Review of the Nokia 2760


The Nokia 2760 redefines the sort of features one can expect in a low-end phone, by offering a camera, Bluetooth, FM radio, and MP3 playback in a phone that sells for only $125. However, just how good a PHONE do you get for that money? Sadly, not that great.

 

The Nokia 2760 is available through 7-11

Last Updated: 15-Dec-2007

Before reading this review, please read Some Thoughts on Phone Reviewing.

RF Performance

RF Sensitivity: This aspect of the phone was very impressive. The 2760 was able to pull in a signal in places where no other phone had a lot of trouble. However, donít get too excited here, this doesnít mean the 2760 is markedly better than anything else out there. The difference was slight, but none-the-less noticeable.

Over-the-road Performance: There was nothing special about the over-the-road performance of this model. It dealt with handoffs about as well as most Nokias, which is to say it produces plenty of annoying sound effects and syllable-destroying weirdness.

There was a time when I might have rated this performance as ďacceptableĒ, but in light of the handoff performance recently demonstrated by the Sony-Ericsson K850i (in GSM mode), the bar has clearly been raised for what one can expect from handoffs during a non-UMTS conversation. Sure, the K850i is in a completely different class, but throughout my 100+ reviews Iíve never found a connection between the price of a phone and its performance. Cheap phones perform well and expensive phones perform poorly. The K850i demonstrates what is possible when it comes to handoffs.

Even if we ignore the K850i however, the over-the-road performance of the 2760 is still disappointing. It differs little from 10-year-old Nokia phone performance and there have been plenty of phones in that time that have done markedly better.

Click on this link for a full description of RF Performance, and how to interpret it.

Audio Performance

Tonal Balance: This phones sound a little shallow and tinny, but not overly so. I didnít detect any harshness to the sound, and so you wonít find yourself pulling your ear away from the earpiece to avoid the pain (as some other phones do). However, compared to the Siemens models that have come out over the last few years, including those that sell for less than the 2760, the Nokia just doesnít come close.

Sound Reproduction: While I might have found the tonal balance acceptable, the sound reproduction was another matter completely. This phone exhibited distortion the likes of which I havenít heard since the days of the ill-conceived Nokia 7210 and 6200 models. While I wonít go as far as to say that the 2760 is as bad as those phones were, itís certainly closer to it than anything theyíve released since. If you are sensitive to audio distortion (as I am), youíre not going to be very happy with this phone.

Earpiece Volume: Indoors the volume of the earpiece sounds a little low, but fortunately the phone includes Nokiaís volume-boost feature that increased the audio level in response to background noise. Subsequently the earpiece comes through with plenty of volume when itís needed, such as in noisy malls or out on a busy street.

Outgoing Audio: In quiet environments the outgoing sound quality is decent, with good clarity. However, when compared to better-sounding phones the 2760 is only a mediocre player when it comes to outgoing sound quality.

It also doesnít cope particularly well with background noise. I tried the phone out on a noisy street and the results were disappointing. While the phone seems to do a credible job of reducing the impact of the traffic noise, it also mangles the voice of the user quite noticeably. Under such conditions your callers might ask you to repeat a number of things.

Speakerphone: This feature is relatively feeble and is only of value if used in a quiet environment. I like to refer to these things as ďon-hold speakersĒ, as the only time youíll really want to use them is when sitting on hold waiting for someone to pickup the phone. The speaker produces very little volume, and the sound it does produce is distinctly tinny and shallow.

Like many other phones Iíve tested lately, the same speaker seems quite capable of producing some prodigious volumes when you playback various media types, especially MP3 files. Why the phone canít generate that kind of volume during a call is anyoneís guess.

Click on this link for a full description of Audio Performance, and how to interpret it.

Support Features

Ringer Volume: The ringer volume was adequate, but not spectacular. At a crowded Square One food court I was unable to hear the phone ring if it was put in a back pocket (where many people put their phones). If you put the phone in your shirt pocket however, the ringer is plenty loud enough there for most noisy circumstances.

To really get the most out of the ringer however, youíll probably have to find a half-decent MP3 or MIDI file, because the phone doesnít come with any seriously loud ringers. Most are just friendly musical numbers that are great for use in polite company, but hardly useful in the real world.

Keypad Design: The keypad is actually one of the phoneís better features (great RF sensitivity notwithstanding). All of the keys are large and distinct, plus they all pressed with a reasonable amount of tactile feel. While I would have preferred a bit more positive feel to them, the keys canít be faulted for the size, placement, and easy-of-use. Granted, itís a fairly simplistic pad, but it does the job better than many phones costing much more.

Display: The display isnít half bad either, though itís hardly the high-resolution type weíve come to expect on modern phones. Just the same, it does a pretty reasonable job of providing the information you need to work the phone, and it even displays the photographs from the VGA camera quite well too. The brightness is a little low however, and so it is a bit difficult to read in bright sunlight.

Icing on the Cake

Camera: There really isnít much I can say about the camera, as it provides a rather prehistoric 640 x 480 resolution. The shots look okay for a VGA camera, and the level of noise at low light levels doesnít seem as bad as on high-resolution Nokia cameras. The primary job of the camera is to take picture-ID photos and quick shots to MMS to your friends. Beyond that, it isnít something youíd use to take ACTUAL photographs.

FM Radio & MP3 Playback: The FM radio in this phone works quite well on reasonably strong local stations and it provides fairly decent audio quality through the stereo earbuds provided with the phone. However, the reception isnít terrific, and the receiver suffers from multipath far too easily.

As for MP3 playback, this aspect is very limited, since the phone has minimal internal memory and NO external memory card. Subsequently it has no MP3 player installed on it and is only capable of playing single MP3 files at a time directly from the Music subdirectory in the file browser. In no way, shape, or form is this phone a substitute for an MP3 player.

Conclusions

Except for the RF sensitivity and excellent keypad, this phone really doesnít have a lot going for it. However, it performs adequately in most regards and it isnít that expensive. Considering the other options available through 7-11 however, the 2760 isnít too bad. It just pails in comparison to the rest of the cell phone world (including other Nokia models).

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