Nokia has stepped in with couple of first with Nokia 701 — it’s the first Symbian Belle device, first to have a 1 GHz processor among Nokia handsets and first with a ‘functional’ Near Field Communication chip. Most important is its 1000 nits brightness spreading display which measures 3.5-inch. Amongst the three Symbian Belle handsets, the Nokia 701 remains to be the high end.
The Box contains:
- Nokia 701 handset
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
- Stereo headset with microphone
The 701 has a silver metal body with a black finish on the front, and it weighs 131 grams, which is quite light. Nokia has retained the rounded edges, which has been a trademark in most of their phones. The metal used in the phone definitely adds to its charm, and the 701 looks quite impressive in its overall design. The power button, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB slot are located at the top of the phone. The left side doesn’t have any ports, except for the charger jack. The right consists of the volume rocker buttons with the voice command key placed in between them. There’s also the lock slider and the camera button. The bottom consists of the lanyard eyelet for those with butter fingers, while the back consists of the camera with dual LED flash and 8 megapixel sensor. In terms of overall design and build quality, the 701 exudes class.
The 701 is powered by a 1 GHz CPU and 512 MB RAM. Other specs include an 8 MP rear and a VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, FM transmitter, GPS, microSD card support up to 32 GB, and a 3.5 mm jack that doubles up as a TV-Out port. As of this writing, the NFC can be used to unlock extra levels of Angry Birds Magic, and to pair special accessories with a single tap of the device.
The feature set that arrive with Symbian Belle have been covered number of times earlier. Major ones include the new notification drawer that also brings toggle switches for mobile data, WiFi, Bluetooth, and turning the phone to silent mode. The multi-tasking feature offering task manager remains the same and is visible when the Menu key is pressed and held for couple of seconds. Apart from more home screens, free-form widgets and improved navigation, the native browser offers better scrolling but the number of tabs is still limited to six.
The touchscreen is quite responsive and responds well while working with the apps or while gaming. Major highlight of the Symbian Belle update is the new Notification tray system that offers combined list of notifications related to the respective apps. This tray is accessible by pull down gesture and resembles so much like the Notification tray in an Android handset. While the four Toggles Switches stand out, it would be great if those switches could be interchangeable or replaced with any other toggle function.
The ARM11 architecture based 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM does make lot of a difference in the user interface to make it appear slick and fluid between transitions.
However, one of the pitfalls of this interface would be lack of icon differentiations because many icons come with similar/same color. But you can group the icons together and form a folder with them. The keyboard appears pretty cramped up in the portrait mode and support for SWYPE would be heavily applauded.
The camera interface has been cleaned up and is now easy to use. The lense is EDoF (Extended Depth of Focus), or fixed-focus
in simple terms. This module lacks moving parts and has its pros, such as zero shutter lag and good images in the outdoors. On the other hand, it struggles with close-ups and low-light shots. The images contain a good amount of detail and a decent level of contrast, but the colours looks somewhat bland.
The music player is pretty basic, with standard options and home widgets for easy access. The album art occupies a big chunk of the screen and the shuffle, repeat and back options are located at the bottom of the screen. It does take time to populate the songs if you’ve restarted the phone, but that’s just a minor issue. More often than not, manufacturers bundle extremely poor headphones that don’t do justice to their devices’ audio prowess, but thankfully, Nokia has realized that. The bundled earphones are pretty impressive and produce good sound, with the right amounts of thump and treble. The loudspeaker is pretty loud as well.
The 701 is a quad-band GSM phone and connectivity options include Wi-Fi b/g/n and 3G with HSDPA at 14.4 Mbps and HSUPA at 5.76 Mbps. There’s Bluetooth 3.0 and USB on-the-go as well. The FM transmitter app is a nice feature to have. No more searching for connecting cables to play music in your car stereo. The Web browser is pretty good and allows tabbed browsing as well. There’s an option to find specific words as well via the settings sub menu.
The battery department has always been the strength of Symbian devices, and this one is no exception. Its 1300 mAh battery can keep the phone running for almost two days without a charge – a godsend for frequent travellers.
The Nokia 701 Specification
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Penta-band 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
- Slim alloy body
- 3.5″ 16M-color nHD ClearBlack TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen; 1,000 nits of brightness
- 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash and video-call camera; geotagging, face detection, smart zoom in video
- 720p video @ 30fps recording, stereo sound
- Symbian Belle OS
- 1GHz CPU and 512 MB RAM
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- 8GB of inbuilt storage, microSD expandable
- Active noise cancellation via a dedicated mic
- DivX, XviD, H.264 video support
- Good audio quality
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS, FM transmitter
- microUSB port with USB On-the-go support
- Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
- GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation; Digital compass
- Flash Lite support in the web browser
- Smart dialing and voice commands
- NFC support
- Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
- TV-out functionality (SD)
Nokia 701 smartphone is meant for the multimedia frenzy folks who wish to make the best of their handset without having to wrap their heads around operating system or hackery. This smartphone is meant for serious travelers who wish for a mobile with promising battery life and compelling features. Packed with metallic finish, by looks the Nokia 701 does look chic and premium.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the camera lacking autofocus may be a problem for some, but besides that, it’s just fine. For those obsessed with specs, there’s NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, voice activated commands (now that Siri has got everyone excited), an FM transmitter and 8 GB of internal storage.
- The most easily readable in sunlight mobile display
- Symbian Belle is the most visually pleasing and easy to use Symbian to date
- The default browser needs its rendering engine and plugin support improved
- Fixed-focus camera can’t do macro shots