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Nokia 701 Review

Nokia 701 7

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Interface and Functionality:

Compared with previous versions of Symbian for touchscreens, even with Anna, Symbian Belle feels fast, and we are talking a very notable difference. Browsing is faster, swiping and scrolling around the interface feels smooth, while installing apps is also much quicker. There is still a noticeable delay while launching some heavy apps, though.

This zippy performance has something to do with the fact that Belle's code has been optimized for speed with loads of clutter taken out – Nokia claims it has 70% less code than the older versions. Also, we have improved hardware with the 1GHz processor inside the Nokia 701 plus 512MB RAM - this combo is a first for Symbian handsets.

Moreover, for the first time in quite a long period, we were actually enjoying the user interface on a touchscreen Nokia handset. Symbian Belle takes cues from the other popular mobile platforms with its multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers and the ability to place shortcuts on them. There are also widgets with various sizes, and a neat and swift pull-down notification bar with connectivity switches. The initial choice of widgets isn’t very rich, but the basics are covered, the visuals modernized, and some more can be downloaded from Ovi Store. When we add the characteristic landscape mode in Symbian, which works throughout the whole interface and the native apps, things are starting to look even more polished.

Symbian Belle has multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers - Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Symbian Belle has multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers - Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Symbian Belle has multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers - Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Symbian Belle has multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers - Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review

Symbian Belle has multiple homescreens with individual wallpapers

Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review
Adding widgets - Nokia 701 Review

Adding widgets

While not as versatile as Android, for example, Belle holds its own with the contextual navigational buttons at the bottom of the screen, which are like taken directly from MeeGo-Harmattan on the Nokia N9. There is usually a back, search and context menu button handy on the bottom strip, but they can also change according to the app you are in, like adding a paper clip button for attachments in the email or messaging app.

The context menu options have been reduced, but still present too many redundant choices for the uninitiated. Do we need the “help” option everywhere telling us common sense stuff, for example? The main menu, on the other hand, is now just a scrollable list of fat, easy to press rounded icons, instead of apps distributed amongst arguably decided folders and subfolders like the mess it was before.

The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review
The main menu - Nokia 701 Review

The main menu

It’s a bit inconvenient that you first have to create a folder in the main menu, in order to add it to a homescreen afterwards, instead of directly making one on the homescreen. Also, rearranging the icons is a tad cumbersome since you have to specifically choose “Arrange” from the context menu options instead of just tap, hold and move around like on the homescreens. The search icon on the strip at the bottom of the screen, however, comes handy when you are looking for an app in the long list.

Digging further into Belle, we find that some of the native apps have been updated, too, and for the better. The basics, like Contacts and Calendar have seen the interface rearranged for easier access to options, and some small details are taken good care of, like the abundance of contact detail options (including a personal assistant number, for example) receiving more compact font so much more of them can fit on one screen now. The browser and camera interfaces have been retouched as well, but more about that in the respective sections.

The Contacts app of Nokia 701 - Nokia 701 Review
The Contacts app of Nokia 701 - Nokia 701 Review
The Contacts app of Nokia 701 - Nokia 701 Review
The Contacts app of Nokia 701 - Nokia 701 Review

The Contacts app of Nokia 701

Calendar - Nokia 701 Review
Calendar - Nokia 701 Review


In short, Symbian Belle is the best and closest to Android and iOS effort on Nokia’s part for a touchscreen OS. This is an interface that is pleasant and suitable for everyday usage like nothing that the Finns have done before, and the few flaws left could be easily plugged in subsequent editions. Too bad iOS and Android are with a few hundred thousand apps, and a few hundred pixels of supported resolution ahead of Symbian, making it mission impossible to catch up, especially if your focus has shifted. Belle, however, is great news for people who currently own Symbian^3 devices, as the update should be hitting their handsets soon to breathe new life in their 2010 devices.

Messaging, Internet and Connectivity:

The virtual keyboard with split-screen appearance has stayed from Symbian Anna, which means fat, round and well-spaced letters, with the ease of use only limited by the screen size. The messaging app has made attaching various multimedia a breeze, thanks to the contextual navigational strip at the bottom, same with the email app, but they haven’t changed much other than that.

