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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nokia E7 review

Well, two weeks ago the nice people at WOMWorldNokia have sent me the latest Nokia flagship, the almighty E7. Why almighty? Because when held in hand you find yourself staring at it and only one word comes out of your mouth "WOW".

The huge 4 inch display dominates the front of the phone, along with a single menu button. The blacks of the CBD(Clear Black Display) are outstanding. I honestly could not see where a gradient that ended in the black color ended and the display bezel started.

On the left side you have the unlock knob, while on the right side you have the SIM card housing, the volume knob(yes knob) which replaces the traditional volume rocker, and the dedicated camera key. On top you have the micro-USB port which serves for charging too, the HDMI port and the power button.

There is no SD card slot(not that you'd need one anyway) and on the down side, the battery is non replaceable because of the unibody design.

The anodized aluminium case is as strong as it can be on a cell phone, and the Gorilla glass covering the display should prevent scratches from deteriorating the 4 inch screen.

The phone feels solid(and probably is) and the sliding mechanism is very easy to use once you get the hang of it. The first time you open the keyboard you feel like the phone is ready to snap out of your hands, like a wild horse. But once you get familiar with it, it's actually a very nice feeling.

The keyboard is the best I have ever seen. The keys are comfortably placed and spaced, and pressing them is as easy as can be.

The SIM card is not hot swapable, the phone reboots after the SIM card is changed.

The build quality overall is excellent, but there's just one thing... the menu button. It seems a bit fragile, but I guess it can leave that impression compared with the rest of the hardware.

After using and Android phone in for some time now, I have to point out one thing that Nokia phones, not just the E7 have that droids do not: Wake up on alarm. This means that if you have set an alarm clock and the phones is turned off, the Nokias will power up and ring while the Android phones will not. It is a very important feature to remember when buying a new phone.

As usual on Symbian^3 devices, a full range of video codecs is supported including avi and divx files, which, along with the 4 inch screen can mean you can even watch movies on it while traveling.


2G Network - GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network - HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
Dimensions - 123.7 x 62.4 x 13.6 mm, 104.9 cc
Weight - 176 g
AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size - 360 x 640 pixels, 4.0 inches
- QWERTY keyboard
- Nokia ClearBlack display
- Multi-touch input method
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
- Scratch resistant Gorilla glass display
Loudspeaker, 3.5mm jack
Phonebook practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records - Detailed, max 30 days
Internal - 16 GB storage, 256 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM
No card slot
GPRS - Class 32
EDGE - Class 32
3G - HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps
WLAN - Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth - v3.0 with A2DP
microUSB v2.0, USB On-the-go support
Primary Camera - 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, fixed focus, dual-LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection
Video - 720p@25fps, video stabilization
Secondary Camera VGA
OS - Symbian^3 OS
CPU - 680 MHz ARM 11 processor, Broadcom BCM2727 GPU
Messaging - SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser - WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
Radio - Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS with A-GPS support - Ovi Maps 3.0
Java - MIDP 2.1
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Digital compass
- TV-out (720p video) via HDMI and composite
- Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
- MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- Voice command/dial
- Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Video/photo editor
- Flash Lite 4.0
- Voice memo/dial
- Predictive text input
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1200 mAh (BL-4D)
Stand-by - Up to 432 h (2G) / Up to 480 h (3G)
Talk time - Up to 9 h (2G) / Up to 5 h (3G)


I'm not going to do a full software review, as I've already published a full review of Symbian^3 and unfortunately, the E7 does not come with Symbian Anna update yet, so I'll only mention the apps that are specific to the E7.

First of all the E7 comes with a full QuickOffice license unlike the C7 I previously reviewed, and a full license of Adobe PDF.
Another software difference is the Communicator software installed on the E7, and that is expected in a business device such as the E7.

Overall, the software experience is smooth, but some apps are better optimized than others, so the user experience is not as consistent as it should be. However, things should change once Symbian Anna will be available for the E7, which is gonna happen in the following months.

Now, I have heard a lot of opinions about the E7. Some say it could have been more than it is. Others say it's more that they could have expected. I think that if you want the level of customization of Android, this phone is not for you. But if you want a reliable business phone, which can also entertain your while traveling(and I mean movies, games and so on) then you should seriously give it a go.

The 8MP camera takes very nice pictures, and it's very very snappy, because of the EDoF technology used. It's a full focus camera, and landscapes are just a pleasure to shoot. Folow the link to check the quality of the photos taken with the E7.

Here is my unboxing and hands on in case you missed it: