We’ve got tiny smartphones and then we have the Nokia 700 – the tiniest of them all. This one comes with Belle on board. Nokia is slowly gaining mileage with their WP7 phones – more with the Lumia 710, than the Lumia 800, but they’ve still not abandoned ship with the Symbian ones. Does the Nokia 700 justify that decision? Let’s find out.
From all sides
Features and Performance
Design and Build Quality
Just three words can describe the Nokia 700 – slim, tiny and compact. It’s one of the tiniest smartphones we’ve ever held in our hands. Don’t let the spec sheet showing a 3.2-inch screen fool you out here, because it’s more screen area lengthwise than breadthwise. So, the 700 will feel much tinier than say, a similar 3.2-inch screen that the SE Live with Walkman sports. It’s quite similar to the Xperia Ray, in terms of looks, but yet the Xperia felt slightly bigger in our hands.
It's not a slider
The top consists of the 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card slot and Nokia’s proprietary charging port. The right consists of the lock button, a volume rocker and a dedicated camera button. The front consists of the 3.2-inch ClearBlack nHD display with an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor on top and three physical buttons at the bottom. The back has the 5 mp shooter and an LED flash. The microSD card is located beneath the battery, so there’s no hot swapping feature.
Connectivity ports on top
This one is delicate, there’s a lot of plastic involved, and disappointingly it doesn’t have the same aluminium build that we saw on the Nokia 701. The design is good, but Nokia could have definitely done better with the build quality of the phone.
The 700 is powered by a 1GHz CPU with Nokia’s Belle operating system. We first came across their improved OS with the Nokia 701 and we quite liked it. It’s zippy, quick and lag-free. Also, there’s quite a bit of customization available for the home screen and the overall layout of the phone. Oh, and it’s borrowed some stuff from Android as well, with the most prominent one being the drop down notification bar.
Though navigation is well covered, typing deserves a special mention for the 700. The small screen size makes it almost impossible for you to type smoothly on the phone. So much so that we wouldn’t be surprised if you’d have a special game with your friends as to who makes the most mistakes, while typing. The ‘longer’ screen makes sure that it’s more difficult to type in portrait mode. Social integration has been done well, but say you’re one of those Twitter addicts, then again typing becomes a major issue.
Social networking integration
The media interface sports a similar look to the one we saw on the Nokia 701, and there’s a bunch of preset equalizers as well. The phone supports MP4, H.263 and H.264 video formats and MP3, WAV, еAAC+ and WMA audio formats. We didn’t get a pair of headphones with our review unit, but the 700 drivers proved to be pretty good on our test headphones. The loudspeaker is good enough for personal listening.
720p video playback is possible, but the phone was unable to playback the 1080p files we tried on it. We scouted the app store for some third party players, but that didn’t yield any success, either. Anyway, the 16:9 aspect ratio does tend to make this phone a better viewing device than the other phones with a similar 3.2-inch screen.
The 700 is a quad-band phone and is well loaded with connectivity options. There’s 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and NFC. In call quality is decent and the loudspeaker works quite well. The problems started with the browser. Firstly, full flash videos don’t load properly and secondly even slightly image heavy web pages take some crazy amount of time to render. We tried a full range of phones from this spot, but the 700 was the slowest of them all. GPS works fine, though. For your business purposes and e-mail attachments, there’s no dedicated office editing application and you’ll have to purchase QuickOffice, if you need to do any kind of editing.
On video: Nokia 700
We’d done a separate article on our experience with NFC on Nokia handsets, so you can check that out here. However, if that’s too much of a read, we’ll briefly explain it in a nutshell. NFC has potential, but it’s still in the nascent stage. You wouldn’t really want to pay premium money just to tap and connect to a pair of speakers, or get a few extra levels in Angry Birds. Also, the chances that you’ll use it extensively with another Nokia NF- enabled smartphone are quite slim.
Besides the usual recorder, calculator apps that are present on most smartphones, the 700 comes with a few apps like E! and CNN video. However, the more useful ones are the video and photo editor. It’s nothing extra-ordinary, but it’s good to know there’s something to play around with. The app store is extremely limited in comparison to the Android or the iOS store, so you’ll have to make do with that limitation.
The Misc apps
Nokia has always got good camera sensors on all its smart phones, so we expected the same out of the 700. However, it’s more of a mixed bag out here, because though the 5 megapixel camera dishes out some neat pictures, it’s not autofocus. Outdoor snaps did come out quite well, but we did have focusing issues with the fixed focus camera.
Macro shots are extremely difficult to shoot and you’ll just be lucky, if you can get the camera to focus onto the subject at close range. The LED flash does help to shoot some decent low light snaps.
Outdoor snaps are good, but no autofocus
In terms of video recording, the phone does 720p, but it does suffer from some colour banding, just like the other phone cameras, we’ve reviewed earlier.
The 700 comes with a 1080 mAh battery to power the ClearBlack AMOLED screen. Under normal usage, we could get about three fourth of a days usage on the phone, satisfactory, at best. In our video loop test, the phone stood up for six hours straight, while it cranked up seven hours and twenty minutes in our standard test. One and a half hour calling, two hours of video, two hours of audio, and one and a half hours of streaming via Wi-Fi. Overall, the 700 has an average battery life.
Worth a buy?
The Nokia 700 is priced at Rs.16,500 (MOP). That’s one hell of a price, considering the Nokia Lumia 710 is selling for a grand cheaper. In a similar price range, you’ve got a range of pretty good Androids also – the Neo V, the DEFY+, the Xperia Active, all of which are just about a grand expensive. Alternatively, there’s a better option for a cheaper price tag – the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman. As far as the 700 is concerned, it’s back to the drawing board for Nokia. We’d definitely not recommend you buying this one at this price point.
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