After taking over 1200 photos and 50 videos with the Nokia N70 camera phone review unit (courtesy of the N70 Nokia Blogger Relations program, thanks Andy!) since I received it on January 20, 2006, it's time for an N70 review.

Ignorance is bliss. If I hadn't recently tried out Robert Scales' new Sony Ericsson K750 or Harry's Nokia N90 (the guy who told me where to buy my grey market Nokia 7610), I would be 100% content with the N70.

BOTTOM LINE:

The Nokia N70 Cameraphone is a fantastic cameraphone as well as a fantastic cellphone. Except for the lack of a macro mode, the 2 Megapixel stills are great and there's lots of great toys like in camera digital cross processing. And the video mode is great! Good-bye postage stamp videos! What would I buy with my own money? Hard to say, but if I could afford it, I think it would be either the just released N91 (so I can try WiFi) or the N90 (for the the macro mode). If I didn't have the money, I'd definitely pay for the N70 because it's more than good enough and I can (mostly) live without a good macro mode.

<RANT>

For me, the camera combined with always on mobile internet access is my killer app (i.e. ShoZu is my killer mobile phone app) for a mobile phone and while the camera is fantastic on the N70 (in comparison to the crappy RAZR phone camera or almost any other cameraphone out there except for the forthcoming Sony Ericsson and Nokia 3 Megapixel phones with optical zooms e.g. N93), I pine for the camera of the K750 and N91 with their killer macro modes.

But you won't catch me switching to Sony Ericsson! For all my criticism of Series 60, it's really the only viable mobile platform out there at the moment. Sony is unusable and has no software (compared to Series 60) and no way to develop software easily (Series 60 has python! go Nokia go!) and I hate Sony's proprietary memory stick. Motorola is unusable (but cool looking in the case of the Razr) and also has no software to speak of and no way to develop software easily and don't get me started on Java on mobile phones :-) ! And BlackBerry is a non starter: no camera not to mention no (well OK very little compared to Series 60) software and no way to easily develop software! Sorry but I don't need "always on" email ) and if I did, Profimail, or heck even mobile Gmail would be good enough

</RANT>

LIKES:

  • Great still photos (unlike for example the cr*ppy camera on the Razr).
  • Great video. High quality and big! Seems to be a little fuzzier than the 6630 when you move the camera but maybe that's just my jittery hands.
  • Great phone phone. Excellent voice quality.
  • Love the "no need to train" voice dialing mode.
  • iSync works great (with hack and now in Mac OS X10.4.6)
  • Lots of great apps like ShoZu
  • Easy to write your own apps in Python if you are a developer.
  • Love the in-camera digital cross processing effects (sepia, black and white, negative)

DISLIKES:

  • The joystick is unusable. I like the one on Boris' 6630 much better. I always find myself hitting cursor down, up, left or right when I mean to press the joystick button. Nokia, please get this right consistently on your phones!
  • No Macro mode
  • Needs a button to save and retrieve user definable camera settings.
  • Can't lock the camera cover so the camera always ends up opening when it's in my pocket.