Pros Features, stability, performance, battery life
Cons No accelerometer (auto-rotate), still so new not all S60 software works
Summary So I've had my share of phones in the past - most recently a Blackberry Pearl 8100 and iPhone (2G). Got this phone because didn't want iPhone 3G and couldn't be happier. Rather than rehash Bonnie's review, here are where I disagree and other points:
- PQ is excellent if you ask me. Some shots I took people have a hard time believing were from a phone and the geotagging feature works great. If you upload to Flickr wirelessly and turn on the geotag import it will show them on a map too...very cool.
- Call quality is superb. The earpiece on the handset is not the loudest I've used but it's very clear and no one has complained about call quality with me nor have I noticed an issue.
- FM Transmitter works great for listening to my music and podcasts (which you can download wirelessly on the phone itself) through my car radio.
- Sound output through headphones is superb and on par if not better than iPhone/iPods.
- Battery life is great. I have it checking 2 email accounts every 5 mins, listening to music, phone calls, web surfing and it lasts from 8am to midnight easily.
- Little known feature that you can assign video caller IDs and it works flawlessly. You can shoot a video clip or copy one on the phone and then assign that as a caller ID. It'll play the video when the person calls. You can even set it so it plays the video but with a regular ringtone for sound!
- Front facing camera is excellent for recording video messages and self-portraits
- The wealth of S60 software out there (#1 smartphone OS globally) is great although not all of it works on the N78 yet since it has a brand new version of Symbian.
- Copy/Paste is there! I've used it even more than I thought I would after the iPhone. Maybe withdrawal?
- Some great apps are Fring (free VOIP calls), Google Maps S60 (native client that uses GPS), Opera Mini (works extremely fast on this phone),IM+ (great multi-IM client), JoikuSpot (turns your phone into a 3G Wifi Hotspot!) and many others.
- Bluetooth is ACTUALLY usable for things other than headsets unlike iPhone. You can sync your PIM info via Bluetooth, you can send files back and forth via Bluetooth, it has stereo bluetooth support for listening to music among many other things!
Most of all though this phone just works no matter what you throw it at...a true workhorse. Haven't had a single crash or slowdown no matter how many apps I have open (YES, GOOD MULTITASKING IS POSSIBLE APPLE).
In the end, it's a jack of all trades that actually does them all extremely well and is super stable and fast. What else can you ask for?
Pros Nokia engineered overall design, s60 system interface, GPS + NokiaMaps=free, music apps + FM stereo radio + FM transmitter, battery life
Cons Sandwhich case construction feels a little 'squeaky', earpiece sound quality a bit worse than past Nokias, speakerphone could be louder, phone face is smudge magnet
Summary Have had about 2 weeks now and no problems, except for Nokias 'Phone Switch' s/w which didn't do the advertised BT import/export from my previous Nokia , but I was able to connect via old Nokia Phone Suite s/w [vs. new N78 s/w] with provided cable and all data [contacts, texts, music, photos] imported to N78, no problem.
The S60 platform could be a little faster, but not bad. It looks very customizable, although I'm not freakish about that type of thing; it was easy to set my fav photo as a display wallpaper and it supposedly does a slide-show too. Some apps, like Nokia Maps take about 5 secs to launch, but hey, that's a lot of data and it is only a cell phone. Nokia maps and its built-in GPS receiver are the real show here. The receiver is a true receiver, in that it doesn't position you relative to the nearest cell transmitters[what I would call a poor mans GPS], but actually looks in the satellite constellation and finds the requisite 4 satellites to provide a true global fix. Because of this and, just like any GPS receiver- consumer or survey grade, the initial fix is going to take a least a minute. It could be Trimble, Ashtec or Garmin- they all take at least a minute. If you knew what was actually being done to convert signal, time and Solar ephemeris data to your unique position on the globe, you would be tolerant of that minute. Once it has the fix, it updates as you move and you can leave Maps and GPS on as you drive. In pure GPS display mode, it has a trip log displaying speed, time etc. True, to get turn by turn, you'll have to pay, but if you're that 'service dependant' why not just buy a 'stand-alone' Garmin for under $150. The trouble with those, the way I see it, is you have another set of batteries and h/w-s/w to deal with- not to mention the theif magnet if you forget to hide.
OK, the wifi is there- it connects with no problem, and once you get adept with navigating on a tiny screen, have fun at your local public hotspot or home n/w. The way I see it, if I had to check an important email [ebay bid] or look up a movie in the area or restaurant hours, that would be about it; with any device this small I gauge most human tolerance for a small screen at about 5-10 minutes- tops, but some of you are internet freaks, so it's there and works great.
The FM transmitter and camera are untested, but if they work out, thats just bonus points. I like the idea of listening to my music in the car without having to make a physical cable coonection each time, but I'm sure there will be a little loss of sound quality once you give up that hard wire connection. I mostly purchased the phone for the convergence of GPS w/map overlay and a stout phone/pda. I've always liked Nokias 'Organizer'; its a calendar/appt maker/notepad/reminder/file manager + all the other stuff, like alarm clock [I use it every morning] couldn't find countdown timer and stopwatch though. Maybe they can be downloaded.
Yeah, I know- it lacks a keyboard, but I'm not a big texter. If I really needed that, I'd buy a mini BT keyboard, but then, I may as well have a micro notebook pc with me. I'm just a Nokia junkie- they got me hooked on their style. [Some people wouldn't drive anything but a BMW- I'm one of them also.]
The few disappointments of the N78, so far, besides the $500 price tag, would be:
Nokias insistence on those small keyboards- at least give us 'glassses wear-ers' a bigger keyboard font. Fortunately, the display has 3 font sizes and is easy to read, even in bright daylight, given that its an electronic display.
The other minus is the contruction form- by using a few metallic frames around the keyboard they may have eliminated the bit of minor 'squeak' it exhibits. It also doesn't impress me like those solid little mono blocks of past Nokia legacy, which I have dropped so many times. I'm not sure this phone would survive. [I did buy a cheap hip-holster on ebay that fits perfectly] When I dont want to hip mount it, I have an old SanDisk neck lanyard that keeps it secure, albeit bouncing off my stomach. [Sort of geek-ish, but it won't fall out of my shirt pocket or lap onto the hard surface] On the otherhand, it is slim enough to carry in pocket. I can't believe I went on for a hundred words over a cell phone.
Otherwise, its a complete convergence device [without a keyboard] in a small form factor without having to flip or slide to deploy.
I like it.
Pros FM Transmitter & Size
Cons Camera & Price
Summary I was reading the review and I was wondering how come the reviewer mentioned geotagging as the best "NEW" feature of the N78! This feature is not new, it first came out on the N95 and the N82. The best feature I could find in the N78 is the FM transmitter...Also it's not a new feature of a mobile phone, but it's a first for a Nokia, and a first on a phone that combined all these features at once... I already own a Nokia N82 and currently I am testing the N78, the only downsize I could find for this phone is it's camera, the 3.2 megpixels camera doesn't give you the best quality...you'd better go with the 5.0 on the N95/N82. Bottom line, if you want a sexy phone that combines all of today's best feature, go with the N78.
Pros Its a very attractive phone,has beautiful design and its interface is great.Excellent speaker phone.
Cons 3.2 Mp camera is not that great,when typing quickly you can make mistakes.
Summary Its a great device for this price.Its camera can produce amazing photos if its settings are tweaked.Very good audio and video player.I like the Navi Whell very much but it can only be used in certain menus.Its software still has bugs but a future phone software update can fix this i think.It has a built-in picture and video editor which is very good.Its battery can last 48 hours on medium use.Although its fun to write with its keypad but you can make mistakes while typing quickly.I have installed DivX player on it and the video quality was superb.In the end i'll just say that its a very good device for this price(in my country i bought it for 200 Euros)
Pros It has everything you could want in a phone (Wi-Fi, A-GPS, 3.5G US, Hi Q Music, Video Cam, Zeiss Lens, Stereo-Bluetooth, Beautiful Display) - a few features even the iPhone lacks. Built in FM radio receiver and transmitter (to play over car radios.)
Cons Buttons, while better than you'd think, still don't work flawlessly; Speakerphone problems, but that may be due to a blown speaker (1 of the stereo pair). Navi-wheel does double clicks when you push it up sometimes. Strange buttons, but usually work.
Summary I've had 3 Nokia 6102i's, because they feel great, and work very well, and they're dead simple for calls and texting. But gradually I began to feel left behind by the smartphone revolution. After months of research, I decided on the N78 - it had every feature and it was a Nokia; the reviews were relatively positive, and I found a good price on eBay for a slightly used one.
It has taken some getting used to, which I did expect. Things that I could do with one or two clicks on my old phone, now take an extra click or two. You have to be very careful with the Navi Wheel, and to a lesser extent, with the number/letter buttons, to make sure they do exactly what you want them to. The camera originally took shots with a bluish and slightly washed out cast to them, but I solved that issue by creating a user setting with a lower exposure, using the fluorescent lighting setting (which had the effect of 'warming up' the tone, like adjusting the temperature point of an LCD profile) and sharpening it just a hair.
The connection to Wi-Fi in my place and at work is spectacularly quick, and the transfer speeds are great. The Bluetooth sync with my MacbookPro is also flawless. The music player works fine, and has Playlists, EQ, a loudness effect and a 3D enhancer. Experimenting with this led me to the realization that one of the 2 extremely loud speakers was not working. That could be the cause of the difficulty in switching a call to Speakerphone - it's odd: if you press the soft key for Speakerphone while the call is dialing, it works fine, though the person at the other end says they can hear their voice in an unsettling echo. BUT if you wait till they pick up, and THEN press Speakerphone (which has oddly, moved to the OTHER soft button,) it becomes nearly impossible to hear THEIR voice, although they can hear you fine. This might be because for some reason, their voice is routed to the other speaker when the connection is established, (and mine's dead) but I see no logic to this, nor do I have proof it is what's actually happening.
Music and calls sound fabulous when I have a bluetooth stereo headset connected, and it pairs very very quickly, when you turn the headset power on. It did take 3 power-on's for it to work, but since then it's been very reliable and enjoyable. (I use the Plantronics 590.)
So that's the story. Now I'm one of the millions of people I used to scoff at for spending their life looking at this little screen in their hand.
I will probably send the N78 in for the second speaker repair, and go back to my trusty 6102i until the N78 is repaired. There are 10 days left on the warranty, and I honestly don' t know if it arrived with 1 speaker out, or if I did it. They do get very loud, though, of course, not full. Thru headphones, however, and with some intelligent use of the built in Equalizer, it is very very enjoyable listening to music, knowing that you won't miss a call - it will pre-empt the music, and then turn it back on when the call is over.
I am very curious to see whether it's more of a relief to go back to my old 'dumb' (Symbian Series 40) phone, or if I discover that I am missing more about the N78, rather than being glad to be rid of its complications.
Oh one last thing: I bought ProfiMail, and it makes it much like a blackberry for retrieving and sending emails. This cool program checks all my mailboxes in one action, and sends out what email's I've composed at the same time. It's great with attachments too. Plus the phone will open and edit Word and Excel documents. There's a weather widget too, etc.