Nokia 7500 Prism review: Daring difference

GSMArena team, 20 September 2007.
Pages: «1234»

Tags: Nokia, S40

The six predefined ringing profiles (seven with the Flight mode) should prove to be more than enough for practically any situation that a Nokia 7500 owner may find themselves in. The flight mode can be used without a SIM card inserted, which is very convenient, especially if you want to make use of your phone as an MP3 player.

Phonebook: Plenty of room

The phonebook offers space for up to 1000 contacts as well as various configuration options. Each contact can be assigned a variety of fields; for example 5 phone numbers, email address, website, and street address; birth date, company, job title, and nickname. First names are separated from last names eliminating problems when the phone is synchronized with Outlook. Ringtones can be attached to each contact. Naturally, you can also assign personal pictures or videos that will run on an incoming call. The picture displayed is different for incoming and outgoing calls, as it fills the screen when you are on the receiving end of a call, and appears incomparably smaller when you dial a number.

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Phonebook looks also haven't changed much - neither has reviewing a contact

The phonebook can show only the contacts saved in the phone memory or only those stored on the SIM card, or both lists simultaneously. The phonebook appears on the display in one of three available view modes: List-of-Names, Name-and-Number and Name-and-Picture. The phonebook font size can also be enlarged, should the user find that necessary. Searching is done by gradual typing of the first name of the corresponding contact. This is a huge downside, as the phone doesn't allow searching by last name.

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Editing a contact: a huge number of available pictures

Last comes the well known grouping: contacts can be organized in groups and these can consequently be used as call filters. Another application worth our complements is voice dial; no pre-recording of voice labels is necessary as its fully speaker independent.

The Call Log in Nokia 7500 holds no surprises. It can display Dialed, Received and Missed calls separately, as well as all of them together. Every submenu can hold up to 10 call records with their date, time and duration.

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Call log offers no surprises at all

Messaging

The message menu has not undergone any modifications either. It is organized almost perfectly. Besides standard text messages, Nokia 7500 is capable of receiving and sending multimedia messages, sound messages via MMS, and emails. Message type is easily alternated. As soon as you insert a picture or a sound in your message, the SMS editor switches to MMS.

As soon as you activate the editor, it displays a field for entering the number of the recipient, which you can insert through standard typing, select it from the phonebook, from the caller groups, or from the list with last recipients in the call register. As you see, everything here is organized in a practical and time-saving manner. Once you have inserted the relevant number, a single click will shift to the message body where you can start typing. The phone naturally offers a rich T9 dictionary.

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Typing a message to our friend Dexter is easy with Nokia 7500 Prism

A message can be maximum 1000 characters long. Both the count of typed characters and the number of parts the message will be divided into are constantly visible. All messages use the shared memory, regardless of their type.

A photo, a contact card, or an event from the calendar can be sent via MMS. MMS size limit for both send and receive is 300 KB. A handy feature of the phone is that it automatically scales down pictures for sending via MMS.

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A picture added to an MMS is automatically scaled down to VGA resolution

The email client is luckily no longer a built-in Java application but the fully functional email client instead, that we have come to know from most Nokia smartphones. It is therefore much faster than the one used in Nokia 6300 for example. It works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols. When a message is to be sent, it finds the email address of the corresponding recipient in the phonebook. Automatic message download is not user-configurable. There is a simple spam filter for unsolicited mail. Sent attachments are not limited in size. Both message headers only and entire messages can be downloaded, as long as they are no bigger than 300 KB, including the attachments.

The phonebook can show only the contacts saved in the phone memory or only those stored on the SIM card, or both lists simultaneously. The phonebook appears on the display in one of three available view modes: List-of-Names, Name-and-Number and Name-and-Picture

XpressMusic player for all tastes

The music player is almost identical to the one used in the Nokia 5300 music phone and the Nokia 6300. It is an elaborate player with extensive setup options. Besides managing all the typical functions of a music player, it also sorts songs by artist, album and genre. The player works with MP3, MIDI, AAC, AAC+, and WMA formats. The supported A2DP profile allows listening on Bluetooth wireless earphones. The player is highly customizable through a number of themes that are at your disposal. We found most of the themes quite eye-pleasing and the sound wasn't bad at all either. Our test revealed it is a bit better than the music-oriented Nokia 5700 in terms of dynamic range but lacks quite a lot in noise level. All in all, the music capabilities of the phone are more than fine for the price range.

