Candy bar phones are en vogue right now, but there are still plenty of positives to recommend traditional flip phone models as well. The Nokia 7510 is a nice, slightly retro representative of the latter category that subtly conveys style over substance. The handset isn’t going to impress any longtime phone users, but it proves to be a solid alternative to the abundance of Swiss army knife mobiles out today.
Features & Design
The Nokia 7510 is a flip phone, four inches by two inches and a half-inch thick. The default design is silver, but the front and back casing can be swapped out for three cool colors: espresso brown, fatal red and emerald green. The handset measures up at four and a half ounces, a little weightier than the average non-smartphone.
The screen itself is just over two inches square, which actually is a decent size for a flip phone. The 240 x 320 color display is far from bad, but still is nothing to write home about.
The bottom half has four buttons, a square touchpad and the keypad. The four keys are the standard green go button, the red stop/power button, the options button and the back button. The square touchpad moves you through the menus, while touching the center selects the highlighted item. It is sensitive, particularly to big fingers, so sometimes the menu cursor moves before one realizes it.
There are minimal slots and buttons on the outer shell. On the left side is the USB jack slot. On the right side are the volume buttons and the headphone hole. A little hook sits at the top for your lanyard for easy holding. Finally, the back side has a camera lens with a flash hole. None of the shells are particularly tactile, so while it isn’t a slippery phone, one could imagine oily or clumsy hands dropping the 7510 easier than other mobiles.
The Nokia 7510 is a quad-band GSM phone, covering 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz, so it can be used in multiple countries easily. A T-Mobile phone, the 7510 has Internet browsing capabilities equal to the average non-smartphone. In other words, expect text-heavy web browsing and non-HTML viewing. T-Zones, T-Mobile’s proprietary web info browser, is the best bet for smooth Internet reading. T-Mobile myFaves is also supported, as well as MMS, video messaging and several instant messenger clients like AOL and MSN.
Nokia 7510 Supernova
Setup & Use
The Nokia 7510 doesn’t come with, nor does it need, that much stuff in the box. Inside is the phone, a set of mic headphones and a charger. There is a 100-page or so instruction booklet, too, but most users will just need it for reference, not basic use.
The startup screen shows your T-Mobile myFaves – the five people you call the most. The menu screen allows access to text messaging, multimedia and so forth. The interface is clean and clear. The one complaint would be that things are a little too well organized: Accessing the camera, for instance, requires going into the menu screen, flipping through to the multimedia screen, selecting camera and then, finally, getting ready for a shot. Quick keys are available, but more intuitive point-and-shoot options should have been made ready from the start.
The camera itself is what one would expect from a 2-megapixel flip phone: Slightly shaky and occasionally too dark. The flash is a thoughtful addition, but it doesn’t always go off when it should. Oftentimes the screen updates too slow to accurately depict what the final shot will look like. In other words, the camera isn’t really a major selling point. Video actually works out better than still photos, but, of course, the flash doesn’t come into play at all, so movies are often a little darker than they should be.
More impressive is the nice outer design of the phone. As mentioned earlier, the Nokia 7510 comes with three colorful shells that can be switched based on mood or, perhaps, outfit. The two faceplates – on the front and on the back – can be easily removed by pushing and snapping them out of place. The radical colors do really make the 7510 look like a new phone every time.
A favorite feature is the clock. Close the flip phone and the time shows in bright, white lettering. It is a simple design gesture, but it does look impressive, particularly since the clock shows through the current color shell.
The now de rigueur music player is forgettable, as are other features like the 4X digital zoom, a strange addition for a camera that is already pretty weak.
Nokia 7510 Supernova
The Nokia 7510 is $199.99 MSRP, a bit more expensive than comparable alternatives. At launch T-Mobile offered a $100 instant discount and a $50 mail-in rebate, putting the 7510 into the $49.99 bargain category. The microSD card and USB cord will cost extra, but, considering the low power of the music and camera functionality, definitely not a necessity. More information is available at t-mobile.com.
The Nokia 7510 is a smooth flip phone that scores with its fun sense of fashion, but some unfortunate industrial design decisions like the weak camera and cumbersome menus keep the handset from the big leagues. It is definitely worth scooping up for believers in haute couture while the $49.99 discount price is still valid, though. But if you prefer substance over style, be aware – the $200 MSRP could be used to buy a much better phone.
- Changeable colors
- Nice design
- Cool shell
- Average functionality
- Expensive for a non-smartphone