Nokia E7 Review
In this past couple of years we did notice the evolution of smartphones on the worldwide markets and they’ve got way ahead each time with creative competitions between leading brands such as QWERTY, HTC, Windows Mobile, WP7, and Android featuring sliding keyboards and tilt-out displays. But when we go back on HTC there are not so many memorable creations, but when we mention Nokia’s past well don’t forget Nokia’s line of Communicator clamshell phones.
Nokia started blasting the market beginning with the Nokia 9000 late in the 1996′s and they just do not stop continuing with Symbian S80 model, not to mention the blow minding Nokia E90 atop S60v3. Make way as the new Communicator makes his entrance in this game and dethroning the Nokia N8. Can we go back a few months back, let’s say six months when N8 was first introduced on the market and not to forget the recent partnership with Microsoft that both the blasting news about the future and how they will adopt Windows Phone for future high-end smartphones.
The big question that storks us now: is the E7 the best of Communicator series? But the most important will be the confrontation with iOS and Android.
First thing first : it doesn’t matter if it’s silver or black, the E7 device locks extraordinary really nice hardware. Compared to the iPhone 4, it doesn’t have the Dieter Rams-inspired as the iPhone 4 but E7 is the prefect competition when we talk built quality and the material. The design of the E7 is quite like his sibling the N8, below are some of the features:
The front of the E7 can be confused with the N8 but not to forget that physical keyboard and that’s way the body is sliced longitudinally into two sections
The first half is for the display and the menu key and the second half comes with the camera, keyboard and the other electronics.
In the bottom there is a single speaker and a microphone.
Headphones jack comes with the full support for stereo accessories (3-pin) but doesn’t support the usual non-Nokia headsets (4-pin).
The sound on the speaker is very clear and load.
The right edge is for the SIM tray, the volume and the camera shutter.
The big stars of this show are definitely the physical keyboard and the tilt-out display. The company did choose to implement the similar mechanism such as the N97mini and N97, making it universally difficult to open ( all the tests showed us that is quite impossible to not risk to slip or even drop the phone in the process). The device is spring loaded in both directions and to open ore close there is a atisfying “clunk”. The base of the keyboard, the hinge and back of the keyboard are all made of a strong alloy.
After using the E7 for more than a month, there was no problems, but I did notice that our older review unit was easier to open than the newer one. We did love the keyboard on the E7 and the tactile feedback is absolute amazing.
Along the beauty, brightness and not to forget the direct sunlight comes the 4-inch ClearBack AMOLED touchscreen with the colors that are so vivid plus that sweet contrast and the perfect angles, exactly as I was expecting from this type of display.
Here comes what Nokia likes to call the nHD, 640 x 360 pixels in the 4.3-inch making the E7 WVGA display looking like a high definition. Not least the European units, we did notice that this versions are more odd with some strange colors, this problem may be classified as a manufacturing defect because the other units do not own this problem.
Gorilla Glass is the name of the sheet that protects that cool touchscreen and houses the proximity sensor and light sensor as well. Here comes something that is worth mentioning, the US version encountered a few scratches on the display within hours of being un-boxed, not to worry we did use it gently wile the European version did survive a hole bunch of rough and tumble.
The beloved E7 brings almost the same features as his predecessor the N8:
680MHzARM 11 CPU.
Broadcom BCM2727 GPU.
256MB of RAM.
350MB of phone storage.
16GB of internal mass storage.
Yes the radio fans will enjoy the complete set of radios (support for UMTS / HSPA) pentaband AWS, EDGE/GSM WiFi b/g/n Bluetooth 3.0 and AGPS and not to forget the FM receiver. Not like the N8 there is no place for the MicroSD card slot, none 2mm charging port and no FM transmitter nether. E7 comes with the USB On-The-Go enabling the portability to get connected with a flash drive, keyboards, self-powered hard drives and not least optional accessories such as Nokia’s own Digital Radio Headset.
This two versions ( European and US ) comes with HDMI adapter, micro-USB cable, USB On-The-Go adapter and a micro-USB charger. Both of N8 and E7 have the exactly the same BL-4D battery, because we know that Nokia have usual high standards we did some tests with the reception quality and with the calls too the results of the battery life was excellent for a fully specced smartphone exactly as we expected. The great thing about the E7 device is that he easily bated the Android handsets with almost three days of light duty, more then dozen text messages and usually about 30 minutes worth of call plus music playback each day. Did we mention that during this tests we did enable the WiFi and the results was exactly like a business-centric phone.
