Review of the Nokia 7205 Intrigue - Part 1: Introduction, Design and User Interface
The Nokia 7205 Intrigue is a slender flip phone that follows the once-popular clamshell design. The phone is intended to be a budget phone with basic functionality and it makes an attractive style statement.
In addition, the phone is marketed as an eco-friendly phone. It claims to have saved thousands of trees and many litres of transportation fuel because of its compact packaging and minimum accoutrements.
The Intrigue will appeal to those people who want a mobile phone for making and receiving calls, and prefer a model that will fit seamlessly into small dress clutches and flat-fronted trouser pockets. Smartphones are not viable alternatives, but the Intrigue certainly is.
Design (4 out of 5)
The Nokia 7205 Intrigue is a slender phone, even when closed. It is made entirely from shiny black plastic on the outside. The inside is slightly more colourful with the keypad fading into one of two colours: one fades to a bright pink and the other to a more staid silver-gray. The directional pads on either are also different, possibly in an additional effort to appeal to both sexes. As it stands, the pink version is much more striking, while the silver-gray displays elegant poise.
Although the body is plastic, the phone feels durable if not substantial in the hand. It weighs a mere 90 gm, and measures 90 by 47 by 14 mm when closed. It would have been nicer to have a metal body for the handset, but that would have augmented not only the weight, but quite probably the price as well.
The front flap of the phone has a deeply inset PMOLED display, which displays information like the time and battery level when activated. It gives the phone a futuristic appearance, which is very nice. There are musical playback controls also available on the display. The area around the hinge is somewhat elevated, so that the front faintly resembles a ski jump. It would have been better if it had remained flat however. The bump has the external speaker.
The back panel has the camera and little else besides the battery cover. The left side has the 2.5 mm headphone jack, the volume rocker switch and the microUSB port. The other side only has a hatch for the microSD card. The bottom edge has the charging port and the microphone.
The screen is on the inner side of the front flap; it breaks no records for clamshell phones with a size of 2.2 inches and a resolution of 240 by 320 pixels. The keypad is flat, with silver ridges separating the rows. The keys are somewhat narrow, which makes for slightly difficult typing, but apart from that, it is eminently usable.
User Interface (5 out of 5)
Nokia has introduced their new Habitat Mode on the 7205 Intrigue. It is a new type of user interface that applies a theme to the menu and icons, and to the user’s contacts. The contacts are assigned various icons in keeping with the theme, and the user can view their communication timeline based on their positions in the environment. Habitat Mode is essentially a new way of interacting with the handset, in an effort to make it fun. If the Habitat Mode is turned off, the menu can be customized through the use of colours and layouts as per the preference of the individual user.
All the functions are easily accessible using the familiar Nokia main menu structure. The applications are not buried under layers and layers of folders, except if the user chooses to organize them in that manner. The buttons are immediately responsive as well, making the interface between user and the phone smooth and utterly painless.
Features (3 out of 5)
The contacts application can store up to 500 entries, each with multiple bits of information. This is slightly on the low side, even for low-range handsets like the Nokia 7205 Intrigue. Surprisingly, the speed dial list goes up to 999 entries, which totals 1000 potential speed dial numbers when counting 0. It is unclear how useful this feature will be, considering it would be an astonishing feat to remember the speed dial codes of a thousand different numbers. Additionally, assuming all the contact entries are filled, but a few only had a single contact number, then some spots in the speed dial list would be redundant. The contacts application does not seem to have been well-thought out.
The camera is a very modest 2 megapixels with flash. The picture quality is pretty good considering the low quality resolution. Picture quality noticeably wanes in poorly lit conditions, as the flash isn’t strong enough to illuminate the environment. However, it is a good camera for a low-range phone, and the only flaw is the placement on the back panel. Traditionally designed clamshell phones always had the camera on the lip of the front panel; this way, the user could point the camera more naturally using the screen as a guide.
The music player is little better than average, and the only interesting part of the system is that when the flip phone is shut, the touch-sensitive buttons on the top display become active.
Performance (3 out of 5)
Both the inner and outer displays work fairly well in most lighting conditions, except bright sunlight. They both unfortunately tend to fade into relative invisibility when out in the sun.
The audio quality of the music player left much to be desired, although the call quality through the same speakers wasn’t too bad. The network reception is good, with very few calls getting dropped, if at all.
The battery is all that one can expect from a low-range flip phone, and lasts for a good four hours of talk-time.
The Verdict (3 out of 5)
All in all, the Nokia 7205 Intrigue is a nice-looking phone with the bare basics in terms of features. The call and messaging application work just great, which is what this phone is really intended for. Of the other features, the camera is certainly not bad at all, and would work well in a crunch or for fairly decent profile pictures. The music player seems to be in place merely because that is the accepted standard, and it wouldn’t do to deviate.
Apart from these factors, the phone is a good one. It is ideal for users who are not inclined to gadgets and complicated features. The idea is to have a working handset, and for that, the Intrigue is a great device.