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I have always had a thing for Nokias, theyre reliable, sturdy, and generally top of the range. Enter the brand spanking new Nokia 7270, now featuring in my pocket. I fell in love with its slick design and flippy status, and it was just screaming out to replace my 7250i.
My new Nokia is indeed a flip phone, one of the first from Nokia, and the only one thats managed to catch my wandering eye. Nokia actually refer to it as a fold phone in an attempt to refrain from admitting that they had indeed made a mistake, when predicting that flip phones would never take off a few years ago.
When closed, the phone has a sleek stainless steel appearance with a subtle silver design and black frame, measuring a teensy 8 x 5cm. Theres a mini screen on the front, as well as the camera lens. The mini screen has a 4.096 colour display, capable of displaying a screen saver, wallpaper and battery/signal status, as well as caller ID and message alerts.
When opening the phone, you are grabbed by an eye catching art décor inspired look, with red, black and silver. It sounds disgusting, but honestly, its gorgeous. The large 65,536 colour screen (measuring 4 x 3.5 cm) is perfect for taking photos, playing games and reading/writing text.
The buttons are flat on the bed, and measure 1cm square, so are massive compared to the fiddly Samsung models, or the impossible Sony Ericson. These buttons are fine for my fingers, the only problem is with the navigator key, you do sometimes find that it is easy to press the wrong directional key as theyre pretty small. But those who are used to using flip phones such as the Motorolla for example, should be fine.
What is fairly original about this phone is the use of textiles. It combines metal, plastic and fabric to make this phone a delight to hold. The sales package includes two textile wraps, one black and one red, which easily clip onto the front of the phone to create a different look. The wraps do feel flimsy, but Im told they are replaceable at a cheaper cost than the £20 odd that youd pay for a plastic case for previous models.
The phone also comes with an adorable pouch, which is really soft. Its black with a red tie, and its so cute! Perfect for popping in your bag, safe in the knowledge that your phone is unable to be scratched. Also included is a black and red wrist strap, which is ok, but kinda annoying, I dont want to go round with my phone attached to my wrist, Id drop it like that. But of course its fully removable so I cant complain.
Themes are available to personalise your phone, including screensavers, wall papers, and ring tones to suit your style. They are easily selected from the settings or gallery menus. The actual menu itself, can be changed from list or grid formats, as with several previous models. The list option basically enables you to scroll downwards to find what you are looking for, while the grid displays options in an attractive grid, funnily enough, with just the icons showing, the menu title showing at the top left of the screen.
Now although this phone is primarily about appearance, I think we need to move on to
The phone arrives with 24 polyphonic tones. They're pretty impressive. I'm particualy liking the 'big band' sounds. There's no 'Chirpy Bird' crap here, each tone is sophisticated and varying in sound - waving goodbye to the mono tones of the past. When this phone calls out, you could be mistaken for thinking it's the radio on some tones. I'm impressed. Further MP3 tones can be downloaded.
A mobile phone just wouldnt be a mobile phone without SMS text messaging. SMS enables you to send a written message of various lengths to another mobile. The 7270 combines Nokias distinctive messaging capabilities with new, up to the minute features to make communicating more discreet and easy than ever before. (wow, I could really write to sell these things, couldnt I!) The 7270 enables you to write extra, extra long messages, concentrating six text messages into one, double the 7250Is allowance.
Writing a text is just as easy as ever, with predictive text enabling you to customise the dictionary, being able to add your own words. I find this especially handy, as if you type Kirsty into predictive text, it will come us as Lipsty. Hmmm. So just to give you an example, if I added my name to the dictionary, it would be saved as the chosen word for that combination of letters. If predictive text isnt your thing, you can still type in the original way, as in tapping the key until you find your chosen letter.
Text messages can be sent either to a phone, or as an email. I find this really handy, as if I have an important email to send while Im out, theres no need to rush into an internet café. When sending as a text message, you can send to many, meaning you can choose all the contacts you want to send the message to, and send them all at the same time. I particularly like the fact that you can set the phone to automatically save sent messages in the appropriate folder ideal to check if anyones been at my phone.
