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The Nokia menu, Edit and Clear keys sit on a row of their own under the Call and End keys. They are pretty small. A long way below them is the number pad, and again its keys are small.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I was able to use the N71 effectively enough, I just don’t think Nokia has got its head around the extra space the clamshell design offers in terms of key layout and spacing.
There is better news for the small ‘multimedia key’ which sits above the general array of keys. This is marked with a diamond icon and pressing it brings up a submenu on screen offering access to the Web, the N71’s FM radio, music player and image slideshow – you choose which you want using the navigation key.
Hold this key down and it will launch an application you choose – though you can only select from those designated by Nokia as having multimedia features which seems like a waste of a customisable hardware shortcut to me. And no, the camera isn’t one of the applications you can select.
This is a 3G handset and there is a VGA camera for video calls sitting at the top right of the screen. The front fascia houses the main 2-megapixel camera and fairly healthy flash.
There is no way to start the camera running with the handset closed. You need to open the flip, go into the main applications menu and choose it from there. Nor can the front screen double as a viewfinder, so you can only shoot images with the flip open, though from there it is easy to switch to the secondary camera above the main screen to take shots of yourself.
There is a clever menu system using the softkeys and navigation key that provides access to the various shooting settings, so that at least when you have gone through the palaver of opening the clam and choosing the camera you can flick quickly between available shooting options.
One option that might prove rather fun is the time lapse or sequence option. You can choose to take an automatic sequence of stills at intervals between twice a second and 15 minutes apart. Just make sure you are saving to a memory card if you do use this, as the 10MB of free built in storage will prove woefully inadequate.