Nokia E7

Underpowered and comparatively unfriendly, Nokia once again wraps excellent hardware around a poor user experience.


6.0
CNET Rating
7.3
User Rating

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About The Author

CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Design

As our eyes pass across the dozen smartphones living in the CNET test labs, the E7 winks at us with its pleasantly different design. Even though our review unit is a charcoal grey colour, similar to the many black handsets around it, it still stands apart as having a unique look and feel — something that will appeal to anyone who likes to accessorise with a unique piece or two.

When we consider the E7 hardware, there are two features that really stand out. The obvious element is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Like the N97, this hinge design slides the screen forward and then up on what appears to be a 45-degree angle. The keyboard is well-spaced and reasonably easy to use, with Nokia opting for a similar chiclet-style layout that we saw recently on the HTC Desire Z.

More eye-catching is the gorgeous 4-inch AMOLED display using Nokia's ClearDisplay technology. This screen is top-notch, with rich, deep blacks and vibrant colours. Nokia continues with its nHD resolution displays, and athough this is a mathematically lower resolution than most other smartphones in this price range, you'd be hard-pressed to spot the difference with higher-res screens.

E7 profile: the keyboard open at a 45-degree angle.
(Credit: Nokia)

There are a couple of interesting design decisions made in the construction of the E7. For starters, the ubiquitous volume rocker has been replaced by a spring-loaded switch, though the functionality remains the same. Also, the aluminium unibody chassis is non-user accessible. This means that you can hot-swap SIM cards using a card drawer on the side of the phone, but it also means that the battery is non-replaceable. There's no microSD slot, either, which could pose a problem for anyone who doesn't find the 16GB of internal storage sufficient.

User experience

The E7 runs on Nokia's Symbian^3 operating system, and if you've read our review of the Nokia N8 then you probably know what we're about to say: it needs work. Symbian has three user-customisable home screens with six pre-defined segments for widgets. Some of these widgets look good and offer good information, like the date and time widget, but mostly these widgets struggle to offer usable functionality in the small slice of screen real estate they have to work with, and you'll wonder if they are worth the data they use to update themselves.

It's obvious that, since we reviewed the N8, Nokia has put some work into Symbian, but not enough to make it a fun, user-friendly environment. The system still feels sluggish in places, is prone to extended lag spikes and requires way too much user input to perform simple tasks. Still frustrating is that text input takes you to a separate screen requiring to confirm your input before returning to the original menu or web page.

We could have forgiven these annoying UI quirks if the experience of the UI had been slick and fast; however, it isn't. Swiping your finger across the home screen doesn't give you an immediate result; instead the phone vibrates, thinks then changes screen. It is these pauses, then seconds you lose with every interaction with Symbian that add up to an overall feeling of frustration when using the E7. All phones systems lag, even the most powerful Androids and even Apple's revered iPhone, but most smartphones do so infrequently. It is this element of the user experience, above all others, that Nokia needs to improve before it releases another Symbian device.

Confident communicator

As an E-series device, the E7 joins a long line of communicator-branded handsets in what Nokia describes as its business range. So how does it fare for the busy professional?

At the core of this functionality, the E7's email and calendar offerings are good, but not exceptional. Nokia's email client has great support for a range of corporate and personal email servers and the ability to add up to ten email accounts, but the usability needs refining. The calendar could use a user experience tweak, but it also lacks important features like creating, accepting and rejecting meeting invitations.

The E7 does have a few surprising tricks up its sleeve, though. Matching the pre-installed Quickoffice app with the HDMI output gives users a handy portable presentation unit, and with the USB adapter in the box you can run the same presentation of a USB flash drive.

But imagine our surprise when we discovered you could connect either a wired mouse or keyboard to the E7 without any additional drivers to install. Now you connect the HDMI cable to a desktop monitor and the E7 becomes a tiny PC. In fact, this portion of the review was written entirely on the E7 using a full-size Logitech keyboard. Sadly it won't recognise USB hubs so you can't use a mouse and a keyboard at the same time, but this is still something very few smartphones can claim to be able to do.

