Listen to Nokia and they’ll tell you the N78 is intended for “new discoveries”; I’m not so sure about the media hyperbole, but if you’ve been holding out for a S60 handset with A-GPS, a reasonably well-spec’d camera, WiFi and HSDPA, the N78 has the capacity to satisfy with functionality to spare. Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and dualband (850/1900MHz for the North America market; 900/2100MHz for the rest of the world) WCDMA/HSDPA, the N78 supports WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR with the A2DP stereo audio profile.
A 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera with the ubiquitous Carl Zeiss optics and 20x digital zoom is the centrepiece of the N78′s media assault, although I would’ve liked to see a xenon rather than LED flash. Images are framed in the 2.4-inch QVGA display, automatically geotagged using the N78′s Assisted-GPS, and the Nokia Photos app is preinstalled to manage tagging, cataloguing and one-touch-upload to services such as Flickr or Nokia’s own Ovi online gallery. Video is captured at VGA 15fps quality, and a second, lower-resolution camera on the front handles video calling.
In terms of A/V performance, the N78 seems reasonably well equipped: support for MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA, an FM radio, integrated stereo speakers and a standard 3.5mm headphones socket are joined by an FM transmitter, for playing back music through a car stereo, and compatibility with OMA DRM 2.0 and WMDRM. Nokia claim up to 24hrs of solid music playback from one full charge of the N78′s 1,200mAh battery. A dedicated “Multimedia Menu” and Navi wheel are Nokia’s attempt to make accessing media straightforward.
Internet access is the third branch of Nokia’s multimedia intentions, and their well-designed browser should cope happily with WiFi and HSDPA. An RSS reader is also preloaded, and the Home Media Solution app can apparently synchronise music between your home computer and your cellphone. Of course, with only 70MB of internal memory, you’ll need to slot a microSD card into the N78 to really take advantage of that; Nokia supply a 2GB card and seem to suggest that the handset will support more than the 8GB cards currently available. The usual S60 apps supporting messaging are there, including email (although not push email), and the N78 will be compatible with the upcoming N-Gage gaming service and is preloaded with Nokia Maps 2.0.
The Nokia N78 weighs 101.8g and measures 113 x 49 x 15.1mm; battery life is rated as up to 320hrs standby, up to 190/260mins talktime in WCDMA/GSM modes. It’s expected in Q2 2008, with a pre-tax, pre-subsidy price of €350 ($507).