Don't even think for a minute that Nokia has simply whacked on another model number for their latest colour model. Even with the new integrated camera, the new 7250 possesses many more improvements over previous models, right down to the nitty-gritty.
If you're looking for greater value for money, you may just find it on the new Nokia 7250!
Topping the list of new and outstanding features would certainly be the integrated digital camera, allowing its user to simply snap up pictures whenever and also have them sent off as either an MMS or email message almost instantaneously! Models like the 5100/6100/6610/7210 have the ability to send, but not to take unless an external camera attachment is available.
Other new features of the 7250 include a larger memory area for user data (up to 5 megabytes), improved software for the user interface, local and remote synchronisation support, and the addition of the Wallet feature for online (Internet) transactions.
Chances are that if you hated the outlook of the 7210, you will probably approve the looks of the 7250 instead. The most distinct difference of these two handsets would be found in the keypad area, with the 7250 reverting back to a slightly more conservative design.
I also found myself in having a higher preference for the 7250's keypad, which was easier to use, had slightly better ergonomics, and much less feedback than the 7210's. When I say "less feedback", I am actually referring to the excessively high levels of tactility found on the 7210's keypad, which can be felt as a slight pain in your thumbs after excessive periods of messaging.
Getting back to overall looks, the 7250 actually comes with a new Xpress-on cover design and makes the phone looking simply stunning! Although I would have preferred true shaved metal parts for the centre portion of both front and back covers, the same effect etched into the plastic covers certainly wins my vote!
Oh, and if you do end up getting a 7250, don't be surprised to find it hard to remove the back cover (where the 7210 had this same issue). However, the cover does become easier to remove after doing it a few more times. Wear and tear? Not exactly, as my other 7210 is still pretty rock-solid after countless times of pulling off and replacing the back cover to change my battery... :)
User Interface & display
There were goods and bads here - I guess you can't really win them all, can you?
On the good side, Nokia has made some slight changes to the Series 40 user interface that I would consider all as being "improvements".
For starters, when you turn on the 7250, you will no longer need to guess how long you need to keep your finger/thumb on the power button before letting go. On models like the 5100/6100/6610/7210, one was never sure - whereas on the 7250, the phone would power up immediately every time.
Next item on the list is the addition of a "go to" function for the right soft key when the standby screen is displayed (usually, this key is reserved for the "names" or phone book function).
Here, you can add shortcuts to functions that you frequently use - such as infrared activation, access to calculator and alarm clock functions - without having to go through endless menu levels. For example, the number of button presses required for creating a new MMS message can be reduced to two button presses, from a whopping five!
Items available for the "go to" menu are pre-defined by the phone software (up to 23 were available on the 7250 I reviewed), where they can be organised according to your requirements.
Moving onto the not-so-great points, I still found the 7250's menus to lack the required responsiveness to user keypresses. Fortunately, however, in functions where keypad responsiveness is critical (such as messaging), the 7250 did not let me down!
And lastly, there were no improvements in the quality of the 7250's colour screen (when compared to the likes of the 6100/6610/7210). But look on the bright side - it's better than having to look at pictures taken by a camera on a 256-colour screen instead!
Making and receiving calls
The 7250 offers all three call methods found on other Series 40 handsets - which includes taking calls via the handset itself, using a headset device, or the built-in handsfree speakerphone feature - which I was hoping to see some performance improvements, specifically in the volume levels produced by the actual speakerphone.
The ability to snap up pics with the 7250's integrated camera means that the multimedia messaging (MMS) function becomes so much more practical. Not to say that the Camera Headset attachment wasn't any good for models like the 5100/6100/6610/7210 - but having an all-in-one device is undeniably for convenient!
Once activating the camera (by either accessing the "Camera" function from the main menu, or simply pressing the "up" button at the standby screen) and having taken your "Kodak moment", simply choose the "send" function and the picture will be inserted into a new MMS message. You can add your own little text message inside it and send it off as either MMS or email (by entering either a mobile number or email address respectively).
And of course, the 7250 comes with all the basic messaging functions that were available on previous Nokia models - including SMS, SMS Chat, picture messaging and e-mail over SMS.
Similar to the 7210, the 7250 possessed a very solid construction - thanks to both the tight-fitting Xpress-on covers and well-distributed weight of the phone. Although being slightly heavier than the 7210 (eight grams to be exact), the integrated camera should make it all that worthwhile to have this phone with you at all times!
On average use, I was able to obtain approximately 3-4 hours worth of talk time and 3-4 days standby. This is of course dependent on the usage frequency of functions such as the digital camera, FM radio and handsfree speakerphone - as they can reduce these times.