Review Based on the popular 7610, the 6670 tries to offer the same features in a different, more business-oriented packaging. But is it enough to woo the public once again? writes Charlie Brewer.
The phone itself is a fairly standard tri-band GSM handset. Options such as being able to record ten minutes of video on the megapixel digicam with 4x zoom may be useful, as might the 64MB reduced-size MMC card that comes lodged in the phone's innards for storing extra images, applications and ringtones. It has a poor (these days) 8MB of memory built in. The handset's 900mAh battery offers a reasonable 140 minutes of talk time or 240 hours on stand-by. Its display is 65,535-colour 176 x 208 job of the kind we've already seen on the 6600.
Design aficionados may think it terribly deconstructionist to have the numeric keys arranged in slanting pattern, but the pond-hopping business executive can easily tire of such novelties. At least the keypad is arranged in the usual 3 x 3 grid fashion, rather than the 7610's sloping layout. The designers of the new layout should have made the five-way paddle in the centre of the keys larger, as the centre depression is not precise enough and often as not you end up changing direction rather than selection and option.
The real points of interest seem to be the new software Nokia and its chums are collaborating to deliver. Netforce, a mobile browser with PDF support first seen a while ago on Sony's Clié PDAs before they were untimely ripped from the UK markets, is back, on the 6670. Look out too for Lifeblog. Even though the name is almost too pretentious to stomach, the idea is quite sound. Lifeblog is designed to store sequentially all the images recorded and messages received, on your phone and your computer. This keeps a permanent record of the phones activities, without having to fill the relatively small on-board memory. Complaints have arisen that the relatively new software is still a little buggy and can bring down Windows XP, and I concur after the downloaded version reduced my office PC to a black-screened paperweight, so there's still work still to be done on this program. Many of the applications, as well as the Symbian OS (version 7.0s, by the way) require repeated confirmation of actions before they are completed, frustrating as this is it also means that you are pounding the keyboard a lot more than needed.
A poor person's GPS system has also been included in the form of an application called Positioning. This basically triangulates the phone's position within the cell it is currently receiving a signal from. Nokia points out this can vary from 300m, in the centre of large city, to 15km in the great outdoors, so it's not really designed for pinpoint precision, more as an aid to locating services in your vicinity. At the time of this review Nokia was unable to confirm that this function will be supported by all the UK's networks.
The 6670 is also one of the new breed of handsets that lack infra-red. Of Nokia's many recently released models, most have had this mainstay removed. It seems that Bluetooth is striking the death knell for IR.
Overall, the 6670 is a showboat. The large memory (thanks to the free MMC card) and 1152 x 864 camera are simply vessels with which to demonstrate the latest software developments. Mobile phones are no longer about the basic functionality of the handset, or even the design of the body or the configuration of the keys, they are about the software the phone carries inside.
|Pros||— Better laid out key configuration than the 7610; good software selection; 64MB card in box.|
|Cons||— Poorly defined five-way navigation pad.|
|Price||£450 without contract; around £100 with contract|
|More info||The Nokia 6670 site|
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