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Nokia 7100 Supernova review: Nokia 7100 Supernova

The 7100 Supernova is a small, glossy slider with all the essential features and a decent keypad that makes texting easy. With a poor camera and not much memory, it doesn't do much else, but, for those looking to keep it simple and save some cash, this budget phone could be just the ticket

Flora Graham
3 min read

The Nokia 7100 Supernova won't provoke any exploding fireballs of excitement, but it covers the basic features and won't break the bank. This shiny, simple slider phone is available on pay as you go with T-Mobile for around £70.


Nokia 7100 Supernova

The Good

Big buttons are easy to press; springy slider; stereo Bluetooth support; Opera Mini Web browser; FM radio.

The Bad

Poor photo and video quality; non-standard headphone jack; flimsy headphones; small screen with fewer-than-average colours; paltry 4MB of memory; no USB cable for syncing.

The Bottom Line

It's not bad-looking, but the Nokia 7100 Supernova only offers a rock-bottom range of features. Its 1.3-megapixel camera takes grainy, dark snaps and, with only 4MB of memory, it can't store many photos or songs. But it does have a decent keyboard, so, if you're just looking to make calls and send texts, and you like its looks, it could be worth a gander

Looking shiny
The 7100 looks good for such an inexpensive phone, with a glossy finish and brightly-coloured trim that might appeal to the fashion-conscious teen with some pocket money to spend. Our model was billed as red, but it's as pink as a bag of candyfloss in a ballerina costume.

The slide mechanism is springy and, although the back cover feels rather flimsy, the phone feels solidly put-together. The keypad buttons are easy to press, giving a satisfying click, and they're well spaced-out and relatively large. The five-way function button is as big as a 5p coin, which makes the 7100 a good choice for meaty-fingered users.

The 7100 feels well-built, with relatively large buttons and a springy slide mechanism

The 7100 also has a dedicated camera button on the side, but there's an almost identical button shape on the opposite side that doesn't do anything. It reminds us of the blank spaces on car dashboards where the manufacturers have left room for more features in a higher-end model. It could also be confusing when you're trying to launch the camera quickly.

Through a glass darkly
We didn't think much of the 7100's 1.3-megapixel camera, which takes grey and dingy photos, even in the brightly-lit CNET UK towers. Images are noisy, and the camera's too sluggish to take snapshots of anything that moves faster than a marble statue. Over 2 seconds of shutter lag meant that, by the time the camera captured a photo, our subject had moved on and we'd lost interest in them anyway.

If you think that the camera takes bad pictures, wait till you see its video

The 7100's video-capture capability is even worse, delivering jerky, pixellated playback that's barely good enough to be featured in a road-safety campaign. Combine that with a small, 51mm (2-inch) screen and you won't be creating any Oscar-worthy home videos with this phone.

Soft rock
The 7100 has a 2.5mm headphone jack, and no adaptor, so we weren't able to test its music player with high-quality headphones. It comes with a pair of very basic, plastic earbuds, and it also supports stereo Bluetooth, but this isn't a phone for music lovers -- with a piddling 4MB of on-board memory, it can only hold a tiny slice of our MP3 collection.

Also, since the phone doesn't include a USB cable or memory-card slot, there's no easy way to get music onto the handset. Happily, it has an FM radio, so, when you run out of songs, you can always tune into that.

Thank God for Opera
With such a small screen, which only sports 65,536 colours, and no 3G or Wi-Fi, we didn't expect surfing the Web on the 7100 to be much fun. But it does sport the Opera Mini Web browser, which does a good job of putting huge pages onto a tiny screen fairly quickly. For a quick Google search or checking up on your Facebook friends, it's surprisingly handy.

The Nokia 7100 Supernova packs basic features into a glossy slider with colourful, shiny trim. It doesn't have any bells and whistles, but it's got good-sized keys and making a call or sending a text message is simple and straightforward. It's inexpensive, but you get what you pay for: terrible photo and video quality, small on-board memory and flimsy headphones.

Edited by Charles Kloet