The Nokia N79 is the last N series mobile phone that was launched recently to make its way into the test lab. Unlike both the N96 and N85, the N79 comes in the form factor of a candy bar. Some people prefer this form factor as everything is presented on the phone without any hidden surprises. The N79 has a grey facet with a 2.4 inch screen and the usual number pad below the screen. Although the number keys are large and visible, I found myself always pressing the wrong number, resulting in some embarrassing phone calls. The number keys are seamless and our fingers found it hard to differentiate between “1” and “2”.
Turn the phone over and you will be presented with a 5.0 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens as well as dual LEDs to serve as flash. The interesting thing here is that whenever you change the back plate, say from brown to pink, the theme of the phone changes to pink as well. There are four nodes on the back plate that touches the four probes on the phone, letting the phone know what color the plate is. This review unit came with brown, white and pink but there are a few more colors like blue and green on Nokia’s website.
Besides the exterior of the N79, the software has some slight changes as well. Menus now fade in and out instead of just appear to the user, the accelerometer is implemented in a nicer way. It zooms out, rotates, and then zooms in. I liked the new interface but all these eye candies are without a major flaw, which is the overall operation of the device. With all the bells and whistles, I cannot help but notice that the N79 had slowed down a bit, which is very frustrating sometimes.
I always liked phones in candy form factors and the N79 hits the right spot in this area. The back plate theme change is also something new and welcomed. The keypad and the speed of the phone needs a little bit of getting used to. Despite the minor complains, I have no qualms with the N79.