Nokia N70

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Nokia N70

The N70 WCDMA/EDGE imaging phone is a smart and elegant imaging tool for real time visual sharing. In addition to MMS, e-mail, Bluetooth, WAP 2.0 (XHT...

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79% positive

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Review of "Nokia N70"

published 18/11/2007 | timboid
Member since : 21/09/2005
Reviews : 5
Members who trust : 0
About me :
I'd love to publish reviews for a living but it just wouldn't pay the bills!
Satisfactory
Pro Hmmm ... errr, large colour screen?
Cons Too many to list -- read my review (if you have a spare hour)
very helpful
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"Nokia N70: not bad, but not as a comms. device"

Ok, so I might be about the only one to bad-mouth this phone, but I really think Nokia have conceived and constructed a dud with this model.

Facts first:
  • I don't actually 'own' this mobile -- it was the one that got doled out to all employees when the company changed network providers.
  • This was a replacement to the diminuative Nokia 6230 tied to the Orange network.
  • I am reviewing this phone mostly from a business-use perspective and not a recreational/personal ownership one

The Story:
When we were all told that the company was changing providers, which meant new phones, I was kind of quite excited since we'd had these 6230s for about 2 years and there had to be some new swanky phones floating around by now that were sleeker, faster and had better sound/mic, etc. Some of the bods had complained about Orange not having a good signal when 'moving around a building' although with hindsight, I think it is far better than O2 which we are now on ... but that's a different story.

So, boxes arrived complete with car clip-in attachment.

First Impressions:
"God, it's big". None of the "Whoa! Sexy! Cool 2mp camera!" comments I've seen around the web. And it's also fairly weighty.

Second thought was: "Oh, and 4 new buttons".

Third though was: "God, those buttons are SMALL!"

Description and problems:
The LCD dominates the fascia and the dual, front-and-back cameras are clearly one of the must-have gadgets that gadgeteers love.

Immediately, I saw a problem with the slidey camera lens protector/on-off switch on the back. Not only was it flimsy and quite awkward to slide it into "camera on" position one-handed (particularly without smudging that nice big LCD with your thumb, or accidentally pressing one of the buttons - with your thumb), but because I often carry my phone in my trouser pocket (front or back pocket) when extracting the phone from said pocket (or even putting it IN the pocket), the blasted lens cover would often slide down, turning the camera on and wasting what little battery charge this phone can handle.

Oh dear. Already I was having doubts about this new wonder phone and I hadn't even turned it on yet!

Better charge up the battery first then...

Ok, now I'm going to go off on another one here because I just don't understand why a phone company, particularly Nokia, can't STANDARDISE on certain key components, like the size of the charging socket. It's not as if it takes up 10cm more space on a phone that's already busting it's waist line. So, the phone takes its charge from one of those super thin adaptor plugs; you know, the ones that look like a surgeon's needle. "Big deal" you might think, and it even came with a super-thin-to-standard-size convertor. However, remember I'm a business user and I often make calls on the go, in the car, at client sites, etc. So, naturally the phone needs re-juicing every now and then and it's not always the case that you have a UK 3-pin wall socket to hand to charge the darned thing. Thus, with the old 6230 which takes a STANDARD sized charging pin, I was able to buy a STANDARD car charger, and a STANDARD USB charger so I can charge my phone with the laptop if needs be. For the 6230, the wall charger remained at home, the car charger stayed in the car, and the USB charger stayed in the laptop case ... easy, huh? I could juice-up the phone whenever I needed as the situation demanded. Now, with the N70, I have to drag an EXTRA super-thin-to-standard-size convertor around and remember to either take it out of the car, or out of the laptop case. An extra 'thing' to carry around is an extra thing to lose as far as I'm concerned. So that's my bender on standardisation.

Right, so the phone is charged, the sim card's in and we're ready to rock and roll. Let's switch it on ... "Engage!" as Picard would say.