Templates are available to send if youre in a hurry, with ready made phrases such as Im in a meeting, please call later, or I love you too my personal favourite how impersonal can you be?!!
Multimedia messages are becoming more and more easy to send and receive. They are brilliant for sharing photos and if youre anything like me, random little pictures of socks. You can take a picture with the in-built camera, and immediately choose send, and add it to a message where you can send it to email or another phone.
Managing your address book is dead easy with this little Nokia. Add contacts by entering their name and initial number, and continue with the ability to add a full home and email addresses, home, mobile and business numbers etc. So in other words, instead of having Lyn mobile, Lyn home etc in your contacts list, you can have names and choose the appropriate detail genius. Images can also be added to the contact name, which will flash up when that person calls.
Contacts can also be arranged in groups, such as friends, family, business, and assigned a different ringing tone for each. So if youre skiving work you can be reminded to answer the phone in a croaky, on-the-brink-of-death voice, rather than the bright and breezy tone reserved for your best mate.
---MAKING A PHONE CALL---
Nokias a renowned the world over, for being as straightforward to use as possible, and this model is no exception. Making a phone call couldnt be simpler. Just key in the number and press the call button. Alternatively you can search through your contacts and press the call button when youve reached the relevant number. The sound is clear and crisp, with reception obviously depending on your network.
The 7270 uses a VGA camera, with a 640 x 480 pixel image far greater quality than the poxy 7250i a terrible camera! We must remember though, that unlike some camera phones on the market, the 7270 is primarily a phone, not a digital camera. I can, however, see a significant improvement compared to previous phones I have played with, and Im happy with it. If youre that worried about the camera then buy a digital camera for goodness sake!
Anyways, taking pictures is easy, just point and press, and a couple of seconds later, you have your automatically saved image. A nifty capability of the phone is being able to use the mini display as a view finder, so taking pictures of yourself no longer involves estimating your position and taking a pic of the door behind you instead.
The camera will arrive in your grubby mitts pre-set to the normal image quality. Changing the setting to High or Basic, will mean either less, or more memory is used with each saved photo. I have mine set to normal and its fine for me, so its worth experimenting and choosing your setting.
The video camera is brilliant, the quality really isnt bad at all, though predictably is a little fuzzy around the edges. You can choose whether to mute or keep the audio when saving your video clip, which might be handy. Each clip lasts 15 seconds, although you can change the settings to allow you to record up to four minutes of footage.
Saved images will be saved into the gallery, where you can create additional folders to file your photos and clips how ever you please.
The in-built FM radio lets you save up to twenty of your favourite stations on the pre-sets. These can then be flicked through using the button on the headphones, or on the handset itself. The actual headphones come with the phone, and plug into the bottom of the phone. The headphones I got are silver with back detail, and Im still not convinced whether I like them or not. The ear buds are uncomfortable as theyre so big, but they do block outside noise which can be irritating especially when those grannies on the bus are gossiping at full pelt.
The reception is clear and easy to adjust, with manual and automatic tuning at a touch of a button. The radio even works abroad well, in Denmark at least, as I discovered on the 7250i. Volume controls are on the side of the handset, making it easy to reach into your pocket and turn it down or when required.
The radio can either be played through the ear-bud headphones, or you can change the setting to loudspeaker meaning you can listen to the radio, as a radio, if that makes sense. The sound is clearly from a small speaker, dont expect surround sound but it is far better than my cheapo portable radio even. Cant be bad. It has a pretty good volume on it too. Plus it will mute automatically when someone calls.
Its not just the general style of the phone, coupled with the free accessories that makes me think of a female target group The phone comes with two Java games and two applications.
Applications first. Under the Collection folder, you will find Size Converter and Translator. The Size Converter is pretty nifty actually. It opens to reveal a page with pictures of clothes on it, including a dress, skirt, trousers, jacket, shoes etc. You can choose an option, well take shoes. You are then asked to enter the numerical value of the size, so Ill put in 8. It will then ask you to choose between several options, including UK male and female, Australian, US and Japanese. Choosing the relevant option then gives you your converted sizes. So for my big feet, I need to look for a 9 ½ in Australia, and a 39 in Russia. At the bottom, you even get a conversion in Inches and Centimetres.
