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Nokia 7610

17th March 2004

When Nokia announce a new addition to their 7000-series range of fashion phones, it's a little like seeing a proud parent showing off a new baby to friends and relatives. So, predictably Nokia are very pleased with their clever new 7610 camera phone with some of the most advanced features in any Nokia to date. Unfortunately they've not noticed that (to most people) the Nokia 7610 is pug ugly.

Clearly influenced by the Nokia 7600 3G/GSM phone, the 7610 features similar curves, but where the 7600 could carry the curves off due to it's almost square format, the 7610 looks unwieldy and unbalanced, with a hideously compromised keyboard layout that many will hate. The key layout is a mix of different sizes and shapes arranged in a confusing pattern. Nokia has a good reputation for well laid out handsets, but the Nokia 7610's keyboard is an ergonomic disaster.

If you can look beyond the 7610's looks though, it's clear that this is a highly capable phone. Firstly, there's a large 176x208 pixel display in 65,000 colours, making it one of the best screens available in any Nokia. Then there's a 1.0 megapixel camera with 4X digital zoom and low-light-level capability. The 7610 can take video clips of up to 10 minutes in addition to still photos, plus it comes with a rich set of media features such as RealPlayer audio and video playback and MP3 support. There's 8Mb of internal memory plus a 64Mb MMC card supplied as standard, and the 7610 can be upgraded even further. Connectivity to a PC is through USB cable or Bluetooth.

The 7610 is a tri-band phone in either a GSM 900/1800/1900 configuration in Europe or 850/1800/1900 for the US. It supports GPRS data of up to 40Kbps but sadly not EDGE data. When released (probably in late Q2) it will be around 330/500/$600 SIM Free, less with a contract.

It supports Java, MMS, POP3 and IMAP Email, has an XHTML web browser, instant messaging, voice dialling and several other useful features that mark the 7610 out as a very capable phone.

On the positive side, the Nokia 7610 is a better multimedia phone than the Nokia 6600, and it has a much better camera than the newly announced Sony Ericsson K700. However, megapixel phones will be pretty common soon and the 7610 is easily trounced in specification terms by the Sharp GX30.

However, in our view the technical cleverness and neat features are utterly spoiled by the terrible design. We believe that many people will be put off by the looks and poor keypad arrangement and will miss out on what is actually a pretty good phone.

If Nokia had done their usual stylish, ergonomic packaging then this would be top of the class. As it is, it shows a triumph of styling over function - a perfectly good way to ruin a perfectly good phone.

 Nokia 7610

 Nokia 7610 keypad

 Nokia 7610 back




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Nokia 7610 Specifications


Q2 2004


Tri-band GSM




176x208 pixels, 65,000 colours


1.0 megapixels (1152x864 pixels), 4x digital zoom


Standard candy-bar format
109x53x19 mm / 118 grams









Battery life:

3 hours / 10 days standby


Symbian Series 60

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