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Phones

Nokia 7710

Nokia's feature packed multimedia smart phone includes a wide screen with handwriting recognition, music player, megapixel digital camera and personal information management software.

Many mobile enthusiasts were disappointed when the media-savvy Nokia 7700 was retracted a few months ago. Well, it appears the Finnish phone maker has gone back to the drawing board and the 7700 now gets a refresher in the form of the 7710. Available this quarter, it's sure to please multimedia buffs with its arsenal of multimedia goodness. We take a quick look.

Upside: One glance at this triband unit and most will notice the generous 640 x 320-pixel display that dominates the front facade. Placed in a landscape orientation, the touch-sensitive screen is put to good use, so many functions are just a tap away. As it lacks a keypad, you'll need to rely on the handwriting recognition or stylus input. Interestingly, the phone lets you scribble a handwritten note and send it off to someone via MMS.

The earlier N-Gage caused quite a stir with its unorthodox sidetalking. In fact, the previous taco-shaped 7700 is plagued with the same issue. Fortunately, this is now corrected in the 7710. As the speaker and microphone are mounted appropriately, it's back to classic talking and spells the end of weird glances from onlookers.

Software-wise, this Nokia runs on the Series 90 platform. In addition to the customary PIM features, the Web browser, e-mail client and the ability to work on office documents will get the nod from professionals on the move. However, the 7710 is not all about work. It entertains with the included MP3 player and radio tuner. In addition, the video-capable megapixel camera will delight photo buffs.

All that power will be insignificant if this mobile is limited by memory. Here, Nokia does a splendid job and packs in a whopping 128MB of memory, of which 90MB is accessible. If that isn't enough, the integrated MultiMediaCard slot provides up to 512MB of optional storage.

Downside: All these functionalities come with a price--heft. At 189g, this Nokia isn't light to tote around and the bulky proportions may put off some users. In addition, this mobile lacks infrared, so tasks need to be completed over Bluetooth or a data cable.

Outlook: Brimming with features, the 7710 will appeal to multimedia enthusiasts as well as mobile professionals. That said, potential users will need to make a compromise on its dimensions. Also, Motorola's more pocket-friendly E680 may give this Nokia a run for its money despite the less dense screen and VGA camera.

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