Media and the web

Our complaints above are in line with the remarks we made when we reviewed the N8; however the N8 had one very impressive Ace up its sleeve — its outstanding 12-megapixel camera. Nokia packs an 8-megapixel shooter into the E7, and while this sounds impressive the resulting photos don't tend to be. Unlike most other Nokia smartphone cameras, the E7 features a fixed-focus lens and, as such, no auto-focus. This could be a good thing; no auto-focus means the time between aiming the camera and firing the shutter is dramatically lower and, with the right image sensor algorithm to correct any camera blur, you could end up with excellent photos. In our experience, a majority of pics taken with the E7 turn out blurry, and the test photos we took look washed out. The imperfect colour reproduction can be corrected using a great photo editing tool included in the software suite, but there's little that can be done about the blurry photos.

Movie buffs are luckier than photo fanatics here; the outstanding AMOLED display is matched with some excellent multimedia tools. The E7 supports MP4, H.264, MKV and WMV video files and can output up to 720p HD video to a TV via HDMI connection at the top of the handset. Nokia include an HDMI adapter in the box with the E7, but you'll need to purchase a standard HDMI cable for this feature to work.

Perhaps the biggest let-down of the entire Symbian smartphone experience is the archaic-feeling web browser. Page load speeds are extremely slow, especially when browsing standard desktop sites with heavy JavaScript and Flash elements. This browser will play Flash video via its Flash Lite browser plugin, but this is a cold comfort when the standard browsing experience is so tedious. We use a JavaScript-based browser benchmarking tool to compare the web experience across different smartphone platforms and as you can see in the graph below, the E7 is barely in the race.

BrowserMark benchmark

  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Apple iPhone 4
  • BlackBerry Torch
  • Nokia E7
  • Longer bars equal better performance 41121 38010 17368 4322

Performance

Many of the issues we've identified above boil down to how underpowered the E7 is. Nokia opts for a 680MHz ARM 11 processor paired with a dedicated graphic processor and 256MB RAM. Given the high quality of the materials used in the chassis, this internal hardware feels like a lawnmower engine in the body of a Ferrari. While it's true that you only need enough processing power to run the system which relies on it, we'd argue that Symbian^3 could use more grunt to power it and it could definitely use a whole lot more RAM.

The non-user replaceable Lithium-Ion battery could also be larger; the 1200mAh pack that was included managed about 5 hours of 3G talk time in our tests, or an hour-and-a-half less than the Samsung Nexus S. In typical use cases, we managed to get through a busy business day before charging.

Overall

Business users and messaging junkies could get good use out of the E7, though we can't say it'd be our first choice for either purpose. Nokia's Symbian platform feels sluggish compared with the leanness of iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS, and the phone needs a fair bit of customisation before accessing important everyday tasks is as convenient as with the aforementioned systems. Plus, the E7 isn't cheap — you'll pay the same for this phone as you will for an iPhone, and more than you'll pay for a Desire HD, but you'll get an inferior experience.

What elevates this package (somewhat) is the breadth of connectivity. Other smartphones will offer an HDMI option but Nokia will be one of the few companies to include all the accessories you need to use this straight away. The USB adapter is great for file transfers, but once you plug in a mouse you get a glimpse of the future. These aren't features to choose a phone on primarily, but they will make a huge difference in certain business cases.

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marychux3
5
Rating
 

"Alright phone, but needs work on."

marychux3 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Camera, wifi.

The Bad:Touch screen, too slow, less apps.

It's so laggy and slow, I've had this phone for around 3 months now, and I regret buying it for $400.
The battery life for mine is getting worse. And a lot of times, the touch screen is getting so much more laggy. I'm quite disappointed in this nokia phone.
The symbian thing is lacking in many apps, in which needs to be worked on.
And worse, I use wifi and I'm always connected to it, but somehow it just manages to use 3G internet and drains my credit out. Which makes me really mad.
I hope this phone can last though.

msafwat
1
Rating
 

"Nokia is far behind"

msafwat posted a review   
Egypt

The Good:design

The Bad:it didn't last 3 weeks

i boI bought the e7 on the 24th of July, it worked fine but suddenly on the 9th of August, it stopped working...
Nokia care is blaming me and refuse to repair it under the warranty.
My iphone 3GS is with me for over 2years and is still working without complains.
Nokia is very far behind in smartphone, wouldn't recommend anyone to buy expensive devices from Nokia specially this e7

JamesT2 Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Excellent business tool!"

