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Review of GSM-handset Nokia 7510 Supernova
Live photos of Nokia 7510 Supernova
The Nokia 7510 occupies a special spot in the Supernova line-up, since it’s the only clamshell in the range to date and also the second best offering in it – it’s topped by the 7610, which is the most expensive of the four. Although I don’t think many will face the dilemma of choosing between the 7510 and 7610, because they are so far apart and just happen to coexist within one product line-up.
Another thing of note about the sliding 7610 Supernova is that it’s the only phone in the series that looks to appeal to both men and women. At the end of the day it should see the ratio of 50 to 50 or, say, 60 to 40 in favor of women. Clearly, it’s the most male-tailored device in the range.
However, designing this handset, Nokia went for a witty trick and armed the 7510 with a slew of applications, but cuts its specs a bit. All this clearly defines its target audience as the youth, since these consumers usually demand entertainment, player, radio, browser and a whole lot of other things from their phones. And the 7510 Supernova just happens to have it all in an attractive package with a reasonable price tag.
The 7510 also indicates that S60 continues rolling down to lower price brackets, since feature-rich S40-based handsets are getting cheaper by the minute. Can you actually recall some other instance when the 7000 series phones went for less than 400 USD? With all due confidence I must say that they have never been this cheap from the beginning. While it’s all good for consumers, on the other hand, it denies the company's established nomenclature and brings in some confusion. Remember the Nokia 7070 Prism and its 50 Euro price tag? Times are changing indeed.
The phone comes in a choice of four colors, although the “default” color is blue. Plus the 7510 comes boxed with two Xpress-on panels, meaning that you get an extra color swatch right away. However these panels have no patterns, engravings or something fancy – just plain and flat one-color design that feels nice nonetheless. The phone employs matte plastic with a velvety coating that is sensitive even to contacts with hard objects. Curiously, this matte surface, combined with the chrome-decked hinge makes for dazzling looks of the 7510; what’s more, it’s not plastic, but pure metal under the chrome coating, which comes as a surprise on a phone like this. After all, metal is such a rare guest in folder-type handsets – in view of some design-related considerations, phone makers almost never consider implementing materials other than plastic.
Back to the colors the 7510 Supernova is available in, these are Storm Blue, Red, Emerald green and Espresso brown.
On the face of it, the 7510’s outer display is nowhere to be found on the front fascia and it almost manages to convince you there is none. But this trick has been used and reused by Motorola and Sony Ericsson so often that it’s hard to buy it these days. So, unless there is an incoming call or some other event that will bring the display to life, you won’t see it. On the spec side, this screen is also pretty remarkable, as it employs a 128x160 pixel TFT-martix that shows only one color, however, and this color is blue. While it’s pretty sizable, outdoors it almost fades under the layer of matter plastic, and that’s despite its large fonts. This screen provides enough room for the caller’s first and last names along with his phone number to fit in just two lines (although displayed vertically).
The trump of this display is the animation effects that kick in when you are in a call or have just shut the folder and it’s about to fall into the sleep mode. Personally, during my quality time with the 7510 I had a deja vu feeling, since Sony Ericsson’s handsets employed something along these lines too.
Using the side-mounted volume controls you can call up the volume bar on the outer display, but for some reason never the on-screen clock. In other words, the only way to activate this screen while in standby is to flip the phone open and then close it. I’ most positive, Nokia couldn’t let this blooper slip deliberately, so probably they will rectify this little glitch in the next firmware.
Now for what the sixth edition of S40 has brought to the outer display. In the 7510 all events, be it a message delivery report or something else, have their own thumbnails that pop up on the external screen. Unfortunately, incoming calls don’t enjoy this privilege; another drawback of this setup is that when receiving a message the screen will only show an envelope with no additional information on sender or number of messages in the box.
There is a LED indicator mounted the camera frame on the front – it glows with white and starts blinking when you have a missed event or notifications. While it’s a pleasant option to have, this LED can really irritate you at night, since its brightness is a bit over the roof.
