Business as usual for the Eseries is a cliché – thank you very much. But the kind that makes the world feel right. The Nokia E7 could’ve been just another Eseries phone. Oh well, that wasn’t meant to be. The latest is implicitly the greatest but, in the case of the E7, the latest may simply be the last.
Symbian is just about to be knocked off the top-spot as the market-leading smartphone platform. Worse yet, while loyal users are still sitting on a fence about replacing their E71/E72s Nokia is deciding whether to euthanize Symbian. Question marks have been hanging over the platform’s approach to touchscreen since day one. And now it’s got WP7 at its very doorstep. It’s the worst of times for the Nokia E7. But it’s up to it to show that the Eseries are still open for business.
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Penta-band 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA
- Anodized aluminum unibody
- 4" 16M-color ClearBlack AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
- Scratch resistant Gorilla glass display
- 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera with LED flash
- 720p video recording @ 25fps
- Symbian^3 OS
- 680 MHz ARM 11 CPU and 256 MB RAM
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- microHDMI port 720p TV-out functionality
- GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
- Digital compass
- 16GB of on-board storage
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- DivX and XviD video support
- Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS, FM transmitter
- microUSB port with USB On-the-go
- Flash and Java support for the web browser
- Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
- Good quality audio
- Smart and voice dialing
- Office document editor preinstalled
- Symbian^3 is still behind Android and iOS usability standards
- Ovi store content is inferior to Android market and App Store
- Fixed-focus on an 8 megapixel camera is just wrong
- Camera interface is decidedly outdated
- Battery is not user-replaceable
- No microSD card slot
Now, Nokia reconfirmed their commitment to Symbian in the short-term, but that doesn’t mean much. If the platform is to be scrapped, users will learn it the hard way when regular updates stop coming in. Occasional bug-fixes is the best they can hope to get. And good software support is among of the main reasons why people still choose Nokia.
However, how much short-term can stretch depends on the success of the current Symbian^3 devices. So if the Nokia E7 does at least as well on the market as the N8, it might as well buy the platform a few extra years.
As you can see from the lists above, the Nokia E7 is basically a larger N8, trading the camera bulk for a a larger and better display and a full QWERTY keyboard. To be honest though, when we reviewed the N8 it was mostly the camera we were delighted with. Then, that was five months ago and the bar is set higher now.
The Nokia E7 certainly won’t have an easy ride throughout this review. Let’s see how it handles the pressure.