Reviewed February 9, 2009 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
Known to Europeans as the Nokia 7510 Supernova, this GSM flip phone now makes its US appearance on T-Mobile. Introduced at 2009 CES, the T-Mo version of the Nokia 7510 joins a wide selection of low end Nokia phones and higher end ones like the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic and Nokia 5610 XPressMusic. The Nokia 7510 is a quad band GSM world phone that’s offered by T-Mobile exclusively in the US. The phone supports EDGE and GPRS for data, and has Wi-Fi for UMA calling. The phone runs on Nokia’s Series 40 platform and has a 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a microSD card slot for music, video and image storage. Like the higher-end Nokia N79, the Nokia 7510 comes with interchangeable Xpress-On covers in three colors.
Design and Ergonomics
The Nokia 7510 is a slim flip phone that feels well built. What’s different between the Nokia and other flip phones? The secret is in the cover. The Nokia 7510 comes with the Xpress-on covers that do what Nokia calls “hidden until lit” which shows patterns and the time while the phone is in standby mode. If you have music playing in the background with the flip closed, the front cover can display artist and track names. T-Mobile includes 3 covers in the package (currently in Emerald Green, Expresso Brown and Fatal Red) and you can interchange these faceplates or mix them up in two-tone combos. While the rest of the phone has a brushed metal look with the flip, open the flip and you'll see a mirror-like metallic surface on the keypad and the bezel surrounding the display. The metallic finish looks great when it’s spotless but it shows fingerprints like crazy. The keys and d-pad are large enough to operate easily, but the slippery surface and very small travel make the keys difficult for blind dialing or playing fast-paced games.
The Nokia 7510 has few side controls and ports which include volume up and down buttons, a charging port, a 2.5mm audio jack and mini-USB port. The 2-megapixel camera lives on the front flip with the LED flash. The SIM card is under the battery, but the microSD card slot isn’t. It’s under the battery door, but it doesn’t require you to take out the battery or shut down the phone to access the card slot.
Here's our 5 minute video review of the Nokia 7510:
The Nokia 7510 has very good reception in well-covered areas and can get at least half of full bars in spotty coverage areas. Avoid holding the phone by the bottom area below the keypad: reception drops two bars. Voice quality is quite good and the Nokia 7510 has very loud volume both via the earpiece and the built-in speaker. The phone supports common call features such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and speed dials (2-9). The Nokia also comes with voice command and voice dialing that worked reasonably well in our tests. Like all recent Nokia phones, the Nokia 7510 supports T-Mobile’s MyFaves and offers a built-in phone book.
The Nokia 7510 has Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and supports the following profiles: headset, handsfree, SIM access, Object push, file transfer, DUN, generic access, serial port, generic object exchange, A2DP, AVRCP and generic audio/video distribution. We tested the Nokia with the Jabra BT530 and the Jawbone 2 Bluetooth headsets, and the phone worked with these headsets reasonably well. Audio quality was good enough to carry on conversations and the DSP worked effectively against road noise.
One of the biggest advantages with the Nokia 7510 is that the phone supports UMA calling over Wi-Fi (the $9.99 T-Mobile @Home service is required to use this feature). If you have a Wi-Fi access point at home, office and Hotspots, you can make domestic calls over the Wi-Fi without using your mobile minutes. The Nokia 7510 comes with software that will help set up UMA calls including searching for access points and connecting to them (if you can provide access code or the network is open). You don’t need to know a lot about Wi-Fi to set up the UMA. Calls over Wi-Fi sound great and if you walk out of Wi-Fi range, the phone seamlessly switches to T-Mobile’s cellular network without interrupting your call. If you initiate a call using UMA, even after you walk out of the Wi-Fi range, the call still counts as an UMA call and won’t use your cell minutes. But the reverse is also true: if you start a call on T-Mobile’s GSM network and walk within range of Wi-Fi and the phone switches, your entire call will count against your mobile minutes. UMA calling worked very well in our tests, and the only negative effect it had on the phone was the battery life: Wi-Fi killed the battery within 24 hours even in standby.
Music, Gaming and FM Radio
Though not labeled as XpressMusic phone, the Nokia 7510 has an excellent media player onboard for music and video playback and a full and loud speaker. As good as the speaker sounds, the music playback sounds fuller via the included wired stereo headset. The Nokia 7510 has Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and supports A2DP and AVRCP for Bluetooth stereo headsets. We tested the Nokia with the Samsung SBH500 Bluetooth headset, and the sound was also very good through the headset. The media player can play music tracks in MP3, AAC and AAC+ formats, and offers playlist, shuffle, repeat equalizer, stereo widening and theme settings.
