Thinking of purchasing a Nokia N78? 7 Reasons to Stop Thinking

Nokia N78. It’s a 3G phone; it looks cool; its feature rich and it’s a Nokia. Google for it and you will get a million pages, all in praise of the all new Nokia N78. I read those pages and got the phone. Now I know what its like. So if you are thinking of getting one, listen to this. (Nokia guys are going to be very cross with me 😉 )

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Nokia N78

Nokia N78

Poor Keypad Ergonomics – The keypad looks cool. But is really tough to type in ‘long SMS’s’ because all the keys are really close. Moreover the keys are tiny (and cute). So if you got thick fingers, you need to do a real test-drive before you get on N78. Another issue with the keypad is the answer key. A set of 5 keys is placed on a single plate. It’s a bit difficult to handle the keys on that plate, especially the answer button. You will have to press the answer button too hard to say “hello” (another security feature..?)

Outdated SoftwareNokia purchased the Symbian recently, but the software department is still old-school. For a phone from the N-series family, we cannot expect to have duplicate contacts or inappropriate options. You can create any number of copies of the same contact. Then the phone does not show who is calling (when a call from that contact comes) since the phone is confused between the copies of the available contacts.

Disappearing Memory Card – A 2 GB Memory card comes bundled with the set. At times, the memory card simply disappeared from the phone. A simple restart will bring it back online. Does that show that N 78 can’t handle 2 GB…?

Bluetooth Issue – The phone couldn’t find my Nokia 7610 kept just near to it. Initially I thought is with the 7610, so I restarted that phone. Results were negative. I restarted N78 and the problem was solved. This is not what is expected out of a premium phone.

Camera is topless – The 3.2 Mega pixel camera does not have a cover. Okay, that’s not Nokia’s problem, but I am getting scratches on the glass cover of the lens.  It should have had a neat lens cover as in Nokia N73.

Cannot Stand on its own – The phone switches to the landscape mode while watching videos. But, out of the body design, the phone cannot stand on a surface without support. This is a serious issue if you are someone who watch whole length movies on your phone (which is not unheard these days). You will hurt your hand before the movie is complete.

Money MattersNokia N-series phones are not cheap, then why should you say this..? N78 has lots of things, like GPS, Maps, Transmitter and more stuff that you need. What is the use of having a gold coin in your wallet which you are never gonna use? Before you make the choice of this phone, make sure that you are paying for what you actually need.

Now don’t start saying that my phone is not real. It has got a Nokia original warranty and all such stuff. Maybe I need some software upgrade when one is available.

If you have not stopped thinking of getting N78, go ahead. Get one for yourself and do let me know your experience.

For the Nokia guys: When we shell out hard cash, we need some real quality both in hardware and software. Your hardware is good, work on the other half.

Update: A new issue has arrived. The Camera is going crazy. It is now storing the photos in random places. The only good thing is that, I am not missing any photos. Each photo is somewhere there in the memory; just its location cannot be predicted. Also the gallery displays random images instead of displaying the last taken images. Something is seriously wrong.

Update 2: Another issue is here. The left speaker is dead. I googled this issue and there are many out there with the same problem. Now that is something serious. A hardware failure cannot be compromised.

My dad just rated the phone as: I just liked the way it look, everything else is bull shit.

Update 3: Now, the whole sound system of the phone is down. It’s permanently muted and it’s going into the service station soon.

Hey, I did not drop the phone in water, it has been handled well and still this is the case. Don’t get this phone, it sucks 🙁

Hello, I am Arun Basil Lal. Thank you for reading!

I am a WordPress product developer and creator of Image Attributes Pro. I am passionate about solving problems and travelling the world.

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  1. Heather says:

    I wish the Nokia guys see this and do something.
    Cheers for the work here

  2. balal says:

    @Heather: I wish the same too, Cheers

  3. Tech Gas says:

    I think this is a little harsh. Check with a Nokia Care for your solutions. You might have picked up the wrong phone..

