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Nokia 7370 review: Nokia 7370

The Nokia 7370 is a decent fashion phone with a good mix of design, features, and performance.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
5 min read
Though Nokia always has pushed the limits of cell phone design, its L'Amour fashion phone line has gone about as far as you can go. For example, consider the Nokia 7380. Besides the fact that it hardly looks like a cell phone, it has no keyboard and offers only a tiny eye-straining display. No one ever said fashion and comfort go hand in hand, but even Nokia admits the 7380 is better suited as a secondary handset. So perhaps that's why Nokia broadened its L'Amour line with the Nokia 7370. This time the device actually looks like a cell phone, and its swivel design (the first we've seen from Nokia) better complements its multimedia options. Buttons and controls aren't perfect, and call volume is rather low, but the Nokia 7370 is an attractive handset with a solid combination of features and performance.

Though we're getting used to seeing something other than candy bar models from the Finnish folks, we were still a bit surprised to see a swivel design. The handset is available in brown and amber; we reviewed the brown version, but both models are a nice change from the commonplace silver and black. Like its sibling, the 7370 has designs etched into the surface for added appeal. The brown version has a series of lines around the display face and the back of the swivel, while the amber model uses a flowers and leaves design. And like the 7380, the 7370 has a faux-leather covering on its rear face.


Nokia 7370

The Good

The Nokia 7370 has an appealing design with an attractive display. It also offers Bluetooth, a speakerphone, a megapixel camera, and good call quality.

The Bad

The Nokia 7370's controls are slippery and the volume is a tad low.

The Bottom Line

The Nokia 7370 is a decent fashion phone with a good mix of design, features, and performance.

At 3.5 by 1.7 by 0.9 inches, the 7370 has average dimensions for a swivel phone and is more or less on a par with the Sony Ericsson W600i. At 3.7 ounces, it's a bit heavy for its size but the trade-off is a solid feel in the hand. The swivel mechanism also feels sturdy, and we like that when you open the front flap, it tilts slightly outward for an ergonomic fit against your head. Yet like the W600i, you can't rotate the swivel a full 360 degrees, and since all controls are behind the front flap, you can't answer the phone, make calls, or browse menus with the swivel closed. What's more, we found it a bit odd that the display's orientation flips when you swing it open. That means that when the swivel is closed, the display is upside down if you're holding the handset so that the Nokia logo appears right side up.

Speaking of which, the 7370's display is quite attractive and is another welcome improvement over previous Nokia screens. With support for 262,144 colors, the 2-inch-diagonal (240x320 pixels) display is great for viewing photos and playing games, and it has user-friendly menus. You can change the backlighting time and the font size but not the brightness.

Like the 7380, the 7370 has some design compromises in its buttons. The controls behind the front flap are completely flush with the surface of the phone to allow the swivel mechanism to close. That makes things a little tricky with the backlit keypad buttons and the navigation array because it's hard to dial by feel and the keys are too slippery. We had a few misdials, but on the upside, the controls are large enough. The five-way toggle has programmable shortcuts, while the two soft keys give one-touch access to the contacts list and a secondary shortcuts menu. A dedicated back or clear button was a noticeable omission, but it's not a big deal. However, we didn't like that the talk and end buttons are not marked clearly and lack even the traditional red and green colors. Also, the volume rocker on the left spine and the power button and dedicated camera shutter on the right spine are small and not very tactile. On the right spine is a fabric tag, which is a trademark of the L'Amour line.

With a few exceptions, the Nokia 7370's feature set is comparable to the offerings on Nokia's other L'Amour handset, the 7380. The 500-contact phone book is adequate and has room in each entry for five phone numbers; e-mail, street, and Web addresses; and notes (the SIM card holds an additional 250 names). You can organize callers into groups, pair them with one of the 9, 64-chord, polyphonic ring tones, and assign them a photo for caller ID. Other offerings include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a world clock, a five-minute voice recorder, a currency and unit converter, a calendar, a to-do list, a notepad, a countdown timer, a stopwatch, an alarm clock, and instant messaging. One additional offbeat application is a converter for determining clothing and shoe sizes for different countries.

Higher-end features include full Bluetooth for connecting to a headset or for sending files, PC syncing, USB cable support, voice dialing and commands, and a speakerphone. Strangely you won't find POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail support, but you can send audio messages directly to the voicemail of another cell phone and use a flash messaging feature.

The 7370's camera doesn't have a flash.

Though the 7380 came with a 2-megapixel camera, the 7370's shooter is just 1.3 megapixels. Still, it makes a respectable showing with a landscape mode and five resolutions (1,280x960, 800x600, 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120). Other options include three quality settings, five color effects, a self-timer, a multishot mode, and an 8X zoom. There's no flash or brightness setting, but there is a self-portrait mirror. Also, the placement of the lens on the phone's backside was right where we wanted to rest our finger. The camcorder records clips in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96) with sound. You can choose from three quality settings and you can mute the sound. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at seven seconds; otherwise you can shoot for up to four minutes. Internal memory for all of work is 10MB of shared space. Photo quality is decent for a megapixel camera phone with distinct colors and object outlines.

We like the 7370's photo quality.

The Nokia 7370 also comes with a rudimentary media player that supports MPEG-4 video playback and MP3 and AAC audio files. Its interface and features are spartan but useful, and it performs well. There's also an FM radio, stereo speakers, and stereo widening.

You can personalize the 7370 with a variety of color themes, wallpapers, screensavers, and alert sounds. You can download more options via the WAP 2.0 wireless browser. You can always get more ring tones as well and use MP3 files to identify callers. One Java (J2ME) game is also included, Phantom Spider.

We tested the triband (GSM 900/a800/1900; GPRS/EDGE) 7370 world phone in San Francisco using Cingular Wireless service. Call quality was quite good with great clarity and little static or interference. Volume was a tad low for our tastes, so users with hearing impairments should test the 7370 before buying. Callers reported good conditions overall on their end, though they had trouble hearing us in noisy environments. Speakerphone calls were decent as well, but as with most cell speakerphones, voices were a bit muffled. We also had good call quality using a Bluetooth headset.

The Nokia 7370 has a rated battery life of 4 hours of talk time and a tested talk time of 3 hours and 42 minutes. It has a rated standby time of 11 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the 7370 has a digital SAR rating of 0.66 watt per kilogram.


Nokia 7370

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7