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Nokia N79

 Nokia N79 Discontinued
26th August 2008

Nokia's smallest N-Series handset to date, the Nokia N79 just squeezes underneath the magic 100 gram threshold while still packing in the sort of features that you would expect to find in a much, much bigger handset.

Perhaps best thought as a more compact descendant of the original Nokia N95 that is designed to follow on from the N72 and N73, the N79 has a 5 megapixel camera with twin LED flash, autofocus and Carl Zeiss optics, GPS and A-GPS support, HSDPA high-speed data, WiFi, a comprehensive multimedia player, FM radio, FM transmitter and microSD expandable memory (with 4GB included in the standard sales package). The N79 is a Symbian S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 smartphone.

As with most N-Series phones, there's a lot to look at, perhaps the camera is an obvious starting point. As we have said many times before, it isn't just about the megapixel count - the quality of the lens is also very important. The Nokia N79 comes with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens which should ensure high-quality stills photos. Video capture capabilities are also good as the N79 is capable of recording 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second. There's more to it than that though, as the N79 is one of a small number of devices that supports geotagging (i.e. adding GPS location data to the photograph), and you can upload videos directly to the web via Ovi or another suitable service.

 Nokia N79 The Nokia N79 supports GPS and A-GPS and will come with a three month subscription to Nokia's turn-by-turn navigation application, although many people will want to install Google Maps instead. Nokia also provide city guide packages at a price.

Multimedia support is pretty good, as you would expect. MP3, AAC, MPEG4 and WMV media types are supported alongside many others. The inclusion of an FM radio is pretty common, but the N79 also has an FM transmitter so that you can easily play back through a car audio system without worrying about cables (if it is legal to do so in your country). Another useful addition is a standard 3.5mm audio socket for connecting headphones. Nokia have gone to some lengths to promote Nokia's own music store and multimedia services, but many carriers may substitute their own services instead.

This is a quad-band GSM phone with dual band 900 / 2100 MHz UMTS plus HSDPA support. 802.11 b and g WiFi support is included, and the N79 also supports USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.0.

One slight design compromise is the display - it's a fairly standard 2.4" 240 x 320 pixel panel in 16 million colours rather than the larger style of display found on some top-end N-Series handsets. The orientation changes automatically from wide to tall formats using a built-in sensor. Also, the navigation pad on the front of the N79 doubles as a "NaviWheel". The flat keypad may not be to everyone's taste though - we tend to prefer proper buttons, but this would add to the size and weight of the device. One unusual feature is that the standard sales package includes three different Xpress-on covers which are complemented by matching themes in the N79's software.

The 1200 mAh battery provides up to 3.5 hours talktime on 3G, 5 hours on GSM. Maximum standby time is just under 17 days with up to 24 hours of music playback in offline mode. Overall, the Nokia N79 measures 110 x 49 x 15mm and weighs 97 grams.

So, if you've been put off by the large size of previous N-Series devices then the N79 is certainly worth considering - it makes few compromises when it comes to specification, and yet is still just the same size as a typical mobile phone. Nokia say that the N79 should be available during October 2008 for around €350 (about £280 / $530) before tax and subsidy.

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Nokia N79 at a glance


Q3 2008


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 2100




240 x 320 pixels, 16m colours


5 megapixels


Medium monoblock
110 x 49 x 15mm / 97 grams



Memory card:









Yes, A-GPS

Battery life:

3.5 hours talk / 17 days standby (3G)


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