Nokia had several new handsets on display at CES. None of them were top-of-the-line killer phones, but each fit its niche well.
First up is the 7510 for T-Mobile. This clamshell was first announced in June 2008, but T-Mobile is just getting around to carrying it. It has a spring-loaded hinge that will pop open the phone at the press of a button. It wasn't exactly smooth. The button itself (located on the side of the phone) was difficult to press, and when you pressed it, the pressure of your finger often prohibited the phone from opening properly.
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Both the top and bottom halves of the phone have removable and interchangeable plates. The 7510 comes packaged with several different colored plates, so users can customize it a bit at will. The plates are covered in a soft-touch paint job that feels good in the hand. The 7510 is a bit heavier than you expect it to be. The amount of metal in the hinge mechanism really adds to the weight. It is comfortable to hold in your hand when open or closed. The width and thickness is good, and it fits snugly in your palm.
The keypad of the 7510 reminds me very much of the keypad on the N75. It is smooth, and coated in a reflective surface. It is also well spaced, with plenty of room to move your thumb around for dialing. The downside is that the travel and feedback of the buttons was not good at all. The buttons all felt mushy, with no distinct way to tell when you had actually pressed the button.
The control keys and the D-pad were worse than the number keys. In fact, the D-pad was so mushy I couldn't tell when I had pressed it at all. This phone has been shipping in other countries for months, so we're going to chalk it up to a badly overused demo unit rather than a bad phone design.
The display was generously large and looked really good. It was one of the better displays we've seen on a Series 40 phone from Nokia. It was bright, vibrant and sharp. Icons, menus and text looked really good on the 7510. The menus and functions of the phone were responsive and fast to load. The phone didn't hang up or crash at all.
We were disappointed to see that the 7510 has a 2.5mm headset jack, but it comes with a microUSB jack for transferring data and support for microSD cards.
In all, the 7510 isn't a bad phone at all. If you're looking for a capable feature phone that isn't too expensive but offers a decent feature set, the 7510 fits the bill well.
The 1006 is an entry-level bar phone for CDMA networks. Since it supports AWS bands, it is likely to appear at MetroPCS or other similar regional carriers that have 1700MHz spectrum. I have to say, for an entry-level device, it is one of the most appealing that Nokia has churned out in a long time.
The phone is slightly curved and has a completely smooth backplate. It is very comfortable to hold. The combination of the shape, smoothness, weight and thickness is excellent. The backplate has a soft-touch paint job. Despite being a small, thin phone, the 1006 has a decent keypad and set of control keys. The number buttons had good travel and feedback. I would have preferred that they had more shape/contour to them, but overall they weren't bad.
As far as the design goes, it obviously takes cues from the current N series lineup, with the black faceplate and silver-colored bevel.
The 1006's weakness is definitely the display. The resolution is low enough that you notice the jagged edges of icons and text. It is also small, and I didn't think it was bright enough. It also lacks pretty much any feature you might actually want, such as a camera.
For an entry-leve device, the Nokia 1006 offers a lot of sex appeal and comfort.
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