Nokia 6700 review:

Nokia 6700

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Vivid screen. Good camera. HSPA connectivity and GPS. Simple and attractive user interface.

The Bad No Wi-Fi. Fingerprint magnet. No standard headphone socket or adapter. No syncing with Macs.

The Bottom Line The Nokia 6700 Classic is no fancy-pants smartphone, but, as a solid and beautiful mobile that covers all the bases, it's a good reminder of how Nokia got to the top. A high quality, 5-megapixel camera and brilliant screen help make this phone a front-runner in the mid-range market.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.7 Overall

The Nokia 6000 Classic harks back to a simpler time, when life was easy and phones were shiny. Like a trustworthy friend, you won't receive any unpleasant surprises from this well-made, attractive and affordable phone.

Shiny, shiny

The 6700 is shiny — our chrome model was glossy enough to signal rescue helicopters. The heavy stainless-steel case and gentle curves make the 6700 a lovely object to hold, although it attracts fingerprints instantly.

The flat, chrome-covered keypad is guaranteed to sport more fingerprints than an episode of CSI. The keys aren't raised, but they're easy to press and give a satisfying click. The bottom row of buttons is slightly less clicky than the upper rows, so we occasionally hit the wrong key when we started out, but we think we'd get used to it over time, and it isn't a terrible problem.

The 6700 runs on the tried-and-tested Nokia S40 operating system, but it's been refreshed slightly. You can customise the home screen with alerts and shortcuts to your favourite applications, and the user interface is clear and easy to use.

There are a few little quirks in the UI, though. For example, the progress bar for downloads and so on whizzes back and forth merrily, rather than progressing from start to finish, as we'd expect. The UI also betrays Nokia's obsession with useless messages, like the one that pops up to tell you that you've got voicemail turned on every time you make a phone call. But none of these are deal breakers for an otherwise straightforward phone.

All things bright and beautiful

The 56mm (2.2-inch) screen is small, but gorgeously bright and vivid. Photos look stunning and icons are clear and readable.

We were also impressed with the 5-megapixel camera, which takes good shots in bright light. As with most cameras on phones, the colours are slightly washed out and, compared to a compact camera, you have to keep a fairly steady hand, but the 6700 performs better than average. The shutter lag is reasonable. It took less than two seconds from the time we pressed the shutter to the photo being taken.

In low light, the LED photo light does a very good job of brightening up nearby objects. Although photos are noisy in low light, the results are still impressive, and images tend to be in focus as long as you keep your shooting hand reasonably still.

One drawback is the camera shutter button on the side. We found it too tiny to press easily. Happily, the centre of the five-way button on the front of the phone also works as a shutter button, and it's large and easy to press. The volume buttons also suffer from the same problem as the main shutter button, and they're slightly out of reach, towards the top of the phone.

Expand your mind

We were happy to see that we could access Nokia's Ovi Store on the 6700. It didn't come pre-installed on our sample — although we did get a shortcut to the Ovi photo-sharing site — but it was easy to download and install.

Unfortunately, the Ovi Store still only has a handful of good apps, but some are worth grabbing. For example, the Facebook app is better than the shortcut that comes pre-installed in the 6700's applications folder, which just opens a link to the Facebook site in the phone's browser. Although it's not quite as glamorous as the touchscreen versions you'll find on much pricier phones like Apple's iPhone and the HTC Hero, everything is where it should be and it'll easily keep you connected to your social circle. Google Maps is also on board, and there's GPS for pinpointing your location.

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