Nokia 7100 Supernova review -

3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati, 12/12/2011 3:55:30 PM

6out of 10
Performance
8 out of 5
Look and feel
8 out of 5
Ease of use
2 out of 5
Features
6 out of 5
Battery life
Pros:

Young, trendy design and easy to use.

Cons:

A token feature set, including a camera that?s a step down from older Supernovas, and no memory card slot.

You could call the Supernova 7100 a fashion phone, but that would be a disservice to the slew of recent phones that look as good as they play. Don’t get us wrong – as you would expect from a Nokia, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the handset’s software or hardware, it’s just there’s nothing standout, either.

Hey good lookin’

Well, except for those snap-on interchangeable back covers in funky, party-time colours.


Ours was a very trendy metallic pink that latched onto a sleek and shiny black chassis, which is unfortunately rather smudge friendly.


For a Nokia, the Supernova 7100 is pretty minimalist. Its black face is decorated with only a D-pad and a pink (in our case) strip, whose four buttons are actually raised silver lines. It’s all quite high-design, though the display is really tiny considering the size of the phone; there’s a wider space than necessary on all sides of the screen. Form over function, and function takes a hit.


The handset’s sliding mechanism isn’t as smooth as it could be, and feels a little wobbly when you’re snapping it open and shut.


The back cover is easy enough to get off, but the battery in our review model was extremely loose and fell out when we tipped the phone sideways. This makes the device feel pretty low-rent, especially if you’re planning on changing those back covers on a regular basis. The keypad is easy to type on though, as the matt, raised keys are a comfortable size and distance apart.

Under the bonnet

Good old Nokia user interface – it never fails to disappoint. The icon-based grid menu is as bright and intuitive as ever, with just the add-ons you’d expect. The 1.3-megapixel camera is a token gesture: it comes with a night mode but is still particularly unimpressive, producing grainy snaps. Would it have been such a struggle to at least pack in a two-megapixel puppy like predecessor Supernova 7310? Meanwhile, 4MB of internal storage and no memory slot means the music player is barely usable, since you won’t be able to save many MP3s. Thank God, therefore, for the FM radio and an above average selection of games.


At least basic phone functions like texting are straightforward – to text an attachment, just scroll down to the media field where you can move sideways through a series of easy to understand icons for media files and notes. You don’t even need to select a different option for MMS vs SMS, a step we’ve always
found superfluous in some other phone ranges.


Considering the quality of the other features, you might think email and web functions would be barrel-scraping in the 7100 – in fact, it comes with the top-notch Opera Mini browser and (non-3G) GPRS data speeds for surprisingly reasonable email retrieval and web-surfing speeds (stick to searches and social network updates though). It’s not desktop-like, but D-pad browsing (move in little jumps between hyperlinks) works well enough in Opera Mini.

Conclusion

Whatever our reservations, the phone looks good and we very much approve of the slick black and pink combo in our review model. There’s enough here to satisfy the buyer who simply wants a basic phone that doesn’t look half bad. Anyone who wants more will already have set their sights a couple of Nokia phone ranges higher. Everyone wins.