Hmmm. Where's the 'on' button? I must have pressed the ear speaker, the front-facing camera and the camera shutter button a dozen times each for varying lengths of time before the tiny round thing on the top (which looks like a black fixing screw) caught my attention. My fingers now have callouses where I've tried turning the thing on and off -- seriously! Now, I don't bother and just leave the damned thing on all day and night (for other reasons too -- see below if you can bear to read any more).

Ohh-kay. So, the phone is on and the mammoth LCD lights up with the Nokia logo, it fades, it lights up again, it fades, lights up... and it does this several times. After 30 seconds of nothing happening I turn it off again (with some difficulty I might add) and check and re-check that the sim is sitting in its slot properly and the battery is seated in line with its contacts, etc. etc. Turn it on again -- same thing. After another 30 seconds I turn it off once more and do the checking thing again. Turn it on again and then off after yet another 30 seconds of light-and-fade. "Darn it, " I think. "Must have a faulty phone."

I give up, switch the phone on one last time, throwing it on the bed, and head off for some dinner.

When I return, the screen is dark but it has something different on it! Crikey -- it's on at last!

Actually, I soon discovered that this so-called 'Smart phone' takes around 38-45 seconds just to switch itself on. Geeze -- it's like those good old Amstrad 8086 days when you stuck your DOS floppy disk (5.25 inch, for those of you who remember) into the drive and waited for the OS to boot up. Very painful is all I can say, and by now I am losing my rag with the phone somewhat.
(Addendum: this renders the phone completely useless in an emergency when you NEED that phone switched on ready to dial that 112 / 999 number.)

I also discover that when the phone boots up in anything other than SILENT profile, it plays that goddamned Nokia start-up jingle at full volume -- you cannot turn it off like you can with the 6230 and probably all other Nokias. Well, there goes those times when you just want to switch your phone on without announcing to the world that you have a Nokia phone. The best solution is just to leave the thing on all the time. Or in my case, I'd rather just leave it switched off.

It can't get any worse, surely. It can, and it did.

To spare you the trauma of my life's story with this phone, I am merely going to list out (in no particular order) all the remaining things that I can remember that do not really do any favours for it:

* Once you switch the phone on and it's in its boot-up mode, it is darn near impossible to switch it off again without physically removing the battery.

* Although the Answer and End Call buttons are coloured (respectively) green and red, in the dark when back-lit, they both show as blue keys and are almost indistinguishable from each other or the other 2 'short-cut' keys above them. Not good if you're used at other types of phone -- you just can't tell which one to press to take the call or end it prematurely. Wonderful touch there, Nokia.

* The extra 4 buttons are pointless and serve to be one of the reasons why the KEYS ARE SO DAMNED SMALL (I will rant on about this afterward)

* The loudspeaker quality is absolutely pants. Good luck if you use it a lot like I tried to. There is so much distortion that you have to cover half the speaker in order to muffle the phone vibrations a bit. Yes, you read that right -- I actually have to cover the speaker a bit in order to counter as best I can the ridiculous distortion caused by crappy internal components/design. Turning the volume down is no good as you just get 'quiet distortion'. The alternative is to just leave it in 'Handset' mode and get microwaved to death -- again the audio quality is, shall we say, "audible" at best. Great. Kudos yet again, Nokia.

* Reception quality is far worse than the 6230. Now this could be a combination of Orange vs O2 coverage as well but I would bet money on the main cause being the phone itself. For me, it cuts out during conversation much more than the old phone, so I have adopted this awful habit of saying "yes, uh-huh, ok" to my recipient telephoner just so I can put an end to all the crackling, distortion and drop-outs in the call as quickly as possible. Generally not good for business/friend relationships.

* The user interface is totally counter-intuitive and departs radically from the good old 'STANDARD' Nokia menus most people can navigate blindfold. There are too many to list here but those 4 new buttons just help add to the confusion of which buttons you need to press.

* You can no longer use the numbers as 'shortcuts' to menu items. For example, on the 6230, I can press "Go To > 5" to get me straight to the alarm clock. Not so on the N70. You'll need to navigate through the 1001 different Windows-like folders and icons to get you where you want.

