Despite Nokia’s recent “dual-slide” design trend, it has still been dedicated to producing quality candybar phones. This particular model surprised me in ways no candybar had for a long time. It is different in ways both large and subtle. The first thing you will notice about the N79 is the white frontal outline. I found this to be a very aesthetically pleasing feature as it reflects light more gently than silver or black outlines.
The keypad comprises of all-flat depressed buttons save for four rice-like keys and the N-series trademark silver media button. The navigation wheel is more squarish but performs both the wheel and cursor functions very effectively depending on the context of usage. In the middle of the navgiation wheel there is a sufficiently large “execute” button which seems to massage the tips of your fingers.
The rice-like keys take some getting used to though, especially if you have nails that are anything but short. From time to time, I did slide off the limited surface area to accidentally push a flat key next to it, which was a little annoying at first. My favourite part of the design is the sliding lock/unlock button at the top of the phone. It makes locking and unlocking so more quicker and easier with just one swift move required. You do not see this feature often outside of slider phones.
The camera on the N79 is really good. The focus time is about one second and the dual-LED flash is magnificently bright. The picture and video quality is excellent with very few pictures coming out blurry or dark. Nokia provides a USB cable so you can upload your media to your PC. Four gigabyte of memory is not considered massive these days but it is more than enough if you are consistent in uploading your content. For music lovers such as myself, 4GB is not a world of space.
The speakers on this model are decent. It is much more enjoyable, however, to listen to music using the earphones/handsfree set provided. I had a little trouble with transferring the music. The manual says to use Windows Media Player 11 but that does not really work so well since some of my synchronised files went missing in the phone.
What the booklet does not tell you is that you can actually use Nokia Music to sync the files. Even with Nokia Music, it took a few tries before all my music was where it should be.
I must say, getting a free activation code for LucasArt’s mobile version of Star Wars: Force Unleashed was really great. I think it is the first mobile game I got really engrossed in and was impressed with the detail of the graphics and the complexity of the gameplay. I am generally not much of a mobile gamer but I found this particular game to be challenging and very entertaining.
I have to admit this phone really impressed me. It is elegantly designed and its features are mostly top of the line. Its price tag is significantly lower than many of its N-series counterparts and it has almost all the same features, albeit reduced in some areas.
Pros: Stylish design; good response time; excellent camera features; cool covers; fun games.
Cons: Rice-like keys are difficult to use; loose camera cover; limited memory; file synchronisation is troublesome.