Nokia 7710 PDA/camera phone
Typical selling price (approx, without network contract): UKŁ300, US$500, EU€440
Recently discounted substantially, Nokia's distinctive 7710 triband phone with Bluetooth capability is also a PDA, with a surprisingly good web browser benefiting from an excellent 640x320 pixel 3.5 inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD. The camera is the now familiar one megapixel (1152x864 pixels) unit featured in a wide range of Nokia phones.
The camera lens is on the opposite side of to the large LCD screen and the only problem in use is that you need to press an on-screen 'capture' button to take a picture, which isn't ergonomically ideal. Shutter lag is very frustrating and it's not very easy to tell when the image has actually been recorded.
On-screen controls menus are generally easy to follow, though if you are used to a Palm or Pocket PC device, you will suffer from culture shock! As a PDA, the Nokia 7710 is comparatively under-powered, so you do end up waiting while it crunches its numbers. There is no WiFi facility and neither is the 7710 G3 compatible. Instead you are dependent on Bluetooth for a lot of external communications, though this works well and I had no problems printing to Bluetooth-enabled photo printers.
Only MMC cards are supported by the 7710, so you can't use SD cards (SD card slots are MMC compatible, but MMC slots aren't SD-compatible). On top of that you need to remove the back cover of the 7710 to access the card slot, which is quite difficult to do and you risk dropping the battery, too.
Considering the very limited specification of the Nokia 7710's one megapixel camera, the shadow detail in the playground slide scene above is actually superior to the two megapixel Mustek D35, though it's nowhere as good as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ1. Alas, there isn't much more good news to tell as the colours are distinctly cool and there is precious little medium to fine detail. To make matters worse, there is detectable pixellation of straight edge detail and highlights are mostly bleached out.
Once again, the soft lighting of the woods flatters the Nokia 7710. The surrounding foliage is a bit under-saturated, but the tee-shirt colour and skin tones are not bad. The print looks sharp if you stand back but it does reveal a slight fuzziness on close inspection, but overall, quite a pleasing result.
Across the canal, the scene really tests the Nokia 7710. Straight away the widespread blue-fringing of the tree periphery is very telling. Again, the picture is too blue, as if the white balance is wrong. There is also no detail in the grass; it's just a pastel green expanse.
The zoomed-in view just confirms things. It's very soft, lacking in saturation and the high contrast detail is smothered in a blue haze.
This shot of the flowers shows another oddity of the Nokia 7710's camera; blue shadows. The central area of the image is reasonably close to the true colour of the flowers, but it become progressively colder away from the centre. Sharpness is not too bad, better even than the higher resolution Mustek D35.
There is nothing wrong with the Nokia 7710's lens as this enlargement of the top right corner shows. The problems are concentrated in the lack of resolution and the colour processing of the image data.
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