* Voice dialling: don't get me started on this. Each contact you have now has a 'synthesised' voice tag (in other words, it's based on the name of your contact and you can't record your own voicetag against a particular name). Pity then that it can't seem to recognise the word 'Home' (for example) and comes up with some other random person. This is particularly bad when it comes to dialling hands-free on the bluetooth widget. You have to keep picking up the damned thing in order to check it's picked the right person -- and strictly, this is now illegal.

* While on the subject of hands-free dialling, it took some 5 or 6 attempts to properly 'hook up' my existing headset (a Jabra BT200) to this phone. Although the 2 devices were paired, I could only accept incoming calls and not actually make any without physically picking up the phone, going into Contacts and finding the person I wanted. At this time, when I switched off the headset (you know, to save battery power, as you do) the N70 would also take the liberty to completely de-pair the device too. Gee thanks -- I really want to spend 1 minute each time I get in the car trying to get the blasted things to communicate with each other. Then one day, all of the sudden, it started working. I have no explanation to this day... I followed exactly the same on-off routine as per my old phone and ... well, I'm ranting again.

* Auto-Keyguard (to help prevent the phone from dialling random numbers when it's in your pocket): it hasn't got one

* Speed of operation: errr, sorry but the word 'speed' just doesn't come into it. You really have to experience this phone in order to fully appreciate how painfully, painfully slow it is to do anything. Press the 'Menu' button and you have to wait about 1.5 seconds for it to respond, press the 'Profiles' button (which I have programmed into the left selection key), same thing. Very occasionally, it'll respond in just under a second and I guess this might have something to do with a 'cached option' or something. Anyway, please note that this phone is SLOOOOW. Should you press a button by mistake...too late, you'll have to wait for it to go into that option and display it (which takes another age), then press 'back'. Should you even KNOW the menu structure and wish to navigate to an option quickly...don't bother. The key presses are not 'cached' (as such) in read-ahead mode. So either way, you lose: it's either too slow, or TOO slow.

(As an aside, my friend [who has a Nokia 6230i] thought his phone was slow -- and it is certainly slower than my 6230. I gave him the N70 to 'try' as he said he was thinking of getting one. After playing with it for just 5 minutes, he was more than happy to stick with his 6230i.)

* So then, on to these miniature buttons disguised as 'numeric keys'. You could say that unless you have dextrous, child-sized fingers, you are never going to be able to hit the right numbers first time. And by child-sized, I am talking sub-2-year-old ... seriously! I consider my fingers to be fairly thin and nimble; not skinny but not podgey. I also play guitar, so I grow my finger nails a little to help with string-plucking. This does not help, as your nails simply keep slipping off the tiny keys and make you press something which in turn causes swearing, shouting and curses.

So there we have it. Is there anything good about this phone I hear you ask? Well, a couple of the games are quite good and interesting, but ONLY if you can get your fingers to strike the correct buttons ... fat chance!

I didn't bother trying to set up all the internet and email facilities or load on all the myriad applications you can download onto it because I got so frustrating waiting for the darned thing to react to any of my button presses, there was no point. So I have reverted back to my humble 6230 -- small, light and compact, no fancy gimmicks, just good enough to make and take phone calls and do some quick texting.

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This review was read 3087 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • vickigroth published 21/02/2008
    Great review. Made me laugh. Probably as I had one and didn't think it was too bad but when I read your review I realised I had many of the same problems but as I didn't use it much it didn't bother me!
  • cs.hari published 19/11/2007
    very well-informed review for a mobile phone.
  • alfiebettyspaghetti published 18/11/2007
    fantastic review, prob put me off getting an n70 now! ;o)
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Product Information : Nokia N70

Manufacturer's product description

The N70 WCDMA/EDGE imaging phone is a smart and elegant imaging tool for real time visual sharing. In addition to MMS, e-mail, Bluetooth, WAP 2.0 (XHTML) browsing, and Java technology, the device features two integrated cameras, 2.0-megapixel back camera and VGA front camera with two-way video call and real time video sharing application. The N70 imaging phone is suited to both business and mobile lifestyle applications.

