Nokia 7900 Prism Review: In Colored Light: Keypad, Display, Telephony, User Interface

By 12:37 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


Keypad

The keypad of Nokia 7900 sure isn't the most comfortable around. The keys are utterly flat and it's generally difficult to find the borders between them by touch only. Furthermore, due to the unusual layout attempting to press the "1" and "3" keys often results in a miss and you press the hard surface next to them instead. This is probably not too hard to acquire used to but we would have preferred if we didn't have to.




The phone is not equipped with the most comfortable of keypads

The D-pad on the other hand is praiseworthy and so are the surrounding controls. They are all large enough and easy to press. The diamond-shape D-pad is quite comfortable, as the directions are clear-slit and incorrect presses are out of question.



The D-pad is a pleasure to use

Another thing that deserves admiration is the backlighting and we don't mean the fact that it is even and strong. We mean that is color-configurable according to your taste. You can pick between 49 different colors for the keys and the light effects of the horseshoe LEDs on the top of the body. The colors are not very precisely rendered, but an option like this is something we see for the first time ever since we archived the Ericsson R600, which offered a choice of three backlighting colors.






Some of the available backlighting colors

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Changing the keypad backlighting color

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The light effects are in the same color as the keypad backlighting

Display

The display of Nokia 7900 is surely one of its most discussed features. The Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology has both its positives and downsides. It involves lower production costs and better power efficiency. The screens are thinner, easier to create and offer a far greater viewing angle, brighter and more contrasty image and faster response time. The thinness and low consumption create Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens especially suitable for portable devices. Although, already probing the TV display territory, the Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology is still far from full swing and the reason is the still inferior lifetime of Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) materials. However as it seems the Organic Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology will be replacing the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) one in the future.

All that said, one thing is nudging us about the Nokia 7900 Prism display. How impressed you are with the picture quality largely depends on the environment, in which you're using the phone. Indoors the display has incredible image quality with accurate black color, which is way beyond the powers of any TFT Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen. When exposed to direct sunlight however, the display is totally illegible, making the phone almost impossible to use.





The Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display quality indoors is fantastic

Another flaw of the display is its size. For a phone in this price range we find 2" inadequate, Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) or else. Then, on a second thought, the luxurious Arte has the same classy screen size and - by far - a juicier price tag.

Telephony

As you might have guessed, signal reception and call clarity have not been compromised in Nokia 7900 Prism. The calls are loud and clear on both ends and you will have no problems communicating with this phone.

However, the lack of video calls can be considered a real disappointment. With 3G on board, we can't assist but wonder why Nokia missed including it. Not that video calling is that frequently used but it wouldn't harm having it. The Nokia 6233 for example didn't have a video calls camera; however it allowed making video calls with the primary one.




Calling Dexter on Nokia 7900

Here is how Nokia 7900 ranks along some of the other handsets we've measured in our speakerphone loudness test. It is surely not the loudest phone around but still you won't miss an incoming call or message on most cases. You can find more info about our test, as well as results from other tested devices here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score

Nokia 7900 Prism 66.766.269.7Average

Nokia 531064.8 62.075.9Average

Nokia 6500 classic74.775.783.8Excellent

Nokia 6500 slide74.272.878.2Very Good

Samsung U60066.766.275.3Good


User interface: Series 40, 5th edition

Nokia 7900 brings no surprises in terms of user interface. It employs Series 40 5th edition user interface. Navigating and controlling the phone are almost the same as with the previous UI edition and identical to the "quirky sibling" - Nokia 7500. The phone still offers a vast number of configurable options but at the cost of a small complicated menu structure and navigation.



S40 5th edition

When in stand-by, the display as usually visualizes the pre-selected wallpaper plus signal strength, battery status and time in the top bar. Beneath the top bar are the operator logo and the date. The bottom bar is reserved for the labels of the functions assigned to the center of the navigation key and the two context keys. The center of the navigation key opens the main menu, while the context keys can be assigned a function of your choice. The font on the main display can be of any color.

You can also turn on active standby if you want. It consists of several parts that can be edited or relocated according to the user's preferences. In the most common case, the top area is reserved for instant access to favorite functions indicated by their respective icons. The central area provides instant access to the music player.

"...How impressed you are with the picture quality largely depends on the environment, in which you're using the phone. Indoors the display has incredible image quality with accurate black color, which is way beyond the powers of any TFT Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen. When exposed to direct sunlight however, the display is totally illegible, making the phone almost impossible to use..."

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