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Nokia N79 review

Nokia N79 review
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Retail Price: RM 1,025
AP Price: RM 835 - 850
Nokia N79 is a candybar phone which features 5 megapixel camera, TFT 16 million colors, WiFi, Bluetooth, Media player, MicroSD expansion slot, GPS and running on Symbian OS with S60 3rd Edition UI.
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Review On : Nokia N79

Review by STEFAN NAIDU

Despite Nokia’s recent “dual-slide” Design trend, it has still been ­dedicated to producing quality ­candybar phones.

This particular model surprised me in ways no candybar had for a long time. It is different in ways both large and subtle.

Bright white

The first thing you will notice about the N79 is the white frontal outline. I found this to be a very aesthetically pleasing Feature as it reflects light more gently than silver or black outlines.

BRILLIANT: The dual-LED flash is magnificently bright and the picture and video quality is excellent.

The keypad comprises of all-flat depressed buttons save for four rice-like keys and the N-series trademark silver media button.

The navigation wheel is more squarish but performs both the wheel and cursor functions very effectively depending on the context of usage.

In the middle of the navgiation wheel there is a sufficiently large “execute” button which seems to massage the tips of your fingers.

The rice-like keys take some getting used to though, especially if you have nails that are anything but short.

From time to time, I did slide off the limited surface area to accidentally push a flat key next to it, which was a little annoying at first.

My favourite part of the design is the sliding lock/unlock button at the top of the phone.

It makes locking and unlocking so more quicker and easier with just one swift move required. You do not see this feature often outside of slider phones.

Cover story

When you first open the box, you will see two extra covers of different colours next to the phone which will certainly come in handy.

There is a nice surprise waiting for you when you decide to change your cover.

What I mean by this is that all the covers provided have a built-in chip that, when clasped on, will change the wallpaper colour of the home screen to match the colour of the cover. I personally thought this was quite cool.

Also, the Camera has a sliding cover which protects the camera while closed and turns on the camera when slid open.

This is quite a practical feature but I do feel that the cover is too easy to slide open.

I have accidentally activated the camera on many occasions when pulling the phone out of my pocket.

Down to business

Having used a few N-series models in the past, I was quite impressed with this ­particular model’s fast response time.

Also, it did not hang on me at all which was a nice change.

With updates to its firmware, Nokia has improved the user-friendliness of its GPS application significantly.

It is quick, easy to use and the maps are very accurate. It is good if you are looking for landmarks and other major places.

where it is lacking is the specific searches especially when it comes to the lesser-known places of interest.

In that situation, it will probably never replace a standalone GPS system.

To be fair, according to Nokia, it is in the early stages of a new map system and will have more detailed map updates and features in the future.

In any case it is hard to use while driving, at least, hard to use safely and without arousing the suspicion of the authorities.

Web browsing is also really fun on this model, mainly because of the well designed navigation wheel.

Also, this model has a tilt sensor which changes the screen view to landscape mode when tilted to its side.

It is great for Internet surfing but an ­inconvenience otherwise (sometimes it tilts while placed flat on the table).

Media matters

The camera on the N79 is really good. The focus time is about one second and the dual-LED flash is magnificently bright.

The picture and video quality is excellent with very few pictures coming out blurry or dark.

Nokia provides a USB cable so you can upload your media to your PC. Four gigabyte of memory is not considered massive these days but it is more than enough if you are consistent in uploading your content.

For music lovers such as myself, 4GB is not a world of space.

The speakers on this model are decent. It is much more enjoyable, however, to listen to music using the earphones/handsfree set provided.

I had a little trouble with transferring the music. The manual says to use Windows Media Player 11 but that does not really work so well since some of my synchronised files went missing in the phone.

What the booklet does not tell you is that you can actually use Nokia Music to sync the files. Even with Nokia Music, it took a few tries before all my music was where it should be.

N-gage me

I must say, getting a free activation code for LucasArt’s mobile version of Star Wars: Force Unleashed was really great.

I think it is the first mobile game I got really engrossed in and was impressed with the detail of the graphics and the complexity of the gameplay.

I am generally not much of a mobile gamer but I found this particular game to be ­challenging and very entertaining.

Conclusion

I have to admit this phone really impressed me. It is elegantly designed and its features are mostly top of the line.

Its price tag is significantly lower than many of its N-series counterparts and it has almost all the same features, albeit reduced in some areas.

Pros: Stylish design; good response time; excellent camera features; cool covers; fun games.

Cons: Rice-like keys are difficult to use; loose camera cover; limited memory; file ­synchronisation is troublesome.


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