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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      10.08.2009 15:00

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      Nokia 7380 is a piece of jewlery more than it is a phone.

      This is a phone with a specific target: female audience who love fashion. It is suppose to look beautiful and nothing else, this is truly a fashion-phone. You can not demand high end technology from a phone which can also be used as a mirror.

      The phone's main porpoise is to create a positive impression and it manages to do that through its slim shape, shiny screen and good quality built materials. It has no keypad and no touch screen so in order to write a phone number or a text message you have too use a jog dial to scroll through letters/numbers. This tape of interface is horrible to use and it takes a lot of time to adapt to. Another disadvantage is the mirror screen which is unreadable in sun light.

      Nokia 7380 does have some extra features : stereo FM, 2mpx camera, 65k color screen and GPRS support. Battery life is quite good for such a small phone and signal reception is decent.

      To sum it up, Nokia 7380 is just a fashion-phone which I would not recommend investing money in, only if you are a fashion enthusiast.

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    • More +
      30.05.2007 16:20
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      6 Comments

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      A high fashion phone with multiple features but unreliable hardware

      I resisted an upgrade to the iconic 7380's predecessor, the 7280 original ‘Lipstick phone’, last year; but upon spotting this new improved higher specification handset for FREE on Orange contract I knew that I had to have it. This review will be on the mobile as a handset rather than relating it to usage on the Orange network.

      The first thing that struck me about this phone when it was delivered was just how much attention to detail Nokia had made when designing this phone. Everything about it was novel and stylish, from the gorgeous chocolate brown metallic box containing the mirror-fronted phone, to the minimalist charger, slinky wrist strap and pretty instruction manual. Nothing was overlooked.

      The phone itself is probably one of, if not the, most unusual on the market. It is a longish slim bar that looks like a decorative mirror (dimensions 114 x 30 x 20 mm to be exact) but what really sets it distinctly apart from any other phone on the market in that it has NO keypad for typing letters/numbers. The back is covered with fawn coloured faux-leather and has the camera lens tastefully embedded in the middle and the front is a seamless mirror with delicately etched flowers within the top of the mirror and a grey soft touch rubber wheel to one side. When switched on you hold the bar on its side to use the jog wheel on the right and the mirror ‘becomes’ the screen on the left as it appears through the mirror. I guess this immediately rules out the phone to left handed users who don’t like using things right handed because you can’t flip the screen upside down and use it the other way round so you always have to use your right hand to navigate.

      The navigation is surprisingly easy considering that this phone has no directional keypad. As is common these days on newer mobile phones, the user will navigate menus and options via ‘soft keys’ – keys whose options at that time will be defined by words located next to the key on the phone’s screen. The soft keys are the little rubber curves encircling the scroll wheel. The only thing that takes a little getting used to is scrolling through menus using the navigational wheel rather than clicking through using up/down/left/right keys – anyone owning an iPod may have an advantage on the learning curve here! The button in the middle of the wheel is used as ‘OK/select’ which makes it convenient to use as you already have your thumb next to it when using the wheel.

      The menu system is a pretty standard easy-to-find-your-way-around Nokia menu, but scrolling through it I was surprised to find some of the features on this phone as I thought that being a more fashion orientated phone it may lack some basic features.

      1) PHONEBOOK - I found this pretty impressive when compared with my previous phone (Samsung D500) as it seems much more functional and contains all the memory you’d need (1000 individual names with up to 5 numbers per name). I much prefer phones like this where you can enter someone’s home, mobile and work numbers all under the same name. There are also options for entering things like email addresses, home addresses and websites or notes about the person etc. should you feel the need. Caller groups are easy to create and add people to, as is personalising a ring tone and/or picture for a single person or a group you’ve created.

