Friday, March 09, 2007

Let me get this straight - I am NOT a cellphone person. I don't care if what I have is one of the oldest colored Nokia phones in the market. It doesn't matter to me. I have long graduated from the shallowness of being in the know of what the latest mobile phone there is. I just need the basic essentials - calling and texting. My phone doesn't even have bluetooth connection or a camera. No complaints since my line and phone unit is free and company-owned. So, who cares? I often drop them anyway.

Yeah, I don't care about phones BUT I care about being "connected" all the time. Since I will have drastic changes three months from now...I decided to go to my nearest Smart Wireless Center and apply for a new mobile line last Saturday. It was uneventful. I gave the requirements, chose a mid-range subscription plan, and filled some forms. The Smart Sales guy told me that the line will be activated 3 days after. He also told me to choose a phone that goes with the plan. I was stumped. I wanted a Treo 680 since it came out early this year. They don't have it (plus I might have to add lotsa moolah to get it). So after a bit of pondering, I decided on the Nokia N70.

The Nokia N70 is the el cheapo among the Nseries phones but (again) I don't care. It's definitely a giant leap from the phone that I am currently using. I told the guy that I want the silver one since I have "black everything" in my life. He told me that the newer black Nokia N70 Music Edition is way better since it has excellent music capabilities with 1GB of memory card to boot. I insisted and said that I prefer the silver Nokia N70 original. I am not a fan of "multitasking" gadgets. My mantra - if you want a cellphone (get a cellphone that can text and call), if you want a camera (get a Canon IXUS 60) and if you want a music player (get an iPod). My point? A Nokia is a great cellphone maker but don't expect to get great cameras and music players from them. Same goes for Canon and Apple. It just doesn't feel right.

To make my long story short. I got the Nokia N70 Music Edition. Not because I was swayed by the ads and the music feature it has but because Smart doesn't have the N70 original units anymore. So I now have a black phone (much to my dismay) to match my kick-ass black PC set-up at home and my black iPod Video.

Even if I don't care, I am still excited about the new phone. But since its been a while since I had a new high-tech phone (last was my SE K700i which was provided by my ex-company) I was quite clueless on how to operate my new one. When my officemate, Ros, asked me the features, I shrugged and said that it's just like any other Nokia phone in the market.

Since this is supposed to be a review I will stop blabbering and start sharing what I can say about my new phone and some of its features:

3G and all that crap
Yes. This is definitely the best feature of the Nseries phones. It does live up to its hype (well, so far). Its main selling point is the video calling and streaming capabilities; but what I love about it is the built-in modem and the over-the-air (OTA) connection it can do. I tried it tonight and the speed is 460.8 kbps, which is not so bad. It's definitely better than dial-up and the PLDT WeRoam via aircard that our company provides. It's not broadband but they call it High Speed Internet – which is the closest we can have without subscribing to DSL and broadband. The connection is also just a click away and hassle-free. They even call it "One Touch Access".


The images and resolution is quite passable as what can be expected from a camera of a phone. It boasts of 2 megapixels but you can still see grainy lines when you upload it in the computer.

Music Player and Sounds
The 1GB memory card is one of the neat things about the phone. It claims that 700 songs can fit the card based on a 3-minute number. I tried the earphones and its quite okay – a notch lower than iPod’s bundled plugs. I have only transferred around less than a dozen songs for fear of overloading and slowing down the Symbian OS. The "loudspeaker" version of the songs’ quality is crappy - but this is coming from an iPod person who believes that 192kbps bit rates is the least acceptable in ripping and downloading CDs and songs. The Nokia Music Manager software can also be a drag if you are already maintaining other music libraries and transfer softwares like iTunes and Windows Media Player. If you want built-in players in cellphones...better choose a Sony. I heard that Sony Ericson's phones are the best in music quality since it adapted the olden but newly-updated Walkman technology.

Nokia PC Suite
I love it! The menu is user-friendly and transferring and matching the contents of your PC and phone is a breeze. You can edit/delete/add anything on your phone through the software. You can even send and accept SMS through it. The USB cable that comes in the box is also bloody brilliant. Other Nokias of before sold them separately.

So...basically...that’s it. It's an okay phone that can primarily make calls and send messages. The 3G capabilities is just the bonus. Smart Communications also offers the 3G connection el cheapo – they only charge Php10.00 flat rate for 30 minutes of surfing and data transfer. The other company still charges on per kilobyte download.

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