The Nokia’s 2.2” screen supports 16 million colors and looks bright, sharp and color saturated in video playback and gaming. Like the new Nokia Nseries phones (N96, N85 and N79), the Nokia 7510 has a square d-pad with a large center button. The good news is that the directional band surrounding the center button is relatively large compared to the Nseries phones and works fine for gaming. T-Mobile’s portal for game downloads can be flaky at times as we got error messages a few times when we tried downloading games. While all the games we tried played smoothly on the Nokia 7510, a few games like Galaga and Pac Man had some audio bugs (missing or disappearing sound effects) but that didn’t affect gameplay much.
The Nokia 7510 has an FM radio that uses the included wired headset as its antenna. The FM radio didn’t find a lot of stations (7 stations total) in the Dallas metro area but the stations it did find sounded great. The radio software on the Nokia offers visual radio and save station features.
2 megapixel camera phones are entry-level for Nokia. The 7510’s 2 megapixel camera takes decent photos but not outstanding ones. There is a noticeable amount of noise in indoor shots and contrast is low. Outdoor pictures look better, showing some noise, some oversharpening and white out, but colors are mostly balanced and bright. The camera phone can take pictures in 6 sizes and 3 image qualities and has white balance settings, effects and a self-timer.
The camera phone can also record video with audio at 15 fps. You can record videos in two resolutions (176 x 144 and 128 x 96) and two sizes (MMS length or max storage length). The videos look smooth and deal with low lighting conditions well.
The Nokia 7510 comes with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that’s 870 mAh in capacity. That’s average power for a non-3G phone and the claimed 3-hour talk time seems on target. But the battery is no match for UMA calling – even in standby the Nokia can barely survive 24 hours. If you use Wi-Fi a lot, make sure you get an extra battery unless you wish to charge the phone every day.
It’s good to see T-Mobile adding a little pizzazz to its feature phone line. The Nokia 7510 has the right ingredients for a low-priced phone: it’s quad band, has a cool faceplate design, excellent voice quality and a good media player for music and video. Higher end shoppers will note the lack of GPS, YouTube playback and 3G support; but the phone boasts a very good web browser and UMA calling to gain points back. The Nokia 7510 has a good set of features with a pretty face and a sturdy build. If the battery life was better, particularly on UMA, we’d be jazzed.
Pro: Good looking phone, slim and sturdy. Good reception and voice quality. UMA calling is a huge plus for those who talk a lot on the phone but don’t want to use up their mobile minutes. Great media player for music and video playback. Excellent speaker and very sharp and bright display. The phone has a very good web browser.
Con: The keypad is too slippery and flat for fast typing or blind dialing. Wi-Fi drains battery very fast. Currently no way to get Opera Mini and Google Maps running. T-Mobile download portal is sometimes flaky.
Price: $49.99 with a 2-year contract after mail-in rebate and discount. $199.99 without a contract.
Display: 2.” QVGA 16-million color TFT screen. Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels.
Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable battery (model number Nokia BL-5BT), 870 mAh, user replaceable. Claimed talk time: up to 3 hours. Claimed standby time: up to 12 days.
Performance: 26MB internal memory.
Size: 3.6 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches. Weight: 4.4 oz.
Phone: Quad band GSM world phone. 850/900/1800/1900MHz. GPRS/EDGE class 32 for data.
Camera: 2 megapixel with 4x digital zoom. Still image resolutions: 1200 x 1600, 96 x 1280, 600 x 800, 480 x 640, 320 x 240 and 120 x 160 pixels. Can take video with audio. Video resolutions: 176 x 144 and 128 x 96 pixels. MMS length and max storage length.
Audio: Media player onboard to play music in MP3, AAC and AAC formats. FM Radio. 2.5 mm stereo audio jack. Can record voice memo. Supports vibration alert.
Networking: Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR. Supported profiles: headset, handsfree, SIM access. Object push, file transfer, DUN, generic access, serial port, generic object exchange, A2DP, AVRCP and generic audio/video distribution. USB 2.0.
Software: Nokia Series 40 platform. Supports myFaves. Full HTML browser and Web-based IM on board. PIM tools include Phonebook , Calendar, Calculator, Alarm Clock, Countdown timer, Stopwatch, World clock, Converter and Notes.