Hands On With The N78

The N78

The sucessor to the N73 is out and it is truly a fine mid end device. If the design doesn’t appeal to you its another matter but apart from that it will be very difficult to find fault with the N78. As the product manager himself said with the N78 they weren’t trying to do cutting edge stuff, just get the basics right and focus on the core user experience.

The N78 has several additions to it, the AGPS, 3.5mm jack, the 1200 mAh battery and so on. It is in these small yet definitive changes that it derives its strength from. The biggest factor for me apart from the AGPS is the music quality being upped to the N91 level.


The N78 is a solidly built monoblock with no moving parts. The keypad is unconventional and possibly will take a little getting used to. I tried typing on the device and was able to without much fuss. It will be available in three colours, two of which are right below and the third being similar to the N82 white. The camera is the same 3.2 megapixel but the video recording capability has been upped to VGA @ 15 FPS.

The N78

Now I won’t do a preview as such but will go over some of the stuff the N78 is doing which currently no other phone does.

Navi Wheel


The Navi Wheel has almost been completely overhauled and is not even reminicent of the worthless one on the N81. The N78 packs a great useable one. It has been implemented overall in the OS anywhere there are long lists the Navi Wheel is there. I did find a couple of places such as choosing programs for standby where it didn’t work but thats not somthing you’ll change everyday. It works great with the Music Library and even in contacts. The video below demonstrates.


Automatic Geo-Tagging

Recently Nokia Beta Labs has come out with a utility called Location Tagger which when left running in the background geo tagged the pictures. The N78 supports geo tagging out of the box, directly from within the default application. Brilliant.

FM Transmitter

The N76 is the first Nseries device to feature a FM transmitter which allows us to duplicate the iTrip functional of the iPod i.e. broadcast music over the FM to Radio. It is great for listening to your own music without wires and in the car through the phone. Since it has been power optimised its range is pretty limited. The other device has to be very near the phone for it to work, if the phone is broadcasting from the back seat, the car stereo won’t be able to pick it up cause of the distance.

On the whole the N78 is a complete package that does almost everything an N9x does and still has a few aces up its sleeve. It is my believe that because of its reasonable pricing it will sell really well and will account for the major sales for this year. It is expected in the second quarter.

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32 thoughts on “Hands On With The N78”

  1. Looks great. I like the idea of teh FM transmitter.
    Does it have the Accelerometer? As I would like to see this used more by Nokia. This seems to be a much under valued selling feature.
    Are the keys annoying, they look it?
    Pity about the camera not being 5 megapixels, as its small enough to put in other phones (eg. 6220) they should have placed it here.

  2. Dave, The keys are annoying at first but you get used to them. I didn’t have it for long, but when I did try typing it wasn’t tough at all.
    It doesn’t have a 5MP cam cause else it’d be competing with the N95 line up wich Nokia want to keep separate. The 6220 doesn’t have wifi!

    H3n4, the music quality upgrade is an absolute blessing!

  3. awesome how is the battery life? how would you compare it to the 9000 version (the processor was very slow)…
    I assume this one runs on windows? looks up there with the iphone

  4. The only annoying feature of this handset is the lack of lens cover, it will catch too much dust, and pictures will come out crappy.

  5. Thelynosden, this phone runs on s60 OS and the battery life seems to be great. It features at bigger battery than the N73 which itself had great standby.

    Kay, it will be a best seller for sure if the keypad goes down well with the masses!

    Sandy, sure. The lack of lens cover is a little cause for concern but then the N95 8GB also suffers from the same, yet is doing well.

  6. Hey! I have an N76 and it doesn’t feature a FM Transmitter… are you sure that its included in a N76… i don’t think so… plz reply…

  7. Does it share the d-pad problem with N82? I feel the dpad on n82 is hard to use. You have to use your finger tip instead of thumb or it will be easy to press the buttons next to accidentally

  8. Hi everyone!

    Does anybody know of any USB WIFI Adapter which can work with Windows Mobile 5/6.

    Thanks in advance for you time and concern.

  9. Hey, very cool review! I am considering to buy the N78. Its a very nice phone, but can you PLEASE tell me how is the loudness and quility of the loudspeakers compared to the N81?

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