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Nokia 5070 review

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Nokia's 5070 is a straightforward mobile phone with no frills. It is definitely at the low end of mid-range, if not even lower than that.

Made almost entirely of plastic the black, white and red colour scheme is not very inspirational, though Nokia has come up with a grey dot pattern for the back cover and a metal strip to house the back mounted camera which help give it a bit of a lift.

The plastic casing means the Nokia 5070 is pretty light - just 88g. A similarly positive statement can't be made for the general build, though. This is a fairly chunky mobile at 18.6mm thick, though its 105mm of height and 44mm of width are very much candybar standard measurements.
Nokia 5070 review

The good news is that, as is often the case with Nokia's mid-range and lower end handsets, the front keys are all large. The numberpad keys are sizeable and have a huge raised area. Anyone keen on fast texting might find this mobile ideal in the keypad department. The navigation key is raised from its surroundings and its central select button follows the trend of being large. The same comment applies to the Softmenu, Call and End keys.

With a generous amount of the front fascia given over to keys, the screen is necessarily squeezed. I measured it at 1.8 inches corner to corner. It is a CSTN type and delivers just 128 x 160 pixels. These two features mean the screen lacks vibrancy and definition. The 65 thousand colour-count is low too, and between them the screen specifications are uninspiring.

The screen seems to take a millisecond or two to respond to key presses but if you are not coming to this phone from a different and better specified model the lag is probably not going to be noticeable. In the end, if you are just looking for a phone whose primary purpose is making voice calls a fancy screen is probably low among your priorities.Nokia 5070 review

There is no music player, but there is an FM radio. I can't recall ever seeing another phone offering that combination - it is more usual to have a music player but no radio. The radio picks up a signal well enough and the phone's volume is loud enough for plonking it on the desk when you want to listen.

The radio has 20 preset stations but you have to tune them manually as the phone can't scan and save automatically. It doesn't have RDS either - so you don't know what station you are listening to until you are told by a programme presenter. At least when you save a station you can name it, but it would have been nice if Nokia had taken the pain out of this process by enabling RDS support and auto tuning.

As well as the loudspeaker you can play music through the provided headset. This is a fairly average one-piece affair and is needed even when you are using the loudspeaker as the FM antenna is in the headset. It uses Nokia's Pop-Port connector.

You also need to use the Pop-Port if you want to connect to a computer. The 5070 can synchronise with a PC via the Nokia PC Suite software but you'll need to download the software and buy a cable as neither are included in the box. The mains power cable is one of those annoying tiny-headed Nokia chargers. Oh for mini USB!

Both Web browsing and email are supported, though this is a tri-band GSM handset without 3G so both are relatively slow processes. Web browsing is limited to XHTML and WML sites, and the small screen turns everything into a rather unrewarding visual experience. If you want these feature, look for another mobile phone.

A major omission is the absence of Bluetooth. Infra red is here and, as there is no support for flash memory, this could be crucial for getting photos you shoot with the built-in camera off the device. The internal memory is limited to just 4.3MB which needs to house all your downloads as well as any photos you take.

The good news, if it can be so described, is that photos won't take up much space. The camera's maximum resolution is 640 x 480 pixels and it has one other shooting resolution - 80 x 96. Even shot at high quality, the setting I always use for our mobile phone reviews, image quality is not that hot.

The slowness of the screen to respond as I moved the handset around to frame shots was irritating, and the CSTN display is difficult to see in bright sunlight. There is a self-timer and night shooting mode but very little else by way of user control over images.
Nokia 5070 review

There is also no flash and using this camera is very much a case of point and click, and take a punt on what you'll get. On the phone you can edit images by adding text, a frame, clip art, or a thumbnail of another image, and you can crop images.

My sample photos illustrate the camera's limitations. The coloured dish, shot under normal household lighting, is fairly good, with reasonable colour reproduction. The flowers are not evenly exposed or in focus and thus the shot is disappointing. I rather like the cat photo but it's not a representation of the real world. She was photographed with light streaming in from a window behind me as I took the photo and there was a room, not darkness, in the background.

I couldn't assess battery life via my usual rundown test playing music, so I fully loaded the battery and then listened to the radio instead. It didn't get me through a full working day and I imagine you'll need to charge this phone daily.

Verdict

The 5070 is a very basic mobile, though the FM radio is a welcome up-market feature. It mostly functions well enough, but the screen is a real let-down.

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