Review: Nokia 7510 UMA and Motorola Renew eco-friendly phones

Summary:Since this particular reviews blog is focused on cell phones and smartphones I thought it was about time I start posting some reviews on feature phones and not just the higher end smartphones since there are millions who just want a good phone that makes calls. The first two phones I am taking a look at below each have something a little out of the ordinary that appealed to me to want to try them out. The Nokia 7510 works with T-Mobile UMA HotSpot technology and the Motorola Renew is constructed of recycled water bottles and is very eco-friendly. I have a video walk through for each phone below, along with an image gallery of the Nokia 7510. Both phones are available now on T-Mobile.

Since this particular reviews blog is focused on cell phones and smartphones I thought it was about time I start posting some reviews on feature phones and not just the higher end smartphones since there are millions who just want a good phone that makes calls. The first two phones I am taking a look at below each have something a little out of the ordinary that appealed to me to want to try them out. The Nokia 7510 works with T-Mobile UMA HotSpot technology and the Motorola Renew is constructed of recycled water bottles and is very eco-friendly. I have a video walk through for each phone below, along with an image gallery of the Nokia 7510. Both phones are available now on T-Mobile.

Nokia 7510: Most of the UMA-capable phones in the T-Mobile lineup are BlackBerry devices. There is also the new T-Mobile Shadow and a few other Samsung and Nokia devices. The Nokia 7510 is the latest mobile phone to support UMA/unlimited HotSpot calling and is a stylish phone as well.


Image Gallery:A walk around the Nokia 7510 UMA-capable phone.
Image Gallery: Colored faceplates
Image Gallery: 7510 in hand

When I first pulled it from the box, I was immediately impressed by the solid feel of it in my hand. It has removable front and back panels and the ones that came on the device are Espresso Brown. Fatal Red and Emerald Green are included in the box so you can change the look of your phone. Under the front faceplate you will find a small display that gives you some basic info and shines through the faceplate. Unfortunately, the display on the review unit was cracked so I couldn't see what notifications appeared here. I also found the faceplates a bit tight when installing them, but imagine they may loosen up a bit as you change them and practice swapping them out.

The metal feel of the upper portion (in way of the hinge) feels solid and looks classy. The hinge is spring loaded so once you start opening it (by flipping it up or pressing the right side button) it takes off and fully opens for you. The 2 megapixel camera took decent photos, but seemed to really lighten up the subjects I shot. The camera also captures basic video.

You will also find a microSD card slot for listening to music, storing your photos, or even watching movies. The FM radio requires that you plug in your headset that acts as the antenna. The device also has Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to a headset.

The phone sounded fine during calls and callers were pleased with my end of things. I would say it performed like a typical phone and the RF reception was typical Nokia, very good. The fact that you can make and recieve calls over WiFi when you have a weak or non-existent cellular connection is a major bonus in this phone and if you subscribe to the T-Mobile HotSpot @Home service you may want to consider this device.

The UI on the phone took me a few seconds to use because I am so used to smartphone devices, but it is what you typically see on a feature phone with nothing really special or different. My Faves is supported on the device and is where the phone starts out in when turned on. Email and data connections are supported on the EDGE network and the phone is a full quad-band GSM variant.

The 7510 weighs 4.4 ounces and feel fantastic in your hand. It is available now for US$49.99 after $50 mail-in rebate, $100 instant discount and 2-year contract. The full (unsubsidized) price is US$199.99

Motorola Renew: Larry posted about the Motorola W233 Renew announcement back in January and the phone is now shipping from T-Mobile. I received one yesterday to check out and spent some time with it and shot the video below so you can see it in action. The primary selling angle for the Motorola Renew is the ecologically responsible nature of the device and retail packaging. The phone is made with plastic from recycled water bottles and the plastic phone housing is 100% recyclable. It also has up to nine hours of talk time so you can charge it less often as well.

The device is also promoted as being carbon neutral through an alliance with the CarbonFund.org, but I am personally not sold on the whole carbon footprint propoganda so am not sure this part means a whole lot in real terms.

I think the Motorola W233 Renew is an attractive device with the white and green highlights and it feels pretty solid in your hand. The keys are well spaced out and have good tactile feel to them. This is a MyFaves phone so that is the default home screen loaded when you start it up. There is a USB 2.0 port for music transfer to the microSD card and also for the Motorola charger. A 2.5mm headset jack and headset are provided too. The phone has a 1.44 inch 128x128 display that is adequate for basic phone functionality.

It is only a dual band (850/1900 MHz) frequency device so is limited in its connectivity options. Phone calls were surprisingly very good and Motorola does include their CrystalTalk technology to try to make the experience even better. I have to admit I really was surprised by how clear my callers sounded on the Renew and don't think you are compromising anything in call quality on this phone. The Motorola Renew is available for only US$9.99 after 2-year contract or US$59.99 full price.

I like the idea of using recycled plastic bottles for the phone, but hope the usage of plastic bottles is eventually reduced too since we really don't need to be filling up our planet with plastic garbage. I am actually a bit surprised that everyone is not using recycled plastic to make the plastic pieces on phones today and maybe others will change their practices to start recycling more parts and pieces of old phones. I know that Nokia is quite aware of and takes steps to help recycle old phones as well.

Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Telcos

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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