Nokia E70 review: Folding typewriter

GSMArena team, 10 July 2006.

Nokia has released another handset based on the 3rd edition of Series 60 user interface. This phone runs on Symbian 9.1 as the other new smartphones from the Finnish manufacturer. With its interesting design solutions and great features, it surely aims for lots of fans and will be a huge success. With its 2 megapixel camera, folding QWERTY keyboard and great connectivity features like WiFi, Nokia E70 is more than just a business phone; it is a dream phone.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Official photos: Nokia E-series, Nokia E70 in black

Main features:

  • Great display
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 75 MB internal memory + miniSD memory card slot
  • 3G connectivity
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth, Infrared, USB
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Very good videos with smooth digital zoom
  • Blackberry connectivity
  • Great battery

Main disadvantages:

  • Rather heavy
  • Controversial looks when closed
  • Slow display orientation change

Nokia E70 inherits the looks of Nokia 6810, 6820 and 6822. This series of phones are gradually improving in time and E70 is the first one with smartphone capabilities. The phone's features remind of the E60 model but the difference is that this one has a camera, more internal memory and different card type in use. This is the only phone from the E series of Nokia which features a camera. The QWERTY keyboard of E70 may seem as an answer to the rival manufacturer's models on the market which offer QWERTY handsets but E70 form factor is a Nokia brand.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Nokia E70

A perfect gamepad

When closed, the phone doesn't look good at all. It leaves an impression of something cheap and looks more like a dummy toy than a great smartphone. The front view fails to impress because of the "shoulders" of the keyboard. The back is so blank that it scares. But the magic begins when the phone is opened and it reveals its true potential. The keypad is greatly elaborated in silver and the soft touch adds even more joy of use. The display stands firmly in the middle of the separated keyboard and provides maximum visibility for such (relatively) small device.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Nokia E70 held in hand

Nokia E70 measures 117 x 53 x 22 mm and is rather bulky when held closed in hand. When you open it, you must operate it with both hands, of course, but the phone allows you to use its features so easily, it even brings delight of work.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Held in hand when opened

Multiple keypads

Even though E70 is made of plastic, it doesn't creak or feel cheap. It is solid (probably because of the 127 g it weighs) and creates impressions of a massive tool. When opened, this first impression vanishes mysteriously. The two-hand grip is confusing in the first time, especially as you may be scared not to break the keyboard part. Not to worry, the Nokia people have undoubtedly considered this and have manufactured it very well.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Using the phone with both hands

The keyboard part opens with a swivel motion going to the other side of the phone, revealing the right part of the keyboard beneath the numeric keypad. You will be offered a fully functional QWERTY keyboard when you finish the opening process.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
The ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan

When the phone is closed, Nokia E70's front panel features the main speaker, surrounded by a light indicator and the Turn On/Off Profiles button, on the very top of the phone. Just below it is the great 2-inch (35 x 41 mm) high-resolution TFT display, capable of displaying up to 16 million colors. The display has a black frame all over with very slim borders and a bit larger black banner on its top with the sign NOKIA on it. Below the display there are the two functional keys and the navigation joystick. The keys are in matt grey as the joystick is in shiny silver.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Nokia E70 front view • the main speaker, On/Off button, light indicator and display • numeric keypad

The numeric keypad is located on the swivel part of the phone. The keypad structure is typical for Nokia smartphones with the red and green receivers on top and the Pencil, Menu and correction C buttons just under them. The other keys are situated beneath them. They are all made of nice soft rubbery plastic and provide very pleasant touch. When the handset is opened, the marking job of the Pencil key is replaced by the combination of Shift and the Arrow keys on the QWERTY keyboard - much like on a computer.

The phone's back is very clean. So clean, that it even looks poor. On the top left side you will find the loudspeaker grill, fighting for attention together with the camera lens and NOKIA sign. The camera lens is put in a silver frame with a protecting glass. The battery cover uses more than half of the back part of the phone. It ends with the release button which is more than easy to use.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Nokia E70 back view • camera lens

When you remove the battery cover you will see the BL-6C Li-Ion 1150 mAh battery which should provide the user with up to 220 hours of stand-by and up to 7 hours and 20 minutes of talk time, according to Nokia. On the right side of the battery is the miniSD memory card slot which allows hot swap functionality. The SIM card is accessed easily when you remove the battery. You should just push toward you or the opposite way in order to insert or remove your card.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Under the battery cover • the miniSD memory card slot • under the battery

The left side of the phone accommodates the Sound recorder button and the opening mechanism of the keyboard. The right side holds the other side of the opening mechanism plus the Infrared port. The phone's bottom is reserved for the Pop-Port and the charger port. The top of the closed Nokia E70 is absolutely blank which is understandable as when you open the phone, its top gets covered with the keyboard.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Left, right, bottom and top view of the phone

The opening mechanism of the phone is very simple; you grab the numeric keypad and turn it towards the display, rotate until it clicks ready and voila.

Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70 Nokia E70
Left and right sides of the "shoulders" of the phone • left and right view when opened

Nokia E70 battery connector type is the older, bigger one. The battery works great as it made it through the testing period with only one charging and that's impressive, having in mind the aggressive work with the phone.

Reader comments

  • Adil

It's is my all time favorite phone and I would like to buy this once more...

  • balbains

I loved operating my E70. It has been really very close to my heart. But now it started having problems as hanging out for quite some time. I am interested to know if it can be updated with available latest software if any? I am not sure if this is t...

  • Khan

Nokia E70 phone looking nice and feuther awsome i like this