JamesT2 posted a review   

The Good:Keyboard, display, Ovi Maps, battery life

The Bad:Clunky Symbian

I can't help but think reviewers who dish this phone don't look for what a business phone needs to do; work!

Integrated email that syncs in real time - check
Ability to sync with exchange all contacts, calendar and emails in real time - check
Accept outlook appointments - check
A physical keyboard with the best spaced keys, and soft touch - check
Display with excellent direct sunlight viewing - check
Good battery life - check

and most importantly; no missed or dropped calls and excellent reception - CHECK

As a business user my most important criteria was use as a business tool. I don't want dropped calls, a battery about to die and poor reception. The E7 ticks all those boxes. I want a phone with which I can reply with a coherent email without frustration in a professional manner; so the physical keyboard is a must.

So what about the apps? To be honest, as a business user I couldn't care less what games or "cute/cool" apps are not available to me. I've installed Andry Birds and Fruit Ninja for the kids when they get bored, I don't have time for that rubbish! The apps I want are there: -

Joiku hotspot (wifi tethering for free)
Nimbuzz (for IM with contacts and associates)
F secure (lock down and remote wipe of the device if it is lost/stolen)
Vlingo (voice actiivation of search, sms, calls)
Swype (rapid text in both email and sms)

So the browser is slow; download Opera Mobile for free.

The UI is clunky; as a veteran Nokia user I know the shortcuts. I rarely even need to open the menu to access everything I want. I can get everything using shortcuts on my homepages and create customisable pages with widgets and shortcuts.

The phone is slow and laggy; completely disagree. I have an iPad, iPhone4 and extensively used HTC's Desire HD. iOS and Android feel great and are slick, but are not noticeably faster. Symbian was designed for mobiles and is true multi-tasking. Symbian's resource requirements are modest and the hardware copes fine; the trade-off is outstanding battery life. The reviewer probably found things lagged because he left everything running in the background without closing it. Being true multi-tasking Symbian does not close the background app when it's running, unlike iOS and Android.

This phone is a true mobile office. There's even HDMI output so I can use the phone for presentations instead of bringing a computer to a client's office, USB on the go to view documents and files and the ability to read the device as an external storage device, this is a very complete business tool.

Ovi Maps are truly outstanding the regarded as the best GPS service on mobiles for good reason. All for free for the life of your phone (data charges excluded).

My wife has an N8 and I have the E7, both for very specific reasons. She wanted the best camera phone, I wanted a business tool. Both fit the bill perfectly.

Before you disregard the E7 consider what you really want from a phone and how it will meet your needs. If you're of the generation that wants the latest cool gadget and the latest nonsense app, get an iPhone or Android.

If you're a serious business user look at the E7 or a Blackberry. Why choose an E7 over a Blackberry? The E7 keyboard, display and features mentioned above put the Blackberry in the shade. Enterprise or those hooked on Blackberry will stay for the level of control (enterprise) or mail service. In most other respects the E7 is superior.

info_overload
10
Rating
 

"Excellent Efficiency"

info_overload posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Screen, Keyboard, Ovi Maps, Connectivity

The Bad:Battery not user replaceable

The device
At 4%u201D the device has one of the largest displays Nokia have ever put into a device. All displays of 4%u201D or more are communicators in the 9000 series and the E90 communicator. The Nokia E7 being a communicator it is quite fitting to have a 4%u201D screen. It seems to me that Nokia have analysed and researched the maximum ideal device size for comfortable holding in various hand sizes and probably the sizes of pockets etc and that the biggest ideal device screen size seems to be about 4%u201D and the biggest ideal device size is around about 120mm high by 60mm wide. The Nokia E7 is 123.7mm by 62.4mm by 13.6mm so the Nokia E7 is a very good size. The casing for the Nokia E7 is made from anodised Aluminium in a couple of different colours. There is Micro USB, Mini HDMI, 3.5mm audio socket, SIM card tray, volume slider, camera button, dual microphone (for noise cancellation, lanyard attach point, and lock slider 8 MP camera with two led flash units, and a keyboard underneath the slide up screen.

