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nokia 6760 review

introduction
I remember when I first heard of the Nokia 6760 quite vividly. In fact, it probably wasn’t much more than a couple of months ago; my mobile service provider had started to advertise something called a Nokia “Surge”, and I was rather taken with the device. I tend to get quite excited whenever I see something running S60 being sold through a wireless carrier here in the USA, and this device was no exception. I never pulled the plug on one, as I wound up with an E71 instead. However, fast forward a few months and here I am, holding the exact same device, without any carrier modifications or silly nicknames. Courtesy of WOMWorld, I finally get to take this device out for a spin and see what it is all about.

design
When the 6760 first landed in my hands, my first thoughts revolved around the build quality of the phone. While the 6760 is by no means the cheapest-feeling handset in the world, nor is it the cheapest-build phone available from Nokia today, it definitely lacks many of the finer touches found on Nokia’s other phones. The phone has a rubbery soft-touch back and trim piece near the keyboard which assist in gripping the handset, but they also help contribute to an “oily” feeling. I’d much rather have had textured plastic. However, textured plastic is to be found around the keys and display, but this has a glossy look and feel which contributes to further cheapness in tacticle sense.

However, feel is not the only aspect of a phone, and so I must persevere on to other design aspects. The 6760 is, to me at least, a rather significant departure from the tried-and-true formula of designing a handset. When closed it’s difficult to determine exactly which orientation the phone should be held for operation, and the non-centered and assymetrical styling lend the phone a unique appearance. Sitting on a desk or table, it is almost begging to be picked up and investigated, although once past that point the novelty begins to wear away quickly. Once the side-slide is revealed, a rather spacious keypad (the only one found on the entire device) is easily the most prominent visual feature. In fact, that may be what makes this device so unusual: it has no keypad at first glance.

The top of the device is home to a centered audio jack (2.5mm, regrettably), a single loudspeaker, and the old-style Nokia charging plug. Down the left side a MicroUSB port is found, but alas it doesn’t allow for USB charging. A volume rocker and camera shutter are found on the right hand side- but the volume is far too low to make any sense. The back is a clean panel of soft-touch plastic with a small hole for the 3.2mp camera.

I would like to point out a clever design trick employed by Nokia- they have never ceased to install an ambient light sensor in their S60 handsets, and the 6760 is no exception. The unusual part, though, is that they managed to hide the sensor in the same cavity as the earpiece, allowing for a much cleaner looking handset. Probably a good move on Nokia’s part, as the buyer of a 6760 is unlikely to be looking for a “techy” look that would occur should the sensor be located somewhere else.

usage
Before I begin this section, I feel a quick disclaimer of my usage is necessary. I demand quite a lot of my phones: GPS, Camera, SMS messaging (constantly), Music, Web-Browsing (via Wifi as I have no data plan), and the occasional phone call. The 6760 manages to accomplish my SMS and phone requirements, but the rest it doesn’t do very well. Thus I’d have to consider it, from my point of view, a low-end Nokia handset. Any attempt to critique it in light of my much-more-expensive handsets would simply be unfair, and I’m going to assume that the potential consumer of this device has needs that are a lot different and less taxing than mine.

Having said that, the Nokia 6760 is a pretty good handset. The LCD is rather spacious compared to similarly priced phones, and has a rather good viewing angle for it’s price-bracket. Colors are quite accurate straight on with no discernible hues, and even at extreme angles the display doesn’t completely discolor like many cheaper LCDs.

The keyboard is one of the most spacious I have ever had the pleasure of using. However, I almost with the keyboard was smaller, as the keys located towards the far sides of the device have become a bit awkward to press. (See the E75 for an example of better button-margin spacing.) All of the keys have good travel and button size is excellent, save for the navigation ring. It’s a bit too small, even for my fingers. Had they made the directional ring / select button all one piece, its size would have been just fine but in this case the ring can occasionally be hard to use.

Battery life is good, especially with the giant battery (the same one used in the N97). Unfortunately the battery life isn’t as good as I was expecting for a device as underfeatured as this. With heavy usage, users will find themselves requiring a charge every two days. (I charge every night, so this wasn’t a problem.) If Nokia had enabled USB charging on this handset, it would have been a nice future-proofing touch, as I have thrown away all of my old chargers and only possess a stock of MicroUSB chargers now. Ah well.

The camera on the 6760 is surprisingly good. No color tinting, bleeding, or excessive noise. Lens-flare does seem to occur rather often with bright distinct light sources, but they are surprisingly tasteful additions to otherwise nothing-to-speak-of pictures. (Which is a good thing- pictures are exactly as you expect, nothing more or less.)

Phone calls seem to be just that- phone calls. Call quality is good, and the other end of the line never once asked me if I had switched down from my much more expensive N86. I’ve always been a fan of Nokia call quality, and the 6760 hasn’t faltered there. The volume rocker, located towards the bottom of the device instead of farther up, though, has me a bit confused. I can literally understand why Nokia did this- the MicroSD slot is where I would have ideally placed the volume rocker- but why they didn’t put a bit more effort into relocating the slot has me mystified.

The operating system is not the newest rendition of S60 nor is it loaded with feature packs to make everything pretty. However, it accomplishes the basics and that’s about all it needs to do. No further comments.

conclusion
I’m glad I personally didn’t get the 6760. As a long-time Nokia user and an avid S60 fan, I would find the 6760 frustratingly limited. However, if one of my friends were to ask if the 6760 would work for them, my answer would of course be yes. I would highly recommend it to them, hands down. If they had a bit more to spend, my next recommendation would be the E71 (or the countless slight variations) as it would incorporate a guaranteed bulletproof quality. But for anyone who uses their phone to the max, the Nokia 6760 is looking a bit old and I would recommend something newer.

Lastly, I’d like to say thanks to WOMWorld, for sending me this device and letting me test it, even though I couldn’t quite justify a reason for why I wanted it. Thanks guys.

photo gallery
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