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Review GSM phone Nokia 7380

Model Nokia 7380 is the top one in L'Amore collection and maintains the same idea as its predecessor. The unusual form of the small case and precise focusing on female audience makes Nokia 7380 extremely unusual and unique device in the market. The manufacturer emphasizes, that the phone befits both women and men. But I can't imagine a man using a phone with the similar design. Certainly, there will be some daredevils, but they will only accent that 99 percents of this phone's users are women.

Model's design is very unusual; it looks like a small rectangular bar. The front part is glassy; it can be used as a usual mirror. In the previous model only the site which covered the screen was glassy and here it is almost the whole surface. It became much more comfortable to use a mirror but it is not so easy to clean it of hands or cheeks traces. If we say that this surface is easily soiled we say nothing: having used the device only once it is necessary to take a napkin and carefully wipe the phone. Having thrown the phone in a female handbag for five minutes, you find out that it is not sterile too and there is a dust, particles of some strange origin and some source of greasy smudges on a mirror. Well, the device wins while staying at the show-window but in daily use the mirror is not so good. In some extent the polluted glassy surface spoils the general impression.

Another innovation is a drawing on a glassy surface; such solutions were not applied earlier. It is possible to expect the occurrence of several similar solutions by Nokia for mass models in future.

We see the case of bronze color around the mirror and the leather insert of the same color on a back surface. Lateral faces are made of plastic of an ivory color, but they are also covered by golden metal strip which is diluted with orange inserts. A color combination is bright and spiny but it is recherche. It is the only provided color solution for this model that shows its unicity; there are no other devices of such type. Consistency of Nokia 7280 in black scale and its combination with red indicators looked advantageously; new colors are not so unequivocal.

There is no light indicator on the bottom of the phone anymore, it has moved in the centre of Navy Wheel, the button OK. With light effects switched on the key it will flicker with orange color. During the call some more light strips of pastel color will appear around the Navy Wheel, altogether looks rather harmoniously.

Navy Wheel has a ring of rubber, which makes it very conveniently and pleasantly to use. Arcs around the Navy Wheel are made of rubber too. These are soft keys - call and reject buttons. There is no keypad in the phone; all operations are carried out only with the help of Navy Wheel.

The model has inherited the display of its progenitrix. The resolution of the 65K TFT screen is 104x208 pixels (16x30 mm). When displaying an SMS the screen shows up to 4 text lines and one information bar (a headline). Due to the screen's position all tips for soft keys are placed in the right vertical column. The quality of the screen is not bad and colors are bright and vivid. The preset pictures are quite good and show the screen possibilities well. The screen is very comfortable for the phone of such form-factor.

Lateral faces do not have any managing elements - Navy Wheel is responsible for all operations with the device. At the bottom end we see the holder as gold clamp, which allows attaching a strap (it is of metal and rather good in a standard kit). There is also a charger connector (standard, thick) and a headset connector here.

On a back surface we see a 2-megapixels camera lens and the flash near it. We shall remind, that in Nokia 7280 the camera was VGA, and the device was made in sliding form-factor, so, the lens was always hidden in the closed mode. In Nokia 7380 the manufacturer got rid of mobile parts which are potentially problematic. The size of the device thus has stayed the same as earlier, differences are minimal (114х30х20 mm). Weight of the phone is 80 grams. The weight is rather big; the phone is felt in hands.

There is a SIM-card holder on the left lateral face. In distinction from Nokia 7280, there is no pushed tray for the SIM card, slot's opening occurs on the principle of a latch: you shift a cover by finger and it automatically leans back. This solution is very simple, elegant and convenient. If you try to change a card when the device is on it will switch off and you will have to switch it on again by yourself.

The manufacturer has refused of using IrDA, having left Bluetooth for connection. Taking into account the wide prevalence of this technology, it is quite enough.