The side-mounted buttons are pretty fiddly to use in view of their positioning – sometimes we would just push a couple of buttons at a time without even noticing it. Located on the right is the key that triggers the 7510’s auto opening mechanism, similar to that of the Nokia 6131, although the latter’s folding action feels a bit light – the Nokia 7510’s metallic hinge makes all the difference here. It’s nothing serious, basically we only would like it to be slightly less stiff.
Unfortunately, there is no other way to close the phone but with hands; the 7510 will shut with a satisfying click. By the way, in case you want to flick the 7510 in a normal fashion, that is, manually, nothing will stand in your way, furthermore, the phone is wide and thick enough to ensure a gratifying experience.
The 7510 measures up at 92.5x46.4x16.7mm and weighs 124 grams, which is a bit on the bulkier side for a folder-type phone, but it only benefits from this, as its size lends it some extra ruggedness. While you can carry it around your neck, the 7510 will be quite a burden, make no mistake about that. But if you really can’t do without straps and lanyards, then a wrist strap is probably the best way to go with this handset. On the downside, the 7510 Supernova will surely make your pockets bulge out a little.
Perched on the left-hand side is the charger socket along with the microUSB port covered by a flap. The 2.5 mm audio jack can be found on the right.
The 7510’s display sports 2.2-inch diagonal and a resolution of 240x320 pixels, showing up to 16 million colors. This model is actually notable for its pretty much decent display, standing in one line with today’s offerings from Sony Ericsson, like the Sony Ericsson W580i.
The display remains readable in the sun (TFT), which is mainly due to the tinted protective layer. However, even this screen starts glaring heavy on some occasions, so you will need to find the right angle.
The display accommodates up to 9 text and 3 services lines. The font size won’t give you any trouble, furthermore, you can manually adjust its size for some modes and applications.
It’s not everyday when a phone’s keypad delights me to the extent when I’m ready to show praises on it. But the Nokia 7510 is one of those handsets. Its keys sport metal-esque silverish coating that might peel off with time, however, – the truth is, I have certain doubts about its quality. But as far as texting experience goes, this keypad is one of the most convenient units I’ve used in years: soft and responsive buttons make typing messages a breeze. Honestly, I was surprised to no end to find a keypad this good in a folder-type phone – the Nokia 6233 used to top my personal list of favorite keypads, but now there is a new #1.
All buttons are lit in a moderately bright and unobtrusive white.
The handset comes with a new battery type – the BL-5BT, which is a 870 mAh Li-Ion cell. As the maker claims, it is good for up to 6 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby. In Moscow, our 7510 lasted around 3 days with 3 hours of music, 1,5 hours of calls and very few SMS. So most users may expect it to stay online about 3-4 days with their usage patterns. The longest music playback time we managed to squeeze out of it (native headphones, max volume settings was 19 hours 50 minutes (radio module enabled). It takes the 7510 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge from empty to full.
The handset ships with around 27 Mb of storage that can be managed by the user. The microSD memory expansion slot is housed under the battery compartment cover, and on top of that, it allows you to swap cards on the fly. The maximum memory card size supported by the device is unlimited – we plugged in our 8 Gb unit and experience absolutely no problems with it.
JAR-file size limit – 1 Mb, heap size – up to 2 Mb. Actually, the 7510’s performance was my primary concern, since it’s the first handset to run the sixth edition of S40. All in all, all its numbers are in line with Nokia’s current phones, although in some tests the 7510 performed slightly worse. Personally, I found it a bit more sluggish than the competition, but probably it’s only me.
USB. The Nokia 7510 comes with the microUSB socket, housed on the top edge of the phone. This socket is used for plugging in a data cable (the phone starts charging up), headset or charger.
The vendor says that the handset supports USB 2.0, and it does indeed, in USB Mass Storage mode the connection via USB cable puts up medium data transfer speed which makes up about 500-600 Kb/s.
Upon successful connection you can pick one of the following modes: USB Mass Storage, PC Studio, or modem mode. The 7510 also supports the MTP mode.
