The third iteration in Nokia's Navigator series of mobile phones, the 6710 Navigator is Nokia's best effort yet. The small screen will annoy many users, but the addition of a great zoom bar, a free lifetime subscription to the GPS maps and an excellent build quality make the latest Navigator worth a closer look.
The build quality of the Nokia 6710 Navigator mobile phone is excellent. Looking very similar in design to the 6720 classic, the slide feels smooth and responsive, the keys have good tactility and are well placed and the positioning and layout of the controls (including the five-way navigational pad) is second to none. Unfortunately, the keypad is quite small and the rear battery cover is difficult to pry open when you want to remove it. Perhaps the best design feature of the 6710 Navigator is the touch sensitive zoom bar below the display. Simply gliding your finger left and right across the bar zooms in and out of maps, the Web browser, the camera and also scrolls through the media gallery.
The 6710 Navigator's display is a concern. As a regular mobile phone display, it isn't too bad, with good colour clarity and reasonable viewing angles. Yet this handset is designed to be used as a GPS, and as such it's too small for our liking. Sunlight reflection is also an issue — on a bright day, we sometimes struggled to see the screen when using the 6710 Navigator in the car.
It's a shame the screen is a little small, as the 6710 Navigator is a pretty good GPS phone. It's fast to lock onto and maintain a GPS signal and we experienced almost no lag or delay while driving. The 6710 Navigator's GPS chip seemed far more responsive than that of the iPhone 3GS which in our tests did display lag when using the dedicated turn-by-turn navigational apps. Best of all, the 6710 Navigator includes a lifetime subscription to full turn-by-turn navigation. It's predecessor, the 6210 Navigator only included turn-by-turn navigation for six months. Nokia also includes a well built window mount in the sales package that allows you to slide the phone open while it's in the cradle.
The Nokia Maps interface is clear and concise and displays plenty of information despite the small screen. Voice instructions are easy to follow, however they can distort at full volume and the speaker lacks punch, even at its highest setting. The Navteq map performance was a little inconsistent — in our tests, the maps failed to recognise a number of no-right-turns and also seemed to favour illegal U-turns when re-routing, although these issues are common with all GPS devices and not just restricted to the 6710 Navigator.
Navigation aside, the 6710 Navigator is a solid phone without offering anything outstanding, though the inclusion of a 5-megapixel camera is a highlight. The Carl Zeiss branded camera lacks a lens cover and only comes with a single LED flash (making low-light photography poor), but overall the 6710 Navigator produces good quality photos for a camera phone.
The Nokia 6710 Navigator includes a 3.5mm headphone jack and features solid multimedia software. A 2GB microSD card is included in the sales package and there is also an FM radio. Our review unit wasn't pre-loaded with Nokia's Ovi Store application, but this can be downloaded, or accessed through the 6710 Navigator's Web browser.
The Nokia 6710 Navigator is a HSDPA-capable phone and also features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP and USB via a standard micro-USB port. Oddly, the phone can't charge via the micro-USB port and uses the older proprietary Nokia connection instead.
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