A user has no access to the battery integrated into the phone. The battery is 700 mAh BL-8N. And according to the manufacturer it works for 240 hours in the standby mode and up to 3 hours in the talk mode. In Moscow the device worked for about 2 days in case of 90 minutes of talks and minimum of other functions. Longer working time was achieved when decreasing the talk time to 60 minutes (3 days). Active use of Bluetooth function almost does not influence the whole battery life. Approximately the phone will work two days if to switch bluetooth at night. Comparing the device with standard Nokia phones in the battery life I had a feelling the battery has less capacity since there are no evident reasons for high energy consumption. Turning the LED off increases the working time for about 3 hours and that is not critical. Full recharging takes about 1 hour 10 minutes.


Let's turn the phone horizontally and activate the screen (press any key) in the standby mode. The name of the operator is displayed on the screen; three tips (two for soft keys use and the middle one for an OK button integrated into the Navi selector) are placed vertically.

Entering the menu is possible by pressing the Ok button, a Go To menu with the most frequently used functions is separated and a user may adjust for his needs.

If you pressing the Ok button for long, the number is started to dial. Let's learn how to work with the device at this example. Numbers and characters that may be used when dialing are displayed in the bottom line. Scrolling the selector you choose a necessary button and then press Ok, the number appears on the top. The operation is repeated for every number of the phone number and then you press the Call button and thus start dialing. The list of numbers may be scrolled in both directions. You may turn a cyclic recurrence off and then at reaching the final character the scroll is stopped and you'll have to go back. The setting works for letter input also.

Entering a number with Nokia7380 is a durable process and it's at least two-three times longer than for usual phones. The device is not very ergonomic in this parameter. I'd recommend all the fashionable women to enter the contacts to the phone book first (that's better to do via a PC) and then searching for a contact and calling it will take less time. Call lists remained standard, each one contains up to 20 entries and time and date are shown for an entry. If pressing the Call button in the standby mode you'll see a last dialed numbers list.

The menu looks standard (an animated icon with a tip for it, only one menu style), that's curious a number corresponds with every menu item and that is probably a vestige of a standard platform. In a usual phone numbers may be used for speed calling this or that function and here the numbers seem senseless.

Entering text is similar to numbers dialing and the only difference is that alphabet is scrolled. Nokia has input a system of guessing words, similar to T9 in some kind. When you start entering a word and enter the first letter, the list provides the most possible following letters for you to choose (the letters are indicated in blue). This system makes life easier but slightly. If you make a mistake you'll have to enter editing mode (a cursor) and go back pressing Ok button. Comparing the way text is entered here with the way in the standard phones I'd like to say it is slow due to the absence of a keypad and using a circle selector is not a cure. And often entering 70 characters of SMS take about several minutes, that is long.

The manufacturer declares the support of expanded voice commands by this model; that means preinstalled labels for a number of functions. It is enough for you to tell a command and the device will move to the appropriate menu or call necessary number. It is necessary to mention some unusual functions such as voiced call of the charge level and signal level (earlier this function was in 6230i and it was amazing). Also there is a voiced dialing of figures, you should only dictate them in the necessary sequence; the recognition practically does not fail here.

Phonebook. This is a standard 40-platform phone book. Up to 1000 names may be saved in the internal memory (that is an average number when the fields are filled in maximum, the memory is dynamical). Up to 5 numbers for a name, select its type (main, mobile, home, work and fax). The first entered number is a default one, later you can change it by your wish. When entering for the first time you can have only a name and one main number and all the other actions are possible later from the editing menu. One will find this not convenient and others will say they keep only one number for a name. Both will be right. Considering the fact the same input type is realized in all the phones by Nokia, we can surely say it makes no problems.

E-mail address, site URL, post address and a text note may be saved as extra information for a name.

A photo may be added for a name (only portrait mode or changing the photo to fit a necessary size automatically). When viewing info for a name you won't view a photo automatically you'll have to open a corresponding item. On the other hand viewing a name and a corresponding image may be set in a general list. An icon is small in this mode and gives a little impression of a picture. Other ways of representing the list are traditional - only names, names with the main number. The general list may represent both numbers from the internal and the SIM-card memories.

