After many months of Panasonic publicly announcing its committment to Symbian and Series 60, but not having a phone to back it up, the company this week finally introduced its first Series 60 smartphone - the X700.
As the model number might imply, the design is heavily inspired by the X70. The X700 is larger, although that is necessary for the extra keys and larger display. The extra room on the display is really necessary on a smartphone device such as this. Fortunately, the X700 retains the stunning thinness of the X70, making the X700 one of the most compact Series 60 devices to date.
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The transflective inner display is excellent in all lighting situations. However, the STN outer display quality - at least in the pre-release model shown here - is a bit disappointing. It's perfectly fine for caller-ID and basic functions, but photos lack color, and substantial lag and blurring reduce the usefullness as a camera viewfinder for self-portraits. That is probably my only complaint, however. The device is excellent in all other areas.
The X700 is one of the first devices outside of Japan to include a miniSD card slot (the new Motorola MPx100 also has one). This contributes to the slim form factor, while permitting generous memory expansion. 1GB miniSD cards are expected by the end of the year, which the X700 will support.
The X700 will come with 16MB of built-in memory, and is tentatively planned to ship bundled with a 32MB miniSD card.
One common complaint about the X70 was the underwhelming CIF-resolution camera. Fortunately, the X700 includes a VGA-resolution camera. Video recording is also supported, although only up to the maximum size of an MMS, meaning about 15 seconds typically.