Nokia N76 review: Nokia N76

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Typical Price: $879.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Thinner than the RAZR. Beautiful display. Multimedia features are easy to use.

The Bad Limited flip movement when cables are attached. Low-light photos suffer from excessive noise. No stereo Bluetooth support.

The Bottom Line The N76 is worthy of its N-series name, but for the price we would have liked to see its specs improved a notch.

7.2 Overall

Part of the N-series line-up (which includes the hugely popular N95), the N76 is a quadband 3G smartphone that retails for AU$879.

Design
At first glance the N76 appears to be a sort of Frankenstein creation, constructed in a lab from the hallmark parts of rivals' commercially successful phones. On the outer surface we have a mirrored face with embedded external display reminiscent of LG's Shine . Flipping the phone open, there's the flat metal, neon blue accented keypad from Motorola's many RAZR incarnations.

At 106.5mm by 52mm by 13.7mm, the N76 is thinner than any of the RAZRs, but feels wide in the hand. The flip mechanism is not spring-loaded, and the heft of the top section makes the phone a little awkward to open -- you'll probably need both hands.

Beneath the external 160x128 pixel TFT display are three multimedia keys, the likes of which we've seen on flip phones such as LG's U310 , Motorola's RAZR MAXX V6 and the Samsung A701 . Besides controlling your music, these keys allow you to read incoming texts -- handy for stealth communication during boring meetings or tiresome social encounters.

The headphone socket is a standard 3.5mm size, which means you can plug your own headphones straight into the phone. One design issue is that the ports for USB connection and the headset are located on the hinge, so when you plug in cables, the phone can't be flipped all the way open (see the video for a demo). Advertising material features the N76 opened at to an only-just-obtuse angle as if it was a laptop, but is that practical in terms of usability? Computer says no.

Overall, the construction of the N76 is solid, with its chunky hinge and 115-gram weight contrasting nicely with the whippet-thin form factor. You could throw this model around without fear of smashing it to bits.

Features
The N76 may not have the extensive feature set of its much-lauded N-series companion, the N95, but there's more than enough to keep you connected and entertained.

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