The Nokia E7 is the flagship business phone from Nokia.Does Nokia’s hardware and Symbian’s software make the perfect match for the business users? Let’s find out.
Hardware & Design
Nokia is known for having some of the best hardware around for cell phones and the E7 is no exception. The build quality is excellent construction. You get a 4 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 640 x 360 that give you a sharp and vivid display. An 8 megapixel rear facing camera which we will get into more detail later on and a front facing VGA camera. What’s nice about the E7 is that it keeps a nice sleek and not to bulky profile while still packing a full four row QWERTY keyboard They keyboard is wonderful to use as keys are spaced out nicely and each individual key responsive solid when pressed down.
The HDMI port is something we see common in high-end phones but Nokia was gracious enough to include the HDMI cable needed to connect it to your HDTV which puts the phone in mirrored mode which we showed in the video review. Internally you get Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, 1200 mAH battery and 16 GB of internal storage. There is no micro SD card slot as Nokia is pushing their cloud services to store your content if you need more space. Excellent hardware package with great form and design with just enough weight to give it a solid feel.
Software & Usability
The device users Symbian as its smartphone OS and let’s be honest here and just say that Symbian is fully showing its age. It’s not the most intuitive mobile OS to navigate around. The addition of a capacitive touch does help responsiveness but there were times where you could tell the OS was getting in the way of a touch gesture functioning such as pinch and zoom which was not that smooth at all. The software was built before touchscreen smartphones became the standard so Symbian has the navigation of an older smartphone with a touch interface on top of it. Now at its core Symbian has everything you need in a smartphone from both the consumer and enterprise level with Microsoft Exchange support, Microsoft communicator and VPN support. It’s just that it’s not that easy to get to all of it and use it. It will take you about 2-4 menus deep before you can get to the option that you are looking for and it’s not always in the most obviously place you would expect.
The main screen has 3 desktops on it which you can customize with widgets on it. You can’t add anymore desktops to it and you can’t do custom resizing of widgets either. You do have access of the Nokia Ovi store which has a good amount of apps in it to get you by. You also Ovi maps is a well design map program that many users and no users like. For social networking there is pre-installed social profiles app but I was never able to get it to fully work as it would need to first logged in with your Ovi store account and even then it would log my accounts our randomly and never worked with Facebook. The build in e-mail client is clunky and confusing to get through and not the most elegance to look at.
Probably the best interface is the camera app. There are a ton of options to choose from that work in both video and picture mode. The quality of the video and images is excellent and there is no other mobile phone in the market can compare to the image quality of E7’s cameras. Check out our full review of that here.
Call quality was on par with what you expect I was able to call and connect to everything I called just fine and people could hear me clearly and I could hear them clear as well. Battery life was also solid on here as I was able to get 2-3 days without having to charge with light to moderate usage. Nokia does a great job with multitasking and I’m sure this helps in giving you efficient battery life.
The Nokia E7 is by far one of the best design phones hardware wise that exist in the market today. Its only hampered by the software and exploits even more how old Symbian has become. For a first time smartphone users this make work for them if they never had a touch screen phone before and only used dumbphones in the past. The Symbian interface still works in the old school way of navigation with direction pads and dedicated menu keys which this type of users will be familiar with and should be able to navigate through this phone without too many issues. if you have already moved on to a more modern OS such as Android or iOS or even WebOS then you will find trouble trying to use this device. Top notch hardware from Nokia that is only being held down by software and hopefully Symbian will see a refreshed overhaul update or we will see this same hardware with Windows Phone 7 running on it.