The Nokia N70 is a smartphone that performs the role of an all-round mobile, electronic power tool. The product comes with a 2 megapixel digital camera, broadband-speed 3G network connectivity, MP3 music player and FM radio (with a white headset), video recorder, email and Internet connectivity. This medium-size, solidly built phone fits nicely in the hand and is a pleasure to use.
Key FeaturesBuilt-in digital camera with 2-megapixel-image resolution, flash, white balance and other image controls. The camera can be used as a video recorder as well. A small camera on the front side of the phone can be used for live video calls.
MP3 music player software, FM radio and a white stereo headset included in the package let you use the phone as a portable audio player.
The unit can connect to 3G UMTS/WCDMA and 2G GSM/GPRS networks, Bluetooth devices and there's also a USB cable for PC connectivity.
The Nokia N70 uses RS-MMC (Reduced Size Multimedia Card) memory cards for storing information, such as photos, downloaded software and music. A 64MB card is included with the product.
An extensive set of software is includedInternet browser, email, office document viewers (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe PDF), calendar, image printing, among others.
The device is powered by the Symbian OS/S60 smartphone operating system software.
By definition, a smartphone is a mobile phone that (usually) looks like a phone, but can double as a digital camera, music player, email device, diet monitor, navigation device, or whatever applications you decide to download to the device. The Nokia N70 is exactly as described: it has practically all the features a modern phone can have. Nokia continues to use the Symbian OS operating system and the S60 software in its smartphones and along with the included applications, it is a powerful and user-friendly combination.
You can download additional applications to the phone (look for S60 and Java products) and complement the selection of applications already on the phone. First, we recommend downloading Opera browser and if you use instant messaging on your computer, you might want to install software on the phone that can connect to the same instant messaging system as you are using on your computer.
The Nokia N70 automatically connects to the 3G (UMTS/WCDMA) network when it can detect one and remains connected to the GSM/GPRS network when there's no 3G network around. The 2G technology on the phone provides connectivity to GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 network bands.
The bright color screen has a resolution of 176x208 pixels, which is a fairly common size in today's mid-range and high-end phones.
The digital camera can be set to capture images in 2 megapixel (1600x1200), 0.8 megapixel (1280x960), or 0.3 megapixel (640x480) resolution. When the camera is activated, the screen shows the selected image size, which is really a nice reminder if you frequently have to change the resolution of your photos. The photo quality is pretty good, but don't expect a camera phone to totally replace a dedicated digital camera any time soon.
At its highest setting, the N70 is able to record 352x288 pixel video resolution and those clips are stored in MP4 video format with audio. When there is enough light to shoot video, the N70 records fine video clips that are worth saving for watching them on a computer screen or on a TV. For minimizing the file size, you can also record video in QCIF resolution (176x144 pixels) that is saved in 3GPP video format.
In addition to the normal photography and camcorder functions, the N70 also has a sequence photo mode that takes six pictures in one second intervals.
There is a small flash beside the camera lens, but it is so weak that it doesn't help if you want to take pictures beyond arm's reach.
There's another digital camera on the unit's front panel, above the color screen that is used for live video calls and it has a resolution of 640x480 pixels.
You can send live video of yourself to a friend and view a live picture of a friend on the screen. The phones must have compatible video feeds and they have to be in the 3G network coverage.
The music player software that comes with the phone can play a respectable number of digital formats: MP3, AAC, Real, WAV, AMR and MIDI. The easiest way to get music to the phone is to copy MP3 songs from a computer to an RS-MMC memory card and stick it into the phone. We didn't test all the music formats, but at least MP3, WAV and MIDI can be used as ringtones. We found the sound quality good when we listened to music through the included headset. The headset also acts as an antenna for the built-in FM radio.
The FM radio includes an interesting function that Nokia calls Visual Radio. It's a funny name, because if we had to guess what a Visual radio is, we'd think of a TV. Instead, Visual Radio is a software application that establishes a data connection to the FM radio station that provides additional services for phones. The services are, for example, information about artists, contests for listeners and ticket purchases. While you don't have to pay anything for listening to the radio, you will have to bear the costs for communications required by the Visual Radio.
Connectors for the charger and headset/data cableAt first, the keypad on the Nokia N70 looks and feels small, but still, we liked it a lot. It is a very solid and responsive keypad ? you know when a keystroke goes through and even the small five-way navigation key is accurate. Nokia has added a whole new "Media Key" button in the keypad that you can set to launch any application installed on the phone. When you push the Media Key, it takes you, for example, to the radio tuner, regardless of what is going on the phone.
We didn't experience any unexpected problems with the unit's battery ? it can last for days when it is used lightly. Only the usual suspects: the MP3 player software, frequent use of Bluetooth and 3G data communications consume so much power that you'll soon notice a drop in the power indicator.
We had, however, problems with the connector for the battery charger cable and for the data/headset cable. The standard Nokia charger doesn't fit into the charger connector in the N70, but an extra adapter cable is required (included with the product). If you have spare chargers that you are using in the car, in the office, or if you want to recharge your phone at a friend's house, you can forget about it, because the completely unnecessary innovation, an adapter cable, is missing.
The connector at the bottom of the phone that is used to hook up a headset or a USB data cable, is poorly designed as well.
More than once or twice, our headset cable felt like and looked like it was attached to the unit, but it wasn't, causing confusion at both ends of the phone line.
One more problem is the camera lens cover. When you want to take photos, you push down the lens cover at the back of the phone. It is a fast and convenient method for activating the camera, but the lens cover easily slides down by accident.
Usually, it doesn't cause any harm, because the application you were using continues to run in the background, but it is an unpleasant surprise every time it happens.
The Nokia N70 smartphone is for you if you want a well-designed, all-in-one device for many tasks that would otherwise require you to acquire multiple products. For example, you can purchase a large memory card and use the phone as your MP3 music and pod cast player, or you might download an instant messaging software, navigation or Internet search applications on the device.
StyleThe phone looks elegant, but its subtle design is unlikely to make anyone passionately love or hate the product. The design is functional and for many people, that's important ? after all, you may be emailing, listening to music, snapping photos and browsing the Internet on your smartphone.
The N70 is a small/medium-size unit (when compared to other phones) that fits nicely in the hand and into the pocket or purse.
Value for moneyAll those features packed in the Nokia N70 come at a price, but the product is very good value for money for anyone who wants an all-round smartphone. This is a well-balanced device where one feature doesn't dominate, but it can be used for many tasks that can make your life easier and more fun.