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Nokia 7270

Editor's rating (1-5):
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Review Posted August 22, 2005 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

Delightfully impulsive is how Nokia describes the 7270 tri-band GSM mobile phone. Teaming up with the Nokia 7280 and the Nokia 7610 as members of the "Nokia Fashion Collection" of art deco influenced phones, the Nokia 7270 is the only clamshell phone among the three and is the only one comes with textile covers that make the phone truly a fashion accessory.

The Nokia 7270 is a GSM phone operating on 900/1800/1900 MHz bands. It has a Class 10 GPRS radio for data and EDGE support. The Nokia runs on the Series 40 platform and offers a nice set of phone features along with a VGA camera, push to talk, an integrated FM radio, some basic PIM (Personal Information Management) applications and a bundle of deco and modern style themes and ringtones that fit the image of the phone.

Design and Ergonomics

Though decorated with modern shapes and lines, the Nokia 7270 has a retro style that would make it seem perfectly at home in Cary Grant and Greta Garbo's hands. The phone has a black plastic housing and when the clamshell is closed, you will see silver face plates with art deco patterns covering both top and the bottom of the phone. At the same time, these dark silver on light silver lines are reminiscent of a printed circuit board, giving the phone a thoroughly modern appeal.

Nokia 7270

The naked 7270



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You will find the 96 x 65 pixel 12 bit mini display screen, speaker grill and camera lens on the top half of the clamshell. The silver covers make fashion statement as they look striking sitting on the black phone. Going even further with the fashion theme, Nokia includes two user-replaceable textile wraps that can be snapped onto the silver plates. They too have the art deco patterns that match the silver plates, the phone and the themes that come with the phone.

Nokia 7270 with cover
back of Nokia 7270

The red textile cover in place

Flip open the clamshell, you will see the bright 128 x 160 16 bit TFT display along with the speaker on the top shell and the a large grid number pad and a five way d-pad, two functions buttons and call send and end buttons on the bottom half. The key pad and buttons are spacious. The built-in grid will help you touch dial. On the left side of the phone, you will find volume buttons; and on the right side from top to bottom: push to talk button, IR port and power on/off button. You will find the power charging port and the pop-port headset connector on the bottom edge of the phone. The rechargeable, user-replaceable battery lives under the back door; and the SIM card is under the battery. The phone is quite small, and is more petite than the smallish Audiovox SMT5600 candybar MS smartphone as well as competing flip phones.

size comparison

The Sony Ericsson T610, Nokia 7280, Nokia 720 and Audiovox SMT5600 (aka Orange C500)

Phone Features and Reception

For a phone that seeks to attract eyes with its fashionable design, the Nokia 7270 packs plenty of features that make it quite a capable feature phone. The Nokia operates on GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz bands which means you can use it in Europe, Asia and in the US on T-Mobile network. Cingular and AT&T Wireless also use the 1900 MHz band but you will suffer reduced coverage because they do rely heavily on the 850 MHz band in many areas. Nokia phones have a reputation for great reception, but the reception on the 7270 is a little flaky. It generally gets a strong signal in well covered 1900 MHz areas and decent signal strength in fair areas. It does however sometimes drop connections to the tower in fairly well covered areas and doesn't get as strong a signal as do other recent Nokia mobile phones. Voice quality is good and volume is loud.

The Nokia 7270 has voice dialing, voice command and conference calling features. You will need to record the voice tags in Contacts for voice dialing. The 7270 also supports auto redial, speed dialing and has a speakerphone that you can turn on during a call. The phone supports polyphonic ring tones (MIDI, MP3, and AAC) and comes bundled with a nice set of themes that include art deco patterns, techno style ringtones and a lot more. The themes apply to the background, ringtones and mini display and they are a very handy way to personalize the phone without additional downloads. You can set 6 profiles on the Nokia 7270.

The Nokia comes with a set of basic PIM applications and you can access these applications via the phone menu. The Contacts application can store up to 255 contacts with multiple phone numbers for each contact. You can search the contacts database and group your contacts into categories (family, VIP, friends, business, etc.). The Calendar has both a week view and month view, and you can set alarms for appointments and make notes. The Nokia does work with PC Suite for syncing, but the data cable isn't included, so you must purchase it separately. You can purchase it separately and download PC Suite from Nokia's web site for free. Other applications included are Alarm clock, Stopwatch with countdown timer, Notes, To-do list and Wallet.

