Nokia 701: The Belle smartphone

Smartphones (15-30k): Dell Venue, LG Optimus Black P970, Nokia 701

NFC on Smartphones: Is it Really that Big a Deal?

BlackBerry Curve 9380

i5

Best Consumer Gadgets of 2012

Looking similar to C7, the new Nokia 701 has most of the features of C7, and a much needed software update, Belle. Carved in metal with a compact and solid feel, this elegant looking phone has an extra-bright 3.5 inch capacitive touch display with Gorilla glass. The 8MP camera is placed on the back with some altered arrangements, such as you don't have to take out the battery to replace a SIM card, as it is positioned above it. The front has VGA camera for video calling facility.

With clear black display, use it under brightest of lights

Moving onto the UI and the classy display, we found six displays that we easily flipped though. Response is quick, with bright and big icons. This is primarily because of the new Symbian Belle OS. With a resolution of 360x640, it is as good under sunlight. The touchscreen boasts of a full-fledged keypad with fast typing experience with hardly any mistyping. The display is available in landscape as well as standing mode, both assuming their position the moment you rotate the device.

Snapshot

Price: Rs 19,000 (one year warranty)
Key Specs:WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, 8GB in-built memory, expandable upto 32GB, 512 MB RAM, 1 GHz processor, 8MP camera with fixed focus, 720p at 30fps, VGA front camera, 1300mAh battery, Symbian Belle OS
Pros: New OS, NFC, good display, camera, build, battery, fast UI
Cons: None
Write: pcquest@cybermedia.co.in with name of product in subject, for more info.

Symbian Anna users can get Belle OS update for free

Belle OS comes with new widgets, useful business apps and highly integrated NFC technology. Those using Symbian Anna can update to Belle for free. In Belle, the number of home screens has increased from 3 to 6, giving instant access to all your apps. Belle is faster than its predecessor with better processor and 512MB RAM. You can add any number of widgets, such as email, video player or calendar on the screen. Other improvements in Belle include a different looking navigation and options bar.

NFC is better than bluetooth

701 will be known for its features and value, but what makes it a real deal is the NFC technology, a short-range wireless communication protocol that works within a range of 20 cms, preventing any unauthorized communication. It scores over various shortcomings of Bluetooth such as high power consumption and security. All you have to do is tap your 701 with another NFC enabled phone and you can instantly share your pics, videos and apps. You can also tap to play multiplayer games or connect with NFC headsets with a tap. But, why should one use NFC when there is Bluetooth? That is because, NFC doesn't require pairing to connect with other device and consumes little power, so won't drain your battery like Bluetooth.

8 MP camera with 720p recording

701 has a fixed focus camera and records 720p HD video at 30fps. The quality is good under all lighting conditions. The device is integrated with social media apps, such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. Nokia Maps offers seamless navigation with an integrated lonely planet app. The 3.5 mm also serves as TV-out for watching recorded videos. Browsing and page rendering is easy and fast. Call quality as well as the speaker sound is prolific. 701 is furnished with FM, audio and video player, besides boasting of a photo editor, video editor, Ovi sync, CNN video, Nat Geo app and Quick Office with Adobe Reader.

Bottomline: 701 comes with a reliable 1300mAh battery, keeping up for 1-2 days at the least. It is a great device with better RAM and processor than its predecessor Nokia C7, which also lacked the clear black display. Overall, a great comeback smartphone from Nokia with answers to all the previous inadequacies, at an attractive price.

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