HOME / PRINT
The Nokia N-Series range of handsets are essentially multimedia devices that are designed for that specific purpose with of course as much of anything else tossed in. The N79 is quite well equipped with plenty of media and other features but here’s how well it actually fared.
The N79 is a good looking handset with sleek lines and curves that give it a touch of refinement and class. The 2.4-inch TFT LCD sports a 240 x 320 pixel, 16 million color resolution. The keypad is large enough for fingers of any size to operate with ease. Its five way nav-pad employs Nokia’s touch sensitive Navi-Wheel feature that seems to be more refined than any of the other handsets that it features on. To activate the media menu, a designated button is neatly placed on the side. What I didn’t like was the placement of the Menu and Cancel keys. Having them in between keys that are raised made it a bit difficult to access sometimes, especially the Cancel key when it came to erasing while typing a message or mail. Bad move Nokia.
Nevertheless, I still liked the handset’s overall design. A ‘key-lock’ slider, Power button and 3.5mm standard earphone socket are located on the top of the handset. On one side is a concealed flap that houses both the micro USB port as well as the microSD card slot. A small charging port is located on the same side at the bottom. The volume/zoom keys, camera key and a set of stereo speakers are located on the opposite side with a 5MP camera (with a smooth lens cover) and the dual LED flash at the rear.
The handset is also bundled with a set of changeable rear panels to add some color. All cables, including that for TV Out are provided as well.
Features and Performance
The N79 is no different from any other Symbian OS device with a Series 60 UI. With its ARM 11 369 MHz processor there’s no lag when it comes to navigation, screen rotation with the accelerometer or use of the Navi-Wheel operation. There’s nothing new that the N79 has to offer if it’s compared to the N85 that I reviewed just a couple of weeks ago.
There's nothing new here either, but that’s not a bad thing. The N79 offers users a wide range of media functions with a loud and clear music player equipped with EQ presets and a customizable 8 band graphic EQ setting, Loudness and Stereo widening. Once again Nokia has included free music as part of the N79 deal, like with a few of their other N-Series and other handsets.
There are also a few free videos included. What I did notice was that the handset took a little while (about 15-20 seconds at times) to open up the video section to view all of the files even after playing a video and returning to that screen. Some of the videos didn’t seem to work either and gave me an error – Invalid Clip – Operation Failed. The handset reads MP3, M4A, AAC+, WMA, 3GP and AMR file formats. The stereo FM radio with RDS has decent pick up in most areas. One minor issue was with the reception of the FM Transmitter. Having tried it in different cars, the reception and audio quality was not as good as I’d hoped.
Users will also be able to edit images and videos with the onboard editor applications. The handset also has plenty of online media options like video streaming from sites like Reuters and YouTube and downloading and listening to Podcasts.
The preloaded N-Gage arena is a place to break free and game your heart out. Sadly though, an activation code is provided for just one game. The choice of games for this particular code are limited to most of the mundane puzzle games and none of the newer action or racing games that you can otherwise download and try. There are no other preloaded Java or .SIS games provided.
Wi-Fi, EDGE/GPRS and 3G connectivity make up the major connectivity options offered with the N79. Other options include Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) and USB 2.0. Nokia’s WLAN Home Media option is part of the application list as well as their Application Update and Software Update applications. Users can also connect to My Nokia and Sync to backup their handsets data via PC suite or online servers like OVI. Images can be uploaded to the net for sharing and a host of other services like Nokia Catalogues (for downloading applications etc.), Nokia’s Search option (for online information as well as data) stored on the handset are also available.
For the business user, the Mail for Exchange or Nokia Email applications will allow you to set up accounts for checking email quite easily. You can also configure your personal Gmail or other accounts with a few simple automated steps. Standard S60 features like a PDF reader, Quick Office (read only), Active Notes, Calendar and the Zip application are present and accounted for. Nokia’s message reader with text to speech are also included, while Wave Secure for handset and data protection and IndiSMS have been preloaded onto the handset.
The N79 is also GPS enabled with a built in antenna and A-GPS support. Nokia Maps 2.0 is the resident application for the same, with a three month free license after which you’ll have to pay. The time it will take for the handset to pick up a decent signal in any area is relative, but on the whole it was quite average. The stereo speakers are extremely handy for voice guidance.
The new UI allows you to customize the quick access settings menu on the camera screen. The 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens manages most images quite well, but low light images tend to look a bit off and a slight watercolor effect can be noticed.
In Macro mode the picture reproduction looks really good with very vivid colors retained quite well.
The colors are what look quite good for a camera of this caliber.
The N79’s battery is what I was impressed with. On a single charge I used the phone for almost three days. The usage was average of course with a little music, messaging, calls and net surfing. GPS tends to run the battery down a bit faster. With just talktime in mind, the N79 clocked in about 4 hours and 10 minutes and that’s impressive as far as I’m concerned.
The Bottom Line
The Nokia N79 is a great looking handset that manages to accomplish most of its designated tasks quite easily with just a few quirks. The camera and battery and its multimedia functionality as a whole are real assets in the handset’s arsenal. Priced at Rs. 19,000 (street) with a 4GB (loaded with goodies) card included the N79 is worth the consideration.
GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G, EDGE
|Physical||110 x 49 x 15 mm, 97g|
|Display||240 x 320, 16m colors, TFT LCD, 2.4 inches|
|Memory||83MB internal, microSD external (4GB included) |
|Media||MP3, AAC, WMA, 3GP, MPEG4, Voice Recorder, FM radio, Video and image editors |
|Camera||5 megapixel AF, Dual LED flash |
|Connectivity||USB v2.0, Bluetooth with A2DP, Wi-Fi|
|Battery||360 hrs standby, 4 hrs 10 mins talktime |