Though it has largely sat out the thin-phone mania of recent years, Nokia long ago established a reputation for daring cell phone design. Granted, that bold spirit was sometimes a little , but other times it resulted in a lovely product. Nokia's latest entry in the mobile fashion show is the Nokia 7500 Prism. Undeniably unique and unquestionably striking, the 7500 is a powerful phone with a broad range of features. On the other hand, call quality wasn't up to par and the unique keypad wasn't terribly user-friendly. The Nokia 7500 is $279 and is available with Dynamism.com. To find accessories for this phone, see our cell phone ringtones and accessories guide.
The 7500 isn't called the Prism because it's made of glass, nor is it called the Prism because it refracts light into a rainbow. It has that name, at least we assume, because of its triangular-shaped keys. Nokia is no stranger to irregular keypads, having produced phones with buttons arranged in a circle, so this arrangement doesn't come as a surprise. Yes, it's eye-catching, but usability was another story (more on that later).
Fashioned in basic black, the candy bar Prism has a sleek and stylish look. And at 4.29 inches by 1.72 inches by 0.57 inche, it's relatively compact and trim. There's no distracting external antenna and, except for the plastic rear cover, the phone has a solid feel. The pattern on the keys extends to the phone's rear face, where triangles in two shades come together in an attractive design. The rear-facing flash is also triangular, while the camera lens is shaped like a diamond. There's also a small speaker on the rear face; we've never been fans of rear-facing speakers since they direct sound away from you.
The Prism's 2-inch (320x2,540 pixels) display is up to usual Nokia standards, being both bright and vivid. What's more, the 16.7-million-color resolution means that graphics, photos, and games are a delight. You can change the font color and size, but we wish the backlight time and brightness level were customizable. Then again, you're given a selection of color themes that reflect the Prism's overall design.