Nokia – 7610 review

Phone and PDA with 1-megapixel camera
Photo of Nokia – 7610
£free with contract

Some phones from Nokia seem to happen to have digital cameras built in. The cameras get mentioned among a barrage of other features. Not so the 7610, whose camera is its key selling point. You can take 1-megapixel stills with it, and capture up to ten minutes of video.

Of course, this being a Nokia phone, there’s the matter of hardware design to consider too. The basic ‘candybar’ shape has been used, with overall size and weight at 108.6mm x 53mm x 18.7mm and 118g – pretty average. Where Nokia has gone to town is with the keyboard, making the keys of varying sizes and curved, using a dual-coloured casing to give an air of difference. Some keys are appreciably smaller than others, but we didn’t find the arrangement too difficult to get used to.

Internally the 7610 runs on Nokia’s Series 60 platform, based around Symbian OS7. It feels familiar enough if you’ve used other recent Nokia phones, and the convention of softkeys and menu key is easy enough to settle into. The Series 60/Symbian OS7 combination means this phone can share information with your PC and it comes with a USB Connectivity cable and software that allows you to synchronise contacts, diary and tasks with Outlook.

There is 8MB of onboard memory, and the phone comes with a 64MB Reduced Size Multimedia Card (these are about half the size of SD cards, and to fit them into a standard reader you need an adapter: Nokia provides one of these). Other software includes players for RealMedia, MP3 and AAC files.

The phone is tri-band, supports GPRS, has Bluetooth, can be used to access SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail, will read HTML, XHTML and WML, and has the usual voice dialling capability. It runs Java MIDP 2.0, opening up the possibility for downloading third party applications including games.

In many of the above features the Nokia 7610 is not unlike the majority of other phones we’ve seen recently. It is the camera that makes it different, and the camera that Nokia wants you to buy it for. So what are its outstanding points?

That 1-megapixel resolution is key, of course. Images at 1,152 x 864 pixels are suitable for standard 6 x 4-inch prints, and in a joint deal with Kodak Nokia has set up a system whereby you can save images online and then order prints. You get a voucher for ten prints with the phone.

Image quality is pretty good, and standard and night shooting modes enhance the potential of the phone. The 4x digital zoom has potential, but picture quality degrades with digital zoom. Video is captured at 128 x 96 or 174 x 144 pixels, both of which are pretty small resolutions, but you can capture up to ten minutes at a time (10 seconds if you want to send videos to another phone), and the 4 x digital zoom can also be used here.

Company: Nokia

Contact: 08700 555 777

The Nokia 7610 is a nice phone. The hardware design is different enough to be eye-catching yet it remains very usable. The camera is certainly sophisticated, but not good enough to replace a digital camera for anything except the odd snapshot. The personal organisation features are as good as you'd expect from Series 60, and the fact that Nokia throws in the PC connect cable and software, and includes Bluetooth, are both useful from a data sharing perspective.