The Nokia 7610 comes with an impressive set of features, including an address book that stores as many contacts as will fit in the 8MB of internal shared memory. You also get ring-tone and picture ID, text and multimedia messaging, wireless POP/IMAP e-mail access, six-way conference calling, a speakerphone (which can be switched on during -- but not before -- a call), 18 polyphonic ring tones, 6 True Tunes, a calendar, a to-do list, a notepad, a unit converter, an alarm clock, a vibrate mode, a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, voice dialling and commands, voice memos, and a digital wallet for storing passwords and credit card numbers. The phone offers Bluetooth and USB-cable support for wireless headsets, data transfers, and contact syncing, but there's no infrared port -- a curious omission.
Without further ado, let's get to the feature that's causing all the fuss: the 7610's megapixel camera. With its 1,152x864-pixel resolution and 4X digital zoom, the 7610 takes sharp pictures for a camera phone, putting the VGA image quality of older camera phones to shame. You can't adjust the resolution or change the shutter sound, but you get three quality settings (High, Low, and Medium). Though we liked the overall quality, you'll never mistake the mobile's pictures for those of a dedicated digital camera. Saddled with a tiny 3.7mm lens (which is unprotected by a lens cover), the 7610 produced images that still looked fuzzy, and we noticed a lot of noise in low-light shots.
We were also less than impressed with the camera's anaemic feature set, which includes little more than the 4X digital zoom, a self-timer, and a night mode. Missing features include a multishot option (an ideal extra, considering that the 64MB MMC card holds about 130 high-quality pictures), image effects (such as sepia and black and white), and editing features. You can send images to your pals via multimedia message or Bluetooth, and you can use pictures as your wallpaper or associate them with a contact.
While the 7610's photo quality is certainly above average, its video recorder is run of the mill. You can shoot video clips with sound at resolutions of either 174x144 or 128x96 pixels (in QCIF format). The clips we took were barely watchable, which isn't unusual for video-recording cameras. One nice innovation is that you can shoot video clips up to 10 minutes in length, depending on how much memory is available; the video recorders on most of the phones we've tested cap your video clips at about 10 seconds.
The 7610 offers respectable -- though not great -- customisation options. You can choose from a selection of themes, wallpaper, screensavers, colours, and ringer profiles. You can also load MP3s as ring tones.
Calls sounded loud and clear, and our callers said they couldn't tell we were on a mobile. Speakerphone calls also were admirable, and audio quality over the included wired headset was diminished only slightly. We also enjoyed good calls with a Bluetooth headset and had no problem pairing the two devices.
Battery life on the 7610 was excellent. We got about six hours of talk time, double the three hours Nokia claims. The phone promises about 10 days of standby time. In our tests, we fell short by 2 days, but that's still respectable.
Edited by Kent German
Additional editing by Mary Lojkine