  4. balal says:

    @Tech Gas: I spent all the cash, so I think I can be a little harsh. I will try your tip.

  5. Freeboy says:

    looks like you made a crap with your bucks..
    Bad luck . .eh..?

  6. balal says:

    @Freeboy: Looks like a bit of that. But I got to go over it anyway, Its got really cool things too.. like a GPs and maps and stuffs like that

  7. balal says:

    Guys, I just added a Comment Follow up option, just checking

  8. Delvi says:

    @balal: Hey, ya now check your inbox

  9. manni says:

    I have started getting this disappearing memory card issue.

  10. balal says:

    @manni: So we have a common issue, just restart the phone, or pull the card out and re-insert to get the card back. Thats temporary solution.

  11. Sara Susan says:

    Hey, I have some of these issues too.
    My issues are:
    Memmory card dissapears,
    The camera stores the images in random and
    I think my left speaker is not working.

    May I give a link of this site to Nokia, I mean may I report this..?

    • Jix says:

      Nokia N78 has the strange problem. Its loud speaker works when you are the making a call and you press “loudspeaker” button when it is shown in your left select button and as soon as it moves to right select button it does not work. In case of incoming call the “loudspeaker” directly comes to the right button and hence the loudspeaker button doe not work at all.

    • Chandrasekhar says:

      I have a problem with loud speaker (outgoing voice quality is not clear).

  12. balal says:

    @Sara Susan: Looks like there is some problem with the entire design.

    I have also noted the problem with the speakers, just thought that I might have been because the track is mono.

    So total, there are 9 issues till now.
    Report this and tell me when something happens.. ok.

  13. Jeen Hao says:

    Hmm… I quite dislike phone which doesn’t have cover to cover the lens. The lens will easily been scratched, or even broken by dropping or by foreign object. I prefer N73 more than N78.

    • balal says:

      I agree too. My lens is already scrached. It doesnt affect the image quality though. But when you see scraches on it you feel bad. I like N73’s camera too.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  14. chethan says:

    It was a dead investment for me. Hope to read more reviews before buying a new one next time. I feel SE has more quality than Nokia these days

  15. MB says:

    ?!#? This page was first translated in Swedish? !%#?
    After I posted a comment in Swedish the page got reloaded and I saw that this is an English page :-S
    No wonder the Swedish text looked so funny, like everybody had a spelling disorder 🙂
    So ignore my first comment!

    I agree with you guys/girls!
    I am an used Symbian60 user and have experience from 6630, 6680, N70, N73, E65, N95 and now N78.
    I must say that the build-quality of N78 is very bad!
    None of the other phones has had this bad quality!
    This was an expansive buy for me and I have been very careful with it.
    Still, my phone got all scratched over the display in no time (1-2 months)!

    On the other hand I haven’t had any problems with the electronics, memory card nor software, it’s all working fine.
    Maybe because I have updated the software to the latest version, but I don’t know for sure.
    I looked inside the phone and I saw that the phone and the most of its components was assembled/manufactured in Taiwan or Finland.
    So look into your phone, maybe you’ve got a Chinese manufactured version…

    I have have also had some of the Sony Ericsson smart phones but I can not agree that these are better.
    My recommendation is to go for Nokia N95 – this one is a real good model in all aspects.
    Its only negative is that it is big heavy and chunky phone, not especially comfortable to have in a pocket…
    I will probably sell may N78 and look for N95.

    Good luck everybody.

    Sweedish: ( I couldnt delete such a sweet comment that you spent lot of time to write, Thought some sweedish readers will love it 🙂 )

    Jag håller med. Jag är van Symbian60 användare och Nokia N78 var en stor besvikelse vad gäller kvalitet och ergonomi… Bättre att satsa på N95 i så fall – den är tjock och klumpig men kvaliteten är på en helt annan nivå!

