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Nokia N76 mobile phone

Not a poster child for Nokia's sense of originality

Top three mobile application threats

Across the keypad from the Symbian menu key is one giving direct access to the four media and interactive functions; music player, radio, picture slide show and web browser. Text input is helped by the presence of the Symbian 'pencil' key, which lets you toggle the T9 predictive dictionary on and off, select symbols and change language - all functions some of us forget where to find on our phones. A small 'c' key allows you to delete text without running the risk of accidentally binning your entire message.

Nokia N76 mobile phone handset
Video on the small screen

The camera is a two-megapixel example, which in today's market can best be described as an adequate specification, with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. Also on board is a reasonably powerful LED flash. Like the majority of phone cameras, in strong natural light images are acceptable but are rather poor in weak light. Similarly, the flash is pointless if the subject is more than a metre away. The digital zoom will go up to 20x, but as you approach that maximum magnification your image quality drops off a cliff. The camera will also record MP4 video with sound at a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, video length being limited only by available memory. The inside of the flip contains a small secondary CIF camera for 3G video calling.

Music playback is one of the N76's strong points. Storage capacity is restricted only by the size of your microSD card and sound quality via the supplied headset was very impressive. Our handset came supplied with a single track, Moby's In My Heart, but we won't hold that against Nokia. Sticking the supplied Micro SD card into a laptop and copying across Bruce Springsteen's Ghost of Tom Joad was the work of moments, and with decent quality fare the N76 produced a clear sound with solid bass, taut treble and a nicely defined vocal line. Unplug the headset and playback is via a speaker in the 'chin' at the bottom of the phone. Sound via this is better than you would perhaps expect, and is more than good enough for playing the back voice recordings. Format-wise the N76 supports MP3, AAC, eAAC(+) and WMA.

Other functionality? You get a PDF viewer, a Flash player, FM radio, Real Player for audio and video playback, an IM application, support for SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 email, a voice recorder good for 60 minutes, one game, a universal converter and support for a wireless keyboard. The on-board web browser is the standard Symbian 9.1 S60 3rd Edition affair. Usable in portrait or landscape layouts it does a good job, though getting used to moving the cursor about with the etched keyboard four-way pressure pad takes some getting used to. Images and other downloaded data can be stored on the phone's 26MB of on-board shared memory.

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