Nokia N78

Geotag your photos with this Nokia handset

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Nokia N78
  • Nokia N78
  • Nokia N78
  • Nokia N78

Pros

  • FM transmitter, geotagging, A-GPS, HSDPA-capable, display

Cons

  • Poorly designed keypad and controls, questionable build quality

Bottom Line

The Nokia N78 has some excellent features, but it is let down by poorly designed controls. If you can overlook this issue, it's a neat handset that has plenty to offer.

Would you buy this?

A handset quite similar in terms of features and design to Nokia's N82, the latest addition to the N-Series introduces image geotagging and also boasts a convenient FM transmitter.

The N78 is a standard candy-bar handset with a mostly gloss plastic build. It probably won't win any design awards, but the sleek front and rounded edges do look quite classy. The lightweight build makes this handset feel less expensive than it should, and we don't feel confident about how it would stand up to a few knocks.

Despite plenty of space on the front of this handset, Nokia has perplexingly opted for a squashed and tiny keypad. Although its tactility is fair, we simply can't understand the design. Avid SMS users will soon become frustrated by the tiny buttons, and the glossy surface of the keys makes it easy for your fingers to slip off them when trying to type at a fast pace.

The dedicated multimedia key wedged between the five-way navigational pad and end key could have been avoided. The answer and end calls keys are unnecessarily close to the edge of the unit. In addition, these keys are completely flat on the glossy front surface, so tactility is poor overall. A nifty feature is the fact that the navigational pad doubles as a touch-sensitive scroll pad, making it ideal to scroll through long lists. Although it's a nice idea, it isn't as responsive as we'd like.

It's a shame the controls and keypad are so poorly designed, as the rest of this handset isn't. Of particular interest is the excellent display. It's large, crisp and clear and has excellent horizontal and vertical viewing angles. The glossy surface does tend to mean it's a little hard to see in direct sunlight, but this is an issue with many mobile phone displays.

In terms of features, the N78 is almost identical to the N82, but there are two notable additions. The first is the option to geotag your photos. When you take a picture using the N78's camera, it uses the GPS receiver to pinpoint your location and attaches this information to the photo. This works well and doesn't require any tweaking to activate, though if you have GPS navigation disabled obtaining a fix on your location will take quite a while — so don't be alarmed if some of your photos aren't geotagged at first. The regular GPS function is virtually identical to other Nokia handsets. It can have quite a steep learning curve, as there is no touch screen and you'll need to use the navigation pad and selection buttons.

The second feature absent on the N82 but present here is a built-in FM transmitter. This feature allows you to transmit music from the N78 to an FM radio — particularly useful in a car. Using it is a simple matter of switching it on in the music menu and selecting a static-free frequency. There are also advanced settings, such as saving preset frequencies.

Wi-Fi, HSDPA-capabilities and Assisted GPS (with the Nokia Maps application included) are all present. The 3.2-megapixel camera with LED-flash is solid but far from outstanding. Although it boasts a Carl-Zeiss lens, we can't help but feel a phone like this deserves at least a 5-megapixel camera with a Xenon flash.

For multimedia, the N78 is a fair device, offering a 3.5mm headphone jack and a remote with inline volume and playback controls. Surprisingly, playing music through the on-board speakers isn't a bad option; when using a quality pair of headphones, sound is quite good. Users can store their music on the included 2GB microSD card; some extra internal memory would have been welcome.

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