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Review GSM phone Nokia 7360
About a year ago the company of Nokia took a very successful step by launching its ArtDeco collection. Having almost used up the safety margin for these models, which means moral obsolescence of their appearance and filling, the company renews the whole line. All the models preserve their numbers, and only at the second position one is added, for instance, Nokia 7260 turned into Nokia 7360.
The beginning model of the series is considered the most democratic both in price and appearance is endowed with a standard set of functions. The company stresses its product can play MP3 melodies, which are possible for setting as a call signal, integrated VGA camera is present, and FM-radio is at your disposal. The previous model lacked only MP3 of the peculiarities listed above. A curious thing is when comparing these two models not considering design, we can stress only slight changes in a function set and another screen (it got larger). And only. So, the release of the 7360 demonstrates the concept of the maximum platform life, when all the changes concern only appearance. This deliberate simplification of the model starting L'Amour line taken in order to lead the device into the section of merely designer solutions, that is a refusal from any competition with own products of the same price category but higher functionality. Such solution is well-taken only for a company with many loyal customers and having a reputation of a maker of phones with good attractive design.
The raisin and the main feature of Nokia 7360 is its garish design. Like all the models in this collection, this one is represented in two colour solutions - Coffee Brown and Warm Amber. The designers consider them to be fashionable colours of 2005-2006. We think both solutions look well, and the colours are selected well. A mirror metallic insertion is on the face panel. The same insertion emphasizes the material of the back side, and a part of the cover is stylized as leather. The side edging is made a la dull metal, and the left side features an insertion of semitransparent plastic in emerald colour (here it is unsaturated). The designers decided not to show excess of zeal with metal, a navi button looks garishly, as well as a loudspeaker grate, on/off button on the top end. All other elements are dull, and seemingly they were all created in imitation of plastic (after all metal and "leather" are to be emphasized).
A real discovery of Nokia 7280, which is the elder model of the previous collection, is a label as it is customary for fashionable clothes. All the L'Amour collection devices gained such a label, and Nokia 7360 holds it on the right. It seems such a small decoration element shouldn't influence the way you treat the device, however, it dose. The handset is treated as a fashion thing subconsciously.
The label is in emerald colour, and an OK button integrated into the navi button features the same deep colour. The colour combination is selected very well, focuses of attention are present, and the model is interesting and attractive in appearance. As for me, the design of Nokia 7360 is really nice and will surely suit both men and women; however the majority of customers are the latter. The colour solution and the brightness of the color gave away not so much a man's product as a woman's one, and consider that a crocheted strap included into the kit is a typically women accessory.
The size of the phone is 105x45x18 mm, which can be called quite typical of today phones. The weight forms 92 grams, and the centre of gravity is displaced to the bottom.
The model is equipped with a TFT screen showing 65K colours with the resolution of 128x160 pixels (29x36 mm). Applying modern criteria, we see the screen is standard for low-end models with colour screens or middle class models. No vivid colours and crystal-clear image. Comparing such screen with Nokia 6230i, we notice it loses despairingly despite bigger size. It is readable in the sun, and no serious problems appear.
The keypad is made of plastic, which is rather rough by touch, and the keys are relief (an eminence in the center, and a rim around it). Working with the buttons is pleasant, they are very comfortable. The navi button is tough and comparatively small, it is not as pleasant to work with, one should adapt. With a blue backlighting the characters are seen well in various conditions.
A tough coupled volume button is on the left side surface, rather hard to press during a conversation. The right side features a loudspeaker playing call melodies (24-tones polyphony, however, using MP3 melodies seems easier). A fully functional IrDA is on the same side. On the bottom you will find a standard Pop-Port and a charger connector nearby (a thin pin like in the latest models).
The panel hides a battery (BL-5B, Li-Ion, 760 mAh). The manufacturer claims it is capable of up to 4 hours of talks and up to 450 hours in the standby mode. When we tested the phone in Moscow, it lasted for about 5 days in case of 45 minutes of talk time and up to 25 minutes of using other functions. The index is very good for this segment. Full recharging takes about 1.5 hours. A traditional SIM-holder shows no peculiarities.
Pressing the central button, you can call the menu. The main menu is represented with rows of icons. And up to 9 icons feat the display simultaneously, however, having more than 9 icons (for instance, with SIM-Menu), you can use scrolling and scroll the display down.