Voice labels for names in the phonebook are created automatically and correspond to name's spelling. You can hear each label from the appropriate menu. Recognition works not very well, the device often does not perceive adequately short names (it is desirable to include names of 5 and more letters). Anyway, occurrence of a voice dialing which does not dependent on a person's pronunciation is a good sign. Having refined upon this function it is possible to increase the functionality of the device.

A total number of 100 photos may be assigned to names. Caller's number and a corresponding photo are displayed during the call. The picture is a bit bigger than in a list but still smaller than necessary. You'll have to use you imagination to understand who is on the picture because when decreasing the photo you get extra distortions. In general the photo takes a very small part of the screen and this is unexplainable logically. The realization of this function is the weakest in the phones by Nokia for the moment; let's hope the changes will come in the future.

You can create up to 25 caller's groups in the phone's memory; some names may belong to several groups. It is possible to set a ring tone and a picture for each group. Groups are visible in the general list of names; they are marked with a font.

Messages. The device has a support for Nokia Smart Messaging and that allows sending and receiving melodies and plain black and white pictures from compatible devices. Besides Nokia the standard is supported by phones made by Samsung, LG and some new devices of Motorola. Up to 10 graphical templates are preset for such messages and emoticons may be added to the messages.

Creation of MMS-messages is supported; Audio messages act as subspecies of MMS (the same MMS, but containing only vice record).

Settings. Profiles may be activated from a corresponding menu. Each profile may be activated temporary for a period of time and then the phone switches the default one. Sound signals may be adjusted for all the events, the incoming call signal for all the calls or special users' groups. The realization of the profiles in Nokia phones is one of the best in the market.

Screen settings allow choosing its color scheme, wallpapers and a screen saver. A screensaver is a picture displayed in the standby mode with the backlighting off. One of the preset pictures should be selected as a screen saver because they are seen better in this mode than full color pictures.

There are themes that change all the settings in no time. Total and free memory size may be viewed from the settings menu (up to 52.4 MB of memory)

A possibility to switch an improved sound during a conversation should be mentioned. That is a sort of an equalizer changing the sound in noisy rooms according to the preinstalled settings. A similar function is mass integrated in Samsung phones now and it is called Voice Clarity there.

There is a key lock in the phone (but is it necessary?), you also can use a special security code for nobody could use your phone. A possibility to set the behavior of the phone from the beginning appeared, for instance, you may choose a profile that is activated when the headset or a charger are plugged in. That is an interesting possibility that allows setting the phone according to your idea of a necessity.

Gallery. Here all the folders that contain different files are gathered, they have corresponding names. There is a possibility to view the folders as a list, a list with names or icons. You always may create your own folders, sort files.

Media. In this part all the settings connected with multimedia capabilities of the device are gathered, let's start considering them from the Camera. The camera is equipped with 2-megapixels module executed on the basis of CMOS-technology. The user can receive pictures in the following resolutions: 1600x1200, 1152x864, 800x600 and 320 x 240 pixels. Three types of compression of files are accessible: low, normal and base. From other adjustments it is possible to note some other settings such as presence of flash and the timer for shooting yourself. Digital zoom is up to 4х. You may set the night mode in settings.

Nokia 7380

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

  (+) increase, 1600x1200, JPEG

Video is recorded in two resolutions - high (176x144) or low (160x120). It is possible to expose the limit for record in order to send video record by MMS.

Video sample 1 (3GP, 95 KB)

Video sample 2 (3GP, 130 KB)

Video sample 3 (3GP, 270 KB)

Video sample 4 (3GP, 145 KB)

2-megapixels camera should meet requirements of pretentious public, pictures are necessary mostly for transferring to the personal computer and their subsequent viewing. To use any pictures on the screen of this phone it is practically impossible, the picture is poorly visible.

