The Nokia 701 call quality is pretty decent in the earpiece, no hollow sounding voices or hiss, but it could use a bit more volume. The other end said they could hear us with excellent clarity, as the dedicated noise-cancelling mic did a great job in filtering out street noise.

The alleged extra toll on battery life from a brighter screen is negligible, says Nokia, because of the ambient light sensor. We ran a 720p video at full and then half brightness for a few hours, and a maxed-out display seems to drain the battery about 30% quicker, but that can probably be said for most other smartphones.

In reality, the sensor will only max the brightness when you use the phone while the sun is shining directly on the screen, which will likely be a fairly short amount of time. The manufacturer cites 6 hours and 45 minutes of talk time in 3G mode, which is about average.


Having a more visible screen outdoors than other smartphones is a very tangible differentiating factor for the Nokia 701, but the handset has some other tricks to show. It is solidly built and features the best-looking Symbian to date in its Belle edition.

When we add convenient features like the mass storage mode, the NFC chip, a dedicated voice recognition button, USB-on-the-go and an FM transmitter, the phone is starting to look a versatile workhorse. Points, however, must be taken out for the hit-or-miss fixed focus shooter, and the still clunky browser, which is faster than on any other Symbian phone, but the underlying rendering technology and plugins like Adobe Flash are things that need lots of work.

Looking around this price point we find many handsets that deserve your attention. The extremely compact Sony Ericsson Xperia ray goes for about the same money as the 701, and has a very good pixel density, but smaller, 3.2” screen. Its 8MP sensor produces pics and video on par with the 701, but it is running the latest version of Android with hundreds of thousands of apps available for it, and has full Adobe Flash support in the browser.

If the 701 is on your radar, though, it’s probably because you follow the brand, not because it has the brightest screen out there. If that’s the case, the Nokia N8 has gone down in pricing to about the same point, and nothing beats its 1/1.8” 12MP camera sensor yet, so with the upcoming Belle update it’s also a wise alternative to the Nokia 701.

Software version of the review unit: 111.010.1009

Nokia 701 Video Review:


  • The most easily readable in sunlight mobile display
  • Symbian Belle is the most visually pleasing and easy to use Symbian to date


  • The default browser needs its rendering engine and plugin support improved
  • Fixed-focus camera can't do macro shots

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

10 Reviews



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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