Nokia N78: Its good and its bad sides

31. August 2008 at 15:12

Today I decided to write an article about the positive and negative aspects of the Nokia N78.

Let’s start with the good sides of the device:


The N78 is a very well designed phone which looks a little bit like the N81 in candybar-formfactor. With its glossy, black front it looks definitely very nobly. The fronts’ surface is flat and the only keys that are higher than the rest are the numeric keypad, the multimedia-key and the D-pad.


As usual the Nokia N78 has a radio built in with that you can listen to music from your favourite radiostation. But this time there’s not only a radio with which you can receive, you can also stream your own music via the built in FM-transmitter to your radio. Just play music, turn on the FM-transmitter, choose the frequency you like and you’re ready to listen to your music via your radio, e.g. in the car or in the house.


The camera of the N78 features a 3.2 megapixel lens with Carl Zeiss optics. This camera is very good and fast. Especially the autofocus is great, it can cognize if you want to make a close-up shot or a normal photo – to date you always needed to choose by yourself if you want to make a normal photo or a macro-photo. The camera has also a LED-flash which is very bright and enables you to make photos also in bad light conditions.

Battery Life

Equipped with the Nokia BL-6F battery the N78 is ready for every power-user. The BL-6F was introduced with the Nokia N95 8GB and has 1200mAh. Since the N78 doesn’t need as much power as the N95 8GB or a similar device the battery can rest longer without charging it. Since I am a power-user I was very impressed of the N78’s battery life. I need to charge my N95 almost every two days – the N78 needed almost five days to get the battery empty!

3.5 mm headphone-jack

Nowadays almost every Nseries phone has a 3.5 mm headphone-jack. The N78 also has one, I like this feature very much because you can use your favourite headphones without an adapter or something. The headphone-jack of the N78 is also placed very good, it is on the top of the device and so you can use it better while carrying the device in your pocket as when the 3.5 mm jack is on the side or somewhere.

Feature Pack 2

The N78 runs on Symbian S60 3rd Edition with Feature Pack 2. This second feature pack brings nice improvements to the S60 OS. Now you can open the task-manager directly from the options menu and the device is more customizable. There are also very nice menu-transitions and some cool effects that are making the devices’ OS to „eye-candy”.


The price of the device is also very good. For about 300€ you get a great phone with many multimedia-features which won’t disappoint you.

Enough of the good aspects, let’s talk about the N78’s bad sides!

Used Materials

The N78’s whole housing is made out of cheap plastic which feels very cheap. If you don’t buy protectors for the whole phone it will get scratches very fast – especially the backside and the display. You will notice the first scratches on the backside because for usually you will lay down the device on it’s backside and so it gets scratches. The next scratches you will notice are mostly on the display which looks not very good on this black, glossy surface.


The glossy surface of the device is a real finger-print-magnet. You will need to clean it at least once a day, otherwise it looks very dirty with all those finger-prints on it.

Build quality in general

To be honest the N78’s build quality isn’t very good. The backcover is wobbly and makes noise if you press on it. If you press on the sides they’re creaking.


The keys of the Nokia N78 are very stylish, but sometimes the selection-keys aren’t working well and so you need to press more than once on them to get them working. The naviwheel isn’t working that good and so it’s nothing more than a nice „toy” yet.

Silent-mode isn’t silent

If you switch to silent-mode in S60 devices you’re used to that the camera-sound is also silent. Not so in the N78! If you switch to camera-mode and the device is on silent the camera makes a sound although!

No TV-out

Nseries devices are multimedia-computers. One aspect of multimedia is the TV-out feature. Unfortunately the N78 doesn’t have this feature and so you can’t show your captured images and videos via TV-out to your friends and family on a huge TV-screen.

[original article]