Media player is a simplified player for musical files. That means you open a file and may listen to it either via earphones or using a speakerphone. There are no track lists, equalizer settings are placed into a separate menu item and used for all the musical applications. The media player doesn't show the names of the mp3 files and that is a disadvantage. Using a model as an mp3 player is impossible when having no memory card and there are only 50 MB of internal memory which is shared between call melodies files, photos and that's all. The given model support Bluetooth profile responsible for playing stereo sound. Transferring of mp3 files to Samsung SBH-100 has not caused any difficulties, but I wish it had more memory and the device's appeal would sharply increase.

Radio. The device allows saving up to 20 FM-stations and set text names for them. The function is similar to other devices by Nokia. Unfortunately, switching via the saved radio stations using a button on the headset is impossible. The radio may work in the loudspeaker mode but attaching the headset is necessary since it services as an antenna. Radio signal also may serve as an alarm signal but the headset is necessary again. A stereo headset is included into a package.

Music Player is the application which plays music. It supports playlists but they are better for forming on the personal computer. Mр3 files titles are supported, but it is necessary to place files in a folder with named Music. Player supports mр3 files with various bytrate, including the high one. Reproduction quality is high for the phone of such class, distortions are not present (basses are not brightly expressed) even while playing through the dynamics. Great plus of this player is that it is able to work in a background mode: after quitting the menu the chosen playlist will continue playing, in a stand by mode you will see a line with the title of the current composition. Use of other functions connected with a sound, for example, a dictaphone, will temporarily switch off playing music, but it will start playing again from the moment of a stop.

The dictaphone allows recording up to 60 minutes of speech, it works in a talk mode. Number of records is limited only by the free memory.

Organizer. You may keep from 100 to 250 entries in the memory and everything depends on their length, there is an automatic erasing of the old entries (by the time characteristic). There is a month and week view of the calendar, the last view has a division into hours, there is a quick switch to an entered date. There is a possibility to enter up to 5 different events (meeting, call, birthday, reminder, memo). A notification may be assigned to an event, they may be recurrent.

A to-do list allows to create events with three priorities (high, normal and low), and set a critical date for every event.

Notes. Every note may contain up to 3000 characters, in general it is more than enough even for the most fastidious user. Two different font sizes are supported like in messages

Alarm clock позволяет выставить как однократный сигнал, так и ежедневный.

Synchronization. SyncML settings are here.

Internet. Wap-browser is version 2 and allows viewing xHTML pages. There is nothing special to say about it.

Synchronization with PC. The disk with software has a special cover designed for this model and it matches the device.

A standard Nokia PC Suit is used for synchronization. There is nothing special to say about his program, there is a complete synchronization with MS Outlook and some other popular programs.


If in case with Nokia 7280 all program functions followed from a leader of the product range, Nokia 6230, in the given model they result from Nokia 6230i. Work with music files, phonebooks and other trifles are realized similarly in these devices. The singularity of appearance, approved by Nokia brand, will whip some women to this model. The device does not have any problems with connection quality; volume of 64-voice polyphony is high. Mp3 or AAC files may be used as a ring tone. The power of vibracall is average, it is not always felt.

Unfortunately, this model has no stylish leather cover, as Nokia 7280. It is replaced with a usual handbag in style of other models of the series. Strong points of this model are the following: completely realized voice dialing without preliminary training (it works not in all conditions, nevertheless it is plus), presence of the quite good camera and preservation of other functions of the previous model. Model is extremely design, but against to Nokia 7360 where the style is noticeable, here it is shaded. Developing the model manufacturer laid stress on a technical component and options instead of showiness. In my opinion, Nokia 7280 may be considered a sample of such type of devices (it did not fall in price and also sales stayed at the same level). Nokia 7380 was created mostly for those who searches the compromise between new technologies, an opportunity to spark in a society ("I have 2-megapixels camera and voice dialing" etc.) and the design. Model is ambiguous and not for mass, as well as Nokia 7280. But it is focused on a little bit other audience and will be quite successful for it. The beginning of sales is expected in January, the price will sum 500-530 Euros (or 650-700 dollars).

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Yana Vilchek (yana_vilchek@yahoo.com)

Published — 1 November 2005

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