One of the newer models in the Nokia Nseries lineup is none other than the slim Nokia N76. With two bold color schemes to choose from (Metallic Red and Jet Black), users can decide if they want a phone for the wilder side of life or one to match a more sophisticated lifestyle. One of the commendable points to note is that the N76 is a full-fledged 3G smartphone, which means it is running on a Series 60 platform and hyped with various one-touch features and technologies.
The Nokia N76 is a slim clamshell delight. Weighing in at only 115 grams and a slim 13.7mm thickness, the N76 will probably be an instant hit with the ladies. Taking a look at the exterior screen, we couldn't help but reminisce of the popular LG Shine with its highly reflective mirrored finish. When not in use, the screen can actually double up as a mirror too and with the surrounding chrome outline, the N76 is really quite the looker.
The external color display screen is actually a functional panel on its own and Nokia prides itself with this 'revolution in one-touch technology'. However, the media keys on the outside are limited in functionality and will only work with certain features of the phone. Still, users can toggle phone functions such as music playback and control and text reading without having to flip open the cover.
When the N76 is opened, you will be greeted by a huge and vibrant 2.4-inch main display, all thanks to a screen capable of displaying a full spectrum of 16 million colors. Even the external display sports a noteworthy 256K color screen. The keypad, which is akin to something off Motorola’s design tables, has buttons that are evenly spaced. As a result, input and text messaging was a breeze. Navigation was simple and easy to get used to and the we dare say that the interface was even a tad faster than any other Nokia phones we’ve tested.
On the reverse side of the phone, you will find the camera and a chrome cover which houses the hidden memory card slot. The battery cover at the bottom is easy to slide in and out, but everyday use over time might probably damage the paint job of the N76. Considering the clamshell design, the charging port is located at the side instead of the bottom. The audio jack, mini USB port and power button line the top of the phone.
While we're on the topic of the audio jack, it is actually the first major problem we encountered using the Nokia N76.
Having a regular 3.5mm audio jack instead of the smaller or proprietary variety is a good asset to the N76. Users can just equip themselves with their favorite pair of earphones while on the go and they can enjoy the full multimedia experience like any portable media player. However, we found out that when we plugged in a conventional set of earphones, the N76 could not be flipped open entirely anymore, suggesting that one can find themselves being limited to using the N76's bundled earpieces.
Some other minor gripes we have about the design include the lack of any spring loaded mechanism to improve opening/closing of the phone. As it is, you can't really open up the phone with a flick of the thumb. The Nokia N76 needs the assistance of long fingernails or the usage of both hands to open as the upper plate is pretty hefty.
The imaging quality of the 2.0 megapixel camera was also sub par even under normal lighting conditions and the advertised 20x digital zoom is more of a gimmick than a helping feature. Images taken using the zoom function turn up to be very pixelated and contain too much noise.
As with most new slim and compact fashion phones, the battery life expectancy isn't very high. With only music playback, we could stretch battery life to a maximum of six hours under a single charge. However, when phone usage comes into play, you could probably get a maximum of four hours in total with a general balance of music, talk time and text messaging. This would mean that daily charging will become a necessary habit to add to your routine.
The Nokia N76 is a very decent multimedia mobile phone. While it is not perfect, it should still be on the list for anyone looking for their latest fashion fix and are not worried too much about little things like a weak battery life.