Our Score


User Score

Review Price £279.00

Nokia's phones have a reputation for being better at making calls than the average smartphone, and the Nokia 700 is no different. On its back is a microphone, just below the battery cover, that monitors ambient noise. This is then used to provide noise cancellation, filtering out noise of traffic and so on by the time it reaches whoever you're calling. It's fairly rare to find this kind of cancellation in a reasonably affordable phone.

Nokia 700

Call quality is good too, if not astounding. It could do with a little more treble presence, sounding a little boxy, but max volume is good and voices are given plenty of body.

Over the period of testing, the 1080mAh battery lasted significantly longer than a rival mid-range Android would. Abuse the battery with high-powered games, video playback and plenty of 3G mobile internet browsing and you'll still only get a day out of it, but with more relaxed use you should be able to squeeze out a solid two. As it uses an AMOLED screen, slapping a mostly black wallpaper on the 700's home screens will save you a bit of juice too.

It's clear that Nokia has tried pretty hard with the 700. The screen and build quality are great, and its initial operator pricing on contract makes it a pretty attractive option. That you can get a phone with this hardware for £15 a month is really quite amazing. However, as a SIM-free proposition it's less attractive - matched by competent Androids like the HTC Salsa and the original HTC Desire.

Nokia 700 3

The Belle upgrade to Symbian^3 has lessened several of the operating system's issues, making it feel less ancient and look a lot less ugly. In fact this and other recent updates to Symbian have highlighted just how capable an OS it is, and we really wonder if the whole decision to ditch it for high end handsets and go with Windows Phone 7 was the best one. Obviously this particular phone doesn't compete with the biggest and best from the competition but increase the screen size and slap the camera from the N8 on it and you'd have a good start. Nevertheless there are other problems. While the big launch of the Nokia N8 has ensured a few handfuls of impressive 3D games for the Nokia 700, beyond this apps and games support is pretty poor. And very poor compared with iOS and Android. We recommend taking a look at the line-up before buying, to make sure you'll be able to do everything you want to with this handset.


With a top-quality Gorilla Glass screen and part-metal build, the Nokia 700 instantly feels like a top-quality device. The display carries this on too, using a great AMOLED panel. Sure, it's a smaller phone than many but hardware wise it almost seems surprising how you can get this handset for free on contracts well under £20 a month. However, all becomes clear when using the phone as it's limited by the constraints of Symbian. The new Belle update significantly ups the aesthetic ante, with the system now looking a lot better than it ever has before, but looks alone can't cover up the relative lack of apps. There are thousands, but the hit rate is even worse than it is on Android. This is one of the most desirable Nokias in quite some time, but buying it comes with a compromise or two.

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October 13, 2011, 10:21 pm

I can only assume something was very faulty with the package you received because:
a) I'm pretty sure that usb cable SHOULD be charging the phone (and to suggest Nokia is somehow slow to conform when they were one of the first manufacturers to do so is a bit...)
b) Those pictures... NO, just no... I'm not saying it was the photographer, but either the lens was smudged (or still covered by a sticky film?) or the camera unit was faulty. Nokia phones haven't taken pictures that bad since 2003, and I'm sure several people at TR know that.

Also, I found the review a bit confusing, switching between praising the excellent performance/value and then dismissing everything and suggesting Android phones instead.

In fact the end of the review then praises Symbian again, questioning Nokia's decision to go WinPho, before ending with a verdict lamenting "the constraints of symbian".

If I was someone wanting to know these constraints, I don't feel they were pointed out to me (apart from /quantity/ of app). During the review Maps, Video Player and Music Player were praised, as was 3d game performance comparable to an Android device in the same bracket. It's multitasking is one of the better ones. And yes a Kindle app is missing, I'll give you that. But Facebook has at least 6 or 7 alternatives on there (who needs an official one? iPad's took over a year and doesn't work properly!)
And why is having to go to the Spotify site to download the app a bad thing?

Finding "hidden gems" to uncover is as much of a chore on iOS and Android anyway. iOS is so overrun with crap that you have to visit a site (like TR or many others) to find out what's decent to download. The Android market is similar, and since it allows non-market apps (something Symbian had been doing for years), it's a similar experience of discovering interesting apps to trial on forums etc.
Not to mention Nokia's own BetaLabs.

