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Review Nokia 7200
Nokia was one of the last companies that had started producing mobile phones in clamshell form-factor, the company’s first model in this design style is Nokia 7200. The model’s index (7xxx) is not a fortuity, 7xxx series was always an experiment for the company as well as latest fashion phones. Take Nokia 7110 for example, this mobile phone gathered all the best parts from earlier models. In case with first clamshell, everything is not so unambiguously, this development is just an answer to Samsung’s expansion in Europe with its products. Just like any other answer, this phone was created with all existing solutions taken in mind, including the already well-known Series 40 platform.
The company believed that clamshell factor remains fashion one, that’s why Nokia is positioning its phone as fashion solution. In my opinion such reasoning had valid points when the first was in development, but now they have became not so unambiguous. Well, of course the fashion part of this phone is still huge, this is the only clamshell phone from Nokia and a lot of consumers already got used to choose the phone not by its outlook, but hardware as well. And in this model it is common for fashion solution, and is not trying to pretend being business phone.
The phone’s design is remarkable, not so many models can brag of square shapes, as if they were pointed out by manufacturer on purpose. The lack of external antenna should be counted as one of the pluses, at the moment not so many clamshells can brag about this feature, but the tendency moves to “no external antenna” side.
The phone’s sizes as well as its weight are comfortable, although the last parameter is not typical for such phones, it is slightly bigger (86x50x26 mm, 115 grams). The phone fits nicely into one’s palm, and you can open it without making any additional efforts. The tactile feelings from this phone are extremely pleasant, since its construction is using exchangeable covers with textile, cloth surface. Actually there are two panels: the first one is cover in the phone’s upper part, and the other is back panel. Nokia was the first who started experimenting with various materials used in the phone’s construction, seems that in future other manufacturers will try to show their POV in this area.
Besides good impressions from touching the covers, they have certain disadvantages as well. The first one is not so serious, the covers are gathering soil, after 1.5 and two months the covers get dirty and do not look as good and as attractive as they had been. This was noticed by me and by my friends, whom these mobile phones were given as gifts two months ago. The solution for this problem is simple and unusual, you just have to put the panels into the washing machine and wash them carefully in it. After they are dry, they will look like new ones.
Besides installed panels, there are also additional sets of ones packed in every box with the phone, this means that you do not have to wash your panels at once, and do it after some time. You can also buy panels with various drawings as an accessory, they really differ the phone’s outlook, turn it into another device. The panels can be exchanged even by a child.
The second problem with covers is as follows, with time cloth surface abrasions. Once again I will address my friends as those who had noticed this, after 1.5 months the panels edges got erased, plastic showed up. Once again I’d like to make a note that none of the protective measures were taken, the phones were used in standard mode, they were carried in pockets and in leather cases. In second case the abrasion showed up earlier than in case when the phone was carried in pocket.
The SIM-card’s holder is located under the small front panel, the manufacturers decided to place it there for some unknown reason. Meanwhile under the back panel battery is hidden. This time we have Li-Ion battery with 760 mAh capacity (BL-4C). As the manufacturer claims, the phone can work up to 150 hours in stand by mode and up to 2 hours during the conversation. We were testing this mobile phone in Moscow, our operator was MTS. The phone worked for about 3 days with 45 minutes spent for talks and up to 20 minutes were spent on using other functions. It takes about 1.5 hours for the battery to charge up. The relatively small working time comparing to other Series 40 phones is caused by more power-consuming display. In this model its resolution is 128x128 pixels (28x28 mm), it can display up to 65k colors (TFT). Just like in Nokia 6230 the display is one of the best among those that are installed in Nokia phones. On the other hand the display’s brightness is not very high, and the settings are not making the life better. If we compare these displays with other manufacturers (Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson) Nokia’s display shows less lively colors. On the other hand not so lively colors are compensated by picture’s sharpness, it does look good. Let’s point out that Nokia 7200 has the best display among all Nokia’s phones, this parameter has no competitors among the line-up. But once again, if we compare this display to other manufacturer’s products we will notice certain weakness in Nokia’s solution, this is a worthy average one, nothing more.
The multicolor backlight for keyboard once again is used in order to point out that this is an fashion solution. The keyboard looks stunning in darkness, the multicolor thing does not distract user from using it, you get used to it pretty quick. The keys are made of plastic, they are heavily drowned into the case, but since their surface is rather large, they are convenient. The four positional navigational key has built-in OK button, it is not very big and some people may experience certain problems with it. But on the whole the keyboard leaves pleasant impression.
