Nokia 7900 Prism review: Nokia 7900 Prism

Nokia 7900 Prism

(Part #: CNETNokia 7900 Prism)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Thin design; changeable keypad backlight.

The Bad Keypad design.

The Bottom Line The Nokia 7900 Prism will definitely turn heads with its triangle-inspired design and it has enough features to keep most people happy. However, the keypad is very fiddly and while we like the 7900's build quality, its keypad doesn't impress us at all

6.5 Overall

For some manufacturers creating a fashion phone means changing the colour of a casing or modifying a small detail. With its 7900 Prism, Nokia has taken the idea of design to much further lengths. We set out to discover whether or not the 7900 is too focused on design and not enough on features.

The Nokia 7900 Prism is currently available SIM-free for around £270 or free on a monthly contract with O2.

Design
Taking the 7900 Prism out of its box is like picking up a retro Star Trek gadget for the first time. Although it's shaped like a mobile phone, there's something other-worldly about it, making you want to play with it. Similar to the Nokia 7280 , you get the impression that it's not your run-of-the-mill handset.


The Prism's keypad might look funky but it's not that great to use

The 7900's metal back gives it a very solid feel and the 'diamond-cut' patterns bring an otherwise thin but dull casing to life. The 2-megapixel camera is surrounded by a silver diamond-shaped border and the LED photo light sits next to it underneath a semi-transparent triangular piece of plastic.

But it's the front of the phone where you really feel like you're staring at something straight out of an art college student's portfolio. At the top of the front of the 7900 there's a medium-sized OLED screen and underneath that, a diamond-shaped navigation key followed by a keypad made up entirely of triangular shaped keys.


The 7900 uses an OLED display that's bright

The triangular keys are unfortunately not very easy to press and while the rest of the phone feels well designed, the keypad really doesn't. It's not that using triangles was a bad idea but because the keys are so squashed together and small, you end up pressing more than one key at a time quite easily.



Features
If only the keypad was better -- then you could really appreciate what the Nokia 7900 Prism has to offer, and it has a fair amount, considering it's only 11mm thin. You can browse the Web relatively quickly with 3G and there's a 2-megapixel camera on the back for MMS photos and the odd snapshot.

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