Nokia 700 review: Agent seven double-oh
Unlike some competing platforms, Symbian handsets have always enjoyed a proper file manager. The File manager aboard the Nokia 700 is a capable app that can basically do anything you want with your files - moving, copying renaming, sorting or sending - you name it. You can also password-protect your memory card if you see fit.
You can also search for a specific file or directory. Type in a part of the desired file name and specify location (phone memory or memory card), the File Manager will find it in no time.
The ZIP manager also comes in handy when you get an archive in the mail or need to send several files easily.
With USB OTG enabled on the Nokia 700, you can also use the file manger to access USB flash drives, card readers and even other phones connected over a USB OTG cable (sold separately).
Symbian phones would connect easily in mass storage mode, but other OSes weren't as forthcoming. Still, if you need to grab some files off a thumb drive and you have the cable at hand, USB OTG can be quite useful.
Image gallery looks fine
The image gallery app in Nokia 700 is quite the looker. It's been around since Symbian^3, so it's not exactly new but we're glad to be rid of the old one. Photos are displayed in a grid (3 columns) and you can scroll up and down (with kinetic scrolling no less).
You can zoom in by double-tapping or the now standard pinch zoom. Once zoomed in, kinetic scrolling is available and animates smoothly. Switching between portrait and landscape mode is automatic thanks to the built-in accelerometer.
Selection of multiple photos for deleting or sharing is available right inside the gallery. You can send an image via MMS, email or over Bluetooth and you can share it on your social network (Twitter or Facebook).
The other features of the gallery include the image tagging system for easier image sorting, the slide show and the albums system (again helping you sort your image database).
Picture browsing is fast, there's only the occasional lag. The rest of the time it runs buttery smooth. Noticeably better than the 680MHz Nokias.
Symbian never had trouble with the music player features but looks were far from impressive. With Symbian^3 however Nokia introduced a new Cover Flow-like interface, which adds the much needed eye-candy. For better or worse, Nokia hasn't changed anything since.
There’s automatic sorting by artist, album, genre and the option to create custom playlists straight on the phone. Selecting an artist lists all of their tracks with the album cover art on top along with the covers of other albums in your library.
Left and right swipes on the album art let you skip to the next/previous song.
Quite naturally, the player can also be minimized to play in the background. In this case you can control it via the music player widget on the homescreen, which also displays the currently running track.
You have equalizer presets but no manual settings, along with a Loudness setting and Stereo widening.
Decent audio quality
Nokia 700 is hardly the most impressive performer in terms of audio quality, but it's not too bad either. As with most modern day smartphones, the Belle-running 700 does pretty well with an active external amplifier, but doesn't handle headphones too great.
With no resistance applied to its line-out (i.e. when you use the Nokia 700 with your car stereo or your home audio system) the Nokia 700 does marvelously with no weak points whatsoever.
When we plugged in a pair of headphones, however, stereo crosstalk surged to below average levels and a significant amount of intermodulation distortion crept in. It's not a disastrous performance, but it's not great either, so it brings down the overall score quite a lot.
And here come the full results so you can see for yourselves:
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|Nokia 700||+0.07 -0.34||-89.8||89.8||0.0059||0.016||-89.3|
|Nokia 700 (headphones attached)||+0.61 -0.20||-87.8||89.4||0.016||0.402||-35.7|
|Nokia 701||+0.04 -0.14||-87.2||87.2||0.0047||0.021||-85.4|
|Nokia 701 (headphones attached)||+0.47 -0.17||-82.5||87.6||0.0094||0.357||-52.7|
|Nokia 500||+0.07 -0.37||-90.1||90.1||0.0058||0.015||-91.2|
|Nokia 500 (headphones attached)||+0.49 -0.25||-90.0||90.0||0.017||0.270||-67.0|
|Nokia X7||+0.06 -0.34||-88.9||88.4||0.0058||0.016||-89.1|
|Nokia X7 (headphones attached)||+0.51 -0.18||-88.6||88.5||0.022||0.370||-60.2|
Nokia 700 frequency response
You can learn more about the whole testing process here.
Video player is some audio codecs short of impressive
The Nokia 700 comes with a capable video player. It managed all formats we threw at it (MP4, AVI, WMV, even MKV) and videos were silky smooth up to and including 720p resolution.
The media player works in fullscreen landscape mode. The exceptionally bright screen with native 16:9 aspect is also more than welcome for truly enjoying your videos - even in broad daylight.
In fullscreen mode, a tap on the screen shows the controls, which are otherwise hidden.
The Nokia 700 played large files almost trouble free. There's subtitle support too, but the file has to have the same name as the video file (you can't manually load subtitles) and we ran into problems with subtitle encoding, getting gibberish most of the time.
Yet that's not the biggest problem we had with the video player - while it had no problem with 720p h.264-encoded videos, it chocked on the sound. A quick investigation revealed that the AC3 and DTS codecs aren't supported - a problem since they are the most common codecs save for stereo MP3.
The Video section also includes a few auxiliary apps. One is an editor that lets you create videos and video slideshows. The other apps here include YouTube, CNN Video, E!, National Geographic, and Paramount Pictures Movie Teasers. Of course, each of them requires Internet connection (over 3G/3.5G or Wi-Fi) and note that not all content is free.
FM radio comes with RDS
The FM radio on Nokia 700 comes with a neat and simple interface. You can skip preset and new stations alike with sweep gestures or you can use the virtual buttons.
The Nokia 700 has RDS support and automatic scanning for an alternative frequency.