Virtual keyboard - Nokia 701 Review
Virtual keyboard - Nokia 701 Review

Virtual keyboard

The messaging app - Nokia 701 Review
The messaging app - Nokia 701 Review
The messaging app - Nokia 701 Review

The messaging app

The email app in Symbian Belle - Nokia 701 Review
The email app in Symbian Belle - Nokia 701 Review
The email app in Symbian Belle - Nokia 701 Review

The email app in Symbian Belle

Browsing on the 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device, thanks to the new interface and the significantly sped up hardware, which makes panning, scrolling and pinching smoother and, Nokia claims, 3x faster than before.

With that said, it’s still not much compared to iOS or Android. The rendering engine resorts to the checkered boxes more often than it should, pages with plugins get scrambled, especially with Adobe Flash, support of which is sorely missed. On 1GHz with dedicated 2D/3D graphics accelerator and 512MB of RAM it’s only a matter of will and a cooperation effort with Adobe to run it. In short – you can teach old dog new tricks, but don’t expect it to perform like a young puppy. One thing the browser does very well, though, and it is automatic text reflow for easier reading of articles.

Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review
Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device - Nokia 701 Review

Browsing on the Nokia 701 is the best experience you can have on a Nokia device

The Nokia 701 has a 14.4Mbps pentaband HSDPA radio, plus all the usual connectivity suspects, so you can use the phone on any GSM network with 3G speeds, including on T-Mobile USA. As on all touchscreen Symbian handsets of late you have the latest version of Nokia Maps to provide you with free offline voice-guided navigation worldwide, including the US, which recently added public transit and live traffic support in major countries, so you don’t need to splurge for navigational software.

The handset also offers an FM radio with RDS, and the Play via Radio FM transmitter app, which streams the sound to a radio station frequency of your choosing. Mass storage mode and USB-on-the-go for hooking up flash drives directly are also becoming standard for higher-end Nokias with Symbian, and are thus present on the 701. Since there is no HDMI or DLNA capabilities, your only option for video on a bigger screen is the composite TV-out via the audio jack.

What sets it apart in the connectivity department, though, is the embedded NFC chip with its own polished little app. Nokia has announced some grand plans for NFC functionality going into all of its future handsets, so it might not go to waste, especially if you have other new Nokias around to bump and quickly exchange files with, without pesky PIN codes like with Bluetooth. Mobile payments and using NFC as an access pass are taking off rather slowly, though, so ultimately it’s still a show-off-to-my-friends feature.

  • Options

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 04:32 2

1. Mercenary (unregistered)

I don't know why nokia keep in using fixed-focus cameras!

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 05:15 10

2. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)

It's actually an EDoF or full focus camera. Fix focus implies a fixed focal length. EDoF, on the other hand, gets everything in focus beyond 40cm from the lens. Hence the term FULL focus. Downside...no decent Macro. Upside...no focusing delays and excellent 720p 30fps video.

The EDoF technology also has no moving parts. The lens system is complex and each lens is non-symmetrical, requiring extra computer processing steps to merge 3 different "blurred" images into one final in-focus image. It's not cheap tech becasue the lenses themselves are highly engineered and costly to fabricate.

The vast majority who use this camera find it great for daytime/outdoor/action pics and video capture. It falls down with macro and low light conditions.

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 06:02 6

4. nokia 701 (unregistered)

good review phonearena , but why you not review nfc ???? this is unfair phonearena , anyways it is better than iphone4s

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 08:08 3

6. Anand Harikrishnan (unregistered)

Are you guys sure that this device has usb otg...?

posted on 06 Oct 2011, 02:02 4

16. hari120 (Posts: 21; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

yes all s^3 phone have it

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 08:36 1

7. oscar1 (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)

This will never make it to the USA

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 08:47 7

8. Ukrs (unregistered)

Just bought Nokia 701. Screen is simply amazing, i red, that it wil be bright in direct sunlight, but i couldn`t believe my eyes. Speed is fantastic, feels sturdy and very durable, and that screen, i just cant stop starring!!!! Great phone. And in the box i got NFC present from Nokia Store, NFC seems futuristic.

