The power button is at the very top of the phone. Press this once and you get a menu that gives you the option to power off, select a profile or lock the keypad. There’s no auto lock function that I could find though, which is something of an omission for a phone with an exposed keypad – it’s a pain that it has to be done manually every time.
While Nokia’s menu system is well known for its ease of use, it actually took me a while to get used to it, as I’m very used to Sony Ericsson phones. Indeed I’ve never actually owned a Nokia mobile phone myself, though I did get one for my better half to use once. The joystick is used to move around the icons but once inside some options you then need to move the joystick to the right to get to tabs containing other options. It makes sense once you realise this but if you don’t know this you could find yourself hunting round for options in frustration.
However, what really ruined navigation for me straight away are the keys. The central joystick is not large, but even worse are the seven keys round it, which are simply far too small to be used comfortably. Not only that but there’s a plastic feel to the keys that totally destroys the sense that this could be a classy choice of phone. It’s not badly made, but small plastic keys aren’t what you want from a professional tool.
Additionally, the labels on the keys aren’t directly positioned above the soft keys they apply to. This is worse than counter intuitive – it’s actually misleading. This meant that I was at first constantly pressing the wrong buttons. Below the soft keys are two dedicated keys for starting and ending calls – a doubling up that Sony Ericsson seems to manage without – with the soft keys used for the same function. The problem is that Nokia has insisted on the left soft key being used for the camera.
The reason for this is probably that the button at the side is dedicated to activating the Push-to-Talk function. Why this is a potentially great technology it’s not yet available in the UK so as it stands it’s a wasted key. Being able to programme this key would solve this issue, but it’s not possible; a real shame. The right soft key however, accesses a list of programmable shortcuts to frequently used applications.