Nokia 700 review

The thin Nokia 700 is certainly a tiny smartphone, but is it packing much hardware in that skinny frame?

Nokia 700
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Ovi maps has always been an excellent selling point for enabled Nokia handsets, and the version included on the Nokia 700 is no exception. The GPS locks on quickly, there's the option of satellite, 3D or map views and both car and walking sat nav guides.

It easily gives Google maps a run for its money, with a compass that calibrates quickly and extra excellent features.

It's truly easy to use and, on top of the bread and butter map features, provides extra apps-within-the-maps such as Time Out, TripAdvisor and Qype to ensure you'll find what you're looking for in the local area if you need a few suggestions on where to go.

In terms of other apps, the Nokia 700 covers the basics decently well.

Nokia 700

The Social app (and widget) provides updates from your Twitter and Facebook feeds in one integrated home page, while also acting as a portal to the Symbian Twitter and Facebook apps.

They offer good experiences for app versions of your favourite networking sites. In Twitter you can see the feed, @ replies, Messages and followers, plus enter the camera in order to upload a picture to Twitter there and then.

That's pretty good functionality; it's just a shame you can't do things such as dip into message history to understand the context of someone's conversation.

As for Facebook, there is much the same functionality. You can check out profiles, messages, notifications and news feeds.

You can also upload camera content there and then.

Photo albums are slow to load, even on a Wi-Fi connection, but once they do, the viewer renders them well.

As for the rest of apps pre-loaded on the Nokia 700, you're provided with the BBC iPlayer app, shazam, the Virgin Player app, YouTube, Orkut, Nat Geo, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. There's also Quickoffice for the more business-minded user.

iPlayer is excellent, except for the fact that there's no 3G streaming functionality, which is rubbish. The Virgin Media app is willing to work via 3G, but you've got to sign up for a "pass" first, which is only valid for 24 hours.

Still, for getting started, it's not a bad lot. All the apps you download can be used as shortcuts from the home screens, or filed into appropriate folders in the menu, making it easy to reach what you want when you want.

The Nokia 700 is also NFC-enabled, which, had we a second handset to test that out on, would have been excellent. NFC technology enables you to simply tap two devices together to swap contact information, share files and even wirelessly pair with accessories such as speakers.

But, unfortunately, moving on from the basic and most ubiquitous apps is difficult, because the Ovi store is notoriously rubbish. Decent games are few and far between, and the lack of even those apps popularised on the Android and Apple app stores are noticeably absent for Symbian.

It's a shame really, because the Nokia 700 could have really stretched its legs a little with something more challenging than Angry Birds.