      2) MESSAGES – No matter how much you love this phone, it cannot be denied that the text messaging feature is always going to be its biggest downfall. Think about writing your initials in an old style computer game’s high score charts, scrolling through the alphabet then scrolling back because you’ve missed the letter, it’s basically like that. So it gets better because there’s a pretty decent predictive text and naturally you get faster, but it’ll never be as fast as a normal phone so avoid this handset if you’re a bit of a text fiend. MMS also comes under this heading and is much easier to use as it’s mainly used (in my case) for sending comedy pictures with very little text needed! Emails I have never used but they’d be typed out slowly so probably best used for urgent things when you can’t reach a computer. One thing I like about Nokia phones is that there seems to be a range of options in most menus. In the messaging menu I liked the choice of text sizes as you can have your text larger to make it easier to read or really small to fit a lot of text on one page.

      3) SETTINGS – Here are all the obvious things like setting ringtones and time/date. It’s also where you can create different ringing profiles. I know that many people are happy with ‘on’ or ‘silent’ but I appreciate a choice somewhere in between where you can choose, for example, to have your texts come through normal volume but for calls to vibrate only. You can also choose whether or not you have funky ‘light effects’ on or off. If you switch them on then your phone will light up in pretty colours surrounding the jog wheel intermittently just to show your phone is switched on. Whilst it is pretty I kept these switched off just to conserve a bit of battery life. A little personalisation is offered for the phone’s appearance on screen with different ‘themes’. I found these to be creative, pretty and stylish. However, as I like to pick holes in everything I would say that they could have provided even more of these. There is quite a selection but some of them aren’t so nice so I had about 4 cool ones to choose from. If you don’t like these or choose not to use them there are options to change the colour of the text on screen and your wallpaper/screen saver to any picture of your choice.

      4) GALLERY – Here’s all your fun stuff like pictures you’ve taken, movies you’ve made and sound recordings that you’ve made (or of course, downloaded from another mobile/computer via Bluetooth). Again, here I was surprised by the degree to which you could personlise the phone. You can create new folders and name them to arrange everything so that it’s all easy to find rather than scrolling through 50 odd pictures to find the one you want. Some people will not use this feature at all but it’s the little things like this which I find to be helpful.

      5) MEDIA – This folder provides access to the Camera feature, Videocamera feature Radio and mp3 player. I can’t say that I was expecting much in the way of features when I bought this phone so anything was a bonus.

      Camera – The camera is listed as 2 megapixels but I would say that it’s not particularly impressive for that specification. I find Nokia camera phones to be slightly below par compared with the other main brands such as Samsung and SonyEricsson. I have a 1.3 megapixel Samsung and I’d say that camera is comparable with this one. My boyfriend has a 2 megapixel SonyEricsson and it’s slightly better than this. That’s not to say this is terrible – it can actually take some quite good pictures in daylight but present it with the slightest challenge such as dusk/night time and all you will get is a very grainy looking shot. It also doesn’t have a macro feature, so anything which is taken too close to the camera will just blur.

      Videocamera – I wasn’t expecting this to be very good, and unfortunately this was confirmed when I made a few mini videos. It’s okay for capturing stuff if you really don’t care about the quality and just want the general gist of the situation. I like filming stupid everyday stuff but when I had this phone I rarely bothered because it just wasn’t very nice to use, especially given the small size of the screen.

      Radio – I was impressed that this phone had a radio built in as I wasn’t expecting it. It actually had quite a good reception if you were in a stationary position (for example, my boring office when I was stuck alone there!) but if you are walking along it’s too hit and miss to use comfortably. This was fine for my usage though as I wanted to listen to it at my desk.

      Mp3 player – This was actually quite good, surprisingly. You could either use it via headphones or the external speaker, which was handy. The only disadvantage was that due to the memory of the phone only being 52MB built in with no option of expansion via a memory card it’s really not a music orientated phone – stick a couple of tunes on there and it’s full. This didn’t bother me too much though as I have a separate iPod shuffle and don’t look to my phone as a music player. The main advantage to the player is that it can be used in the background whilst using other features on the phone.

