Nokia 7500 Prism in-depth review -

Look and feel

The Prism range of handsets is stylish and eye catching and both handsets have triangular keys. The 7500 is the lighter of the two Prism phones, but part of that may be down to the fact that it's made of shiny lightweight plastic which, frankly, makes it look a little low budget - classy but cheap. It's beautifully crafted - the edges of the phone slope off at an angle and the screen follows this shape perfectly - but there's something about the glossy front and matte-and-gloss back that makes it look bargain basement.

Features

The Nokia 7500 Prism boasts a distinctly mid-range feature set, but the target market is fashionable youngsters rather than early adopters. You get a two megapixel camera, a music player and Bluetooth, together with GPRS and tri-band, so most of the bases are covered, but none of the features will blow you away.

Ease of use

A very easy to use Nokia phone, as you'd expect. The joystick in the centre of the phone works very well. However, it also feels a little economical because it's easy to catch your thumb on its rough edge. Beyond that, it's set to take you direct to new text message, calendar, contacts or camera, depending on where you push it.

There's also a keypad design issue that affects ease of use. Because the keys are triangular, they're hard to make out. The left key, for instance, is set to Go To on the home screen. However, it's not directly beneath the screen but rather slightly to the side. We found ourselves pressing the plastic directly beneath the label several times to, obviously, no avail.

Performance

It's a solid little phone that won't disappoint its target market, but there's no wow factor with this phone. Photos taken with the two megapixel camera, for example, are great for sending via MMS but are not of real print quality. Browsing the internet over GPRS is also slow and clunky.

Battery life

As with the feature set, the battery life is respectable but no more.

 Nokia 7500 Prism Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:50:14 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Good battery life and neatly styled screen complement the 7500's ease of use.

Cons:

The gloss-and-matt styling and the lightweight plastic shell look a little cheap.

Nokia 7500 Prism keypad

Nokia's Prism phones are aimed at the design-conscious and there's no denying that they're stylish and eye-catching. Nokia used to catch a lot of criticism for keypads that were tricksy, complicated and weirdly laid out. That hasn't been the Finnish company's style for some time now, but both these handsets have triangular keys. It's a long way from the circular and zig-zag designs of the past, but will the current layouts be too hard to dial?

 

Let's start with the more affordable of the two, the 7500. It's a tri-band handset, but not 3G like the 7900. It's also the lighter of the two phones. But part of that may be down to the fact that it's made of shiny lightweight plastic which, frankly, makes it look a little budget. Classy but cheap. It's beautifully crafted - the edges of the phone slope off at an angle and the screen follows this shape perfectly - but there's something about the glossy front and matte-and-gloss back that makes it look bargain basement.

Customise your Nokia 7500 Prism

Even the customisable element of the phone is minimal - three coloured bands are supplied and you can choose which you use: blue, green and pink which slip between the front and back of the casing. The effect is limited - the 7900 offers more in this department.

 

There's another problem with the design: because the keys are triangular, they're hard to make out. There are the usual two function-changing keys under the screen, performing as the screen labels dictate. The left key, for instance, is set to Go To on the home screen which leads to shortcuts for the music player, email creation, FM radio and more. However, it's not directly beneath the screen but rather slightly to the side. I found myself pressing the plastic directly beneath the label several times to, obviously, no avail. It's a minor point, and overcome with a little use, but annoying at first.

 

On the plus side, though, expectations that dialling numbers might be tricky proved unfounded. Because the keys are backlit and dialling requires pressing on the number rather than above or below, fingers fell naturally enough on the right key and their curious triangular shape was barely noticeable.

Nokia 7500 Prism features

The joystick in the centre of the phone works very well, rarely confusing up or down for a press to select an option, for instance. However, it also feels a little economical because it's easy to catch your thumb on its rough edge. Beyond that, it's set to take you direct to new text message, calendar, contacts or camera, depending on where you push it.

 

The camera is plumb in the middle of the phone's back, so it's too easy at first to block pictures with your fingers. The flash, in its triangular housing, works well, though it's neither LED nor Xenon. It's launched either by the menu joystick, as mentioned above, or the dedicated camera key on the side next to the 9 key. Press send and the phone automatically scales the image down to a suitable size for messages. It's just as easy to set the image as wallpaper or an image for contacts.

 

The Music Player is prioritised enough to be the right button shortcut on the home screen. Tracks are categorised by album and artist and when you play a track the pause/play and other playback functions appear. But the screen can also display album sleeve art.

 

In all, then, the 7500 Prism is a passably efficient phone in a casing that isn't quite as smart as it thinks it is. On the plus side, it's efficient, with decent battery life and great ease of use. And it's pretty keenly priced. Will the 7900 be any better?