Joystick deviations to various directions call this or that function fast, this really eases dealing with the phone. Any function can be bound to the left soft-key (select from a certain list), or you can make a list of the most frequently used menu items. Before discussing functions separately, we should emphasize memory distribution. Totally the bank of memory forms 2.8 MB (about 1200 KB are available from the very beginning).
Phonebook. Up to 1000 names, which is the maximum possible number, can be saved into the phone's memory. Only keeping little data for a name (only - two fields filled), you will reach it. With average filling, I mean about 6-7 fields per a name; you will have a chance to store about 300 entries, not more. As you may have already guessed, up to five phone numbers can be assigned to a name, also you can select a type of the number (main, mobile, home, office, fax). The first entered number becomes a default one and can be then edited to your liking. When entering data for the first time, you can keep only one main number, and all other actions are taken later from the editing menu. One will find this way of entering data inconvenient, however, some of you will say that keep only one number for a name. Both will be right, and considering that all Nokia phones come with such realization of a phonebook, it should cause no problems.
Extra data for a number includes e-mail address, homepage URL, postal address and a text note. USER ID is a new function worth mentioning, which is user identification for the presence service - some kind of ICQ signifying this or that user from your list is available at the moment. It's not quite clear how interesting the feature will be.
You can assign a photo to any number (it will be resized to necessary dimensions automatically, not a portrait mode). However, when viewing details on the contact, you won't see the picture automatically, for viewing it open a special item. On the other hand, in the general list you are able to set view of a Name and a corresponding image. Then an icon is rather small and gives a little notion of the actual image. Other view modes are traditional - only names, names with the main number. The general list can show only SIM-card contacts or both from it and phone memory.
You can assign up to 10 voice tags to phone book names, it works stably even outdoors. And traditionally buttons 2-9 allow fast dial.
Totally 100 photos can be assigned to names. When such a user calls, you see his number and a corresponding photo. On the screen the picture looks larger than you can see in the list, however smaller than it should be. To understand who is pictured, you should apply all your imagination, since extra distortions appear at reducing the photo. We failed to explain why the picture takes so little of the display using even all our logics. For now this function is realized the worst in Nokia's phones, we hope future will bring changes.
The handset allows up to 25 users' groups which are shown in the general list. For each group you can set a call melody, select an image, however a picture preset for a certain contact contained in the group has higher priority - it is shown, but not the one assigned to the group. One user can belong to various groups.
Messages. The device supports Nokia Smart Messaging and that allows sending and receiving melodies and plain black and white pictures from compatible devices. Phones by Samsung, LG and some new devices by Motorola support the standard besides Nokia. Up to 10 graphical templates are preset for such messages and emotion icons may be added to the messages. Unfortunately the company standard limits the users because an alternative EMS standard is spread wider today and allows not only send and receive melodies and pictures but also format texts. The prevalence of the standard is maximum for European countries and the fact Nokia ignores it may e considered a real drawback. In Russia only the main operators do support the standard and the presence or absence of the support in regions is not critical. The fact may be disputable but the absence of support for EMS is a minus for Nokia's phones.
The company thinks that MMS may be a fully functional substitute for EMS. And really, the technology gets everyday and even more interesting messages containing photos, color images, melodies and so on may be created with its help. Every message may be up to 100 KB in size. The realization of MMS is well done in the device and there are no any problems.
The device has an integrated mail client working with POP3/SMTP protocols. The capabilities of the client are very poor, though attached pictures and video from the main phone memory are allowed.
Also a Flash message function appeared in the phone, that means you may send a message that will be displayed on the screen of the addressee's device but not saved in the memory. The same function is available from any phone with a help of codes and here it is realized with the help of a program.
Audio Message is a kind of MMS, but here you can only attach a dictaphone record not longer than 2 minutes 5 seconds primordially. Other differences are absent.
Instant Messaging was added to a Message item. The settings are quite clear, I think.
Call lists. There are three lists in the phone - received, dialed and missed. Every list may contain up to 20 entries, and conveniently the date and time of the call are displayed in the list. Pressing the Call button in the standby mode brings up the list of the last dialed numbers.
Settings. Profiles may be activated from a corresponding menu or pressing on/off button. Each profile may be activated temporary for a period of time and then the phone switches the default one. Sound signals may be adjusted for all the events, the incoming call signal for all the calls or for special users' groups. The realization of the profiles in Nokia phones is one of the best in the market.
