - the three sheets of plastic and metal form an asymmetrical pattern that looks good.

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The bare left side of the Nokia 700

At the top, there are three wired plugs. The 2mm charger plug and the microUSB port can both be used for charging and there's also a 3.5mm headphone jack so you could connect any set of earphones to the Nokia 700.

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At the top of the phone • 2mm charger port • MicroUSB port • 3.5mm audio jack

The bottom of the phone features the lanyard eyelet only. It's where the "chin" formed by the loudspeaker is most obvious.

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The microphone pinhole

The back of the Nokia 700 is a mix of plastic with a metal back panel – a replica of the X3-02 Touch and Type. The panel has brushed-metal finish and it's surrounded by matte plastic. Both are pretty good at hiding fingerprints.

At the top you'll find the 5 MP fixed-focus camera lens with a small LED flash. There's a secondary microphone for active noise cancellation at the bottom.

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The 5 MP camera with LED flash

There's a latch to open the back panel. Doing so reveals the SIM slot, the 1080mAh Li-Ion battery and the microSD card slot. Unfortunately, both slots are blocked by the battery, which has to be removed if you want to access either of them.

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Opening the back panel • SIM slot • SD card slot • Battery

The battery of the Nokia 700 is quoted at 465h/450h standby and 7:10h/4:30h talk time (2G and 3G). Music playback is said to go as long as 47h.

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The Nokia 700 in hand

Years of expertise in phone design are one of Nokia's key assets and the Nokia 700 is a shining example of that. The premium feel in the hand and the look of that ClearBlack screen easily rival some high-end phones that cots a lot more than the Nokia 700.

If only the software leaves such a positive impression, the Nokia 700 can be a winner. That's precisely what we'll attempt to find out, starting on the next page.

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