Screen
The display is a 4%u201D capacitive touchscreen AMOLED with ClearBlack Display technology. Clear Black Display technology makes it much more viewable in direct sunlight and increases the contrast. The display is big, bright and vibrant. Using AMOLED technology probably also helps extend the battery life and save space and give better contrast. LCD displays have a back light behind them that shines through the colour and the backlight must be constantly on even if the majority of the screen is black. With AMOLED the coloured light is actually emitted from the layer itself. Which saves having extra space taken up by a light behind. Each AMOLED pixel only uses electricity when it is producing light. On a mostly black screen only the pixels that are producing light use electricity which would give a saving of battery life. Additionally because each AMOLED pixel produces the light itself there is not really any light leaking into neighbouring pixels as can sometimes happen with LCD which has a back light behind shining through the LCD which increases the contrast. AMOLED also looks more vibrant as it is emitting light instead of white light passing through a filter and being dulled as in LCD. The combination of AMOLED and Clear Black Display makes the bights brighter and the darks darker. I think this probably gives the screen on the Nokia E7 the highest dynamic range of any mobile screen. I suggest looking in the photo gallery at the evening shot with coloured lights reflected across a harbour to really see the full extent of the lusciousness of this screen.

Keyboard
The keyboard is quite well spaced and the keys are slightly curved toward the edges, which can only be seen by looking along the keyboard from the front. The keys feel like they could be used extensively for long periods of time without thumbs becoming sore. Nokia said that they prototyped ten different keyboard designs before choosing the keyboard design that they have put in the Nokia E7. The keys are also backlit.

Operating System
The Nokia E7 runs Symbian^3 Operating System which is the newest progression of the Symbian Operating which would be familiar to a large number of people. This will enable most people to get started and up to speed very quickly, and efficiency of voice and text based communication is what this device is designed to achieve being an E Series Communicator. There are three home screens that can be personalised with up to six widgets and the background can be chosen as well.
Nokia have stated that the Operating System will get at least two updates this year. The first update (PR2.0, or Symbian Anna) will bring improved onscreen portrait qwerty keyboard and split screen input (with the keyboard closed), improved web browser (increased speed, 3x faster than before, back button always visible and better page tab interface), there are 50 improvements in this update. The second major update this year (PR3.0) will bring a new interface with new resizable home screen widgets and icons able to be placed separately instead of in pre-defined widget sizes. Also in PR3.0 will be a new web browser that will be updated separately from the Operating System. Clearly Nokia does have a road map of improvements and updates and will be rolling them out and continuing to progress Symbian^3.

Media
The Nokia E7 has very good media capabilities with HDMI and Dolby Digital 5.1 output. Videos can be output over HDMI to a TV/Monitor or Projector. I purchased and used a HDMI to DVI adapter and it works. That means the device can output to devices that don%u2019t have HDMI but have DVI which widens the list of available output options. Movies are outputted at HD with Dolby Digital sound over HDMI or 3.5mm jack or the built in loud speaker or bluetooth. A beta application made by Nokia called Big Screen provides a gallery for music playback, video selection and playback, picture gallery, and slideshow with music. This application also does karaoke videos and videos with subtitles which I haven't used. The application also includes a screensaver starts after a minute to save burn in on the output device. Plasma TV%u2019s would be the most likely to suffer from burn in so this is a cleaver feature. The application changes the device screen to a basic remote to control the media on the output device. The Nokia E7 also mirrors the screen output over the HDMI connection without the Big Screen application other than when displaying videos or QuickOffice PowerPoint full screen which are in HD.
The Nokia E7 can output Microsoft Office Powerpoint up to version 2007 over HDMI in HD. This means that PowerPoint presentations can be delivered from the Nokia E7 to any device that will accept HDMI (or DVI) like board rooms, conference rooms etc.

Storage
The Nokia E7 contains 16GB Memory to store any documents, music, videos etc. There is a file manager to access, move, copy and delete files. The Nokia E7 does not have a Micro SD card slot. I don%u2019t think this should be a problem as 16GB is quite a lot of storage and there are numerous applications and providers offering solutions that can enable remote drives to extend the internal 16GB storage using cloud storage for little or no cost. The Nokia E7 can also attach multiple remote drives using WebDAV. Alternatively if a company had an internal server with shared documents I think this could be setup with a VPN remote drive and files could securely be accessed remotely on the Nokia E7 while away from the office. This would be a very good feature for some business users and a big boost to productivity.

