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Some days ago Nokia made a big announcement of its new range of phones – Supernova – that comprises of four offerings: two candybar-shaped handsets, a clamshell and a slider. All these models differ both in terms of price and functionality (although the latter is not what they are all about), but they coalesce in the sense that it’s Nokia’s crusade for the segment of affordable, yet style-conscious solutions. In other words they are looking to rival Samsung on this field, but I’m not going to expand on this, since Eldar already covered all crucial points in his write-up on Nokia’s upcoming phones. By and large, this article is not a lowdown on the Supernova collection, but rather some thoughts of mine on these four handsets, along with a bunch of photos from the launch event.
For those who have missed an array of news posts and early peeks at the Supernova range, here is the gist – it includes four S40-based phones (that are differently shaped at that), with the Nokia 7510 being the only handset to differ from the rest of the pack in terms of menu and home screen designs. As their indexes suggest, the models are arranged in the line-up in the following order: Nokia 7210 (candybar), Nokia 7310 (again, a candybar), then Nokia 7510 (folder) and Nokia 7610, topping out the collection (a slider).
In my opinion it’s more of a cross between the Nokia 6300 and 5310, sporting comparable size as well as look-and-feel. We can’t say the 7210’s plastic is expensive, but it still manages to feel good and be quite durable (by the way it’s the cheapest phone in the collection). The handset will come in a couple of flavors that will have differently colored buttons and side plates. As far as functionality goes, all the Nokia 7210 brings to the table (beyond its S40 software) is a 2 Mpix camera, 3.5mm headset jack, microSD memory expansion slot (with 32 Mb of inbuilt storage) EDGE , A2DP and FM-radio. All in all, it’s an affordable and likable device for women; and normally phones like this sell in droves (remember how popular the 6300 was). It’s worth mentioning, though, that Nokia’s officials have a slightly different point of view at this line-up – they deem their new Supernova not as a feminine collection, but rather a handful of solutions for style-savvy people (in a nutshell it’s not geared towards either gender).
The only thing that rang my alarm belts was the 7210’s keypad ergonomics – expect to learn more about it in our in-depth review very soon. The handset’s debut on the market is scheduled of 3Q 2008.
This phone reminded me of the 6233 that has been put on a diet and picked up a couple of extra color schemes. Going for the Nokia 7310 are its handy keypad and joystick, as well as a fancy rear plate – while it’s flat and smooth, every flavor of the phone has its own unique pattern on the back, which doesn’t feel like it was engraved on it. The 7310’s audience is women only, make no mistake about that – even its blue variant didn’t seem right in a man’s hand.
By the way, the entire line-up enjoys specially designed pink-green themes that suit these phones pretty will. On top of that with this Supernova collection Nokia has brought back exchangeable covers – that is, the Nokia 7310 comes boxed with two plates of different colors (plus three will be a handful more on sale). Getting back to its spec sheet, the 7310 will offer its users a 2 Mpix camera, TV-out, 2.5mm audio jack, microSD memory cards (up to 4Gb) and S40 functionality. And again, it’s inclined more towards 25-year old girls. Its release is slotted for 3Q 2008 as well.
You probably know this feeling when some phone appeals more than any other one and you can’t stop talking about it – the reason why I’ve brought this up is because the Nokia 7510 made me feel this way. This folder really got to my hearth and if I were a girl or some metrosexual, I would've grabbed this phone without second thought. In the case of the 7510 the root of all things is design – the handset is made of semi-transparent plastic with the front fascia displaying current time and some fancy animations. It all has four different trims: red, brown, dark-blue and greed (regardless of your color scheme the area around the hinge will always be silver). One of the 7510’s highlights is its auto-opening mechanism triggered by an inconspicuous button on the right (your thumb will locate it outright). Pressing it will make the handset snap open with a satisfying click; thankfully, closing the 7510 was just as easy (well, probably it required a bit more pressure than other handsets, but nothing exceptional). The phone’s interior is color-keyed to the hinge color, which brings about an irritating drawback – this kind of surface picks up fingerprints and smudge with ease; actually this forced Nokia’s staff at the booth to wipe all units clean whenever they saw someone armed with a camera approaching. Anyway, the 7510’s design leave a very strong impression – it’s stylish, but at the same time feels a bit on the hi-tech side. That’s why it’s positioned more towards older women and also some men who might venture to go for a brown or blue edition of the 7510, after all it’s not the 7310 or 7210. This phone also makes use of exchangeable covers and will ship with two panels in the box. Speaking of other attractions of the Nokia 7510 we can’t overlook its pretty decent battery time, RDS-enabled radio, 2.5mm audio jack, microSD memory card slot (up to 8Gb), EDGE, 2 Mpix camera and a unique design of its menu and home screen (while the rest of its functionality is standard S40 fare). Note that its Maps application has been given a separate section, although I haven’t found any mention of inbuilt GPS yet. The 7510 is set to land on most markets some time during 4Q of this year.
Here it is, the only unisex offering in the whole line-up, all thanks to its color schemes and form-factor – sliders have always been loved by men. The 7610 is pretty petite and yet it’s the most powerful solution in the Supernova line-up, serving up a 3 Mpix autofocus-enabled camera, TV-out, some noise-cancelling technology (to improve its call quality I suppose), music player, RDS-enabled radio and microSD card slot (up to 2Gb). It also features a dedicated player key and some custom themes. Another thing of note is the 7610’s Theme Colorizer that adjusts the backlight of the keypad and joystick to blend with the theme you are currently using. Or you can take a picture of something and have a personal theme modeled. All in all, it’s a nice feat to have around. And the last, but not the least, are the 7610’s video recording capabilities (it actually shoots clips in VGA) and battery performance. It seemed to be that at the end of the day this phone didn’t quite belong in this range, and generally the Supernova collection isn’t well thought-out – it appears to be fine, but it’s not balanced with one marvelously designed handset (7510), one feature-rich device (7610) and two candybars “for-everyone”. Perhaps they will introduce a smartphone to top out the line-up and an entry-level phone to round it out, but these are my own guesses.
Wrapping it all up, given the collection’s strong ad campaign, reasonable prices and a loyal army of users, all four Supernova phones will enjoy considerable sales. Keep checking back for our comprehensive reviews on each phone of this line-up!
Published 02 July 2008
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