Product Details

Product Description: Nokia N70 - 3G GSM - smartphone, Nokia N70 - Music Edition - black - 3G GSM - smartphone, Nokia N70 - aubergine, ivory pearl - 3G GSM - smartphone, Nokia N70 - silver black - 3G GSM - smartphone, Nokia N70 - World Cup Limited Edition - 3G GSM - smartphone

Product Type: Smartphone

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Service Provider: T-Mobile, Not specified

Mobile Services: Video Call

Form Factor: Bar

Dimensions (WxDxH): 53 mm x 22 mm x 109 mm

Weight: 126 g

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 900/1800/1900

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth

Display: LCD display - colour

Operating System: Symbian OS 8.1a

Playback Digital Standards: WAV, AAC, Real Audio, AMR, MP3 , RM, MPEG-4, 3GP, H.263

Supported Memory Card: RS-MMC

Talk Time: Up to 210 minutes

Standby Time: Up to 264 hours

Colour: Black, Silver black, Aubergine, ivory pearl

General

MPN: 300002275, 0022724, N70, 0049042, 0049041, 0043918, 0043919, 0035471, 0043910, 0033064, N70 Music Edition, 0038995, 300002901

Product Type: Smartphone

Form Factor: Bar

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player

Aerial: Internal

Width: 53 mm

Depth: 22 mm

Height: 109 mm

Weight: 126 g

Available Body Colours: Ivory pearl/aubergine, silver/black

Body Colour: Black, Silver black, Aubergine, ivory pearl

Cellular

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 900/1800/1900

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Service Provider: T-Mobile, Not specified

Operating System: Symbian OS 8.1a

Software Platforms Supported: Java MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1, J2ME, Java

Messaging & Internet

Cellular Messaging Services: MMS, Nokia Smart Messaging, SMS

Supported SMS Functions: SMS Chat

Supported Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP

WAP Protocol Supported: WAP 2.0

Messaging & Data Features: XHTML Browser, PDF support

Downloadable Content: Audio files, video files, themes, games, ring tones, screensavers, wallpapers

Mobile Services: Video Call

Communications

Max Data Transfer Rate: 384 Kbps

Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth

Communication Features: Mobile Email client, Internet browser

Phone Features

Phone Functions: Speakerphone, voice control, call timer, conference call, voice dialing, vibrating alert

Speech Codec: EFR, FR, AMR

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes

Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty: 64

Ring Tone Formats: MIDI, True Tones

Additional Features: Push-to-talk mode, PictBridge direct printing

Organiser

Personal Information Management: Calendar, synchronization with PC, calculator, reminder, alarm clock

Media Player

Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, AAC, Real Audio, AMR, MP3

Supported Digital Video Standards: RM, MPEG-4, 3GP, H.263

Memory

User Memory: 30 MB

Supported Flash Memory Cards: RS-MMC

Security Features

Phone Lock: Yes

Keypad Lock: Yes

SIM Card Lock: Yes

Restrict Access to Phone Book: Yes

Digital Camera

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Still Image Resolutions: 640 x 480, 1600 x 1200

Digital Zoom: 20

Camera Light Source: Flash

Video Recorder Resolutions: 128 x 96 (Sub QCIF), 176 x 144 (QCIF), 352 x 288 (CIF)

Digital Video Formats: 3gp, H.263 video and AMR audio

Display

Type: LCD display - colour

Display Resolution: 176 x 208 pixels

Colour Depth: 262,144 colours

Display Illumination Colour: White

Features: Wallpaper, screen saver

Connections

Connector Type: Data port - Pop-Port

Battery

Technology: Lithium Ion

Capacity: 970 mAh

Run Time Details: Talk - up to 210 min ¦ Standby - up to 264 hrs

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Headset, software kit, adapter for MMC, USB cable, power adapter

Also Included: RS-MMC - 64 MB, RS-MMC - 1 GB

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