The Symbian handsets have an excellent phonebook with virtually unlimited capabilities. There is storage space for a practically unlimited number of contacts and fields with all the available memory potentially usable for the purpose. Contacts can be freely ordered by first or last name and can naturally be searched by gradual typing of any of the names.
The basic set up has changed a little. Previous phones had a phonebook with three tabs - Contacts, Ovi Contacts and Groups. Now, instead of tabs there's a drop-down menu to be used for switching (pressing left on the D-pad activates it) and strangely Groups is gone - groups are just listed with the contacts and you have to look for them.
This less than comfortable change was required because pressing right on the D-pad brings up a menu with options to send four types of messages. Another thing about the phonebook - it has "predictive search", which works much like smart dialing. That's great, except it doesn't work in the dialer - so if you want smart dialing you'll have to include an extra press to launch the phonebook.
Editing a contact offers a great variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like. You can also create new fields if you happen to be able to think of one. We personally find it quite a challenge to think of something Nokia has missed here - there's everything from the contact's nickname to their assistant's name and phone number. And if you happen to need one that is not included - you can rename an existing field.
Personal ringtones and videos can also be assigned to a contact. If you prefer you may group your contacts and give each group a specific ringtone.
Synchronization is also nice and easy although you do need the Nokia PC suite (or Ovi Suite as of lately) for things to go smoothly. Sending and receiving contacts via SMS or Bluetooth is also a piece of cake.
The Call log application is another Nokia 6710 strength. It holds up to 20 call records in each of the tabs for outgoing, received and missed calls. These are all accessed by pressing the Call key on the homescreen.
If you enter the Log application from the main menu, you'll see a detailed list of all your network communications for the past 30 days. These include messages, calls and data transfers over the air or even over Wi-Fi. The period can be shortened to save some space but you are quite unlikely to do that, as even with a huge number of calls the log only takes a few miserly kilobytes of memory space.
Texting with the Nokia 6710 is spot on. All recent Nokia's Symbian handsets have been strong in this department and the Navigator is no exception.
The Nokia 6710 supports all common message types - SMS, MMS and email. The SMS and MMS share an editor. It is the well known intuitive application from previous Symbian S60 smartphones. It has a counter of characters left up to a limit of 160. There is also an indicator in brackets showing the number of separate parts the message will be divided into for sending.
It goes without saying that you can activate a delivery report for messages. The reports pop up on the standby screen and are subsequently saved in a separate folder in the messaging sub-menu. If you exit the message editor without having sent the message, the editor prompts you to either save it to the Drafts folder or to discard it.
All it takes to convert a common SMS into an MMS is to insert some multimedia content. A nice feature allows the resizing of pictures automatically for sending via MMS.
The Nokia 6710 also features a dedicated audio message editor. Although technically a type of MMS, the audio messages have their own separate editor. You can either record the message on the spot or use a previously recorded sound clip.
The new email client (featured on the E52 and E75) has better looks and better messaging organization than the ones in the past. Each of the folders of your mailbox can now be sorted by whatever filters you like and can then be searched if necessary.
You can also select what the folders preview should look like, i.e. how many lines should be given to each entry, whether title dividers should be applied etc.
The email client supports a wide range of personal and corporate email standards such as IBM Lotus Notes Traveller, Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail etc.
There's also the option to listen to the email - the Message reader app comes with one language and just one voice preinstalled (the one called Ellen) and the option to download more. The application handles this quite nicely and while the voice didn't sound too natural, it didn't trip over difficult words and even managed to read URLs.
Ovi Contacts come preinstalled with Nokia 6710 Navigator but you can also install it on most other Nokia smartphones. Ovi contacts integrates tightly with the Contacts list and offers an IM client with a twist. You can search for people already registered with Ovi or send an invitation to anybody using Gmail since the Ovi contacts supports G-Talk, Google's own IM, as well.
Thanks to this service you will be able to chat in real time with all your Ovi/Google Talk-connected contacts, change your status messages and mood, and all that kind of social networking stuff.
In addition you can even go as far as sharing your GPS location so your friends can view immediately where you are at that particular moment using Ovi Maps. Or you can share the name and the artist of the track you are currently listening to.
What can we say - it all works exactly as advertized. Your contacts need not have an Ovi-connected phone, they can chat with you just fine over Google Talk.