Nokia 7380 review: Weird and stylish

Marek Lutonský, 07 January 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Nokia is a company, which can take liberty to experiment. And it does. The 7380 model looks like a chocolate bar. Instead of a display it has a small mirror, instead of a keypad - a scroll wheel. On the side of the device Nokia has attached a fabric logo, similar to the ones we see on luxury T-shirts. At the same time Nokia 7380 is a very good mobile phone with operational system that is not so difficult to get used to.

Key features

  • attractive design
  • solid construction
  • especially fine display
  • advanced voice dialing

Main disadvantages

  • no keypad (incl. all problems resulting from its absence)
  • small display
  • display is almost invisible under direct sunlight
  • problematic control for left-handers
  • low durability
  • high price

When the previous model Nokia 7280 hit the market, I didn't manage to have a look at it because my colleague David Polesný seized it for testing. Eventually he was quite content with the phone claiming it was really good. Of course, none of us would believe him. Nobody with standard approach to mobile phones would use such device voluntarily. We found that out after just a few minutes of manipulation with Nokia 7280.

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Official photos of Nokia 7380

Nevertheless, I did not forget the disagreement between David's opinion and my colleagues' and my point of view, so when Nokia 7380 was launched I was the first to grab it. I used it as my main mobile phone for more than a week and I was literally impressed. Nokia 7380 is a very good phone indeed!

What is L'Amour?

Nokia 7380 is the most stylish of the most stylish. It is a phone made to radiate joy. The phone is a decorative accessory, a reason for brags and perhaps for some envy. If you tend to see this device from the "so this is the new nonsense from Nokia" point of view, I guess you will hardly change your opinion. In any case, I can assure you that everyone, whom I showed the 7380 model, ended up totally excited about it.

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Our pictures

The phone appeals most of all to women, which is no wonder as women are meant to be its target customer group. As you can imagine, an assembly of a mirror, flower symbols and a fabric logo look extremely inappropriate in any man's hand. In this sense, it is quite a pity that Nokia didn't come with a masculine version of the same model, which could differ from the feminine one by covers only. Try to imagine it: cold design as we know it from sci-fi movies, metal materials and various polishing modalities… That is exactly how I imagine the ideal second mobile phone for technology fans - a complement to a smartphone or a communicator.

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Original package: a metal box wrapped up in paper, which strongly resembles a box of English cookies

In fact, Nokia 7380 may surprise even experienced professionals. No matter how accustomed we are to different types of mobile constructions, a bar with no display at first sight, which lacks a keypad and beams with a fiery red LED, looks magnificent. Together with the 7380 model Nokia has presented other two phones of the L'Amour line, in which the accent has been placed more on fashion and not so much on style.

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Two more phones of the same line: Nokia 7370 and 7360

It is usable

Nokia 7380 is a glamorous jewel of a unique construction, but can it be used as a normal phone device? Is control without a numeric keypad possible at all?

Well, I won't hide that handling this Nokia 7380 cost me certain trade-off moves. If you write a lot of SMS, then you should forget about this phone straight away as text writing is a nightmare. But if you write one SMS per day or even less, then you can manage with it quite well. Writing is assisted by a technology that slightly reminds T9 dictionary. Any phone number's 9 numeral characters can be dialed relatively fast too. In addition, the phone offers an excellent voice dialing option and doesn't need to be taught in advance.

To sum up, Nokia 7380 is usable. The problem is that the more stylish and exceptional a phone is, the more practical inconveniences it brings with it.

Construction and design: a fabric logo on the side

Nokia 7380 is a bar of 114 x 30 x 20 mm. It weighs 80 g. In other words, it's a very small and light phone. Its construction is solid and stable. The phone is made of high quality plastic materials. It looks respectable and business-like, especially due to the matt back cover touched in an ivory nuance.

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It's a small and surprisingly space-saving phone

Nokia 7380's entire front cover is basically a mirror. In its upper part you will see flower motives, which hide the microphone. The rings located in the bottom part of the front cover look like decorative elements, but they actually represent phone's functional keys and scroll controller. For more details on the latter, see further on. I suppose I don't need to mention the fact that all finger prints left on the mirror are obvious.

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Flower motives • a true mirror

Any press on a random key activates the display located in the middle of the mirror. Otherwise, it is practically impossible to notice. You have to explore the mirror's surface really carefully to see that it's a little bit darker in the area above the display. On the other hand, because of the reflexivity of the mirror of Nokia 7380, the display is much more difficult to see under direct sun light than displays of common phones. As it works in a landscape mode I had to turn the phone to an angle of 90° and hold it horizontally.

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