    • Arun says:

      I guess you came in here via a native language search. Its the work of the Global Translator plugin. Since it is an automated translation, there will be lots of grammer mistakes, sorry for that.. 😉

      You have used quite lot of phones.. wow. I have used just 3310 and 7610 and N78 was a huge leap. I made a big mistake. Guess what, my 7610 is china made and it still works fine!!
      You are lucky to get most things right, I dont think I can even sell mine. Who is gonna buy a phone that doesnt ring..?

      I was about to get a N73 or a N95, but the looks of N78 deceived me. Its rightly said, Looks can be deceiving.. lol

      Sell the N78 before it start getting more troubles, meanwhile let me try updating my software.
      Good luck all the way to sweeden… 🙂


    • o-h says:

      “assembled/manufactured in Taiwan or Finland”

      Are you sure your mobile phone is assembled/manufactured in Taiwan/Finland?

  16. ms says:

    Some more issues I faced:
    When synchronized with computer, camera zoom functionality stopped working.

    Camera quality is bad compared to other 3.2 MP phones

    Phone speaker gives less sound even in maximum volume.

    • My speakers were dead once, took it to a service center and fixed them.

      Last week, my dad met another owner of N78 and he too gave a poor review. This phone was definitely a half-baked egg. At times Nokia Sucks, atleast after spending in some thing like RS 18,000 expecting a high end phone.

      Thanks for adding it to the list, no one should get that phone ever.. 🙂

  17. Farhan says:

    N78’s Camera result is much better that other 3.2 cell phones. Except Cyber Shots. I got problem in left speaker of n78. Overall the set is best. It’s OS version, music player… couldn’t compare with n73 so far.
    I want to sale it for 200$…
    If any one is intrested then let me know.
    My e-mail address is ‘’ and ‘’


    • I have a Cyber Shot (SE K 800i) and its great. as you said, N78 comes no where near it.
      btw, if you get a sale from here, do let me know.. I would be really humbled if someone could sell their phone via my blog 🙂

      Thanks for dropping in 🙂

  18. kishore says:

    about pdf files …
    i too faced the problem of not able to read large pdf files
    if anybody have any idea to update plz suggest

  19. Asad says:

    I am using N78 since last few months. i have found it a very good cell.
    looks kool
    2.4″ display is good
    3.2 MP autofocus Carl Zeiss cam resulsts really good.
    i m n old user of symbian, n N78 is good (don forget to upgrade it)
    FM transmitter realy worked for me when on a tour we had no good colection of songs ni played my collection on van radio.
    Navi Wheel is a fun to use.
    i m using 8 gb of card with my N78 and it never hangs never slows down….
    i use GPS (google maps) GPS is good
    in my office, at my home i have Wifi… 🙂 i enjoy it … really.
    stereo speakers are not very good according to me. may be others find it better.
    i extend noise reducing earphone while jogging n gym
    over all… its is a very good mobile in this price range.

  20. Candee Black says:

    I am feeling better with the N78. It takes time to get used to the keypad.

  21. I’ve bought N78 in October 2008 and have to say its very nice mobile – still have little bit scratched glass, but camera is great.

  22. n7887n says:

    I got a n78…have none of these problems…are you sure you got an n78??? i…

  23. daneal says:

    I have a N78 phone,I have a big problem with the phone.It’s hung while I’m calling,It’s makes me annoyed,because repeating for many times

  24. Chris says:

    Well all in all I like the N78, BUT my left speaker conked out, for no reason took it to Nokia service center under warranty and they refused to fix it saying water damage! what a farce this phone has never gotten wet, she then explained to me that if I talk in the rain under an umbrella I could get water damage! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT, after 2 weeks of calling Nokia and being forwarded to the Philippines the company woudl not take responsibility and refused to make right of this situation.

    ANOTHER BIG NO to nokia is removing the SIP client from their N devices, WHY!


