Nokia N78 UK Retail Version
This is the Nokia N78 (UK SIM-free retail version). There's a sleeve highlighting the navigation features of the phone, but the main box is in the usual Nseries style.
3 months free navigation
Out of the box the N78 has 3 months of free navigation and local maps (UK in this instance) are loaded on to the 2GB memory card.
This is the version that will ship through out Europe.
Branding and logos
XpressMusic, XpressPrint, PictBridge, S60, N-Gage, Real, Bluetooth, UPnP, WiFi and Java brands all make it onto the box,
Back of the box
The Ovi icons make an appearance on the box (the first time I've seen this). Though the Ovi logo itself is not present.
It's interesting to see the GPS / navigation feature headlines this list. As you would expect the music, imaging and connectivity features get the other spots.
The plastics tray and cardboard that will be familiar to any Nokia user are present. These days they tend to be biodegradable and or recycled.
Booklets and cabling
The box contents
The emphasis on navigation is apparent once again with this in box leaflet. Given that the majority of N78 owners will be getting a GPS enabled phone for the first time (and given it is one of the less established phone functions) it make sense to really emphasise the feature.
Small style charger
The small style charger is becoming standard in Nokia products. A welcome change from the past. There's also the usual headphone / headset (in two parts so you can use your own headphones if you prefer).
The N78 has a very different look to early Nseries - it has more of a style conscious than its predecessors.
The N78 has much faster connectivity than earlier Nseries device (it makes better use of USB 2.0). Note that you'll need to make sure you plug the cable into a USB 2.0 specified port to take full advantage of the speed increases (older hubs and monitors are often USB 1.0 only).
These also double as zoom control in the Camera and Photos applications.
3.2 megapixel camera
Power and 3.55mm audio
The 3.55mm audio jack is located in the optimum position - on the top of the phone. This should avoid pocket tangles with headphone cables.
The paired stereo speakers are diagonally opposite each other.
N78 vs N82
The N78 have similar width and height dimensions, but the N78 is noticeable thinner and lighter. The N78 makes better use of the real estate on the front of the device with a slightly bigger keypad.
N78 vs N82 from the side
N95 8GB, N82, N78 and E51
The E51 remains one of the smallest S60 devices, but unlike the other 3 devices does not have a decent camera or a GPS. While the N82 remains the imaging king and the N95 8GB is the multimedia all rounder the N78 will be a very serious contender for many consumers given its combination of feature list, form factor and price point.
N95 8GB, N82, N78 and E51
With the exception of the N76 (different form factor, fewer features) the N78 is the smallest Nseries to date. It is much closer to feature phone feel than the N95 and together with it looks and form factor should, I think, make it more approachable for those outside the technology leader segment.
S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2
There's a lot of changes in S60 3.2 although overall its more evolutionary than revolutionary. If you don't like the S60 UI style the changes wont make any difference, but many of the smaller usability frustrtaion of S60 have been sorted out (access points, multi-tasking, central softkey etc.).
N78 as a blank slate
N78 lighting up
Keypad lights off
The keypad may turn out to be one of the more debated areas of the N78. The style is reminiscent of the N82, but the rubber finish of the number keys is much more comfortable for long usage periods and there is better tactile feedback.
Keypad lights on
The keypad lights illuminate behind the clearer plastic that makes up the labels of the keypad. Inside this works well, but outside the illumination is largely washed out. However outside you can generally see the labels even without illumination.
The multimedia menu gives access to the major features of the phone. Performance seems to have been improved too though it is still a bit like Marmite - you'll either love it or hate it.
Just in case you forget your brand
Its a Nokia Nseries you know?
The back cover
The back cover (clip on style - I'll imagine we'll be seeing lots of replacement covers) has a line-patterned finish.
The 3.2 megapixel camera has a bright LED flash. A Xenon flash would have given better performance, but it would have had a price impact. Inevitably the N78 is not all singing, all dancing in all areas. My personal opinion is that it gets most thing right in terms of choosing a mix that gives impressive all round functionality.
There a VGA camera on the top right of the device for those video calls that everyone is making these days.
The D-pad is an engineering marvel. It is a normal D-Pad (quite good considering its relative size), but it also doubles up as a touch sensitive scroll wheel. The navi-wheel can be used in a variety of places throughout the UI, but is most useful in long lists (e.g. moving through images or music lists).
The rim also lights up for various events and in stand by mode will 'breathe' (fade in and out) to indicate the phone is live. The pace of breathing will change if there's a new message. I'm a big fan of this organic style device notification.
Cover off with the BL-6F battery (1200 mAh). Battery life is impressive - certainly the best of recent Nseries devices.
2GB microSD card
A 2GB microSD card comes with the phone, but microSDHC cards also supported (8GB available now, 16GB in due course).