MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
- Widescreen display, MMC slot, a raft multimedia options
- Size, no Wi-Fi, slow OS
The Nokia 7710 will appeal to the multimedia buffs, but if you intend on making a lot of calls, this heavy unit might not be for you.
Price$ 969.00 (AUD)
The Nokia 7710 widescreen smartphone is certainly one of the most innovative PDA-phones we've seen. It includes a 1 megapixel camera, FM radio, Bluetooth, Web browsing, email and organiser functions. However, at 189 grams and measuring 128 x 69.5 x 19mm, don't harbour any illusions about carrying the 7710 in a pocket; we found it difficult enough to carry around in one hand.
Using all the non-phone functions of the 7710 involves holding it horizontally, much like a portable game console, and entering data using the supplied stylus and buttons on the front. To make a call, you rotate the 7710 vertically and use the dedicated call start and end buttons on the top of unit. But no matter how hard we tried, using this device as a phone just didn't feel comfortable. Other PDA phones, such as the Palm Treo 650, are ergonomically designed to look and feel like regular phones, but using the Nokia 7710 feels rather like holding a brick to your ear.
The main beneficiaries of the large size of this unit will be multimedia fans, who will delight at the 65,536-colour, 640 x 320 pixel display. It's not the clearest display we have seen, and it does have a slight off-white tinge, but its large size doesn't make the content feel cramped. This makes functions such as editing documents, watching videos or browsing the Web much more pleasant. Running the Symbian 90 operating system, the 7710 displays a bewildering array of menu options on startup. We can't help but feel that Nokia could have organised these menu options much more logically, rather than simply dumping every available option on the main menu. The Nokia could have also used a more powerful processor, as this unit is noticeably slow when opening or closing applications.
The sheer variety of options on the 7710 is impressive. The usual organiser functions are included, as well as support for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The handwriting recognition makes many of its competitors look bad. Whenever you click on a text field, a small popup window is displayed where characters are written. We found this recognised nearly all of our writing without any problems, and for those who prefer it, a mini-keyboard is available for input as well.
For the snap happy, a 1 megapixel camera is provided as well as video capture, but we weren't too excited by the quality of photos or the video resolution. The 7710 includes 90MB of memory, and an MMC slot is also provided, where memory cards up to 1GB can be added. Cards can be hot-swapped.
Other multimedia features include a photo editor, MP3 player, RealPlayer for video clips, Web access and an FM radio tuner. Sound is played out of two speakers, one on the right of the device (which is also used for making calls) and one on the back. The resulting sound quality is average.
With changes like a processor upgrade, more ergonomic design and the inclusion of Wi-Fi, Nokia could be onto a real winner.
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