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Review: Nokia 7510

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The Nokia 7510 is one of the goofier phones I've looked at in recent memory. At first glance, it may appear to be a run-of-the-mill flip phone, but it's not. It has a button-activated hinge that will pop open the flip automatically...when it works. The mechanics involved in making the spring action work require lots of metal, which add to the weight of the 7510, making it oddly heavy for such a small phone.

Even so, it isn't uncomfortable to hold. It fits easily in the palm of your hand, and the soft-touch paint job on the plastic parts gives it a little extra bit of grip so it won't slip out. It also slips into a pocket with ease, but its weight is noticeable.

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Unfortunately, I have plenty of gripes about the push-button flip system. First, there is only one button, and it is on the right side of the phone. Left-handed people will need to push the button with their right finger to open it up, instead. On top of that, if you're gripping the 7510 too tightly, or even partially rubbing your palm against the top half of the phone, it won't open at all. Also, the button itself is tucked into the very top of the phone in the hinge itself. It is flush with the phone's surface. You have to push it far into the phone to unlock the spring to open the phone. It is simply awkward.

You can dig your fingers in between the halves of the phone and open it as you would any normal flip, but the 7510's halves fit tightly together, and it is difficult to wedge your finger in there. The net result is a flip phone that is very annoying to flip open.

Once open, the 7510 resembles many other mid-range Nokia flips. Most of the interior surface is coated with a faux-chrome covering. It's very shiny, and very prone to collecting fingerprints and grime. The D-pad is large enough, but I found the edges of the D-pad weren't well-defined enough. My thumb often wandered off the D-pad and onto the neighboring controls accidentally. It has OK travel and feedback in all four directions, but I would have preferred more. The two soft keys and send/end keys that flank the D-pad have no physical distinction at all. It is all too easy to press the soft key when you mean to press the send key and vice versa. This leads to a lot of mistakes when navigating the phone's menus, which can be frustrating. The 12-key dialpad is decent. I had no trouble using it to type numbers and text messages. The keys were a little mushy, but were easy enough to find.

On the right side of the phone is a microscopic volume toggle. It is wedged right next to the flip button, but located on the top half of the 7510. This means that when the phone is open, it is slightly awkward to reach. Due to the small size and odd placement, it isn't the most usable volume toggle I've encountered. On the left side of the phone is a hatch covering the microUSB port for data transfer. The 7510 still uses the small round charge port that Nokia has used on most phones the last few years. It also has a 2.5mm headset jack on the right side.

The 7510 does have removable and interchangeable faceplates, which means users can customize the coloration of the phone a bit.

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