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In the first I set the display to be at its brightest and by prodding at it every hour forced it to stay always on while I looped MP3 music. I got 4 hours 51 minutes of life, which, if compared to handheld computers, is not too bad at all. In the second test I allowed the screen to dim after ten seconds (the minimum available) and the screen saver to activate after one minute (again the minimum). The screen saver turns off all the screen except a bar 640 pixels wide and 48 pixels tall, and is a power saving measure. I also set the screen to operate at half its full brightness level. Again I looped MP3 music, and in this test I got 16 hours 22 minutes of life, measured over the course of 3 days, with the battery removed between sessions. These figures seem pretty good to me.
There's one final point worth making about the Nokia 7710 and that relates to how it handles applications. I found it took between about one and three seconds to load applications the first time. Thereafter their state is retained in memory, and switching back to them involves almost no time lag. The more data an application has to find, the longer it takes to load which means Calendar with a full schedule or Contacts with a large database will always take a while to load when you switch the 7710 on after a period of power down. This is a similar situation to that found that the Nokia 9300 Smartphone and 9500 Communicator, and it is very irritating.
For all the negative comments I’ve made about the 7710 I just can’t help liking it. If innovation were its own reward I’d be scoring this device very highly indeed. But I have to be more practical in my scoring than that, and in the end the device is neither enough of a phone, enough of a multimedia machine nor enough of a PDA to really satisfy. It’s a shame, but there it is, and I just hope Nokia continues to develop the line, because somewhere inside this collection of features and specifications I think there lies a device that really does the business.
The price quoted is for a Nokia 7710 based on a 12 month Vodafone Anytime 200 contract with a £30 per month line rental.
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