Nokia N79 review: Swiss Army knife

GSMArena team, 20 November 2008.
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Video player

The Nokia N79 video player can work in both portrait and landscape mode and can be switched to fullscreen. When in full screen, the soft key labels are hidden so that they don't spoil the viewing and only pop up when a key is pressed. The ample size screen is also more than welcome for truly enjoying your videos.

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The video player offers fullscreen in both portrait and landscape modes

FM radio and transmitter

The FM radio on Nokia N79 has a neat and simple interface and can automatically scan and save the available stations in your area. It also has RDS support and Visual radio. The latter requires an internet connection and WLAN won't do.

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Nokia N79 FM radio application

With RDS and automatic scanning however you're less likely to resort to network data transfers with Visual Radio. In addition Nokia N79 offers a direct shortcut to the online radio directory where hundreds of stations are available.

A notable feature of Nokia N79 is the built-in FM transmitter. It allows you to broadcast your favorite tracks over a predefined radio frequency. Those can then be picked up by any device with an FM radio receiver in the vicinity.

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The FM transmitter is as simple to use as it gets

The signal strength of the N79 is decent, making it quite usable in a car for example. The FM transmitter application itself has a really nice and simple user interface so the handset has every chance of replacing a CD changer in your car for example.

Image gallery - Nseries at their best

The gallery of Nokia N79 looks simply great in 3D rotating view. The speed of photo browsing increases if you press and hold the direction buttons on the D-pad. This allows quick skipping of tons of files if you're not in the habit of cleaning up your memory every now and then.

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The gallery is quite convenient to work with

Otherwise, the Nseries gallery brings no changes in terms of features - pictures can be viewed in both portrait and landscape mode and zoomed in up to 8x. The zooming however as we mentioned is a real disaster. This is where we really hoped that things will be different from Nokia N85 but we had no luck.

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Due to the slow speed zooming in is hardly a useful option

We have never seen a phone take so long to zoom in on a photo as this one. And you have our word, we have seen some pretty bad cases. At a speed like that, you are highly unlikely to use zoom too often. Panning is okay though.

The gallery offers a nice slide show with customizable effects and delay between slides. You can also choose the direction of the slideshow - forward or backward from the currently selected photo and the track to go with it. Music can also be switched off if you prefer.

The gallery also has a very good picture tagging system. In addition to geotagging, which is automatically handled by the camera, you can add as many tags as you like to each photo and then use them as filters.

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You can also tag your photos with Nokia N79

File manager has no limits

If the gallery file-management options (which even includes sending multiple files at a time) is insufficient you can use the file manager. It allows you to do almost anything you can think of with your files. Copying, moving, creating new folders - you name it and it's a safe bet that Nokia N79 can do it.

A new version of the useful "Search" application is also aboard Nokia N79. It has a reserved line in the active standby menu, which is hardly a surprise given how useful it is. The application itself finds almost every item in your handset containing a given keyword. From messages to settings, every bit of data is checked and then all results are displayed on the screen.

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