Nokia N70 review: Universal fighter

Marek Lutonský, 26 October 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia, N-series

In the phone alone you can make use of data for the email browser, to send MMS, send instant messages in the Chat application and for surfing the net. What's more, the menu does not offer one, but two browsers: the standard Nokia browser and the superb Opera. I think my words are more than clear about which one of the two browsers is better. Opera is a very good browser for any Symbian phone, especially when you do not have to pay for it. It offers extensive setup options and supports fullscreen mode.

  
Standard Nokia browser and three times Opera

Similar to MMS and emails, a data profile for internet or WAP connection can be set in the SettingWizard application.

Connecting to the net from a PC

Nokia N70 is connected to a computer through a USB cable (delivered with the phone) or through Bluetooth. The absence of infrared port has already become a matter of course. Yet it is a pity, for the infrared connection has proven to be the most reliable and has always been the last rescue solution when other types of connection fail.


Bluetooth setup

I measured the Bluetooth transfer speed between N70 and a computer: 1 MB is transferred in 24 seconds.

The connection setup through Bluetooth is easy to establish in all Series 60 smartphones. The connection I got was stable. During the downloading process I measured an average of 82 kb/s, which I believe was EDGE, even if a bit slow. The most important thing is that data connection gave good results, which was the point of the whole test. I am really curious about 3G.

Computer interface

All present Nokia phones use the one and the same software package for communication with the computer - PC Suite. It is available on the CD, which is to be found in the N70 delivery box. I recommend you, however, to download its latest version from the official Nokia web site. Besides PC Suit, the CD also contains the Nokia Multimedia Factory application, which helps you create MMS in the computer. Let me now list the options PC Suite has to offer:

  • Data backup
  • Synchronization among phonebook, calendar, task manager and notes
  • File manager for accessing phone's memory from a computer
  • A tool for installing applications from the computer into the phone
  • A program called Nokia Audio Manager for work with music files
  • Creation of wallpapers and pictures for mobile phones
  • Multimedia player
  • An application for creating ringing melodies
  • An application for sending SMS from a computer
  • A program, which allows uploading of all pictures and video records to the PC
  • A simpler internet connection setup

Nokia PC Suite is free. No matter how reserved we could be about certain options of this software, it is still one of the best programs mobile phones have ever been supplied with.


Details

Right now, I am only browsing Nokia N70's menu to see if I will find a function I have left out by mistake, which is significant and worth mentioning. So here's what I found:

Director: A program for instant creation of video clips from video records. It adds music and has simple editing options. The result can then be sent in a MMS.


The director creates an impressive video clip in no time

Go to: an old and well-known function, which is a bit useless in modern Symbian phones. Now there are plenty of setup options, which allow a certain key to start a selected application, so the shortcuts in the Go to application seem unnecessary.

Games: Card Deck is a collection of the best solitaire versions. The aim of the game is to get rid of all cards. Snakes is the famous snake in 3D. In Snowboarding, which is also a 3D game, you will have the chance to ride downhill.


Cards and snake

Lifeblog: a mobile diary for the blog fans. I am not completely sure, but I think this time we have been given a real working program, not just a demo version.

Symantec Mobile Security: antivirus program.


It is a real king

Nokia N70 is a brilliant phone. We knew it right after we entered its specs in the mobiles catalogue, where N70 occupied the first place among more than 200 evaluated mobile phones. Practical tests only came to confirm its strengths. Similar to other smartphones of the Series 60, Nokia N70 is not a completely new phone, but a natural step forward in a logical developing process. So what are the advantages of N70 in comparison with the forerunner Nokia 6681?

  • 3G support, a second camera and video calls
  • More memory space: both storage and RAM
  • A camera with 2 MP resolution and a new control method
  • Built-in radio

Nokia N70 is great for both work and fun. It is a nice and very well equipped phone, whose initial price is approximately 500 euros. N70 hits the market at a bit lower price than Nokia 6681. What are then its main disadvantages? I mind the way the red button behaves when applications are minimized. Beside that, Nokia can be considered a slow device - just like the other smartphones. I have to also draw your attention to a number of uncorrected glitches and unsuccessful features - for example the alarm clock or the voice recorder. All mentioned weak points are however typical for each smartphone with Symbian Series 60.

If I owned Nokia 6681 or 6630 I would probably hesitate, whether to replace them with N70. The innovations offered by the new Nokia are not that many to give reason for such a change, unless one feels like having a new nice toy. As for older phones, replacement definitely makes sense.

So which one is it better to buy today - Nokia N70 or Nokia 6681? The first model costs €500, the second one - €450. I am sure the decision will be difficult, but to me the innovations coming with N70 are worth the higher price.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Comparison with Nokia 6681 (in blue)


With the help of Maciek Wilkos.

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