Let’s get back to the phone’s outlook. On the front panel you can see small monochrome display, which is an external one. Its main task is to show current time and minimal information about current condition, notify about calls or other events. The advantage of such solution is that the screen does not turn as pale as color screen, and the internal one when it hits direct sunlight. The information does not turn rather unreadable. The external display’s backlight’s color is soft pink, up to two text lines can fit in it, and the resolution is 96x36 pixels.
The VGA-camera is located under the screen, it is similar to those cameras that are used in Nokia 6220, 6230, 6650, 7600 on difference at all. The picture quality is average, on the whole they are comparable with pictures taken with VGA-cameras installed in other manufacturer’s products. We will not stop on describing the camera in details, it is not worth special attention, its functions are standard.
The joined volume control button is located on the left side, it is made of plastic and is pretty thick. In my opinion the key is not ideal, sometimes it becomes hard to setup the volume with its help, additional effort must be taken. The IrDA window is located on the right side, here the turn ON/OFF button is located as well, which is pretty unexpected and unusual. This button is drowned into the case on purpose, in order to prevent accidental key-press.
The Pop-port can be seen in the bottom, as well as charger connecter. Nothing special around here. The only thing which is left to be mentioned is that the opening angle is rather big, but it does not reach 180 degrees. If you put the phone on the table when it is open and push on it with your finger the phone will reach the surface with upper panel as well. This shows that the mechanical proof of this phone is rather high, the phone can be compared with Samsung’s products by this parameter. On the other hand the mechanism itself does not command respect and assurance, it is made a bit weaker, this creates psychological problems. In reality the leaf S proof is rather high, but the simplicity of opening the phone creates such deceiving impression.
The menu can be presented with common list or via rows with icons, the last type of view is more interesting and convenient. The fast number navigation is traditionally supported. The company points out that this model has new type of displaying icons in the menu, this is true, the icons do look more interesting, perhaps since the color appearance was changed the menu got changed, it looks different. Not all colors display small numbers of fast navigation good enough, you should be careful when you are setting them up.
The user can bind custom functions on both soft-keys, as well as build up menu with most used functions.
The phone’s memory is about 4mb, it spreads dynamically among all applications. This parameter is neither a record nor a lack. The causal user will be pretty okay with this amount of memory, especially if he stores the video clips and pictures on his PC.
Phone Book. The phone book’s specifications can be compared with such models as Nokia 6610, 6100. One contact can have 3 phone numbers and one text field. The memory is spread dynamically. This means that in case you have less than 500 contacts, you can store up to 5 numbers and 4 text lines for each. Contact groups are present as well. Up to 25 voice tags can be matched with contacts in the phone book, voice dial works nicely. Each contact can be associated with picture, picture taken in Portrait mode is most welcome, but in case if picture has bigger resolution, it will be scaled down and moved to proper folder, the original will remain unchanged. Each time there’s an incoming call it will not be shown in full screen mode, the picture will occupy less than 1/3 of the display, this is a certain disadvantage. Finding out who is calling with such resolution is possible only if you turn on your imagination. The total amount of pictures attached to contacts is 100.
You can view SIM-cards and phone’s memory at once. There is function of copying entries from SIM-card into the memory and vice versa. Another peculiarity of this model – appearance of menu item My Presence, this is function of instant messaging alike ICQ. We were unable to test it, since operator’s support is required.
Messages. The phone can accept and send joined messages (up to 859 symbols), of course Nokia Smart Messaging standard is supported. 10 small graphical images are installed in the phone’s memory at once, they can be used for messages. There are also templates. When you are typing the text you can use T9. Chat function is present as well.
The phone is capable of creating and receiving MMS messages. The creating of multi-page messages is supported, the only limitation – is message’s size, it should not exceed 100kb.
The POP3/SMTP mail box support is here as well, you can use built-in e-mail client in order to receive your e-mail. Russian encoding support is limited, once again the phone supports only one encoding format, others are not readable, this is a pure disadvantage.
Up to 150 messages can be stored in the phone’s memory, and up to 50 graphical ones.
Call list. Traditional lists of dialed/received and missed calls with date and time specified for each of them. In each list up to 20 numbers are stored. Phone call cost and length are here as well.
Profiles. Nothing unusual here either, profiles can be activated until certain time, and personalize each of them. Two custom, empty profiles are present as well.
Settings. From this menu you can choose wallpapers, contrast and color schemes. Here you can also setup list of shortcuts for soft-keys and automatic key-lock.
Camera. In this model same camera as the ones used in Nokia 7600, 6650 is installed. The built-in camera allows taking pictures in VGA-resolution as well as in Portrait mode (80x96 pixels). The picture quality on display is not so good. After they are transferred to PC everything is not so bad, but the pictures cannot be classified as good ones. The camera’s settings are ascetic, night shot mode is present, as well as three types of image compression. The format of pictures is JPEG.
