The Nokia E70 runs the third edition of the S60 (Symbian) platform, and offers a fairly intuitive and pleasant-looking interface. Most apps and utilities are neatly organized by category. For example, you'll find the phone's PIM tools, such as the Calendar, Notes, and Calculator, in the Organizer folder. There's full support for viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Using the included USB cable, we were able to transfer all three file types and a PDF, and had no problems opening or working on them. Mobile professionals also may appreciate the Screen Export function that allows you to display the E70's screen via a compatible projector. The smart phone also has Adobe Reader and Zip Manager.
For fun, the smart phone has a built-in music player with support for MP3, RealAudio, and AAC music files. You can sort songs by artist, album, genre, or composer. In addition, you have the ability to create playlists right on the device, set songs on Random or Repeat mode, and tweak the sound settings via the built-in equalizer. For videos, RealPlayer is onboard and is compatible with MPEG-4 and 3GPP formats. There's also an image viewer for JPEG, BMP, BNG, and GIF files.
Last but not least, the E70 is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera with an 8x digital zoom and video recording capabilities. Editing options aren't as robust as we've seen on some of today's camera phones, but you do get a choice of two resolutions and three quality settings. You can adjust the white balance and color tone, and while there's no flash, there is a night mode, a self-timer, and sequence mode. We also like that there's an image counter displayed at the top of the screen to let you know how many more pictures you can take before running out of memory. However, as we always advise, you should store images on a miniSD card to free space on your phone. In Video mode, there are three resolutions available to you, and you can record in short or maximum length. Picture quality was good. Colors were rich, though lines were slightly blurry.
We tested the triband (GSM 850/1800/1900; EDGE) Nokia E70 in San Francisco using Cingular service, and call quality was mediocre. We could hear our friends clearly, but apparently, we sounded like we were in a tunnel. Activating the speakerphone only made things worse. Voices were weak on our end, even with the volume at its highest level, and our callers reported choppy call quality. On the upside, we had no problems pairing the phone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset.
Overall performance was OK. There was a slight lag when the screen orientation would change after opening the keyboard, and the delay became even more noticeable when opening documents or switching between apps. Although the E70 only supports EDGE speeds, the Web browsing experience was fairly fast. We viewed pages like CNET.com and ESPN.com and they loaded quickly, and we just love, love, love the browser. The handset's beautiful screen also contributed to the good experience. Music playback through the phone's speakers was pretty poor. Songs sounded hollow and one-dimensional. Plugging in the proprietary headset improved the situation only a little.
The Nokia E70 is rated for 7 hours of talk time and up to 14 days of standby time. In our tests, we were able to get 7.5 hours of talk time on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the E70 has a digital SAR rating of 0.9 watts per kilogram.
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