Nokia 7270

Data, Messaging and Web

The Nokia 7270 has a Class 10 GPRS radio with support for EDGE. However, in the Silicon Valley where T-Mobile has EDGE deployed, we can only get very slow GPRS data speed (7-10 kbps). We tested the same SIM card on the Treo 650 and could get over 77-90 kbps. The Nokia comes with a WAP 2.0 browser, and you will not be able to display none-WAP sites via the built-in browser. The speed for loading WAP sites is reasonable, and you can expect some basic browser functions such as bookmarks, history and search. The Nokia supports SMS, MMS, Instant Messaging and email. Email works with IMAP4, POP3 and SMTP protocols.

Camera and Multimedia

The Nokia 7270 has a built-in VGA camera that's capable of taking photos up to 640 x 480 resolution and videos at SubQCIF (128 x 96 pixels) resolution. The camera has 4X digital zoom, a self-timer and offers three picture quality levels. The 7270's VGA camera can't compete with the excellent 1 megapixel camera found on its big brother, the Nokia 7610, but it does decent job by phone digicam standards. The camera deals with relatively low light areas well and tends to white out in very sunny conditions which are harsh for most of the digital cameras. The photos have a slight hazy effect that makes the images look "dreamy". The videos are reasonably smooth.



Above: Sample photos, unedited. Taken at maximum resolution. Click on an image to see the full size original.


To accompany the camera, Nokia bundles Media Player. You can view your photos in the Gallery and play videos you've taken using the Media Player. The Media Player also supports streaming content. The video formats supported include 3GPP formats and MPEG-4. You can send photos and videos via MMS or use the IR port to beam them to other devices. If you've purchased the optional data cable and installed PC Suite, you can transfer your photos directly to your PC.

If you like to listen to the radio, the Nokia 7270 will serve you well. It comes with a built-in FM radio that gets plenty of stations in the San Francisco Bay Area. To use the radio, you need to plug in the Pop-port stereo headset included with the phone, and then launch the Radio application in the Media folder. You can search for stations, save favorites and even use the external speakers to listen to the radio.

The Nokia has built-in Java technology which means you can play Java based games and the phone comes with two games: Chic Pinball and Disco which is a disco club simulation game.

Battery Life

The Nokia comes with a 720 mAh (BL-4C) rechargeable battery which is user replaceable. The phone's battery life is decent though not stellar. You will get about one week of standby and 4 hours of talk time. The battery lives under the back door and you can open the battery door by pushing down the latch. The SIM, as per usual for Nokia phones, is located under the battery.


A very fashionable clamshell phone with a good feature set. Clamshell loving cell phone users who value fashion and class should not miss this handset.

Pro: The phone generally gets good reception and has good voice quality and loud volume. It supports some of the essential phone features such as voice dialing, redialing, conference calling, speed dialing and more. The camera takes decent photos and videos. The SMS, MMS and email work well and the web browser works fine if you only visit WAP sites. The FM radio and push to talk are added bonus.

Con: GPRS gets very slow data speed in the Silicon Valley area. Lack of connectivity options to the PC. No Bluetooth.

Price: Approx. $375 from importers, US price not available yet

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Display: The main screen: TFT display supports up to 65k colors with 128 x 160 max resolution. Mini display supports up to 4,096 colors with 96 x 65 pixels resolution.

Battery: Nokia BL-4C 720 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion Battery. User replaceable. Claimed max talk time is up to 4 hours and claimed max standby time is up to 11 days.

Performance: Nokia Series 40 OS. 21MB shared memory for storage. Heap size: 977 KB, max JAR size: 250 KB.

Size: 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.87 inches. Weighs 4.27 ounces.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and Pop-port headphone jack. Speakerphone. Supports vibrating alerts.

Network: GSM triband phone, 900/1800/1900MHz. GPRS and EDGE for data. HSCSD (for connecting to an ISP, not to your mobile provider's data service). IR.

Software: Series 40 OS. Organizer apps: phone book, calendar, to-do and notes. WAP/XHTML web browser, Messaging (supports SMS and MMS), camera,Media Player (image and video viewer, plays ringtones and voice recordings as well), voice recorder, alarm clock, Number Entry (for entering numbers to dial), Radio (listen to FM radio with a compatible headset).

Expansion: None.

In the Box: the phone, 2 snap-on textile wraps (black and red), wrist strap, pop-port stereo headset, fabric pouch for the phone, AC charger and a printed User Manual.


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