Nokia 7900 Prism review: In colored light

GSMArena team, 15 January 2008.
Pages: «123456»

Tags: Nokia, Prism, S40, Fashion

Retail package

The retail package of Nokia 7900 is not the most generous around but it won't leave you disappointed. All the essentials are there - a charger, a manual and a quick start guide. In addition, you will find a microUSB cable and a handsfree with remote control. The latter however doesn't have a 3.5 mm audio jack for plugging in another pair of earphones. The final item in the small box is a carrying pouch that we did find really nice.

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Unboxing the Nokia 7900 Prism

Nokia 7900 Prism 360-degree spin

Design and construction

Nokia 7900 could surely stand up to many of the thin handsets around measuring only 11.3mm in thickness. Its other dimensions are 112 mm of height and 45mm of width, which do place it among the relatively compact models. Nokia 7900 Prism weighs 101 grams.

There are two color versions of the 7900 Prism. You can get the handset in black with some parts shiny and some opaque. The alternative combo has a sand beige rear panel with a matching D-pad framing.

The diamond-like patterns are all over this sleek handset. The neat and almost seamless sides of the body benefit the design tremendously. There are no side controls, and even the splits between panels are almost invisible.

Examining the controls on Nokia 7900 Prism is one of the easiest things you can do. The phone has an extremely low number of controls, missing most of the keys and jacks we are used to seeing on other mobiles. In terms of functional elements, the layout is identical to Nokia 6500 classic.

The earpiece is dead center at the top of the phone. Next to it is the ambient light sensor and the 2" display is right below them. The control and navigation buttons and the alphanumeric keypad are joint in unbroken layout beneath the screen. We will pay due attention to the keypad and display a little later in the review.

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The Nokia 7900 earpiece and ambient light sensor

Nothing to note on the sides of the phone, as no controls are located there. The bottom hosts the microphone pinhole, while at the top we find the microUSB slot and the two horseshoe-shaped LEDs. The color of those is also configurable, together with the keypad's backlighting color. They however only work in stand-by mode, serving as an indication for a missed call or received message.

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The sides of the phone are totally plain

Rearside on Nokia 7900 we come upon the 2 megapixel camera, the LED flash and the loudspeaker grill. No lens cover is to be found here and only a slight recess is meant to protect the lens from scratches.

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The back cover hosts the 2 megapixel camera, the LED flash and the loudspeaker grill

The battery cover of Nokia 7900 takes up most of the phone's back side and due to its design you can hardly guess where its borders lie. Opening it reveals the BL-6P battery and the SIM slot. With the cover removed, the phone looks identical to Nokia 6500 classic. The battery is also the same, though Nokia has quoted lower readings - 3 hours of talk time and 240 hours of stand-by, as opposed to 5 and a half hours of talk time and 300 hours of stand-by in the Classic. The OLED technology is supposed to be more energy-efficient and the difference could be attributed to the light effects of the horseshoe LEDs on top. In reality Nokia 7900 was able to last for about 4 days of light use (a few calls a day, and about 40 minutes of using the other features of the handset).

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Nokia 7900 torn apart

The alarming thing here is that the battery cover - really tight at first and quite hard to open - soon became too loose. After only a week of use it was very easy to open single-handedly and we can't help but wonder if things will continue to deteriorate to the point of the panel sliding out by itself.

Other than that, we are very pleased with the construction quality of Nokia 7900 - it is obvious that materials of significantly higher quality have been used in comparison to the Nokia 7500.

"...The diamond-like patterns are all over this sleek handset. The neat and almost seamless sides of the body benefit the design tremendously. There are no side controls, and even the splits between panels are almost invisible..."

However, we are quite reserved about the way the phone feels in hand. It is rather slippery and, as we see it, overly easy to drop. The plastic surfaces do not provide the best grip, so if you are not the most careful of users your handset could be slipping off your fingers ever too often.

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Nokia 7900 Prism held in hand - the device is handsomely slim but lacks a secure grip

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