Nokia 700 review: Agent seven double-oh

GSMArena team, 31 October 2011.
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The 5MP fixed-focus camera is a mixed bag

The Nokia 700 has a 5MP fixed-focus camera for a maximum image resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. There is a single-LED flash too.

The user interface has changed since Anna, but the changes are mostly cosmetic.

At the bottom of the screen - it's a landscape viewfinder - you get a row of shortcuts: Back, Flash mode, Scenes, Extended options and Menu. The latter doesn't make much sense - it only launches the user guide or lets you exit the camera app. In other handsets with a front-mounted camera it's where you toggle front and rear.

On the right, there's a virtual shutter key (often preferable over the physical one, which is too small and stiff) and a toggle for the still/video modes. On the left, there's a digital zoom lever that auto-hides.

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Camera interface in Symbian Belle

In the extended options you get more goodies like face detection, a self-timer, image settings (ISO, white balance, sharpness, etc.) and a shortcut to one last group of settings where you have geotagging and capture tone options.

The layout of the ISO setting was a massive disappointment. It's a list (Auto, Low, Med, High) and you tap once to select and once again to activate. Maybe they did it so you can read the tooltips that pop up as you select each option. On the other hand, the Sharpness setting works the same way and all you get there is a simple Hard, Normal, Soft. Anyway, it's hard to believe it's the only spot in the interface that escaped the attention of the designers and got away with the double-tap nuisance.

Nokia 700 Review
Tap to select, tap to activate refuses to die

It's the image quality though that's the biggest issue. Maybe a faulty unit is to blame, or it's just the best Nokia 700 can do. Most, if not all, of the pictures seem out of focus. Only the closest objects in the scene look OK. Everything else is soft and blurry, lacking almost any detail.

Even without the problematic focusing, close-ups are the Nokia 700's weak spot. It just can't get close to a subject and take a photo. Even from some distance, text comes out pretty badly.

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Nokia 700 camera samples

Photo quality comparison

We've added the Nokia 700 to our Photo Compare Tool, where it joins the other fixed-focus 5MP Nokias. Here you will clearly see the softer images.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
Nokia 700 in our Photo Compare Tool

720p video recording

The video camera captures 720p videos @ 30fps and with stereo sound courtesy of the dedicated second microphone.

The user interface is virtually identical to the still camera interface. Among the options are scenes, video light, video stabilization. You can enable or disable audio recording and geotagging.

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Video camera interface

There's an advanced option, which not only shows the rule of thirds grid, but also splits the viewfinder in a cinema-like 21:9 frame.

Unfortunately the video capture suffers from the same problems we witnessed in the still shots - soft, out of focus videos and little to no detail.

Check out the quality for yourselves, here's a sample we uploaded to YouTube:

And here's a 720p@30fps video sample straight from the Nokia 700 for direct download.

Video Quality Comparison

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
Nokia 700 in the Video Compare Tool

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