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 09:44 5

10. Ukrs (unregistered)

OMG, i just realised, that brightness was set "only" to 50%!!!!! :O

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 11:10

12. Babis (unregistered)

the videos at 720p are laggy but hope an update will be better
i have ordered mine to replace my c7 from play.com in UK and is out 28th october for a good deal for brand new at £280

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 11:30 1

13. RockyJ (unregistered)

I am wishing that one day, the Nokia management will wake up and switch their OS from Symbian to ANDROID if they want their phones to sell like "HOTCAKE", especially if they produced the camera lens from "fixed-focus" to "AUTOFOCUS". Fixed-focus lenses are useless in close-up shots and low-light condition.

posted on 10 Oct 2011, 18:54 5

21. krloz (unregistered)

i think that making nokia phones run android would be stupid cuz every other manufacturer is running android id rather have variaty than just one ecosystem you dont like simbyan then you have all other brands if u want android

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 11:33 2

14. haki.gr (unregistered)

Bought in yesterday ih Greece for 350 euros. Coming from many top Androids, I have to say that the screen, battery-life, earpiece loudness and signal holding abilities are amazing. The materials and its size and shape are also excellent! It is also very fast. Ovi has about fifty thousand apps and I think that I can live without the hundreds of thousands of the Android market. No need for apps for dialers, messaging etc! No need for an afternoon recharge either! I LIKE IT A LOT!

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 13:05 4

15. snowgator (Posts: 3586; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Makes me excited for WP on Nokia.

posted on 06 Oct 2011, 02:05 3

17. hari120 (Posts: 21; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

phone looks awesome

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 05:28 2

22. dileep (unregistered)

i also agree with u

posted on 06 Oct 2011, 20:19

18. i like it (unregistered)

i dont know if that's a common prob, the phone sometimes hangs and i even had to restart it once. Else the phone is good and i m one happy user.
Camera is good and the display really is the best .forget android, at this price range it's the best smartfon with superb perfrmance and functions.

posted on 09 Oct 2011, 05:01 1

19. Yavor (unregistered)

Did you forget to mention in the review that GSM talk time is 17 hours by specification? I do not think so. This cannot be compare to any android phone in the same class. For some people battery life is very important.
But this is normal for phone arena, because they do not make review of the battery life.

posted on 10 Oct 2011, 12:37 1

20. anubhav23456789 (unregistered)

i bought this phone and its blindingly fast. better than the optimus 2x and desire. and symbian is way way more stable than android or iOS. @winsaki234 this thing has the ability to beat all android phones under 25k. u check ur stats then post somthng.

posted on 15 Oct 2011, 03:43 1

23. papu (unregistered)

should i buy this phone..

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 07:25

24. Anand25692 (unregistered)

Hey guys, I am going to buy iPhone 4. But, I find this piece really cool. So, please suggest me that should I waste extra money of about $200 just to have an apple product?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:06

25. Narendra dewnani (unregistered)

Bought in india on 8/10/2011.Good camera-good video.BIG LET DOWN ITS SOUND.POOR SOUND-POOR RINGTONES.Hardly can hear it.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 14:53 2

26. sachinpuri (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


S30 >S40 >S60 > Symabian^3 > Symbian Anna > Symbian Belle .
About Symbian Belle - Its the most advance symbian OS { its the most stable OS }
*Active Noise Cancellation
*NFC for easy sharing and pairing
*3.5" LCD Capacitive touch display and Corning® Gorilla® Glass
*8 megapixel Camera with dual LED flash
*720p HD video capturing
*A-GPS with Nokia Maps


posted on 31 Oct 2011, 13:57 1

27. schanmouli (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Dear people
I am not a nokia Or android fan This is my opinion
I want to tell Something About Nokia
1.Battery Backup
2.Best in class
3.android Is only For 25 to 40% people in world
4.Service center All Around The World
5. we can change the music Or Radio in (headset it) not in android & (it is battery eater)
6.first Of All using basic Phone was nokia
7.Virus free Phone
And Then Main thing We Using Phone only. Not a Laptop or ipad For browsing in Phone. in android it self some Problem is coming and all the phone or not problem in android or symbian if u an know how to use it simple so just see the spec for Rs.16500 It was good

pls dont blame me this is my opinion Only Thx......