The recorded video – short clips (15 second is the limit) in 3GP format (resolution 128x96 pixels with sound). You have the ability to setup maximal length of video clip, then you will get the ability to film up to 2.5 minutes. The clip quality is average, sound does not always match what you see. Fashion thing, nothing useful in reality.
Organizer. This function is presented just like in other models, Nokia 6610 for example. You can enter up to 250 entries, it all depends from their length, automatic deletion of older entries (by time factor) is present. The calendar can be viewed in weekly/monthly mode. You can switch to the selected date pretty fast.
In To-Do list you can create tasks and define deadline for each, there can be 30 entries stored in total.
Notes each note can contain up to 3000 symbols. On the whole this is more than enough even for the most squeamish user. This is a nice option, reminds of 6800.
The alarm clock can be setup only for one time.
Applications. Here such applications as Unit Converter and World Time Function is stored.
Media. The phone has FM-radio, it can be simply listened to or set up as alarm clock (headset must be connected).
Dictaphone allows recording up to three minutes, number of entries is not limited. The Dictaphone can work during the conversation as well.
Equalizer settings are present as well, this can be affected to the playback of sounds, on the whole this affects radio, mp3 player is stored in this menu too.
Gallery contains graphics, tones and videos.
Connectivity. GPRS settings, activation of IrDA port. The phone supports EDGE (up to 236.8 Kbit/s, class 10, 4+1, 3+2), in most networks this function is not yet present, so you should not look for it when buying the phone.
Services. Wap-browser 2.0 is located here.
The network reception level is nice, the phone works stable, speech transfer quality is at top notch. The sound in the speaker is clear, Nokia’s phones have always been known for good quality of this parameter. Unfortunately the volume of polyphonic ring tone is not enough in all situations, it is slightly more quiet than the average volume. I recommend setting simple non-polyphonic ring tones for ringing alert, they sound like nasty warbles. Another moment is about ring tone’s specifications, it is not 4-tone as it was before on Series 40 platform, but 16-tone, and can be subjectively compared with Nokia 6230. Theoretically such parameter looks good, but in reality I cannot say that it truly is better than the rest, it is better than previous Nokia’s models, and that’s it. On the other hand neither by volume, nor by quality of playback this parameter can be compared with Korean phones and even some European ones. For example Sony Ericsson K700 sounds a lot louder, same thing can be said about Motorola v80. If there are no competitors, such parameter is acceptable, but taken in mind the amount of products on the market we have to admit Nokia’s weakness in this position. Nokia 7200 is another proof of this statement.
This model’s advantage is presence of new internal screen which can display up to 65k colors, it is the best among Nokia’s phones. Well, actually if we consider only Nokia’s products, we will see that this product has a whole row of new features that single him out. Design, usage of camera just like in Nokia 7600 with ability to record video clips, assigning pictures to photos with records in phone book (although they are rather small). But you should look at this phone as fashion one, the functionality will not bother much those who are buying it. If you look at this model this way then you will notice several strong sides – unique design, unusual textile panels. These two qualities are making the phone interesting buy on the market, this automatically provides interest from consumers side. The targeted group of people is not so big since the price is rather high, this is fashion segment. You should not expect that the phone’s price will drop significantly any time soon, the manufacturer will try reducing the cost not more than by 100 dollars during the upcoming 5-6 months. This means that by rating only functional side of this phone we will see that it is overrated. What benefit fashion functions of this phone bring – it is up to the consumer to decide.
The targeted group of people of Nokia 7200 consists of 70% women aged from 24 to 35 years old. The secondary focus is targeted for youth segment, it is not significant.
To tell you about this model shortly, if you are clamshell lover, or you love Nokia’s products, and you are not afraid of paying extra money for this phone, take a look at Nokia 7200. If you are not a fan of any certain brand, then you should look at Samsung E700/E710 as an alternative, as well as Motorola v600 (solution for men), Sony Ericsson Z600. This might seem strange but the closest product by impressions is Sony Ericsson Z200, this points out the fact that fashion part of Nokia 7200 is dominating. This means that potential buyers are rating design of the phone, and not its hardware part. On the whole this market’s segment is not so big, as a result the manufacturers are offering small amount of models. Because of this Nokia 7200 will have certain sales, but saying that Nokia 7200 will have tremendous sales is wrong. Presence of radio will be interesting for targeted group of people, but it is not the function because of which they will be buying this phone. On the whole we can state that with 450 dollar price this model turned out overrated, for less money (300-350) this is a balanced phone with good functionality.
Published 20 May 2003
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