Announced on April 27, 2005, the Nokia Nseries N70 phone just starts shipping worldwide. Nokia must have employed new designers for their smartphones because the Series 60 range of phones completely changed its look and feel. In contrast to older S60 smartphones with colourful housings and 'twisted' keypads, all new Series 60 devices look very stylish, subtle and professional. And the N70 is no exception to this rule.
Look and feel
It's one of those phones that look even better in reality than on pictures. The silver plastic front part with a brushed aluminium frame surrounding the display and silver, blue-backlit keypad perfectly match the black body of the phone and make it look really stylish and professional. The build quality makes a very good impression; the phone feels sturdy and the only weaker element seems to be the sliding camera cover which looks and operates very nicely but feels a little bit too 'plasticy'. However, during several days of tests I didn't notice any squeaking sounds.
The keypad has traditional layout and very nice blue backlight. Tactile feedback is good but the keys are slightly too little for my fingers (however there's simply no space for bigger keys on such a small phone). 5-way navigation key is a little bit raised and thus conveniently separated from the other keys. The keyboard also contains a special "Media key" which can be assigned to any built-in or 3rd party application and allows launching it anytime with just one press.
The size and weight of the N70 are slightly smaller than 6680 or 6670. N70 weighs 126 g and measures 108.8 x 53 x 21.8 mm, which makes it the smallest Series 60 based 3G smartphone.
Hardware - what's new and hot
The most important advantage of the N70 is the amount of RAM memory. RAM is the operating memory used for program execution. The simple rule is: the more, the better. Previous Series 60 smartphones suffered from very small amount of RAM available for 3rd party applications, usually less than 8 MB, with the only exceptions being the N-Gage series offering about 11 MB of free RAM memory and the new N90 having almost 21 MB free RAM. If you have more operating memory you can not only use more applications at the same time but you can also run more advanced software, open larger documents, bigger pictures, use more detailed maps in a GPS navigation program and so on. The great news is that N70 has..... 32 MB of free RAM, the most used in a Symbian OS device so far; even Nokia 9500 Communicator has less!
The N70 also has 20 MB of internal storage memory (Flash memory, disk C:) and allows storage expansion using DV RS-MMC cards (64 megabyte card with pre-installed software is included with the phone). The CPU speed is the same as of 6630, 6680 and N90 - 220 MHz - and it's the fastest CPU used in Symbian OS smartphones up to date. The overall performance of the N70 seems to be the same as of 6680, with the exception that you can now run much more concurrent applications and quickly switch between them.
Even though not equipped with an autofocusing Carl Zeiss lens like the N90, the 2 megapixel (1600 x 1200 pixels) camera of the N70 still provides fairly good quality, similiar to what you get with the 6680, 20x digital zoom and a LED flash. There is also a second VGA resolution (640x480 pixels) camera with 2x ditital zoom on the front used for video calls and self-portraits. The phone has a dedicated shutter button and a slide/cover automatically activating the camera. The built-in light sensor automatically fires the flash in poor lighting conditions.
N70 is a stereo phone supporting MP3, AAC, eAAC+ and RealAudio. The loudspeaker (located on top) produces clear and very loud sound. The phone comes with Nokia HS-3 stereo headset which also serves as an antenna for stereo Visual FM radio. Reception and playback quality are very good.
Nokia N70 is a dual mode WCDMA (2100 MHz) / triband GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) smartphone. The phone supports video calls and video sharing and its Internet connection speed reaches 384 kbps in UMTS networks and 236,8 kbps in EDGE networks. Full speed USB 2.0 port and Bluetooth provide fast and stable connectivity.
The phone uses the BL-5C Li-Ion battery and provides similiar standby time as the 6680.
The menu looks and works like in all recent Series 60 phones. The standby screen supports the "Active standby" function (icons providing quick access to the most frequently used applications and "Today screen" like information about current Calendar entries and To-Do's). As already mentioned, the new special "Media" key can be assigned to any built-in or 3rd party application providing one-touch access to your most frequently used program.
Built-in software includes Audio Recorder, Converter, To-do, Calculator, Notes, File Manager, Data Transfer, Sync, Device and Connection manager, Instant Messenger, Tutorial, Music Player, Web browser, Clock, Gallery, Camera application, Movie director, Real Player, Image Print, Visual Radio, Calendar, Contacts, Messaging and games (Card Deck, Snakes and 3D Snowboard).
The 64 MB DV RS-MMC card comes with the following applications preinstalled: QuickOffice (QuickWord, QuickSheet, QuickPoint), Symantec Security (anti-virus and firewall software), Adobe PDF reader, Info Print (printing PIM data via Bluetooth on compatible printers), Wireless Keyboard control, Lifeblog client, Catalogs, Opera browser and Kodak Mobile client.
The phone is based on the same operating system and Series 60 platform versions as the N90 and provides compatibility with N90-compatible software as well as with most of existing 6630/6680-combatible 3rd party applications.
Nokia N70 is the smallest and lightest Symbian OS 3G smartphone released up to date. It looks very stylish and professional and provides all the latest technologies and functions you would expect from a smartphone: data transmission with UMTS and EDGE speeds, 2 Megapixel camera, high quality 65k colors display, stereo playback and FM radio. In addition to this, the phone has 32 MB free RAM, the most of all Symbian OS based smartphones up to date. It's one of those phones that will suit both young users and serious business users.
What I liked:
- Whopping 32 MB of free operating memory (RAM)
- very stylish look and feel
- UMTS and EDGE
- video calls, video sharing
- high quality stereo playback and FM radio
- 2 Megapixel camera
- special "Media" key for quickly lauching favourite application.
- convenient 5-way key.
What I didn't like:
- "too plastic" camera cover
- "fixed focus" camera.