The translator is pretty much as it sounds. In-putting a word in English, Spanish, German, French or Italian will give you the relevant translations. Fantastic! I think this is a brilliant little device, which will come in handy when abroad.
The games are actually pretty good. Long gone are the days of Snake and Space Invaders. The 7270 comes equipped with Chic Pinball and Disco. Disco is pretty good though I havent got the hang of it yet. The idea is to run a night club and make as much money as possible doing so. You have to buy DJ sets, a DJ (generally helps), lights etc, all to make a profit and complete the relevant challenge. I have to admit Im terrible at it, but considering I only got the phone yesterday, I will have to update when I get the hang of it!
Chic Pinball is much the same as regular pinball, except you get a snazzy pink design and pictures of models on the pinball machine as you do
Playing is easy, just using the relevant number keys, you can shoot the ball, and flick it back up etc to get high scores. It is kinda frustrating though, and very, very addictive. I just played a game for research purposes only, and ten minutes later Ive managed to return
With the media player, you can download and play files such as images, audio and video from different sources. MP3s can be downloaded in this manner, though Id imagine theyd use a heck of a lot of your phones memory up.
Push to Talk is a feature which acts like a kind of radio system. This only works with other compatible devices, and of course will involve a cost from your network. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me, though I think it might be better when participants are out of the office or something, rather than using it instead of a regular phone call. Pressing a designated key enables you to make a call out to participants, although u like a phone call, there is no guarantee it has been received.
Another media feature is the voice recorder. You can record up to three minutes, including current phone calls. These can then even be used as ring tones so Im gonna experiment and see if I can record my favourite songs and use it as my ring tone. I shall update asap!
The organiser is one of the reasons I am keen to stick with Nokia phones. I am terribly disorganised, but with a calendar, alarm clock and to-do-list available at the touch of a button, I can attempt to sort myself out! The calendar displays a month to view, including the days of the week, making it easy to check where dates fall. Each date can be individually marked. Birthdays can be recorded, and reminders can be set to remind you up to a week before hand. Meetings, memos and reminders are included options.
The To-do-List is a brilliant little device which enables you to note all tasks along with their deadlines. Alarms can also be set to correspond with your list.
Notes are a nifty little area where you can write up to 3000 characters, to either save or send. Other features of the organiser include a stop watch, count down timer and calculator.
Quite possibly one of my favourite features has to be the infrared function. I have just transferred all of my contacts from my old phone onto my new one, by activating the infrared port on the 7270, and sending my contacts as a business card via infrared. Just point the two infrared ports together, and were sorted fantastic!
To begin to conclude, I have to say that with the range of features coupled with the latest in mobile technology, this little phone is more than welcome to stay in my pocket. Weighing in at 121 grams, it is not the lightest, or smallest phone ever made. But I love it.
It looks gorgeous, and has everything you could possible need. With Java compatible downloads, GPRS and elegant designs, with the ability to easily customise, I personally couldnt ask for more. This is my first flip phone, and Im impressed, its great. The media features are particlary impressive - there are an amazing number of applications allowing you to capture the world around you. Just remember, boys and girls, voyerism isn't very nice.
The sales package is complete with the charger. The first charge must be for 10-12 hours to start the battery off. The user manual states the battery has a life of 270 hours when on stand-by, and 4 hours talk-time. With my useage, I find it will last me just under a week.
If you bought this phone network free, it would cost you £700! I got mine for free, on a Vodafone Anytime 200 contract, this offer is available at the Link at the moment. Also, check out http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,8764,62366,00.html for more information.
I hope I didnt bore you too much with my very long review, but hopefully its enabled you to make up your mind whether the next generation of Nokia phones are for you or not.
The value for money just has to be excellent, as I didn't pay a penny for this phone. However, if you are planning to buy it sim-free, I'm not sure I could justify the £700 bill.