USB OTG
USB On The Go is able to use USB sticks and some other USB devices. I was able to plug in a wireless keyboard and mouse receiver and use the wireless keyboard and mouse on screen using a HDMI to DVI adapter to a 21.5%u201D 1080p screen. I was able to use Quickoffice document, spread sheet and presentation with a mouse and keyboard on a monitor without a computer. I think how all this functionality combines together creates some interesting possibilities and increases the flexibilities and options for the travelling business user to create/prepare or deliver business communications on the go. Alternatively this would allow people to plug the Nokia E7 into a HD TV and surf the internet from the couch using a Bluetooth keyboard.

Connectivity
The Nokia E7 has Penta (5) band 3G connectivity and Quad (4) band 2G connectivity means the Nokia E7 should be able to access coverage in probably just about any continent in the world. The Penta Band 3G connectivity is up to 10Mbps down speed and 2Mbps up speed.
The Nokia E7 also has WiFi B, G and N at 2.4GHz
BT 3.0 with A2DP is included.

Tethering
Another handy feature included for free in all Nokia Smart Phones is tethering or the ability to use the phone as a modem to connect a computer to the internet. This can be done over USB or Bluetooth. There is also an application called Joikuspot that creates a WiFi hotspot using the phone%u2019s data plan there is two versions a free, lite, application and a paid, premium, application with more features.

Camera
The camera is 8 Mega Pixel Full Focus, which means that everything is in focus all the time, the camera does not need to spend time adjusting focus depth to whatever is in the field of view. When taking a picture everything in the field of view is always in focus, including the foreground and the background. This I think is quite a good idea and something I like a lot. When a specific depth of focus on other focusing cameras is used the background of pictures are often out of focus which is not very often how it looks to the naked eye. There are a lot of positives I see from the Full Focus camera. Everything is in focus all the time. No time spent waiting for focus to adjust. The camera module doesn%u2019t take up as much room, which lets the device be thinner, and gives more room for the battery, which increases the amount of time between battery charges. In a word, efficient.
There is also quite a lot of more advanced options when taking pictures if desired. The default setting is auto and colour tone default is normal which gives a more accurate colour representation, there is also vivid if higher saturation colour is desired.
There is a Panorama application in the Ovi Store which guides through taking multiple pictures and the application stitches the pictures together automatically after the pictures have been taken.
There is also a HDR Photo Camera application in the Ovi Store that creates HDR images using the camera which I have tried. It is good.
The Nokia E7 includes a dual LED flash for the camera which can function as a torch when needed. To activate the torch go to the home screen and swipe and hold the lock swipe down for two seconds and then swipe and hold the lock swipe down for two seconds again. I found the torch to be remarkably bright.

Applications
Mail for Exchange is included. It uses Microsoft Active Sync to synchronise directly with the Microsoft Exchange server to push email to the device for free with no additional software required. Mail for Exchange requires no special phone or data plans, just an ordinary data plan that is included in almost all mobile phone plans currently. The Nokia E7 also has support for Lotus Notes email which I didn%u2019t use.
Lifetime Nokia Messaging push email is included for free. This enables the device to check up to 10 different email addresses and push them to the device.
The synchronisation or push emails can all be setup to be pushed between certain hours on certain days of the week or set to be manual check or automatically checked at certain time intervals. It is very configurable.
Email inbox widgets can be configured to the home screens which show the title of the inbox and the two latest emails and the home screen widgets will update as new emails arrive automatically. This enables simply glancing at the screen to see the latest two email subject and sender information.
Gravity is an iconic program for Twitter users on Nokia and many say it has the best Twitter User Interface on a mobile device and has a home screen widget also.

Voice Guided Turn By Turn GPS Navigation
For voice guided street name navigation there is Nokia Ovi Maps which is also free. With this navigation solution the maps are pre-loaded for the relevant country and the device can be used off line. Many other navigation solutions require a constant connection to the internet to download the maps as they are needed, which could be a problem if navigation is required where there is no internet coverage. Additionally alternative voices may be recorded or downloaded with the OwnVoice application available in Nokia Ovi Maps.
Quickoffice supplies the Office document viewing and editing for Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF reader.
F-Secure Anti-Theft is included for free.