Bluetooth. The handset comes with EDR-enabled Bluetooth 2.0. The following profiles are supported:
The Bluetooth implementation is, as always though, nothing to complain about, we encountered no issues with handling this type of connections. The stereo-headset also worked fine. The 7510’s Bluetooth speed tops out at around 170-180 Kb/s.
This handset has 2mpx camera (CMOS) which is not that much by today’s standards, but it is still pretty much sufficient for a mid-tier offering. Nokia has decided not to bet on the camera part, it is more of an optional feature here. This is why camera’s module picked for 7510 is one of the cheapest units out there, and provides average quality.
The following resolutions are supported:
Two lower resolutions were added for creating photos that would fit as wallpapers for display. Three JPEG compression types are supported: basic, normal, high. Considering the fact that photos do not blow your imagination away, it is better to go for the top quality, it won’t get any worse after all.
The shutter sound can be disabled, also there is a 8x digital zoom, but there is no reason to use it. You can save photos in the internal memory or on the memory card.
Some effects can be applied to the already made photos, should they be used initially – it is up to you to decide. Such effects as False Colours, Greyscale, Sepia, Negative, Solarize are available.
For those who love to shoot a lot of photos at once, there is special mode for you – camera makes up to 3 shots at a time, all settings remain similar to those selected for the single shot mode, including the resolution. There is an auto-timer for self-shots.
Video. The handset allows recording video in 3GP format, available resolution – 128x96 pixels, or 176x144 pixels. There are three recording quality settings available. You can limit a recording’s length, but it also can be unlimited, so you will keep recording until the memory runs out (memory card or internal memory). Effects can be applied for video just as they can be applied for photos, they are all the same.
The handset runs S40 6th edition, so we are not going to go over its core functionality here again – you can learn more about its standard features in our dedicated write-up.
The 7510 also offers a couple of Supernova-styled themes, but they are nothing out of this world.
The handset comes preinstalled with an array of games - Backgammon II, Bounce Tales, Brain Champion, Golf Tour, High Roller Casino, Snake III, Rally 3D, Sea Sweeper, Soccer 3D, Sudoku. All up, ten (!) full-featured games, which is the new record among mid-range handsets. Some Samsung-branded handsets came with around 5-7 games, but 80 percent of them were trial versions.
The Applications section includes such standard functions like World Time, Converter, Widgets installer, and Nokia’s catalogue for uploading new apps. Also the 7510 ships with Nokia Search that allows searching information and images on the web (custom search engines for every region).
Opera Mini needs no introductions; it comes preinstalled on most S40-based phones.
Nokia Sensor will certain appeal to the youth.
There is also a new utility in the 7510 Supernova - Wallpaper Creator.
Also there are two more applications – Yahoo! Go and Flikr.
The 7510 Supernova isn’t a particularly loud phone, in many situations you will find its alert volume insufficient, which is our main gripe with this phone. In terms of reception quality it does just fine; the vibro alert is nothing to write home about either. All in all, you are unlikely to miss a call with the 7510 while in a quiet environment, but on noisy streets or parties it fares much worse.
The 7510 Supernova is set to arrive in late October and will retail for around 180 Euro. As far as today’s market goes, the only rival for 7510 would be the Sony Ericsson Z770i, whose price will roll down to that watermark by this October hands down. However I’m positive that Sony Ericsson has a couple of mid-tier folder-type handsets up its sleeve that will be launched before the end of this year and one of them will have what it takes to take on the 7510.
Going for the 7510 Supernova are a wide array of games and applications included into the default feature pack, plus a quite decent music player that outputs pretty much the same audio quality as Nokia’s music-minded handsets (since it employs the same chipset). On top of that it comes preinstalled with the sixth edition of S40, which is more of a benefit than a letdown for an affordable handset. All up, the 7510 is a well-rounded solution that will generate substantial sales; moreover it’s a potential bestseller of fall/winter 2008 and also the only Supernova-branded phone that will fit both men and women.
Published 22 July 2008
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