      6) ORGANISER – I find that most people I know don’t actually use their phone’s calendar/organiser, but I would miss a lot of appointments if I didn’t have an organiser on my phone. I am someone who’s forgetful enough that if I own a paper diary I will forget to look at it and see what’s on, so if I have something happening I will set an appointment on my phone for a tone to go off when I’m supposed to be remembering something. In this way I found the Nokia’s organiser to be really decent. You have the option of creating things like meetings, calls (enter a number and it’ll come up at the time you specify so all you do is press Call), birthdays and memos. There is also a ‘to do’ list function which you can set priorities for and dates/times. In here we also find the Alarm Clock function which is as you expect – a main alarm for random times and a recurrent alarm for waking you up to get to work! I like that you can choose your alarm tone as there’s nothing worse than when Samsung impose their noisy heart-attack-inducing wakeup tones on you and don’t allow personalisation.

      I really couldn’t fault this organiser in the way I was using it (I find that Samsung, SonyEricsson and Motorola’s organisers leave a lot to be desired).

      7) INTERNET – I can’t say I really made the most of this, but in saying that I don’t think there is a lot you could achieve on this phone using the internet. The screen only really lends itself to a few lines of text so this feature is somewhat useless (in my opinion) on a phone like this. I wouldn’t recommend this phone for anyone who regularly uses their mobile to browse the net.


      So what’s it like to own this phone? Well it’s a mixed bag really. Of course it looks different and stylish, but it has its major advantages and disadvantages. Being a Nokia it has all the obvious Nokia attributes – that is, they think of the user and how they can make their life easier when using the phone. They’ve stuck with their easy to use menu system which rarely requires the use of the instruction manual, a well designed organiser and voice dialling appealing to its business users and a cool little hinged metal door on the side for easy access to the SIM card, recognising that people may be using this as a second phone and might need to regularly swap SIM cards over. Other decent inclusions are accessories such as the cute satin pouch to stop the phone getting worn and scratched (I used this all the time) and the slinky metal wrist strap should you need it, the option to personalise your soft keys to include one as a favourites menu which you can then also personalise to include any features that you want to be easily accessible, and a speakerphone that’s easily activated on a call and doesn’t require clicking through several options.

      The battery life is relatively impressive depending on how you use the phone. If you use it like I did - send a text here and there, make short calls every day and choose not to use the camera and mp3 player every single day then it’ll probably last about 4-5 days because if you set it up to not use the Light Effects feature and have the screen turn off after about 30 seconds then the phone uses minimal charge as it just looks like it’s switched off until you use it again.

      Unfortunately the downsides also feature quite heavily on this handset. Whilst the inclusion of a classy looking mirrored front gives you the opportunity to check your eye makeup hasn’t smudged (!) it’s annoying when almost all you can see is your reflection when outside (not even necessarily in the sun). When indoors the screen is of a relatively good quality with regards to colours and sharpness but whilst I realise this handset isn’t the largest one on the market the screen IS excessively small – anyone over 40 who I’ve shown it to has complained that the text is too small so it’s definitely aimed at the younger market. STILL complaining about the screen – not a major disadvantage but it sort of ruins the look of the phone if you don’t regularly wipe it a bit, because it gets smudged easily like any other mirror, and it would also get scratched if you choose to just sling it in your bag (I didn’t). I can’t say that it’s much fun adding someone to your phonebook either, because you have to scroll along the numbers and click each one, so the person needs to be reading their number slowly, but for me this wasn’t too bad as I was normally adding people who’d just called me.

      The voice dialling was a clever addition to a phone which might be lacking in user-friendliness in other areas (the whole no keypad thing!) but I regret to say that it’s pretty diabolical. Well, maybe diabolical is unfair, but unreliable it definitely is. You press and hold a button then say the name as it’s written in the phone book, and more often than not ‘Chris’ will come up as ‘mum’ or something equally as ridiculous. Sometimes it’s right first time, and then other times you can try it ten times and still not get it right, so in the end it’s just a worthless addition as it wastes time rather than saving it.

