Nokia 701 review: Belles and whistles

GSMArena team, 17 October 2011.
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Connectivity covers all bases

The Nokia 701 has an impressive list of connectivity options. First off, the basics. You get a true worldwide-ready phone: quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and five-band 3G with HSDPA (14.4Mbps) and HSUPA (5.76Mbps). Wherever there's a GSM network you'd get voice calls and data, blazing fast data actually if the networks supports it.

Then for local connectivity, you get Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 (no HS profile though). There's USB with On-The-Go support for wired connectivity. The 3.5mm audio jack doubles as a composite TV-out.

There's even an FM transmitter, so that you can easily play your music on your car stereo.

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The FM Transmitter app

The star of the show however is the NFC support - it makes pairing as simple as you could possibly imagine, just put two NFC-enabled gadgets (e.g. the 701 and headset) together and the two will pair. Hooray, no more PIN codes!

Sending stuff works the same way - select the files you want to send (one or many) and tap the two phones together. They'll handle the rest, including switching on the Bluetooth receiver.

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The NFC Tutorial app will teach you everything you need to know about using NFC

It would have been nice to have Wi-Fi Direct or Bluetooth 3.0+HS to speed up file transfers, but unless you're sending long HD videos, things go fast enough.

Browser improved, a bit

The browser interface has been shuffled a bit, resulting in improved usability but nothing major.

On top you have the URL bar, which auto-hides ones you start navigating the page. Once you start typing a "Search for..." pop-up lets you choose one of several search engines (Google and Bing are offered in most locations).

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Symbian Belle brings refined browser UI

At the bottom you have a fixed row with five shortcuts - Back, Forward, Bookmarks, Tabs and Menu. The addition of the Tabs shortcut makes managing multiple pages easier - in earlier versions you had to go through the popup menu, adding a few extra clicks.

The popup menu itself is pretty much the same - you get RSS feeds, find on page, Most visited and other options, along with a "More" option, which brings the final set of options for the browser (but you'd rarely need to use those).

Text reflow is supported, which makes reading sites meant for desktop that much easier on the mobile screen. Kinetic scrolling is also available.

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Browser supports text reflow • Browser in landscape mode

The browser supports FlashLight 4. It felt fluid and fast when we panned around a page and zoomed in and out. We didn’t really see any pages break in the browser either. Nokia has spruced up the Symbian browser in Belle and claim it's now three times faster.

Organizer is great

Symbian has a solid track record in the PIM department and the Nokia 701 with Symbian Belle is no exception. Nokia has just tweaked a thing or two.

The calendar has four different view modes - monthly, weekly, daily and a to-do list, which allows you to check all your To-Do entries regardless of their date. There are three types of events available for setting up - Meeting, Anniversary and To-do. Each event has some specific fields of its own, and some of them allow an alarm to act as a reminder.

You can sync the phone's calendar with multiple online accounts and each gets its own color so that they're easy to tell apart.

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The calendar has seen some further touch optimization

The Nokia 701 also allows you to browse office documents thanks to the preinstalled Quickoffice application. The Adobe PDF reader is also here to take care of those .PDF files.

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Quickoffice is here but editing costs extra

Unfortunately, the preinstalled Quickoffice version doesn’t support editing, but we doubt much of the 701 target audience will need it anyway. If you insist, you can get the paid upgrade and enable editing.

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There's also a PDF reader

The calculator application is very familiar but it lacks the functionality of some of its competitors. The square root is the most advanced function it handles and this is hardly an achievement. If all you do with it is split the bill at the bar though, you're more than good to go.

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The calculator is hardly the most functional around

The organizer package also includes a dictionary, voice recorder, as well as the Notes application. The good unit converter we’ve come to know from Symbian^1 is strangely gone but you can grab one yourselves from the Ovi store for free.

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The dictionary and the notes app continue the organizer marathon

The alarm application allows you to set up as many alarms as you want, each with its own name, set-off day and repeat pattern. As we already mentioned, thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can also snooze the alarm by simply flipping your phone over.

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You can set an unlimited number of alarms on the 701

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