Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
- Well built, Excellent keypad and user interface, Fair list of multimedia features, Voice Clarity
- Swivel design, Can't answer calls with the phone closed, Camera performance and design, Paltry memory
The 7370 is a typical fashion handset - it substitutes quality and performance for the sake of design. This isn't to say its bad in any sense, but it has a few flaws that prevent it from being as good as it could have.
Price$ 629.00 (AUD)
Fashion phones are becoming somewhat of a fad and Nokia are always at the forefront. In the 7370, part of the L'Amour series of handsets, Nokia has created a fashionable phone that unfortunately substitutes quality and ease of use for the sake of style; in this case an annoying swivel design that hinders an otherwise solid handset.
The design of the 7370 is actually quite robust, despite being tailor-made as a fashion accessory rather than a communications tool. Evident from the moment we laid hands on it, the build quality came as quite a surprise. The front metal finish surrounding the screen is a nice touch and this continues to the rear of the swivel, which looks like stylish aluminum; if you can picture such a thing. The rear of the phone itself contains a brown leather insert which is the battery cover - totally unnecessary, largely a gimmick, but important on these types of handsets nonetheless.
Swiveled open, the 7370 reveals a sleek looking keypad complete with a chrome 5-way navigational pad. The keys themselves are fairly well spaced out and don't require much of a firm press to activate, which will be welcomed by keen SMS freaks. Despite the well laid out keypad and control system, the 7370 is ultimately hindered by its swivel design. Nokia's best efforts to perfect it have been unsuccessful in our opinion; it just isn't practical and during testing was very uncomfortable. Firstly, you need two hands to open the swivel; one to hold the base and the other to slide it across and open the phone. This is far from ideal and although the screen automatically adjusts its position to reflect whether the phone is opened or closed, ultimately, it will be always upside down at one point when it is cupped in your hand. Furthermore, the swivel can't be rotated in a full 360 degrees; example, opening it to the left means you can only close it to the left, not the right. Oh and don't try to answer the phone when it is closed - it's not possible.
Apart from the keypad and controls, not too many other buttons are present on the 7370; just a dedicated Camera button, a Power key and a Volume control are present, which is simple and just the way we like it. The Series 40 user interface continues this simple theme; large animated menu icons ensure that ease of use is high on the agenda. Sub menus are in a nicely laid out list format and the bright and clear 2-inch QVGA display screen does an excellent job of showcasing graphics. The only complaint we have with the menu is that the text is fairly small underneath the icons and can't be resized; meaning those with poor eyesight may not be able to read this text clearly.
The 7370 includes a fair list of multimedia features for a handset in this price range, including an built in FM Radio, 1.3 mega pixel camera, Media Player and Voice Recorder. Unfortunately, all of these features are hindered by a paltry 10MB of internal memory - with no options left open to expand this. Why Nokia wouldn't include a memory card slot or bump up the default memory is a mystery. 10MB is only enough to store a few MP3 files and this is before you take into consideration any photos or video you want to keep as well. In this case, the memory is a severe hindrance on this handset and we were extremely disappointed.
The 1.3 mega pixel digital camera offers an impressive 8x digital zoom, but the overall performance of the camera was slightly below the standard we have come to expect from these types of devices. For starters, there is no flash or even a light; and before you suggest it forget about using night mode because the 7370 camera is all but useless in the dark. We also experienced a less than adequate standard of image noise; most of the shots we uploaded were poor in this regard. However, the biggest problem with the camera is the position of the lens - when the camera is swiveled open and ready to capture an image, your normal hand position covers the lens, forcing you to adjust your grip on the phone. Video recording is also available, but with a less than acceptable quality and a maximum recording time of just five minutes we don't think you'll be using it very often.
Other features include Bluetooth and USB connectivity, although with the latter a USB cable is not included in the packaged and thus needs to be purchased separately. Support for SMS, MMS and email messaging is available, as is instant messaging. Voice quality was excellent throughout testing and the hands free speakerphone was loud and clear - perhaps one of the best we've seen. Battery life wasn't too bad either, with the phone lasting a touch over three days.
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