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Nokia's 7650 - almost a PDA

Review by Michael Oryl on Monday August 05, 2002.

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Both the iPAQ and the Palm were able to connect to the 7650 with Bluetooth capable SMS applications (I believe these apps make use of the DUN profile, but I would welcome confirmation from any knowledgeable readers). But even though the connection was made, the SMS messages were not accessible. Each scan came up with no new messages, even if there were unread messages on the 7650. My assumption is that this is because the 7650's OS is storing the messages in some proprietary system and is not storing the messages on the SIM card, where they would be accessible to other devices. Luckily, this is not really a big deal since the SMS reading/writing capabilities of the 7650 itself are very good.

The GPRS system proved nondescript, as it should. Setup was minimal, and it worked. The time required to make a connection did seem to be a bit long when used with the Email app, though. There is a section in the phone's Log app that shows the amount of data that has been downloaded and uploaded, so you can track your GPRS spending.

And let us not forget what might just be the most important aspect of any mobile phone: Games! The 7650 comes with Snake EX and Mix Pix preinstalled. Everybody knows Snake. Snake EX is a much improved version with many different mazes to choose from. Pretty fun. Mix Pix is a puzzle game where you slide the pieces around to try to complete the puzzle. The CD that ships with the 7650 includes three others; Card Deck, Bounce, and Triple Pop. Card Deck is a bunch of solitaire card games thrown together. Bounce is the award winning game that was originally developed for the 9210. The 7650 implementation is as great as the original. Triple Pop was also developed for the 9210 and in my opinion is actually better than the original. Of course more game will be available in the future as developers start selling the games they have been working on for the past few months.

Lastly I'll touch on some of the other physical aspects of the phone. As you are probably well aware, the keypad of the 7650 slides out from underneath the main body of the phone. It is moved manually, not spring loaded like in the 7110. Sorry you Matrix fans out there. Anyway, the buttons on the keypad are quite nice and show up very well in the dark. They can be very clearly read, maybe the best I have seen to date. There is a light sensor that will aid the 7650 in deciding when to turn off the keypad backlighting. I don't think they should have bother with that, honestly. The joystick, which was mentioned earlier is decent, but it lacks the grip of the joystick in the Sony Ericsson T68i or those used as pointer controls in many Laptop computers. If your fingers are the slightest bit sweaty the joystick gets a bit slippery. Still usable, but this problem could have been very easily avoided with a change in texture or compound. Obviously it never gets too warm where the designers in Finland are working....

There is also a built-in speakerphone/hands-free mode that can be activated during a call by pressing a red button on the side of the phone. There is a sensor built into the face of the phone that will automatically turn this function off if you bring the phone too close to your head, in an effort to spare you ear damage. This same type system was using on the Ericsson R520m to great effect. That same button will activate the voice dialing feature of the 7650 when you are not actively in a call.

So there you have it. It probably sounds like I complained a lot about the phone, and maybe I did. But the end result, and perhaps the most important thing, is that I am going to be using this as my primary phone for the forseeable future - warts and all. I like it, it does what I need. A good compromise.


  • Great display, good menu system
  • Not TOO big and heavy
  • Built in camera
  • Bluetooth and GPRS
  • Has the most important PDA functions, including email
  • It ain't that small and light, though
  • Poor camera image quality
  • Bluetooth support spotty, and no Bluetooth Headset support at all

More images are avalable on the following pages.


About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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