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(Pocket-lint) - While most of us are clamouring for the fastest and most efficient way to pull together our digital lives into a handset, there are still a huge number of people just looking for a phone. Walk into any phone store, and you are sold features: 8 million pixels, full touch, Wi-Fi. For some people, they just want a phone.

Nokia, staying true to their roots, have continued to make basic handsets, not only for emerging markets, but also for those who like to keep things simple. The 7100 Supernova is one such phone.

A compact slider measuring 98 x 48.4 x 15mm, the top half features a 2-inch, 320 x 240 pixel display. It is small by current standards, but it still looks bright and sharp enough for everyday use, except when you step outside, where bright conditions make it impossible to see the screen.

Across the bottom of the display are the normal controls, centred around a four-way navigator and ok button. Slide the handset open and you are presented with a 12-key keypad than has a great firm action - ideal for bashing out text messages.

The buttons all feel good, the slide has a nice crisp action to it and it doesn't feel like a basic handset, which will encourage those who are conscious about the look of their mobile, but don't want all the bother of those extra features. Vibrant colours help too.

Flip the phone over and a 1.3-megapixel camera sits on the back, with a dedicated shutter button on the right-hand side. The camera is a little archaic, but if you are a disconnected bunny and only want to grab a snap of your beau to change your phone's wallpaper then it does the job.

Although the build quality it reasonable through-out, the back cover does tend to creak as you manipulate the phone in your hand, which is a shame as the metallic pink (Jelly Red apparently) looks quite fetching, if you're that sort of guy/gal.

Into the phone's menus and you are presented with a classic S40 menu system, with simple icons. If you've ever been a Nokia user you'll have no problems here. Given the basic nature, navigation is fast through the menus with barely a pause for thought as you move around.

Despite the basic approach you get GSM/EDGE connectivity, as well as Bluetooth 2.0. You can hook up with email too and browsing comes courtesy of Opera Mini, possibly the best choice given the small screen.

You can playback your music, however there is very little by the way of internal memory, so this isn't really music handset by any stretch of the imagination - you can't add a memory card either, so it is a pretty poor show for anyone who wants music. There is a radio that requires the basic headphones on Nokia's oh-too-common 2.5mm jack, so you can't even swap them out for something comfortable.

Battery life is pretty good. As you won't be lapping up data all the time you'll find that the battery will last for days between charging - we managed to get over 4 days before we had to give it a little boost.


The Nokia 7100 Supernova is a basic handset, but for those who aren't interested in music, photos, mobile data, i.e., those who want to make calls and send text messages, then this will do nicely.

Given it's basic remit, it is likely to appeal to a younger audience who may well also want music, which sort of lets the side down. A microSD card slot would have made the phone much more appealing.

There is not much to get excited about here, but there is not much to confuse either.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 19 May 2009.