  25. Anson says:

    N78 … wht to say guys..
    i also have same type of issues as u all have.
    my left speaker died two times during my warranty period.
    usually its hangs when i open the nokia maps !!! (thts weird)
    but the good thing is it restarts when it hangs…
    atleast i dun have to remove the battery and put it back.. 🙂
    one time my network crash too.. it always gave me network error message when i tried to make a call. after sending it for service, its working now.
    i dun know when its gng to fail again..

  26. Alex says:

    i have the same problem and in addition when my back cover broke,the fm transmitter and the wlan stopped working… and is spent my all money for that peace of junk :@

  27. Alex says:

    i have the same problem and in addition when my back cover broke,the fm transmitter and the wlan stopped working… and is spent my all money for that peace of junk :@

    • Chris says:

      I ended up selling the n78, didn’t want the right speaker to go then I wouldn’t evenhave a ringer on the damn phone, so I ended up buying an E-75 yes another Nokia, this phone is pretty good it was only a few $$ more than the n78 and it’s far more stable faster and built much better also has a full keypad and SIP!!
      which is what I originally wanted. The SIP feature is the best feature of all, only draw back is the E-series do not have the home connect feature which I do miss.

  28. mamotz says:

    I have the same problem with my speaker. The sound that only works is the keypad tone. How’s the speaker issue got fixed? by software upgrade or by taking it to Nokia Service Centre?

  29. hannan says:

    these all are bull shit im using N78 from one year
    i havent any problem in it

  30. Rg says:

    The only good thing I can say about N78 is that is has a relatively long battery life.

    Some of the cons (there are many more):
    * Menu system totally f-cked up. Impossible to find anything. How about a submenu called “Tools” inside the menu “Tools”? Even the simplest tasks are very hard to find.
    * Camera software hangs
    * Shortcut keys change randomly during the course of a conversation.
    * Phone refuses to display name of caller for some phone numbers, despite having them in the phonebook
    * Phone often hangs and the only way to resume is to click “No” until you’re at the main screen, abandoning your task.
    * Keypad and navigation buttons very hard to use. Buttons are so small and close that you get random commands.
    * Icons on main screen are only a few pixels large, cannot see them
    * Stupid presentation of text messages, date and time cannot be found unless using several submenus
    * Phone hangs often and you repeat pressing buttons. When phone “wakes up” it uses your clicks to start random commands.

    After these experiences I will stay away from Nokia products in the future.

  31. kunal gupta says:

    i have some more probs to share, my back, endcall, clear and menu button is not working…..wen i keep the phone for sumtyms the displays goes off, n then i have to restart….then of course my left speakers stopped working within 3 months of me buying this phone…..i found this phone an absolute “dustbin product”……i really wish i cud have read this reveiw before i bought dis phone, so that i sudnt have wasted such a huge amount over this good looking “KHAALI DABBA”……i am totally pissed off… cud such a brand make such a shit product……this product from NOKIA really crushed my belief over them……all i can say is….BYE BYE NOKIA…….

  32. Christopher says:

    The phone was awesome the first month i had it, and then the 4th month..

    Why because i had no problems, until my speaker went dead… no prob o well i still got the other one, wait…. this is under warranty, yup fixed… i got sent a new phone… brand new… how nice, no wait after 2 or so months the speaker goes out, then the other the phone is useless i cant hear it ring i cant listen to music… The phone is shit…. i sent it in for repair again, but this time there is no warranty and they want me to pay $64 for repair… F-That… Im getting a totally NEW DIFFERENT BRAND! My first nokia phone was a dud! and Im never coming back….

    Speakers die fast, phone is glitchy… NOT a Happy customer.

  33. Mud yuppy says:

    I brought this phone as it looked super. Within 7 months the speaker failed and i could not hear calls. Returned to luton nokia care and was given a ” reconditioned phone” as nokia dont replace with new even under warranty… £300 for a secon hand phone. 2 months later the back case broke and left speaker stopped working.. Took back to luton nokia care and the said moisture damage even tho i never took the phone anywhere or was never near water… So any excuse and tough… I will never buy a nokia again.. I feel so ripped off and angry.

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