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The music player is among the best parts of Nokia 7500

In the retail package you will find a Nokia HS-47 headset. The earphones quality may please you, as long as you do not have big expectations and you tend to use the music player rather occasionally. The handset features a 2.5 mm jack, so substitution for another set of headphones is possible only through an adapter. The sonic experience is enhanced by an equalizer and a stereo expansion function. The equalizers do deserve attention, as they perform very well and have nice graphic visualization. As opposed to most other Nokia models, the selected equalizer has an almost instant effect without the usual few seconds lag. Nokia 7500 has only one loudspeaker located on its rear cover, right next to the camera. It sounds quite well, though. Surprisingly enough, it does not get muffled when the phone body is placed on its back on an even surface.

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The equalizers are at the same high level as the player

If you get bored with MP3 files, turn on the stereo FM radio. Stations are searched automatically or by direct typing of a specific frequency. The phone can store up to 20 station names. The radio can also be listened through the loudspeaker; just make sure you have your earphones plugged in to serve as an antenna. There is also the Visual Radio function, but it is inapplicable in most countries. We would have definitely appreciated RDS.

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Radio offers quite a good number of extras but no RDS

The video player is compatible with 3GP and MP4 formats. Videos can be played in fullscreen mode as well as forwarded or rewinded. A nice improvement is the possibility to remove the shortcut key captions to make better use of the full screen view mode.

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Nokia 7500 video player can now play in fullscreen without the shortcut key captions

Audio quality test

Up until now sound quality in our reviews has always been a subjective matter. Realizing that mobile phones are evermore used as portable music players subjective doesn’t cut the mustard any more. That is why starting with this review the GSMArena team will be including a new audio test in our reviewing routine in order to give you a more objective view on how the music player of the all those handsets perform. Soon we will publish a separate article which will describe our analysis procedures and will serve as a reference point for all the handsets we’ve had a chance to analyze. For now we will only mark that all the sound tests are done on M-Audio Fast Track Pro external audio interface and RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.0.5 software with special sound samples. This gives us the opportunity to create a controlled environment which should produce accurate and comparable results throughout all the units tested. So here are the results of the Nokia 7500 Prism and its graph.

RightMark Audio Analyzer test results
TestNokia 7500 Prism Normal
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +1.11, -1.50
Noise level, dB (A): -72.6
Dynamic range, dB (A): 72.1
THD, %: 0.017
IMD + Noise, %: 0.094
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -71.6

Frequency response
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Nokia 7500 vs Sony Ericsson K770 • Nokia 7500 - Normal vs. Pop Equalizer

Gallery hasn't made a move

No significant changes in the gallery were made with Nokia 7500. We personally aren't great fans of how the gallery looks in Series 40 models but, as it's used as a file manager at the same time, it is understandable. For example you do need a few extra presses to get to your music files, as there is no file filtering. The Gallery relies on your putting the right type of files in the right folder.

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The gallery resembles the Symbian file manager

Once you pick a picture you can zoom on it to see more detail. Zooming itself is quite slow and doesn't allow a picture to be zoomed in too closely, so actually it is not much of a help. You can also edit the picture through the picture editor, but it doesn't offer that many options.

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Viewing and editing pictures is not what Nokia 7500 likes to do

The final extras of the gallery include the available Slideshow and Search options. The latter is quite convenient for finding a specific file in overfed folders but this still fails to convince us that the gallery is the best Nokia can do. This is the 5th edition S40 and we still expect improvements in this area of the user interface. We do believe that creating a separate application that has less to do with a file manager will benefit user experience with Series 40 phones.

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