Nokia 7390 review: Nokia 7390

The Nokia 7390's feature set proves it's much more than a pretty face. Armed with a 3-meagapixel camera, a music player with FM radio, an Infrared port, and Bluetooth, the phone has the brains to go with the beauty. But first we'll detail the basics. The phone book is smaller than we'd prefer, but each entry has room for six phone numbers plus a push-to-talk number, an e-mail address, a job tile and company name, a Web address, a nickname and formal name, a street address, and notes. For even more room, the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts. You save contacts to groups and for caller ID pair them with one of 23 polyphonic ringtones and a photo or video. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, voice commands and dialing, a calendar, a to-do list, a notepad, a calculator, a countdown timer, and a stopwatch.

On the higher end, the 7390 also offers full Bluetooth (with a stereo profile), an Infrared port, e-mail, instant messaging, support for push-to-talk networks (operator dependent), a voice recorder, and PC syncing. Globetrotters can take advantage of the world clock, a nifty size-converter sensor for changing between U.S. and European clothing and shoe sizes, and support for Nokia's Sensor application, which is a quasi-social networking feature that scans nearby Bluetooth users. The 7390 also supports the WCDMA (3G) 2100 band, but that frequency is used only in Europe and not the United States.


The 7390's camera has a bright flash but no self-portrait mirror.

The Nokia 7390 has a fantastic 3-megaixel camera that far outshines most other camera shooters on the market. It takes pictures in five resolutions--from 1,536x2,048 down to 120x160. Other options include three quality settings, three color effects, nine fun frames, an autofocus, a self-timer, a multishot mode, a white-balance setting, a digital zoom, and a selection of camera sounds. The flash provides an exceptional amount of light, but as noted, self-portraits are tricky. The second VGA camera inside the phone is available for video calls, but keep in mind those are only really effective when you're using a 3G network.


We like the 7390's photo quality.

The camcorder records clips in four resolutions (640x480 down to 128x96) with sound. You can choose from three quality settings and you can mute the sound. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 20 seconds; otherwise you can shoot for about four minutes. Internal memory for all of your work is a bit small--just 21MB of shared space--so we suggest using a MicroSD card (the 7390 supports cards up to 2GB). Photo quality is decent for a megapixel camera phone, with distinct colors and object outlines. Video quality was above average but not really impressive.

The 7390 also includes a music player. The interface is pretty generic but it supports a variety of file formats including MP3, AAC, and WMA. There's an equalizer as well and you can save music files as ringtones. The FM radio lets you store station presets; just remember you'll need a wired headset to act as an antenna.

You can personalize the 7390 with a variety of wallpapers, screensavers, color themes, and alert sounds. You can always get more options via the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. For playtime, the 7390 comes with three Java (J2ME) games: Music Guess, Rally 3D, Snake III, and Sudoku.

Performance

We tested the triband (GSM 900/1800/1900; EDGE) Nokia 7390 in San Francisco using T-Mobile service. Call quality was reliable overall and we had little trouble getting a signal. Voices sounded natural, though the volume was a tad low. It wasn't a big problem for us, but users with hearing impairments should test the phone first. Though they could tell we were using a cell phone, callers said they could hear us plainly, and the voice automated system had little trouble understanding us. The sound was diminished on both ends when we were in noisy environments, so again, you might want to test this phone first. Speakerphone quality was also decent; the sound was a little more muffled but that's pretty common on cell phone speakerphones.

Since the phone doesn't use the GSM 850 band, reception can vary depending on how strong the 1900 coverage is in your area. Indeed, when we traveled outside the city or went deep into buildings, the connection grew patchier. And don't forget, although the 7390 supports the WCDMA 2100 band, it's not used in the United States.

The Nokia 7390 has a rated battery life of four hours talk time and up to 11 and a quarter days of standby time. Though the standby rating is decent, the promised talk time is rather low, especially for a GSM phone. Our tests confirmed that the talk time is indeed only four hours. According to FCC radiation tests, the 7390 has a digital SAR rating of 0.26 watts.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Editors' Top Picks

     

    ARTICLE DISCUSSION

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Where to Buy

    Nokia 7390

    Part Number: 0020216

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
    • Service Provider Not specified
    • Weight 4.1 oz
    • Sensor Resolution 3 megapixels
    About The Author

    Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews and Download editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.