Nokia 7710 Review
Review by Jah - 10 January 2005
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This is a review of the Nokia 7710 and is based on a retail unit as sold by Nokia Asia (manufactured in 2004). The system information for this unit indicates that the firmware version is 02.08.1, dated 08-12-04, and the unit type is RM-12.
The Nokia 7710 is available in a number of colour schemes, including the white/silver scheme of this unit. The retail package includes:
- The 7710 device
- USB synchronization cable
- 128 MB MMC (pre-formatted)
- Stereo headphone/hands free/antenna unit (Nokia HS-3)
- Leather case (not a belt pouch) and screen cleaning cloth
- Spare stylus
- 1300 mAh Lithium-Ion battery (same model as for the Nokia 9500)
- CD with PC Suite (version 6.4.8)
- User Manual
- Plastic stand for the 7710
The device itself is sturdy and well built (there are no squeaks from loose casing/parts). The case appears to be made of good quality plastics. The design of the unit means that it needs be held in the horizontal plane (unlike the vertical tablet design of the Sony Ericsson (SE) Pxxx range and other UIQ devices); it is not too large therefore it can be held comfortably. The buttons, in general provide good feedback and the 5 way scroll key is accurate in use. As with many small devices removing the back cover can be a challenge, and this is true for the 7710 (you need to press a clip on the top of the unit, above the Nokia logo, and then ease off each side of the cover from the main case). Insertion of the SIM card requires the battery to be removed but the MMC is accessible once the back cover is removed. But please note, if you remove the back cover while the unit is switched on you are warned the system could suffer loss of data.
The 7710 has five buttons and one scroll key/joy stick control on the front of the unit:
- On the left hand side there are two buttons, in addition to the 5 way scroll key; these (from top to bottom) are for displaying the menu options associated with an application and the other button is for switching from the current application back to the main desktop; the desktop being a combination of a shortcuts for application and an area for quickly accessing other objects such as pictures and documents. The functions for these buttons are fixed across all screens/applications. The scroll key, as usual, is for navigating up/down and left/right for items/menus and the centre button is used to make a selection (alternatively selections can be made with the stylus on the touch sensitive screen).
- On the right hand side there are three buttons; these are (from top to bottom) for activating the three levels of zoom, switching views within an application and the third key acts like an "Esc" key. These last two buttons can be customised for a specific application.
At the top of unit there are keys for initiating/receiving a call and for ending a call. There is also an additional key which can be used to switch-on the speaker during a call, stop/end recording of voice notes and initiate voice dialling.
The power on/off switch is on the right hand side of the unit. And the Pop Port connector and power are at the bottom of the unit (left hand side). The stylus and stylus silo are on the bottom right hand side.
This device does not support Infrared, unlike the Nokia 9500 and SE P910.
On the back of unit, there is a 1 mega pixel camera and a single speaker.
When the battery is inserted and the unit is switched-on, it takes about 50 seconds for the unit to boot ("cold" boot) and about 10 seconds to switch back on when the battery has not been removed ("warm" boot).
When the 7710 is in its case, which does provide good protection, all the key functions, ports, speaker, camera, ear piece and the stylus are accessible. When not in the case the unit can be used with the desk stand. However, this desk stand is not a docking station, like the one sold with the Nokia 9500/9300, and therefore it is difficult to seat the device correctly when the USB synchronisation cable is attached.
Summary of Device Features:
Nokia have packaged (form factor, hardware design and User Interface (UI)) this unit as a multimedia/entertainment device. Therefore it has features such as a one mega pixel camera, one hour camcorder recording, large touch screen (with 640x320 resolution), Visual Radio and the ability to view complete web pages (with the layout preserved) using the Opera browser without the need to scroll horizontally. The speaker is of very good quality, but a device like the Motorola A1000 (which is also an entertainment device) manages stereo reproduction as it has two speakers. Also given that it is a multimedia/entertainment device it is surprising no games are packaged in the firmware or on the CD.
Given that all interaction with the device needs to be performed using a mixture of button and screen inputs/selections, the overall placement of the controls and responsiveness of the UI makes this device very easy and a joy to use.
Also unlike some other Symbian OS devices based on UIQ, with the 7710, when you switch back to an application it remains in the same state as before you moved to the other application. Some other particularly positive features of this unit are a global Find application (which can search the device memory and the MMC) and an alarm function (which is part of the Clock application).
In addition to the multimedia features, the 7710 also supports PIM functions (calendar, to do lists, contacts), messaging (email, SMS, MMS) and document editing (Microsoft compatible Word processor and spreadsheet) and viewing (PowerPoint 97 and later versions). Applications, such as Sheet, can be used in full screen mode, which provides the ability to view a lot of data.
In summary, users of other business centric devices, such as the SE P910 and Nokia 9500, need to be aware of the following limitations of the current firmware of the 7710:
This device is also a mobile/cell phone. It performs well as a phone (i.e. good quality reception and transmission) and has all the standard features including vibrate alert (which is also available in the alarm function).
- There is no PDF viewer available, however a third-party solution may be available in the future
- The current version of Word and Sheet do not generate files that are compatible with security features of XP SP 2, therefore files generated/edited on the 7710 cannot be open by Microsoft Office applications (directly). Given this issue has been resolved on the Nokia 9500 with the latest firmware, a fix for he 7710 should also be available in the future
- It is not possible to synchronise Outlook Notes and Emails (again, third-party solutions may address this issues in the future)
- Finally, there is no support for Fax.
Regarding battery life, during the review period the unit was powered by a conditioned battery from a Nokia 9500. With brightness set at 50% the 7710 allowed standby for 40 hours, 20 minutes of phone calls, around 40 minutes of web browsing and probably around an hour of general use (including listening to MP3s and the Visual Radio). A higher brightness setting, as expected, impacts battery life.
As mentioned above, this is a touch screen device. The resolution of the screen is 640x320 pixels (65k colours), which is one of the highest available for a Smartphone, when this review was prepared. The screen itself is very high quality with good contrast and brightness (the latter can be adjusted from the Control Panel application). Also the UI widgets (screens, buttons, menus, etc) are displayed relatively quickly.
All data input is via three methods that make use of the touch screen:
- Resizable (two sizes) floating and semi transparent virtual keyboard (with selections for languages, alphabetic keys and numeric/special keys). The screen shot below shows the larger of the two keyboard sizes available; they are both very easy to use
- Hand writing. This input needs to be on a special window (again semi transparent) unlike the SE P910/900 where it is possible to scribe anywhere on either the lower or upper half of the screen, depending if numbers or letters are being input. Handwriting recognition supports all major languages.
- "Structured Data" selections, such as for times of the day (time can be entered free format using the virtual keyboard) using a selection of numbers where a clock icon is shown next to a time display/input and dates (which can be selected from a mini calendar display)
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