Nokia 7510 (T-Mobile)
The same day T-Mobile announced its new RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and T-Mobile Shadow, the carrier also rolled out the Nokia 7510. First unveiled just three weeks ago at the 2009 CES (we always love when CES products actually go on sale) the 7510 is a chunky flip phone with a midrange feature set. It doesn't offer anything you haven't seen before, but it's a decent device in its own right. Call quality was mostly satisfactory and it has a couple of unique design touches. Though the 7510 is part of Nokia's "Supernova" line, T-Mobile isn't using that label as part of the phone's name. You can get it for $49 with service or $199 if you pay full price.
You wouldn't think so at first, but the 7510 has replaceable front and back covers in three colors: emerald green, fatal red, and espresso brown. You get all three sets of covers in the box so you can change hues depending on your mood (not that we know what mood "espresso brown" would represent). At 3.6 inches tall by 1.8 inches wide by 0.7 inch thick and weighing 4.4 ounces, the 7510 is a bit on the hefty side, but it's covered in a smooth, soft-touch material that gives it a comfortable feel in the hand.
We're a bit divided on the hinge, however. Though it's large and the phone opens and shuts with authority so far, we fear that it could get a bit loose over time. Like the Nokia 6131, the 7510 has hinge-mounted button that will open the phone when pressed. Though the 7510's button is flush, which hopefully should prevent any incidents like this, but we're still wary of the whole arrangement. Also, note that the handset doesn't rest evenly on a surface when open.
The 7510's external display is its most eye-catching feature. It is invisible when the backlighting is off, but the clock has large, bright numbers. The backlight timer isn't adjustable, which is too bad, but the display flashes nifty animation intermittently.
Above the display are the camera lens and flash. Though the lens is well positioned for taking most photos, vanity shots will be tricky without a self-portrait mirror. The only exterior control is a thin volume rocker on the right spine. A 2.5mm headset jack sits just below (we'd prefer a 3.5mm headset jack) while the Mini-USB port and charger jack sit on the left spine.
The 7510's silver and shiny interior resembles the Nokia 6263. The 16.7 million color display is bright and vibrant though it could be a tad bigger (2.2 inches; 320x240 pixels). On the upside, however, colors and graphics show up well and the font size is adjustable. The mirrored frame catches some fingerprints, but that's a minor point.
The navigation array is spacious, though the individual keys feel rather slippery. There's a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, and the Talk and End/power buttons. The toggle doubles as a shortcut to four user-defined functions and you can also apply shortcuts directly to the home screen.
The keypad is spacious and with a distinct separation between each key. Yet, the buttons are a little too flush and slippery for our tastes. The backlighting on the numbers is a bit dim as well. We didn't have any real problems when dialing or texting, but it's not a design that we prefer.
Each contact in the 7510's phone book holds five phone numbers, an e-mail address, a URL, street address, a birthday, a formal name and nickname, a company, a job title, and notes. You can save callers to groups and pair them with one of 21 polyphonic ringtones and a photo or video.
Essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, an alarm clock, a to-do list, a notepad, a calculator, a stopwatch a world clock, a converter, and a speakerphone. On the higher end, you'll find Bluetooth, PC syncing, USB mass storage, voice commands, Web-based POP3 e-mail, Adobe Flash Lite 2.0, a voice memo recorder, and instant messaging. On the upside, it also has integrated Wi-Fi for use with T-Mobile's HotSpot @Home service.
The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in six resolutions, from 1,600x1,200 down to 160x120 pixels. It also offers three quality settings, a self-timer, a multishot mode, six color effects, and an adjustable white balance. The flash should be sufficiently bright for most situations; you can even keep in steady mode and use it as a flashlight. The 7510 doesn't offer a choice of shutter sounds, but you can turn it off.
The video recorder shoots clips in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96 pixels) with sound and has a set of editing similar to the still camera. Messages meant for multimedia messages are capped at 56 seconds, but you can shoot for longer in standard mode. Photo quality was good for the most part. There was little image noise but most of our shots were rather overexposed. Videos were decent--not great--but better than on comparable phones. The 7510 has a respectable 27MB of internal memory and accommodates memory cards up to 512MB.
Music fans can use the 7510's digital player. Though it is minimalist to the core, it offers playlists, and an equalizer, and stereo widening. Getting music on the phone was relatively easy; we could transfer the files over a USB cable or with a memory card. You also get an FM radio, though you must use the included wired headset since it acts as the antenna.
You can personalize the 7510 with a variety of background colors, wallpaper, and alert tones. More options and additional ringtones are available from T-Mobile's t-zones service using the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. The handset comes with demo versions of three games: Midnight Pool, Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man, and Are you smarter than a fifth grader? You'll have to buy the full versions for extended play.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; EDGE) Nokia 7510 world phone in San Francisco using T-Mobile service. Call quality was satisfying by most accounts. We enjoyed clear audio with no static or interference. Voices sounded natural as well. The volume was a tad low, however. We had to strain to hear in very noisy situations even when the volume was at its highest level. Likewise, while speakerphone calls were clear, the volume was too quiet.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine. They could hear us plainly even with a lot of background noise. A couple of our friends said we sounded tinny, but they were in the minority. Automated calling systems could understand us well, though we had to be very close to the handset if we wanted to use the speakerphone.
The 7510 has a rated battery life of three hours talk time and 12 days standby time. The former rating is a bit low when compared with other GSM phones, but the latter is about right. Luckily, the tested talk time ended up being 8 hours and 12 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the 7510 has a digital SAR of 0.84 watts per kilogram.