The screen settings allow choosing its color scheme, wallpaper and a screen saver. The screen saver is a picture that is displayed in the standby mode when the backlighting is not active. It is worth choosing one of the preset pictures, they are seen better in this mode than loaded full color images. You can set the time interval for the screen saver and then it will be replaced with standard digital clock.
There is an automatic key lock in the phone you also can use a special security code for nobody could use your phone. A possibility to set the behavior of the phone from the beginning appeared, for instance, you may choose a profile that is activated when the headset or a charger are plugged in. That is an interesting possibility that allows setting the phone according to your idea of a necessity.
Gallery. Here all the folders that contain different files are gathered, they have corresponding names. There is a possibility to view the folders as a list, a list with names or icons. You always may create your own folders, sort files.
Media. In this part all the settings connected with multimedia capabilities of the device are gathered, let's start considering them with the Camera. The integrated camera allows to take photos with VGA resolution and in the portrait mode (80x96 pixels). The quality of the pictures on the screen is average. After transmitting them on a PC they do not get worse but still not very good. The settings of the camera are ascetic, there is a night shooting mode, three types of quality and compression levels. The files are stored as JPG.
The video recorded is 15 second 3GP clips (128x96 pixels, with sound - AMR). You can set the maximum clip duration, then you can record for about 4 minutes (1.5 MB). The restriction is probably connected with little memory in the phone. The clip quality on the phone screen is low, the sound seldom corresponds with the spoken words. The clips also look very badly on a PC, and the function is more an entertainment that should be used in the phone. If you want to record more clips, you can specify expansion memory card as a data destination, but it's up to you to decide if you really need it.
The Dictaphone allows recording up to 5 minutes at once. It records during a conversation as well. The number of separate entries is limited with only free memory.
FM-radio. The possibilities are standard for the devices by Nokia, there is an automatic and manual adjustment of FM-channels and a possibility to rename them. A handsfree headset is included into a standard kit, you may use it to listen to the radio and a loud speaker mode may be set then all around will be able to do it also (the headset serves as an antenna and that's why it has to be turned on). The quality of realization is rather high and rouses no cavils.
Organizer. You may keep from 100 to 250 entries in the memory and everything depends on their length, there is an automatic erasing of the old entries (by the time characteristic). There is a month and week view of the calendar, the last view has a division into hours, there is a quick switch to an entered date. There is a possibility to enter up to 5 different events (meeting, call, birthday, reminder, memo). A notification may be assigned to an event, they may be recurrent.
A to-do list allows to create events with three priorities (high, normal and low), and set a deadline for every event.
Notes. Every note may contain up to 3000 characters, in general it is more than enough even for the most fastidious user. Two different font sizes are supported like in messages.
An alarm clock allows to set both once or recurrent signal.
Here are standard functions as a calculator, countdown timer, stopwatch (with intermediate results).
Applications. All the preset Java-applications are here, also games. Two games are preset, they are Backgammon and Puzzle. The only one preinstalled application is converter of clothes size for various countries.
Services. Wap browser version 2.0 is hidden here. Nothing peculiar about it.
Push to Talk. Nothing peculiar in realization.
Synchronization with PC. The device supports working with a standard Nokia Suite even using an IrDA. The presence of EGDE may turn out necessary, however that is unlikely.
This is model is very good in connection quality, which is typical for Nokia. The polyphonic 24-tones call alert is loud and heard in various conditions. Losing to the majority of makers on the market, the polyphony remains the same, the melodies are standard, no changes for the better. However you can set melodies to your liking without problems, due to mp3 as a call signal. The quality of playing back such files is very high. The vibracall here is average in power, thus can be either missed or felt.
In the end, here we have the minimum renewed Nokia 7260 with a better screen, added mp3 support and a little updated phonebook in the manner of Nokia 6230i. Other technical changes are absent almost. The manufacturer plans to launch the model is the end of January the beginning of February with a retail price forming €200 ($240-250, we expect a higher price for the Russian market).
The main advantage of the model is its calm good design. This is the main parameter of the phone and the most successful one. Considering than Nokia 7260 showed high sales not only among fashion devices but in its price segment as well, we can surely expect the same success of Nokia 7360. The minimum technologies, plain in use and endless charm. Many customers will buy it forced by its nice appearance only.
Pleasant trifles included into the kit and worth mentioning are a hand strap and a small bag. In addition a headset is designed specially for this series and can be either light or black.
Eldar Murtazin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published 1 November 2005
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