Nokia 701 Review

If we are asked which features we'd like improved on current smartphones, apart from the obvious contender battery life, one of our answers would be screen brightness. Average pixel density we can live with, but the brighter the display the less annoying its outdoor usage, especially if you have that old yellow star shining directly on your phone's screen when you are trying to look for a contact or check a website.

The Nokia 701 manages to cram in the brightest screen on a mobile phone to date with its 1000 nits - Nokia E6 was the previous champion here with its 900 nits. The phone is about 50% brighter outside than the LG Optimus Black, for example, with its 700 nits. The Nokia 701 is, however, running Symbian, which is clunkier than Android, and has less apps to choose from.

The platform is not on the backburner of Nokia, though – parallel with the work on its Nokia Windows Phones, the manufacturer managed to out the new Symbian Belle, which has a lot of UI elements in common with Android and other modern mobile operating systems, so is the brightest screen out there together with Belle an enticing enough combination to resurrect the excitement about Symbian handsets? Read on our review of the Nokia 701 to find out...

The package contains:

  • Nokia 701 handset
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Stereo headset with microphone


The handset is thin enough at 0.43” (11mm), but not as anorexic as the sub-10mm crowd out there, which are, however, mostly expensive high-end handsets. The Nokia 701 is the most loaded so far out of the new Symbian Belle batch, and the design does sport some premium material like the easily detachable metal battery cover. The rest is plastic, but of the sturdy variety, and the phone feels pretty solid in the hand. We are not digging the overly rounded corners too much, as they make it look a bit like a toy. The back houses Nokia’s run-of-the-mill 8MP fixed-focus shooter with dual LED flash.

You can compare the Nokia 701 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Now let's cut to the chase and examine this sweet 3.5” LED-backlit IPS-LCD display with 360x640 pixels and the ClearBlack technology, which diminishes reflections outside. The screen manages to shine like a crazy diamond with 1000 nits of brightness , which is great outside. Compared to some other phones we put it next to in the sunshine outdoors, it was way more visible at full throttle.

See below the pictures from our comparison of the Nokia 701 screen with the iPhone 4, which sports the above-average 600 nits, and the Samsung Galaxy S II, which goes up to about 400 nits:

We enjoy pretty decent viewing angles on the Nokia 701. The image that the screen produces is with nice, punchy, but not overly saturated colors. One of the big downsides of Symbian is that it is mostly meant for 360x640 screens, but on the 3.5-incher of the 701, pixel density comes above average, so no complaints about that. Round elements in letters from smaller font sizes still appear jagged sometimes, however.

Of note is the dedicated voice control button, keeping a low profile on the right, between the volume control keys. It should come in handy when you are driving, for example and want to fire the Maps application, or go to the music player, but is with limited functionality as it only calls apps up, and is not a fully integrated solution.

Nokia 701 360-degrees View:



1. Mercenary unregistered

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

2. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 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. decent Macro. 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.

4. nokia 701 unregistered

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

6. Anand Harikrishnan unregistered

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

16. hari120

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

yes all s^3 phone have it

7. oscar1

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 05, 2011

This will never make it to the USA

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.

10. Ukrs unregistered

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

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 in UK and is out 28th october for a good deal for brand new at £280

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.

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

14. 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!

15. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Makes me excited for WP on Nokia.

17. hari120

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

phone looks awesome

22. dileep unregistered

i also agree with u

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.

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.

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.

23. papu unregistered

should i buy this phone..

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?

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.

26. sachinpuri

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

HI ALL, NOKIA OS SYMBIAN PATH S30 >S40 >S60 > Symabian^3 > Symbian Anna > Symbian Belle . About Symbian Belle - Its the most advance symbian OS { its the most stable OS } Features *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 *OTG (YES THE DEVICE SUPPORT OTG (ONLY CACH IS THAT YOU NEED TO BUY A OTG CABLE ITS NOT WITH THE PACK) ) SACHIN

27. schanmouli

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 31, 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 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 phone pls dont blame me this is my opinion Only Thx......

28. ataur

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

if Nokia 701 had the camera of Nokia N8!

29. Ravi5

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

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

31. moonshot

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 16, 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.

30. moonshot

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 16, 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.

32. LordBonztie

Posts: 52; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

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

34. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 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.

33. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 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)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • Display 3.5" 360 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1300 mAh(6.75h 3G talk time)

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