 

AndrewJ2 posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:the hardware undermined by terrible software.Maemo?

The Bad:symbian(SinBinian) and flat keys

Tried this out of interest and didn't likke the keyboard with its flat,unresponsive keyboard at all.Had Nokias for 16 years .Software is definetly their archillies heel.Just too unstable.Went over to BlackBerry and bought a Torch 9800 and haven't looked back.Regret I didn't giVe the N900 a go

 

alexreunion2 posted a comment   

i wonder whether samsung galaxy s has this feature?

johnsmith1289
9
Rating
 

"Nokia at what it does best"

johnsmith1289 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:typical nokia excellent hardware design, amazing screen, great keyboard, OviMaps

The Bad:no microSD slot, battery life could be better, lack of apps on Symbian ^3 (for now)

I will start with the keyboard, since this is the main differentiator between the other Symbian^3 phones (N8, C7, etc). The keys are fantastic and a joy to type with. They are nicely spaced and give good feedback. After using this, I would never want to go back to the iphone or other onscreen keyboards.

The keyboard slide mechanism is also very solid and confidence inspiring. Admittedly it took some practice to get accustomed at first, but I was using it fluently after about half a day. It does not feel filmsy at all, and gives the impression that it will last forever. The battery will probably die of old age before the slide mechanism.

Speaking of the battery, it is non-user replaceable and to be honest, the battery life could be better. It lasts about one and a half days worth of medium use. I have come to expect better from Nokia. I understand the limitations they had in not fitting a bigger battery though, as they managed to fit so much in a phone that's barely thicker than an N8 or some andriod phones.

Industrial design is where Nokia really shines. I have the dark grey version, and really like the metallic chrome edges of the buttons and the sliders (screen lock and volume rocker) - gives it a very nice premium feel. I also appreciate little touches like a thin strip of rubber around the screen (with gorilla glass), so if it does get dropped the rubber will absorb a lot of the impact. All of that wrapped around a full metal body, it really does feel solid and first-rate.

Hardware wise, like the difference between a toyota and a mercedes, you can't point at any one thing and say it's substantially better, but as a whole it just oozes quality.

The screen is another standout. It performs great under sunlight, and has amazing contrast. After 3 weeks of use I have not once wished it had a higher resolution. At 4 inches it's just at the limit of being pocketable and one-hand use. I don't mind not having portrait qwerty so much, because I use portrait T9 for one handed use while on the move.

OviMaps is very good, and the best software on a mobile phone. It's been extensively reviewed on the net so I won't go into it here.

Being a business phone, the E7 has good security features. You can remote lock and remote wipe the phone if necessry (with F-secure). Although I wish these features are easier to find and switched on by default, given the target market.

Connectivity is very good. I find the onboard 16gb very adequate, so haven't missed a microSD slot yet. USB on the go is a great feature, and for business use, I much prefer to have USB on the go rather than to have a microSD slot.

Symbian^3 needs more apps, but right now it does everything I need. I do wish I can access and modify Microsoft OneNote files though. Nokia Big Screen shows the potential of this phone, and the possibilities of good apps.

In summary, this is the best phone I've ever used. It may not be as fun as an iphone or as geeky as andriod, but in all the important areas like messaging, outdoor use, voice quality, security, and connectivity, the E7 really shines.

jakiman
10
Rating
 

"Another excellent phone from Nokia"

jakiman posted a review   
Australia

The Good:1. Superb build quality. 2. Nice big AMOLED screen. 3. HDMI output. 4. USB OTG support. 5. The best keyboard.

The Bad:1. Could benefit from faster CPU. 2. No MicroSD card slot. 3. No user replaceable battery. 4. Weak OS features (for now)

Here's my short review of the E7. =)

I've owned and currently own many phones. But Nokia E7 is one of the sexiest phones I've had so far. Definitely a winner in the design front. Also, its build quality is second to none. Smooth hard anodized surface, rounded edges, full aluminum body and a rock solid slide mechanism for its keyboard just screams quality. (only complaint is that it's a little too slippery. So I recommend a silicon case or a lanyard.)

