There’s a second display on the outside of the phone – by default this displays battery and signal strength indicators along with a large analogue clock. When someone calls you the external screen will display the number or name of the person calling. Above the external screen is a light that flashes blue when the phone has a signal – a strange feature and one that I found somewhat distracting when the handset was sitting on my desk. Above the light is the lens for the integrated 1.3 megapixel camera, which takes pretty good still images but rather disappointing video. When you start to use the camera you find that the annoying blue signal light also shines bright white when in camera mode.
Connection wise the N411i comes equipped with both Bluetooth and infrared, while a USB cable is also in the box for synchronisation with your PC. There’s also a handsfree kit in the box and NEC has been smarter than most phone manufacturers here – instead of supplying an all in one solution, NEC has supplied the handsfree in two parts, allowing you to plug any headphones into the microphone section. This way you can get the best possible sound quality when listening to music by using your own headphones. That said, with only 25MB of internal memory and no memory card slot, you’re not going to be carrying masses of music around with you anyway.
When not in i-mode mode, the four way navigator on the keypad defaults to Phone Modes when you press up, My Data when you press down, Missed Calls when you press right and Received Calls when you press left. Pressing the centre of the navigator will jump to the shortcut icons on the screen – although these can be configured, the phone will also add shortcut icons depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you receive a message a shortcut icon for that message will appear on your main screen, then pressing the centre of the navigator will take you straight to that message.