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 22:30 1

28. ataur (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)

if Nokia 701 had the camera of Nokia N8!

posted on 06 Nov 2011, 10:21

29. Ravi5 (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)

all my friend can tell me which display is good amoled or IPS LCD
i really get confused

my mail id is ravi.kale40@gmail.com

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 13:41

31. moonshot (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

I asked Nokia this and they sent this reply........

With regard to your concern, we understand that you want to know what is better the IPS-LCD with ClearBlack display on Nokia 701 or the AMOLED display on C7. Shown below are the differences.

-Adding Clear Black to IPS LCD helps solve previous issues of blacks not being dark enough (well, when compared to AMOLED at least)

-In general, AMOLED displays pop a little more due to higher saturation.

-Viewing angles are better on AMOLED, though IPS LCD not that far off in retaining colour and brightness at extreme angles. Not that this matters much as when the screen is so small, it’s rarely positioned anywhere except directly in front of your eyes.

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 13:38 1

30. moonshot (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

I have the nokia C7 and was thinking about upgrading to the 701, but you have scored it less than the C7, even though it has all the additional features. Why?

Now I'm not sure if i should go for the Sony xperia ray.

posted on 28 Nov 2011, 14:39 1

32. LordBonztie (Posts: 52; Member since: 14 Nov 2011)

experience it for yourself first dude before having 2nd thoughts.

posted on 30 Nov 2011, 12:46 2

34. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Because it is PA and if they don't see high NUMBERS in specs sheet, phone is crap.
Don't count on one review. Go to Nokia Care or Media Markt or whatever and check it for yourself...and read users comments.

posted on 30 Nov 2011, 12:42 1

33. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

another useless review.
Two, I would say silly cons and overall rating is 7?
Most android phones has worse camera and despite having flash user experience is not always awesome (it's mostly reserved for high end droids)

posted on 30 Nov 2011, 12:49 1

35. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

And of course they didn't mention in final words about pentaband which usage is still rare in a mobile phone realm.

posted on 30 Nov 2011, 12:59 2

36. jibraihimi (Posts: 763; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

Cmon Phonearena, stop being childish, just for having edof camera nd less apps on Nokia store, you are giving it 7 points, this phone deserves at least 8-9 points........ It's really vry nice phone, bought it for Rs. 16,500 in India about 25 days ago and since then I'm really enjoying it, it feels good to return back to symbian after more than one yr............. Nd PA dnt cry for the apps, all the essential apps are available on Nokia store or is covered in the phone, quantity is just sum f******g numbers, have you installed or are u using all the 500,000 apps available on the app store or 350,000 apps available on the android store.........???? Overall this phone is really vry good; better than most of the laggy nd cheap build other phones available in the Market in the price range of 701............ So PA plzzz also consider the smooth performance of the OS nd the better build quality in the next reviews........

posted on 06 Dec 2011, 03:00

37. jehangirbhat (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)

the phone is good but the sound quality could have been better

posted on 06 Dec 2011, 14:17 1

38. drab96 (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)

hi pa, i ve been a proud user of nokia E71 for 2 good yrs without any problem. the only constraint i feel is its a bit slow processor and low sound on ringtones and music too. am wishing to update myself to a new one . read more about nokia 701 in the reviews. i wish some nokia 701 users to comment on the problems which i ve quoted in my E 71 with respect to 701 plss,,,,,

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 00:33

39. winnican (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Dear friends ,
Thanks for all friends answered me,NOW I AM CONFUSED TOTALY.

