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Nokia's 7100 Supernova is a good foil to the last Nokia handset I reviewed, the ultra-expensive 8800 Carbon Arte. Where that phone has a SIM-free price tag well in excess of £1,000 this one sits a considerable way under £100.
Both handsets run S40 and share a fair number of features. But there are considerable differences too, not least in terms of target audience. While the 8800 Carbon Arte is designed for those with plenty of money to flash about and not much of a desire for features, the 7100 Supernova is more suited to a younger audience that is also not all that bothered about swanky features.
This is the third handset in the Supernova range I've looked at. Its predecessors, the 7310 and 7210 were both average phones and this one is too.
The 7100 is a slider with a mechanism that thunks nicely and feels solid enough to remain reliable over time. The numberpad, revealed when the slide is up, comprises large-ish buttons with a no frills design. Each button is slightly raised in its centre making it easy to find and hit. With the slide closed this isn't quite as small as I generally like slider phones to be. It is a bit tall at 98mm. However, its 48.4mm of width and 15mm of thickness are OK. With the slide opened the 7100 is 125mm tall and as for weight, it tips the scales at 103.5g.
The casing is made of plastic, which might not stand too many drops down the stairs or crunches in a bag. As for its colour scheme, the 7100 looks designed to appeal to a young and bling-friendly audience. The front fascia is mostly black with, in the case of my review sample, a flash of bright metallic pink sitting below the screen. The back of the casing is also pink. Nokia calls this colour 'jelly red' but it looks pink to me. You can also get it in a rather nice shade of blue as well as an almost all black guise with just a flash of blue round the navi button.