Nokia 701 Review

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.

Thiszippy performance has something to do with the fact that Belle's codehas been optimized for speed with loads of clutter taken out –Nokia claims it has 70% less code than the older versions. Also, wehave improved hardware with the 1GHz processor inside the Nokia 701plus 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.


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.