Nokia N70 review: Universal fighter

Marek Lutonský, 26 October 2005.

In the upper right corner you will see the lens of the second camera. Its basic task is to facilitate video calls, but it could be used for self-portraits too.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Front camera for video calls and self-portraits

On its right side the phone has a tiny button, which appears to lack any function at first glance. It is active when the back cover is removed and the camera lens is uncovered: the mysterious button is a shutter release which can be used when the phone is held horizontally, like a common digital camera.

Above this button is the slot cover for the RS-DV-MMC memory card. The cover seems quite fragile, even worse than the one in Nokia 6681. Inside the joint there is a sensor, which signals the OS to close all running applications when the slot cover is open, to ensure the card removal without problems. Nokia N70 comes with a 64 MB memory card in the delivery package.

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Memory card slot: is it going to survive?

I like the design of the phone's topside. It has a round switch-off button, which is framed by a thin cover frame. The profile of the phone is unusual too. The speaker is hidden under a big slot. In its corner there is an eyelet for the phone's leather strip, which comes with the standard package.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Interesting design

The Pop-port connector on the bottom side does not need presentation. What is worth mentioning though is the smaller charge connector, which Nokia started to use in its smartphones. In the box you will find a conversion device, which allows for charging with an older charger.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Pop-port and a connector for a smaller charger

If you need to access the battery the back cover - partly silver, partly black - needs to be removed. The Li-Ion battery has a bit higher capacity than usual - 970 mAh. What should I say about its durability? In all smartphones the situation is the same. You could discharge the battery within a few hours or have it working for about 4 days. It all depends on the way you use your phone. I myself charge a phone of the Series 60 every two or three days, but you should not rely on this. The battery life depends on the usage. Nokia N70's accumulator gets charged in 1.5 to 2 hours.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Naked Nokia


Display: Nokia has better ones

Pros: Good size and resolution • Good picture
Cons: Nokia knows how to make better displays • Brightness levels are somewhat lower than in the forerunners

On all accounts, the Nokia N70 display is top-quality . The problem is that resolution that used to be considered brilliant a few years ago is now considered average. So once having seen the quality Nokia presented in its N90 model, which was released even earlier than N70, I just don't have the heart to praise Nokia N70 display. In addition, it is quite obvious that the next smartphone models will feature a significantly higher resolution.

Comparison aside, you will most probably find the Nokia N70's display quite good. The 176 × 208 pixels resolution is fine enough. The size of 35 × 41 mm is not bad either. Yet, the comparison to Nokia N90, which features a resolution of 352 × 416 pixels, is merciless.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Display is good, but it is doubtless that Nokia is able to make better ones

Nokia N70 has a TFT type active display, able to show 262K colors. As we had the chance to see in earlier reviews, the human eye is not able to make the difference between 262K and 65K colors. The backlighting of the display is even, except for the bright areas in its upper part, where strips of different brightness can be seen. The picture on the display remains perfect no matter from what angles you look at it. If I have to make a comparison between this model's display and the one of Nokia 6681, I prefer the older model for its display is a bit brighter.

The brightness of N70's display has a 5-step contrast setup. You can also select an interval, in which the backlighting will dimmer and to let the screensaver with a time bar to appear.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom Backlighting


Keypad: smaller but good

Pros: Brilliant keypad • New user key
Cons: Smaller keypad and keys • Call control buttons are difficult to see in the dark

On the N70 Nokia has tried to place more keys on a smaller area than it used to do in its older models. The key block is 38 × 33 mm big; whilst in Nokia 6681 it was 45 × 35 mm. The change has turned out well, I think. Even though the keys are smaller, writing is smooth and comfortable. The keys' uplift is perfect. The same holds true for their reactions. When you press a key, a clear click comes out. It is neither too loud, no too quiet. The keys are oblong, so in terms of design, there are no new experiments.

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Keypad is smaller, but writing is comfortable

The number of function buttons is slowly getting to even up with the one of the number keys. Besides the two context buttons below the display and the red and the green receiver buttons for call control, you will also find a few more keys typical for Symbian smart phones:

  • Main menu access key, which also starts the manager of all running programs
  • A tiny pencil for selection and work with text
  • Correction button C

A new button has been also added. Its symbol is a rhomb. In the original phone setup it opens the Gallery. Of course, you can change this and select an application you prefer most. To do so, just press and hold the button - do not search for a customization option in the menu.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom
New key is added to the right middle part

To select an option press the main cursor key. In addition you can assign various applications to all its four ways. If you do this, however, be sure that the Active stand-by mode function is deactivated. More details on this are to be found further in the article.

The keypad backlighting is blue with an epicentre below the zero key. All keys are well visible in the dark, except for the two receivers, where the backlighting is low and eliminates the difference between red and green. The keypad is locked with a standard key combination, but you can set it to get locked automatically from the main menu. In such a case the phone comes to life only if you enter a special safety password.

Nokia N70. Click to zoom
Backlighting of the keypad: can you see the difference between red and green?

Reader comments

  • Hazem

Still use this great phone from 2006 to 2014 and still it one of the great products ever. N70 is my life

  • Bilal

l no get 3G feauter in this mobile bad.......

  • Anonymous

Nokia N70 phone my life.N70 mobile is very good and spot on all softwear.