The Nokia phonebook is perhaps the best that is currently available in mobile handsets. It has kinetic scrolling like the rest of the phone; and an interesting search mechanism. When searching for a specific contact, the onscreen keyboard only retains letters that appear in actual contacts. For example, assuming there were two contact entries under ‘L’, namely Lynnette and Linda. The user taps on the letter ‘L’ to bring up the two contacts. The subsequent keypad will have just the letters ‘y’ and ‘i’, to indicate the two actual possibilities.
The email client is excellent, with a no-frills interface. It is simple to set up, as all the user needs to provide is their email address and the password. The service provider settings are automatically downloaded and installed. Incoming calls can be silenced by judicious use of the accelerometer, which is a handy feature. Additionally, the proximity sensor turns off the touchscreen when it senses the phone is against the ear.
As the phone is intended to be a music-oriented device, there are some interesting extras that have been added. The music player is fairly standard Symbian-issue, with little alteration from previous handsets. However there is an interesting tool, Playlist DJ, which consists of four sliders. Each slider represents a certain mood, and the slider regulates the quantum of the mood. The sliders are set to reflect the user’s mood, and the tool generates a playlist based upon that information. Of course, each song needs to be categorized and defined before the feature works properly, however it is still an innovative addition. Overall the audio quality is excellent.
The contents of the package deserve special mention, as Nokia has seen fit to include a decent set of headphones, instead of the earbud version that is usually shipped. The WH-500 headset is geared toward enjoyment of music, and since the phone is an Xpress Music handset, this makes perfect sense.
The camera is 5 megapixels, with a dual LED flash and a Carl Zeiss lens. The camera options are good for a mobile phone, although the options are difficult to set due to cumbersome accessibility. The flash has its own shortcut, which is handy. The image quality is very good because of the optics used. There are no easy photography options like smile detection or touch focus, like similar models from other manufacturers, however that does not necessarily detract from the quality of the application.
The web browser is again similar to older models, and long-time users of Nokia phones will recognize the mini-map navigational aid. There is Flash support built into the browser, which is certainly a strong point in the handset’s favour – as compared to its contemporaries. The kinetic scrolling is another good addition, making the web browsing experience significantly better than before.
The GPS hardware is especially sensitive and tenacious, maintaining its signal even in densely populated areas. It has a partial subscription to Ovi Maps freely available, although some features are part of a premium package. The touch interface is highly intuitive and easily navigable.