Also, USB Host feature is really useful. I've used it to connect other phones to it and copy files between them, memory card reader, a mouse (where you actually get a fully useable mouse cursor on the screen to navigate around when plugged in) etc. Also, HDMI out means you can watch 720p videos (even 720p MKV files) on the big screen as if it's a proper media player.

4" AMOLED screen using Nokia Beta Lab's Sleeping Screen is one of the most useful features missing in practically all phones. Acts as a night clock and full notifications screen without ever needing to press any button on the screen is a godsend. Hardly uses any battery as well due to its AMOLED characteristics. (individually lit pixels) It also has a Clear Black Display filter (CBD) which increases contrast in bright environments. (much like an expensive screen filter in new plasma TV's) It's very subtle but definitely can make out the difference when I place Nokia N8 right next to it.

As a phone, it's pure Nokia. Best in business reception strength, loud and clear earpiece, smart touch screen dialling etc. Hardware keyboard is also the best in business. I don't think there is any other smart phone with a better qwerty keyboard than the E7. Demo dummy phones in shops just don't do it justice. Gotta try out the real thing to appreciate how good it is.

Some complain about the camera being non-auto focus. But it does have a plus side. It can take a photo quicker than pretty much ANY phone. Even quicker than my DSLR nearly. lol. Soon as you press the shutter, photo is taken. No half-press to focus delay. It's instantaneous. Only negative is tghat it can't do macro focus. So no super close up photos... 720p video recording works as expected.

OVI Store (Nokia app store) is now much like Android/iOS. Yes, there are less apps but it still has most major apps/games and some excellent exclusives. Also, Nokia Maps is I reckon the best GPS turn-by-turn navigation app of all phones. Best of all, it's totally FREE.

Symbian^3 OS that it comes with is very competant. It might not be as pretty as some but is just as functional and is better than some. Also, it is getting a MAJOR upgrade soon. A whole new GUI update to give it a better touch screen UI experience more inline with Android/iOS.

Don't be fooled by its low spec CPU or "only" 256MB of RAM. In real life use, it's actually quite snappy and "will" save you time compared to 'iPhone' due to the use of widgets, screensaver (sleeping screen) etc. The places where it could have benefitted from a faster CPU are the loading times of apps/games and during heavy multi-tasking. But even right now, it's not bad at all.

At the end, E7 does as much and more than most other current phones out there. It also will get a new injection of life later this year. So I highly recommend it to anyone who were worried about how it is now and in the future.

 

Joseph Hanlon posted a reply   
Australia

Great review jakiman, thanks for taking the time to post this :)

 

jakiman posted a reply   
Australia

Thanks. I intended it to be a couple of sentences. But ended up being a bit longer. hehe. btw, some extra comments:

1. Web Browser

Current default web browser does suck. Upcoming major OS update will also upgrade the browser so that it's more in line with current modern smart phones. But even right now, the new Opera Mobile 11 makes all Symbian^3 phones such as N8, E7 etc fully competant. (except for flash...) Pich to zoom, fast rendering, multiple browser windows etc. It makes the dodgy default browser experience irrelevant.

2. On-screen keyboard

Currently, there is no portrait qwerty keyboard. Only landscape. Funny considering E7 has a beautiful hardware keybaord during landscape use anyways. It also doesn't have split screen keyboard like nearly all other platforms. But it is coming. We've seen the leaked videos, official screenshots since last year! I guess we have to wait a little longer. But yeah, this soon will be a non-issue. Well, if you "really" want a portrait split-screen keyboard "right now", you can by installing 3rd party keyboards such as Baidu input or DayHand. They work very well and feels very much native.

 

Xi1_Xi3 posted a comment   

Does anyone know if this suffers the same memory problems as the N97

 

jakiman posted a reply   
Australia

No. N97 has 128MB of RAM. E7 had 256MB of RAM. This extra 128MB is a huge difference considering the core OS memory usage isn't that different. I have both N8 and E7 and have never had any memory problems even when running multiple games and apps at same time.

 

info_overload posted a reply   
Australia

The Nokia E7 has demand paging where it can use the other memory of the phone when needed. Much like Microsoft Windows page file.

 

kj posted a comment   

any one know that E7 comes with voip & sip setting or not?


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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia E7

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