Anyway, I needed to have a bit of a whine maybe, but the first main points were what I meant to point out: regarding usb cable and camera.
I'll ask around about the cable but can't imagine they'd package a non-charging one in...


October 13, 2011, 11:25 pm

Hi DrDark, thanks for the comment.

I was somewhat bemused by the camera too. The close-up performance was predictable thanks to the fixed-focus sensor, but the odd sheen on standard photos is rather odd. Having fallen prey to the unexpected plastic covering of camera lenses before, I did give it a good check so ensure it wasn't covered/horribly smudged. I'll take a few more shots and see if it can produce something better.

As for charging - USB charging works just fine but didn't seem to with the bundled cable. Will double-check that too of course. As much as anything else though, the only bundled charger is a proprietary one - and as a device that should (and hopefully will) bring a few new, non tech-head people to the platform, this is at the core of my argument. It works, but it's a secondary thing. A great many 700 users will continue to use the Nokia charger.

Symbian's main current issues for me are, to an extent, the same ones that affect Bada. They dip their toes in the functionality offered by others, but it all feels so limited. There aren't many more widgets to get, you can't tailor your smartphone experience anywhere near as much as Android - and the apps thing is the main problem for me. The quality and quantity of apps just isn't good enough. And it's not something I particularly blame on Symbian or Nokia. Developers make apps, and I just don't think there's the pay-off there on Symbian at present. To an extent it's one of those chicken and egg situations - Symbian needs a greater app/games buying audience to encourage development, but greater existing development itself would help in bringing this about.

The 3D games are nice, but there aren't many - and not a great deal of variety. Casual gaming fares even worse. Angry Birds is there, but there are so few that make use of Symbian 3's assets - it's all legacy S60 stuff. Not worthless by any means, but nothing that really makes use of the phone. There's no feeling of vitality to the Symbian apps scene, unless you get down to the real "scene" level.

I do like the phone though, and was close to giving it an 8. If it wasn't for the super-narrow body making typing a pain...


October 13, 2011, 11:26 pm

btw nice Journeyman Project avatar!

Marcus H

October 14, 2011, 4:14 am

How was the 700 for taking videos?


October 14, 2011, 2:05 pm

Hi Marcus. It's a bit hectic at TR towers today, but I'll try and get a sample clip stuck up asap so you can see for yourself!


November 3, 2011, 3:10 pm

Saw in another review that the 700 only works with its own headset. Not had this problem with previous Nokia phones but this would be a deal breaker for me as I want to use my own in ear phones. Can you shed any light on this? Did you try a different headset/earphone?

Apart from that, this phone seems a pretty good option for the money. I've not been so antagonous to Symbian, as have others, so the latest improved version should be great. Also I don't see the problem with the screen size, this is a small phone that should fit nicely in a pocket, it is not a small tablet.


November 10, 2011, 2:34 pm

Don't understand. If I read your overall note, it seems it's not a good phone. If I read the review, it seems it's very good.

You always say it's far better for the price than any other Android device in the same category.

In fact, the only problem is the lack of apps...well, it's a mid-range smartphone, do you think you are dealing with power users that want many apps on their phone. You say yourself that the 700 do many things out of the box. If some users want more great apps, they can go on the betalabs (they have the level to search by themselves).
Mid-range Android can really use all apps you will find ? You speak about many mid-range Android support HD games on Android market ?

I like this site, it's objective most of the time, but here you just see "that's Symbian, that's bad", there are not 500 000 apps, that's bad. But I do'nt see any device near the Nokia 700 for free on 20£ contract : you say it yourself screen far far far better (and it's one of the most important things, no ?), really good quality build - not far away from a high-end, stylish (subjective, but at least it's not as every other phones), good call quality, excellent gps solution.

What more do you need for free with your 20£ contract ?

PS : I concede the number of apps can be important, but just 7/10 is a really unfair statement given all the other great qualities, especially when you say that the average user will not need more than the apps installed out-of-the-box...
I concede screen is too small...but it's the same size as competitors.


November 13, 2011, 5:43 pm

I have just taken delivery of the Nokia 700 and comparing the features with this review I can say confidently that the review is rubbish. For a proper review go to

Avishek Prakash

June 5, 2013, 6:20 am

I want to know is there any "Beep Sound" while Call recording is going on or Not ?

Avishek Prakash

June 5, 2013, 6:20 am

I want to know is there any "Beep Sound" while Call recording is going on or Not in Nokia 700 ?

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