Nokia is renowned for the keypad experiments and the 7610 model makes no exception. Keys look like somebody set them up into the matrix, spun it and the centrifugal force has made the rest. The biggest keys are situated in the left bottom corner; they are getting smaller on the way right and up and key 3 is two times smaller then "7".
It might seem that typing on a keypad with keys in a propeller layout is kind of hard. Actually, it's a piece of cake; you don't have to spend hours to get used to it. It took me just a short time to find the location of the function keys. Left-handers will enjoy keypad layout more then right-handers because number keys are situated in a block on the right. Right-handers should bend their thumb a bit more. Pushing the keys is really clear. I enjoyed typing very much and also appreciated that keypad is not rattling as by some other handsets.
In its smartphones Nokia alternates joystick with directional function keys. The 7610 model features the second option. I've read complains about this type of control in some forums, but there are no objections from my point of view: it's comfy, fast and precise.
The TFT active matrix display shows 65k colors, all other parameters are identical to those of the older Series 60 phones. The display is large (35x 41 mm) in comparison with this of a standard phone. It features usable resolution of 176 x 208 pixels. Unfortunately, I don't have Nokia 6600 with, therefore I can't verify contentions that the display is apparently better and brighter. Let me just say that it's really a quality display, with no dead points, but image changes when you tilt the phone just a bit.
Nokia 7610 runs on the Symbian platform, version 7.0. Environmental look can be changed to different graphical motifs, five of which are right on the phone, the other can be download from the Internet and installed on the phone. Nokia is offering one wallpaper only, which is really insufficient.
Controls haven't changed a lot. You can choose two functions, which are available through the function keys in standby mode. The main menu is standard, 3x3 items are displayed at once on one page - nevertheless it's possible to go through the menu. Pressing respective matrix keys 1-9 can run nine initial programs faster. You can sort programs according to your needs, move unused programs deeper into folders… Just as you already know it.
Nokia 7610 has been improved in one detail. With older phone types it was not possible to go from the first to the last item in the menu by just pressing the up-arrow key - you had to go through the whole list. It's annoying especially for closing programs because this command is typically to be found as last item in the menu. Things have changed and by Nokia 7610 you can go through the menu in both directions.
Nokia 7610 has 8MB of internal memory, the largest memory of all Symbian Series 60 phones. Since I don't have official memory data available, I can give you only the information right after startup and with FExplorer application running, when there was 9MB free in the memory. So, perhaps it's around 10 MB in total.
Considering that 7610 is a Symbian Series 60 phone, it's acceptably fast. As I already wrote I don't have the opportunity to compare it with Nokia 6600, nevertheless, according to the remarks in some forums the 7610 mobile phone is faster. The memory card with the installed applications slows down the phone, but without it the main menu it opens apparently faster.
For the first time Nokia has installed a SettingWizard application on the 7610 mobile and I'd appreciate that on every mobile. It finds out your operator (to which network are you logged in) and for few seconds tunes the settings.
As Nokia 7610 is a Symbian phone you can load it with more programs designed for the Series 60 platform. The mobile phone supports also Java. By jBenchmark 1.0 speed test Nokia achieved 2524 points, which is by 100 points more then the older Nokia 6600 model. During tests with jBenchmark 2.0 Nokia 7610 got 162 points, with 40 points more than Nokia 6600 mobile phone. With these results Nokia 7610 ranks among the best of its kind.