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Nokia 7310 Supernova candybar phone

Swappable covers make a comeback

The player's user interface is straightforward, with all the usual listing headings. The navpad takes care of the controls, and all the standard music file-formats are supported.

Getting tracks onto the phone is more of a hassle than you’d normally find with a Nokia phone, as there’s no USB cable or Nokia PC Suite software included. Tunes can be dragged and dropped over to a memory card and slipped into the phone, or you can download PC Suite from Nokia’s website and sync over Bluetooth.

The audio performance is disappointing too - the supplied earphones are harsh and bass-light. If you can find a 2.5-3.5mm adaptor, you’ll notice the improved sound quality with decent headphones. The FM radio is a doddle to use, and can be fired up straight from the home screen once the earphones, of whatever type, are plugged in.

Additional features aren’t bare-bones basic. There’s email and instant messaging support, plus a roster of apps that are now regularly appearing on Nokia Series 40 phones. Besides the standard Nokia own-brand browser, Opera is included too, and it's an excellent alternative that works well even on the 7310's GPRS/Edge data connections.

-Nokia 7310 Supernova

The chrome-coloured keys are cheap looking

Other web-based applications loaded up include Yahoo! Go which pulls together various services, including email, news and weather feeds, onto one screen. Nokia’s own WidSets widgets application, which can pull in feeds from numerous websites and blogs, is available too. A selection of routine Nokia organiser functions are to hand: calendar, to-do lists, notes, calculator, timer, stopwatch plus a voice recorder. Again, you'll have to download PC Suite separately to make the most of them.

The 7310's call performance is very respectable. Its audio reception is clear and natural, and there’s no creaky-casing problems with those swappable covers. Battery life is reasonable: Nokia reckons on four hours talktime or up to 300 hours on standby, and with few power-guzzling features, our tests gave us just over three days of power with average usage.

Verdict

Swapping phone covers may be a bit old-school, but Nokia is banking on a new wave of young phone buyers getting into Xpress-On swappable covers to personalise their handsets. Under the covers, though, the Nokia 7310 Supernova is an unexceptional phone. It has a good level of functionality, but its camera is disappointing and its music performance limited by the poor in-box bundle. Unless you’ve been pining for exchangeable covers, there are plenty of better-equipped budget phones available.

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Nokia 7310 Supernova candybar phone

The 7310's swappable Xpress-On covers don't make up for a less-than-stellar set of features.
Price: Contract: free. Pre-pay: £90. Handset only: £124 RRP