As a long time Nokia enthusiast, I’ve used and owned countless models of S30, S40, Maemo, and and S60/Symbian powered devices over the years, and have admired and enjoyed the quality and design efforts imbued into each individual device. Earlier this month, I populated my Amazon birthday wishlist with a few fun items I wanted, including the diminutive new Nokia 700 Symbian-Belle powered phone. And to my amazement, my sister surprised me by feeding my appetite for cool gadgets…with the Nokia 700 landing at my doorstep just the other day!
My last experience with a relatively new-to-market Symbian handset, a trial Nokia E7 from almost exactly a year ago, left me with highly positive impressions about the hardware, but mixed feelings about the software, possibly due to the early version of the Symbian^3 OS it was released with at the time. Now a year later, Symbian Belle has been made available worldwide to numerous Symbian^3 devices as a free upgrade, and the Nokia 700 is one of several new handsets, alongside the 603 and 701, to launch with the new OS, now simply dubbed Noka Belle. And in that year’s time, Nokia has repositioned Symbian as a midrange platform, with Windows Phone 7.5 as its preferred smartphone platform for the future. Will my impressions of Symbian Belle be consistent with my ambivalent feelings about Symbian^3, or will I be impressed by the improvements in Belle? After just unboxing the unit last night, I’m happy to report its the latter opinion so far.
Unboxed, the Nokia 700’s trim, angular, and compact dimensions suggest a highly pocketable, fashion-forward handset, with a distinctly European design language. Given it’s market positioning as an entry-level to midrange model, the build quality is unassailable, and consistent with some of my favorites from my personal collection of classics, such as the Nokia E71. The shiny metal accent covering the front speaker grille and the brushed metal rear battery door are nice touches, and lend an impression of durability and quality.
After popping in my T-Mobile SIM card into the device, I powered up the Nokia 700 for the first time, and was greeted by the happy and familiar Nokia chime and ‘Connecting People’ outreached hands of the splashscreen during the bootup sequence. The 3.2 inch AMOLED ClearBlack display is quite vibrant, and hopefully will contribute to good battery longevity. My brand new Nokia was ready to go!
I’ll post more thoughts and impressions soon; here is the default homescreen from Nokia Belle on the Nokia 700: