The Nokia 7100 Supernova won't provoke any exploding fireballs of excitement, but it covers the basic features and won't break the bank. This shiny, simple slider phone is available on pay as you go with T-Mobile for around £70.
The 7100 looks good for such an inexpensive phone, with a glossy finish and brightly-coloured trim that might appeal to the fashion-conscious teen with some pocket money to spend. Our model was billed as red, but it's as pink as a bag of candyfloss in a ballerina costume.
The slide mechanism is springy and, although the back cover feels rather flimsy, the phone feels solidly put-together. The keypad buttons are easy to press, giving a satisfying click, and they're well spaced-out and relatively large. The five-way function button is as big as a 5p coin, which makes the 7100 a good choice for meaty-fingered users.
The 7100 also has a dedicated camera button on the side, but there's an almost identical button shape on the opposite side that doesn't do anything. It reminds us of the blank spaces on car dashboards where the manufacturers have left room for more features in a higher-end model. It could also be confusing when you're trying to launch the camera quickly.
Through a glass
We didn't think much of the 7100's 1.3-megapixel camera, which takes grey and dingy photos, even in the brightly-lit CNET UK towers. Images are noisy, and the camera's too sluggish to take snapshots of anything that moves faster than a marble statue. Over 2 seconds of shutter lag meant that, by the time the camera captured a photo, our subject had moved on and we'd lost interest in them anyway.
The 7100's video-capture capability is even worse, delivering jerky, pixellated playback that's barely good enough to be featured in a road-safety campaign. Combine that with a small, 51mm (2-inch) screen and you won't be creating any Oscar-worthy home videos with this phone.
The 7100 has a 2.5mm headphone jack, and no adaptor, so we weren't able to test its music player with high-quality headphones. It comes with a pair of very basic, plastic earbuds, and it also supports stereo Bluetooth, but this isn't a phone for music lovers -- with a piddling 4MB of on-board memory, it can only hold a tiny slice of our MP3 collection.