With an 8 megapixel Extended Depth of Field camera and the dual-LED flash, the results are just extreme and beautiful shots, but most of all the color balance plus the excellent exposure. To tell the truth the E7 cameras is no way near that stunning phenomenological N8, but is quit very important to mention that the E7s is the their daddy wen it comes to the today’s smartphones.
Nothing is perfect this giant comes with the massive problem, not to worry the problem is not with the focus ore all that comes beyond 60cm, here comes the problem with a fixed-focus lens it’s impossible to take closeup shots. That 8 megapixel sensors are amazing and the quality on that pictures can be easily enlarged plus cropped super easy. Let us proceed with the video part, the E7 can capture very easily the smooth 720p HD at 25fps and this give’s berth to awesome results, the EDoF actually helps in this area because most of the devices out there don’t support auto-focus during video recording.
The cleaver part is that the big three are here in this focus mix: sub-optimal preset focus, user-controlled initial focus touch-to-focus during capture (like on the iPhone 4). So is easy to get it that EDoF saves the day when we mention precludes closeups, but how I did mention above nothing is perfect that’s way do not relay on the digital zoom because it the big disappointed will follow but there is a good news the audio, the recording is sweat and the sound is very clear too. Bad part on the audio is that it gets out of sync, and here is the bug with the audio.
The interface on E7 device is almost the same as the one on that N8 and easy to manage too. Yes the reason why I enjoy the E7 is that almost all of his controls are so easy to use and additional settings are nestled within menus. The panorama built-in is such a mess but do not worry here is the solution for the problem a separate app from the Internet will save the day.
The amazing part is that the E7s hardware is pretty awesome but the the Symbian is worthless, and about what I did mention above is that the review of the N8 very well applies to this E7 smartphone and yes is the same routine that becomes a burden day-to-day. We were Symbian users for a pretty amount of time and we know those strengths and weaknesses of this once-glorious OS.
The sadness comes from the single idea that when measured against the other major platforms Symbian is no longer competitive, not to forget this is more true today than it was after the N8 was first launch on the market more than six month ago that’s way we need to proceed now whit some of the specifics.
An quick example can easily be that on the European review unit there was the Symbian 3 PR1.1 but on the US version there was one release behind, and the funny part is that the both devices are using the browser version 7.2. Let me tell you about the apps, the US phones and the European version too comes preloaded with:
Paramount Movie Teaser.
Psiloc World Traveler.
And the standard set of Nokia apps too. It’s important to mention that the Symbian is quite efficient that is very important for the battery life and multitasking plus it can provide the dequate performance even on run-of-the-mill processors. Sadly the E7 often is a little bit sluggish and is more faster then most of the Symbian devices.
The based browser is not lest the Webkit-based with means one thing trouble this way we strongly suggest to install Opera, trust us your way better off this way. The Symbian still is the best when we summon that Bluetooth functionality of any mobiles platform. Just some of the worldwide apps stand out as good examples for the Symbian. Let me give a little example: Ovi Maps is the prefect alternative for that ubiquitous Google Maps, plus this Ovi Maps is great at offline navigation and the cool maps for all the world.
Well friends after spending a couple of weeks with this new creation from Nokia, we truly believe that this is the most HOT pieces of hardware we’ve played with in recent months.
Great news for all of the Symbian fans the price for this pretty nice phone is 679 asking price, we did enjoy this device a lot and we are seriously thinking that we need to pick one up right away. This new device brings many reasons that we need to appreciate: super life battery, great multitasking, but the Symbian remains the problem.
I personally recommend you to use the E7 for the Apple and Google ecosystems. So dear uncle Nokia please give me an E7 but with some little modifications such ass the higher pixel-density display, a current-generation processor a current-generation processor I will be happy then.
We really enjoyed this amazing creation from our beloved Nokia and i suggest you give this device a tray because the experience will not be so disappointing after all. I read some articles about E7 taring to be a failed attempt at a HTC Tilt clone and I don’t thing thats true.