I like the system of nokia and SW, HW. but now what to do with nokia if will not support me with suitable APP.( but the main one app I want to do video chat with other systems like android and iphone user )
And fring untel now Fring doesn't support nokia 701, Also I can do fring video chat with other nokia user like e52 only not with android or iphone (it will be voice only ).

SO,What is the phone I can get instead of nokia 701 in the same price arround ?

May be 1-Samsung Galaxy W i8150 ( It's new )
2-SE Xperia neo
3-SE xperia Neo V ( but I read camera is not good as expected for both Neo & Neo V)
4-Galaxy i9001

Really I am Totally Confused , and some times I think I will not get any one now because may I det rong one.

Better to stay on My Nokia N78 It has all of features but with small memory it helped me for 3 years before.

Thanks for all friends.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 13:31

40. mksalam78 (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

nokia 701 not supported fring..why?????

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 05:07

41. mksalam78 (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)

nokia 701 not supported fring..why?????

posted on 08 Mar 2012, 10:01 1

42. hunted (Posts: 403; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

i dont know why phone arena reduced 3 marks just for fixed focus. This screen technology is new & should be give 9

posted on 11 Mar 2012, 14:51 1

43. andrew1953 (Posts: 176; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)

Wow I think I am in love! The huge lens on this phone reminds me of the Martian girl in Futurama(zina? )with one eye. Looks like Nokia have cleaned up Symbian to high level-was very problematic on my E75. Love photography as it makes you appreciate your immediate environment slot more and this should be a fun device that is very user friendly. No major bugs that make life unbearable. Love time display similar to HTC's. So there it is-a useful fun smartphone that I'd love owning.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 15:08

44. saleemd37 (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2012)

phone is very nice but there is a WIFI is a big issue .i purchased this phone in jan 2012
from that time 2 time they replace the phone 1 time they replace the motherboard but still problem is there.i don`t know this is OS system or phone defect.first time i face this problem .problem with the WIFI connection.when start using 1 or 2 day it connect automatically after that you have to connect manually it will work more 2 or 3 day after that always ask sharing key even you put the key no. it will not connect .if some one face this issue please let me know.i m waiting for nokia reply but still they did not reply me .i m not installing any software no other program or any game . why can some one reply for this .2 new phone,3 time updated software ,1 time motherboard but still issue is there.

posted on 08 Apr 2012, 05:14

45. akil7540 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)

yaar........................ this is an superb mobile with bundle of features.................. it is th only mobilein market which can say nokia 701>android mobiles.Very goodbelle os yaar.high speed and 8.1 megapixel camera.No doubt yaar it will rule again

posted on 03 Jun 2012, 14:06 1

46. beerbash (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)

I have an iPad and a Nokia 701. The Nokia is far more easy to use, has more possibilities and a very bright screen. Not comparing the size of the screen of course. I have no experience with a windows mobile but do have experiences with iOS and Android and thus since Nokia has symbian updated to the Belle version I hope Nokia reconsiders the end of this OS because I think it is the best there is at this moment. Even the hyped Apple app store is not as I expected considering the hype. The app store on the Nokia is far more easy to use in the latest version.
Only the webbrowser in the Nokia is bad, but I use Opera and that works OK, better then Safara because some pages do not work properly on my iPad.

posted on 07 Aug 2012, 13:40

47. McLaren (unregistered)

Belle FP1 is superb on my 701 as it's clocked to 1.3GHz now.
Fixed focus not an issue as it takes superb vids and pics.
Comparable with Android and crushes iOS(Not the app store as both Android and iOS are decades ahead of Nokia Store).
Only drawback is lack of new Belle apps instead of the many,but ridiculous JAR files.
Find a way to attract devs and 3rd party devs for us to get new apps and games for that awesome N701,pls pls pls.

posted on 08 May 2013, 17:11

48. kyemann (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 May 2013)


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Nokia 701

Nokia 701

OS: Symbian Belle
view full specs
Display3.5 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (210 ppi) LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM11 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.61 x 2.24 x 0.43 inches
(117.2 x 56.8 x 11 mm)
4.62 oz  (131 g)
Battery1300 mAh, 17 hours talk time

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