Looking at the older Nokia C7 and the Nokia 701, there is no difference on the outside. They share the same sleek, well-built hardware that gets your attention from the word go.
In this review, I won’t be doing a full, detailed review. Rather, i will be focusing on what stands the 701 out in the market today.
Of all the recent Symbian devices that Nokia has released, the 701 is the sleekest, well-built bloke on the block. It has a very solid feel to it too – like it was made of some premium materials. It is not N9-sleek, but it sure looks and feels good.
The ClearBlack display rocks – and at 3.5-inch, the device is compact.
The Belle User Interface
The Nokia Belle user interface on the 701 is a breath of fresh air and a departure from the traditional Symbian user experience.
You can add up to six (6) home screens. Scrolling between them is smooth and instantanous too. A different wallpaper can be applied to each of the home screens and widgets of different sizes are now available.
There is a system-wide notification menu that can be pulled down to reveal controls to turn on/off Mobile Data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Silent mode.
New messages notifications, quick access to Music player controls (when playing music) and access to mobile data usage details are also available from the pull-down menu.
In any menu, at the bottom of the display is a persistent back key, a search button and menu button. The main menu is flat, but the option to create folders or re-arrange icons can be accessed via the menu button. Icons can also be moved about by holding down and dragging. Nice to give users multiple options of customizing the interface to their taste.
I love my music. Scratch that. I mean, I have an ear for audio, so when I listen to music, i want to hear every beat, jingle and reed in the best quality possible. This means that I love the Nokia 701, because its audio reproduction quality is one of the best I have seen yet. It beats the E7, the N9, and the Samsung Galaxy S II hands down.
The speakers on this baby are really good. I wish I had an N8 around to compare with.
Speaking of the N8, the Nokia 701 is the phone to get if you want a Nokia smartphone but can’t be bothered about a 12 megapixel camera. You see, its got everything the N8 has – and more:
– a better processor (1GHz, as against the N8’s 680 MHz)
– same 3.5″ display size, but ClearBlack added
– Nokia Belle
– 512 MB RAM (against the N8’s 256MB)
– FM transmitter (same as on the N8)
– bigger, removable battery (yaaaay!)
– microSD card slot (same as on the N8)
– its got TV-out and USB On-the-go support too
However, its got only 8GB mass storage, compared to the N8’s 16GB. Then there’s that 8 megapixel full-focus camera.
The full-focus camera means that you can forget about close-up shots, but it really is good for regular shots. Colour rendering is good, but details are terrible for close-ups.
Dual-LED flash means that you can manage some dark and night scenes. Certainly not all.
However, the 701 is superb for video recording.
The Nokia 701 is what the N8 should have been, minus the camera. It is sleek, functional and modern in every way. If this had hit the market a year ago, things would have been different today.
But all that is history. Still, if you love the functionality of the old Symbian and want it with a nice user interface, you cannot go wrong with the Nokia 701. And costing only N53,000, it is a steal.
The app ecosystem is not as robust as what obtains on Android or iOS, but most of the apps that you need are available anyway. At the end of the day, its your decision.
Ladies and gentlemen, the phone that the N8 could have been?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.