new Nokia 7600 doesn't look much like a traditional
handset on the outside, and doesn't really act like
a traditional handset on the inside either.
The first thing to notice on the Nokia 7600 is the
unusual format. Nokia have tried to break away from
the traditional rectangular look to come up with something
very different, making the 7600 roughly square in shape,
measuring 87x78x19mm, somewhat smaller in footprint
than a 3.5 inch floppy disk. This makes the Nokia 7600
an interesting "shirt pocket" format, although
at 123 grams it's about 25% heavier than, say, the Nokia
7250i and about the same as the Nokia 6800.
keys on the Nokia 7600 are arranged on either side
of a 128x160 pixel 65,000 colour display, making it
easy to use the buttons while grasping the phone. The
display is interesting in itself, as it is 25% larger
than that on most standard current Nokia models. This
format is new to Nokia, but the rival Siemens SX1 offers
a similar keypad arrangement on a more conventional
looking handset. Both handsets are available at roughly
the same time.
From a technical perspective, the Nokia 7600 is pretty
interesting too. It can be used on both standard GSM
networks and also 3G networks. Unlike many 3G phones,
the Nokia 7600 isn't crippled while on a GSM network,
it's basically just slower, although GPRS support on
GSM means that the data rate is up to a fairly speedy 57.6kbps.
Take a look at the back of the Nokia 7600 and you'll
see the now common digital camera lens poking out at
you. This is a 640x480 pixel resolution camera (i.e.
VGA resolution), making it fairly good for small snapshots.
It can also capture video sequences. Although Nokia
are pushing the 7600 for its picture capabilities, it's
not as good as the camera on the Sharp GX20 (which is
also 640x480 but has a macro lens and a flash). 29Mb
of memory leaves plenty of space for pictures.
Nokia 7600 plays MP3s too, but the 29Mb of memory presents
a problem here. A general rule of thumb is that an entire
CD fits onto about 64Mb if encoded as a high-quality
MP3, so the 29Mb will fit less than half a CD, or else
the quality has to be dropped down to cope. The Nokia
7700 makes a much more attractive device for audio
Other features include polyphonic ring tones, voice
dialling, infra-red, Bluetooth and USB connectivity,
voice recorder, email, MMS and Java application support.
A potential weak area with the Nokia 7600 is battery
life. With the standard battery, the talktime on a 3G
network is between 1.8 to 2.9 hours, on GSM 3 to 4 hours,
so this phone is mainly aimed at the occasional user
rather than someone who is using their mobile all day.
Standby time is a more respectable 7 to 12 days.
All-in-all, the Nokia 7600 is an innovative package
including many features not commonly seen before. The
unusual physical format and attractive looks will appeal
to many, the good technical specification to others.
Maybe the Nokia 7600 isn't the groundbreaking phone
that Nokia would like to suggest, but it will certainly
influence the next generation of mobiles.
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