Besides threaded text and multimedia messaging, there's instant messaging, and e-mail. POP3 e-mail access for accounts such as AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail is limited to a clunky Web-based interface, but RemoSync service offers access to push e-mail from corporate accounts as well as calendar, notes, and contacts syncing. We tried syncing our work e-mail and were mostly pleased with the results. The initial sync took a few minutes, but after that the process as pretty smooth and you can view some e-mail attachments. The service will cost you $9.99 per month. We'd much prefer to have such a cost included in an umbrella monthly data plan. The same goes for Verizon's Visual Voice mail, which costs $2.99 per month. Add up all those extra costs and you get an expensive monthly plan. At that rate, it's better to get a real smartphone with a comprehensive data plan.
As an EV-DO Rev. 0 phone, the 7705 Twist supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services, including V Cast streaming video content, and the V Cast Music with Rhapsody. Both the V Cast menu and music store interface are pretty much unchanged from other Verizon phones. The player's options include the usual limited shuffle and repeat modes, but V Cast Music also will recommend other songs based on your playlist. The Twist includes an airplane mode for listening to your tunes while aloft.
The 7705 Twist has a 3-megapixel camera. You can take pictures in five resolutions from 2,048x1,536 pixels down to 320x240 pixels. Editing options include three quality settings, a self-timer, auto-focus, three color tones, four white-balance effects, landscape and portrait modes, a brightness control, and three shutter sounds (plus a silent option). There's also a 4x digital zoom, though it's unusable at the highest resolution. The Twist has a flash, which was brighter than we expected. You can set it to always on or only for one shot. Photo qualitywas just average, unfortunately. Colors were dull and our shots were somewhat blurry.
The camcorder shoots clips the 176x144-pixel resolution. Its editing options are similar to the still camera, though not as extensive. The flash will double as a light for when you are recording. Clips means for multimedia messages are capped at 30 seconds; otherwise, you can shoot for longer in standard mode. Videos are what you'd expect--blurry with insufficient sound. When finished with the camera you can save transfer shots and videos to the Twist or transfer them off using messaging, e-mail, Bluetooth, a memory card, or a USB cable. The Twist has 119MB of integrated memory, but the microSD slot will accommodate cards up to 119MB.
As mentioned, the 7705 Twist offers a XHTML browser that can display Web pages in their full form. It's a nice option to have, but the Twist's small display doesn't quite do the pages justice. Not only do you have to scroll quite a bit to see the full page, but also you have to resort to moving the pointer with the toggle. We prefer to use a touch screen with such a Web browser.
You can personalize the 7705 Twist using themes, wallpaper, clock formats, and a banner. You can download more options and additional ringtones from Verizon. The handset comes with Ms. Pac Man and Tetris games. Additional Java Brew titles are available for purchase.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Nokia 7705 Twist in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was admirable from our perspective. Our callers sounded natural, the signal was strong and there was little static or interference. Our main complaint was that the volume could be louder, though it should be fine for most calls. It was only a problem when we calling alongside a busy street, for instance, or in an airport. The Twist is compatible with M4 and T4 hearing aids.
On their end, our callers had few complaints. A few couldn't even tell that we were using a cell phone. The volume was an issue here as well, and some mentioned a bit of background noise, but our friends were pleased on the whole. Calls to automated systems were equally good most of the time. Speakerphone calls with the Twist were slightly less satisfactory. Its volume was louder than on regular calls, but the audio was slightly distorted. Also, we had to speak close to the phone and avoid using it in loud places. Bluetooth calls were fine, though quality can vary by headset.
The EV-DO Rev. 0 connection offered zippy data speeds. Though we didn't enjoy using the browser given our complaints, Web pages nonetheless loaded quickly and with few hiccups. V Cast videos also loaded swiftly and our clips never froze or paused for buffering. Clips were showed only slight pixilation and the audio matched the action on the screen. We were disappointed, however, that the frame size doesn't using the full width of the display, particularly on the landscape orientation. As with most video phones, we didn't want to watch any clip longer than a few minutes Browsing through the online music store was fast and painless as well. We downloaded a 1.58MB song in less than a minute. The external speaker has decent output, but our tunes were rather harsh. A headset will offer a better experience.
The Twist 7705 has a rated battery life of 4.5 hours talk time and 13 days standby time. In our testing, we found that it has a tested talk time of 6 hours and 48 minutes According to FCC radiation tests, the Twist has a digital digital SARof 0.70 watts per kilogram.