The Nokia N78 bar measures 113 x 49 x 15.1mm. Those, combined with the weight of 101.8g, place it slightly on the larger side. However, having in mind the huge number of features on board, we are willing to forgive that.
You know that we weren't really fond of Nokia N81's looks. Therefore it should come as little surprise that we aren't that impressed with Nokia N78 (and the entire N-series for that matter) following suite. There are some changes of course and luckily most of them are on the positive side.
The earpiece, the ambient light sensor and the video-call camera are placed right below the upper rim of the front panel.
Below them is the 2.4" display of QVGA resolution. It is capable of showing up to 16M colors and did manage to impress us with picture quality. The brightness and contrast levels are even more impressive than those of the Nokia N95 8GB.
Sunlight legibility is also praiseworthy. Nokia are one of the best when it comes to producing displays that fare well in the sun and N78 makes no exception. Even on the brightest of days you will have little trouble using your N78 outside, albeit the colors are a bit washed out.
Below the display we find two selection keys, the D-pad, the Multimedia menu key and the call and end keys. The call and end keys are utterly flat and are located a bit too close to the edge which makes using them a little uncomfortable at first. We'll see if we get used to them before the full review is complete.
Another thing that needs getting used to is the Nokia N78 keypad. The knobs are way too tiny and there are no borders of any kind between keys within the same row. So far we are having quite a rough time typing on the N78.
The menu and clear keys also have somewhat unusual placement on the Nokia N78. They are on either side of the keypad but that seems to cause no problem to usability.
The right side of Nokia N78 hosts the dedicated camera key, the volume rocker and a loudspeaker grill.
Quite surprisingly the other loudspeaker is placed all the way down the diagonal on the opposite side of Nokia N78. It's found just above the lower edge of the left side. The remaining elements on the left are the charger plug, the microSD card slot and the microUSB port. We would have preferred some sort of cover for both the charger plug and the microUSB port. Without it they are prone to filling up with dust and dirt - not to mention that those holes are plain ugly.
On the top of Nokia N78 we came upon the power key and the 3.5mm standard audio jack.
The mouthpiece is at the bottom of the handset.
The back side of Nokia N78 hosts the 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash. It has no protective cover, relying solely on the fact that it is a bit recessed to protect it from scratches.
Pressing the key at the bottom of the battery panel releases it. Below it we found the BL-6F battery, which has a capacity of 1200 mAh. It is quoted at up to 320 hours of stand-by and 4 hours and 20 minutes of talk time, which sound quite a good promise to us. We are however, still unable to comment on those numbers having spent so little time with the handset.
We are so far pleased with the construction quality of Nokia N78. Apart from the back cover, which is rather wobbly, the rest of the handset seems nicely done.