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Nokia 701 Review

Nokia 701

Posted: , by Daniel P.



Nokia 701 Review
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:
9.510 Reviews

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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: 3604; 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)

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

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Nokia 701

Nokia 701

OS: Symbian Belle
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
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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