Best Nokia N-Series Shortcuts

Notable for their multimedia focus and sleek, non-QWERTY design, Nokia N-series smartphones have certainly proven their metal over the past couple of years.

Early unlocked devices like the Nokia N80 gave enthusiasts 3-megapixel cameras and Wi-Fi connectivity back when almost no other phones had that capability. Newer models like the Nokia N95 8GB offer a larger screen and plenty of internal storage. The Nokia N82, meanwhile, takes arguably the best camera phone pictures on the market due to its 5-megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, and Xenon flash. I found its photos to be virtually indistinguishable from a low-end, dedicated point-and-shoot camera.

Here's a selection of shortcuts geared specifically for numeric keypad-equipped N-series models. Get the most out of your handset with these tips:

• Use the number keys to quickly open applications in the menu; for example, press 4 to open the fourth application.

• Delete any app in the menu by highlighting its icon and pressing C.

• To switch calendar views, repeatedly press the * key. Pressing # will jump back to the current day.

• Check your handset's free memory in Menu -> Tools -> Utilities -> Memory. Meanwhile, Options -> Memory Details shows how disk space each application uses.

• Display the phone's OS version by keying in *#0000# while the phone is in Standby mode.

• To improve the camera mode's slow photo-to-photo shoot time, turn off "Show Captured Image" in the Options menu, since it defaults to On.

• If you've had trouble transferring files to and from your N-series phone, download the latest version of Nokia PC suite at www.nokia.com/pcsuite.

• Certain Nokia phones can download and manage podcasts directly on the device; check by selecting Menu -> Music and seeing if there's a Podcasting icon.

• Here's something I wish my Motorola Q could do: newer N-series models like the N95 8GB have an alarm clock that still works even if the handset is powered down. The device will automatically power up and sound the alarm tone at the selected time.

• When entering text, cycle between multitap, predictive, and numeric text modes by pressing # twice, quickly, on the numeric keypad.

• In the Web browser, quickly find text by selecting Options -> Find -> Text, and then entering a keyword. Press the control pad up and down to cycle between the matches.

• Wireless handset security may be an overblown issue, at least in the U.S., but it still is a good idea to turn off your handset's Bluetooth visibility. Go to Bluetooth -> Off, or My Phone's Visibility -> Hidden, whenever you're not using Bluetooth.

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