The Nokia 700 is a neat little smartphone with a solid and tidy physical design. At just 92g in weight and overall measurements of 110x50x9.7mm it may appeal if you want your smartphone to fit into a small pocket and like the idea of being able to reach right across the screen for one-handed use.
The trade off, though, is a relatively small screen which, at 3.2in, feels a little cramped at times. If you need to read a lot of email messages on your smartphone, enjoy viewing video or even playing games, you’ll probably find the viewing area restrictive. And the slightly narrow format afforded by the 640x360-pixel ratio might not quite work for you, either. We certainly found it made web browsing a bit of a fiddle.
Tiny thin buttons for locking the screen, adjusting volume and access to the 5Mp camera with LED flash sit on the right edge. They are not easy to hit accurately and if you have chunky fingers you might have trouble.
While its flagship operating system is now Windows Phone, Nokia has not abandoned Symbian, and the Nokia 700 runs its latest incarnation, Symbian Belle. A nod and a wink to Android come in the shape of between three and six home screens (you decide how many you need) plus widgets, and there are third-party applications available through the Ovi Store – though far fewer than you’ll find in the Android Market or on the iPhone.
A solid 1GHz processor and 2GB of internal memory, GPS with Nokia Maps in support, and the usual smartphone accoutrements of Wi-Fi and HSDPA are all included along with relative newcomer NFC (near field communications). There’s not a lot you can do with this at present, but the potential for data exchange by proximity may appeal.
Gorilla Glass ensures the screen is protected against scratches while the backplate is made from rigid metal. This, plus the fact that the smartphone basics are catered for mean the Nokia 700 has a non-nonsense appearance and functionality which we like. But in the end it may be that bit too small to really pass muster as a usable smartphone these days, and Symbian Belle feels distinctly hampered by a lack of third-party application support.