      Sadly I’ve not detailed this phone’s worst fault yet, and the main reason I got rid of it: one day I was just making a regular call on the phone and the person on the other end couldn’t hear me. I tried a few times to talk again but to no avail. It turned out the speaker had broken and had to be taken in for repair under warranty. As a credit to Nokia/the Orange shop they did it very quickly (3 days approx) but sadly the same thing happened again after only 2 weeks so I got it fixed and got rid. I thought this was a real shame because prior to this problem the voice clarity and reception on the speaker had actually been quite good – both using it normally and on the external speakerphone feature, the only slight complaint I could give about the speaker before this problem was that it wasn’t as loud as some other brands and if you didn’t have a ringtone with high pitched tones in it sometimes you’d miss the call if the phone was in the satin pouch in your bag.

      I wondered if the speaker problem was a rare fault but strangely my only other friend who owns a Nokia said that the same thing had happened to his phone – maybe a coincidence or just a dodgy Nokia fault that they seriously need to sort out?

      My overall opinion of this phone is still mixed. I have satisfied my curiosity about a cool looking phone with no keypad but I am also disappointed that it developed such a fundamental fault because it could have been a funky second phone that I didn’t necessarily use all the time. If you are considering buying this phone I would recommend that you get it on a contract with a warranty so that if it goes wrong you don’t end up paying for repairs. It’s definitely a phone worth a few month’s usage but if you tire of its stylish looks you may find that there’s not a lot to interest you when using it as your primary mobile phone. I think that Nokia made a brave leap introducing both the 7280 and this 7380 to the market without keypads but it definitely won’t be to everyone's taste.

      The full specification is included below so that you don’t need to skip to another website to find it:

      Talk Time (max) 3 Hrs
      Stand by (max) 240 Hrs
      Weight 80g
      Size (mm) 114 x 30 x 20mm
      Frequency GSM 900/1800/1900
      Bluetooth: Yes
      MMS: Yes
      GPRS: Yes
      MP3: Yes
      Built in Radio: Yes
      Camera Options Built-in
      Java: Yes
      3G Compatible: No
      Triband GSM 900/1800/1900
      TFT 65,536 colour - 104 x 208-pixel display
      Nokia Navi Spinner
      Remote over-the-air (OTA) synchronisation 1.1.2
      52Mb of internal memory
      GPRS Class 10
      HSCSD
      Camera: 2.0 megapixel camera, 4x digital zoom, built-in automatic flash mode
      Video recorder and player
      Integrated music player for MP3/AAC/M4A formats
      Nokia Xpress audio messaging
      WAP 2.0 xHTML/HTML browser
      Exclusive UI themes
      Supported ringing tone file formats: MP3, AAC, 64-chord/voice polyphonic MIDI
      Voice dialing
      Voice recorder
      Integrated handsfree speaker
      Enhanced voice command

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      • More +
        27.09.2006 16:46
        1 Comment

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        I bought this phone because of the way it looks, now I wish I hadn't

        I recently updated on my Orange contract to this phone, attracted, of course, by its good looks. Unfortunately I am less than impressed having lived with it for a while.

        The size is actually very awkward, being narrow it tends to ‘fall over’ sideways in your pocket.

        The mirror surface is very easily scratched and although a little pouch is provided to keep the phone in, you could miss a call fiddling to get it out!

        If you have every number you need in your address book, that’s fine, but as soon as you need to enter numbers the use of the scrolling wheel becomes rather tedious – same for texting, it can take a while even though the predictive texting method is quite good.

        The first time I had to ‘press 1’ for a call centre call, I was stumped! I later found that, once connected to the call, you have to click ‘options’, ’number entry’ and then you can scroll and click the numbers.

        This phone can be used as an MP3 player but the memory is so small that once you have a few texts and photos on there, you'll only fit one song on.

        This phone is not at all practical and I’m not even sure I like the look of it anymore…might put my SIM back in my old phone.

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