Nokia E7 review of the business class

Many thanks again to the wonderful folks at WomWorld/Nokia for sending across this awesome Nokia E7 for trial. This is my 400th post here and I hope to cover the in-depth review of this device.

The phone was unveiled at Nokia World 2010. Even though it was announced in 2010, the phone made its way into the market in 2011.

E7 has a 4″ touchscreen with Clear Black Display and came with a full QWERTY keyboard. When compared with the likes of Galaxy S and others, the phone lacks the processor power. However, the Symbian OS on it helps the phone to be fast enough to perform the daily activities with ease.

Packing & Contents
The package is a complete blue box. The box is small and sufficient enough to hold the required contents. The package is neat and clean with the full fledged image of E7 on it.

Inside the box we have,

  • The Nokia E7 with embedded BL-4D battery
  • Connectivity Cable (CA-101D)
  • Adapter for HDMI (CA-156)
  • Adapter for USB OTG (CA-157)
  • Stereo headset (WH-701) with 2 additional ear buds
  • High Efficiency Charger (AC-10)
  • Quick Start Guide

As you open the box, there lies the visual treat. The huge E7 upfront. Its not too huge, but feels like one. The contents of the box listed above would be available in most of the regions. I feel bundling the HDMI adapter and USB OTG adapter are a huge plus for ease of connectivity.

Body and the looks

The phone build is amazing and the solid anodized aluminum build gives it a premium look. The phone is certainly not the lightest with a weight of around 176g. Boasts of a huge 4″ Clear Black Display (with 360 * 640 resolution, 16 M colours) for excellent outdoor visibility. The Corning Gorilla Glass is less prone to scratches and along with CBD adds on to the premium feel of the device.

At the front, below the huge screen we have a central menu button. Above the screen to the left of the big ear piece, we have proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. On the right of the ear piece we have the front video camera.

At the bottom of the device, there is a lone mic and the rest of the place gives the device information.

The left side of the device hosts the lock/unlock slider key.

The Right of the device has a SIM slot covered by SIM tray, Volume slider, Physical Shutter button. You need to long press the shutter button to open the camera app. Volume slider does the job by occupying minimal space without hurting the looks of the device.

If you think E7 allows SIM hot-swapping, then you are mistaken. Whenever you switch SIM, the phone restarts.

The top of the device has the utilities required – 3.5 mm Audio Jack, Power Button, micro HDMI port and USB/Charging port. There is a small LED above the USB port which notifies you if the phone is charging or not. The USB cable covers it up making it less visible to users. There is DivX and XVid support and hence with the support of micro HDMI port and cable, the movies can be projected onto an HDMI TV.


The rear of the device contains the 8MP Full Focus camera capable of recording videos at 720p resolution. Along with the camera, we have dual LED flash which can be used as torch light by holding down the Lock/Unlock slider for 3 – 5 secs. Also, there is a secondary microphone at the right edge which is used for Noise cancellation. Also there is a single loudspeaker at the bottom half of the device.

Underneath everything, the device hosts a well spaced, QWERTY keyboard. Nokia has really managed to pull it off successfully in packing the device with a physical QWERTY keyboard and still maintaining the slim profile of the device. The feel good factor when you slide out the QWERTY, the elegance, the design make you wonder “How can the build be so good from Nokia”. The keys are well spaced and are easily accessed and has good backlight. I managed to access the first row keys too without much pain.

Once the QWERTY keyboard is out, the display portion puts itself out into a tilted angle for better and comfortable viewing angle. The same mechanism was in N97’s. So the tried and tested method adds onto the form factor of E7. Don’t try to slide it open, try to push the screen down at the edges which will get the other side to tilt up with the help of the hinge.

And yes, there is no Micro SD slot. The phone comes with 16GB internal memory. But with USB OTG, you don’t miss the microSD card extension but looks like the old antenna hanging around.

Notifications:

We have the missed call / message notification light surrounding the Menu button. Also, you can configure Breathing light on the device. As told before, we have a notification light next to the USB charging port to indicate status.

Battery:

The sealed non-accessible 1200 mAh BL-4D battery gives sufficient juice to the device to last for 2 days max and with heavy usage the juice was over within a day.

Hardware:

There is nothing impressive with the processing power as the phone is powered by a ARM 680 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM, 350 MB internal memory. There is Pentaband connectivity with support upto HSUPA, WiFi, Bluetooth.

OS and its features:

E7 comes with Symbian 3. Luckily for me, the Symbian Anna was rolled out when the device was with me. I was able to update it and could observe quite a bit of improvements. The OS is snappier sometimes when you have too many apps opened up, but Symbian does the job very well with the hardware limitations at the bottom. If it had been other OS, the phone would have restarted multiple times.

The Photo gallery

There is an update to the Calendar view in Anna when compared to the previous version of Symbian. (Left image is Non-Anna and Right is Anna)

Music player is something which has been good on Symbian. The music player allows navigating via Album Art. This is one thing which I love to have it on my phone.

Radio app

Anna brings in huge changes to the built in browser. There is change in the UI, its memory handling, feels light etc.

 The messaging app and the conversation view. You can also see the split screen keyboard (introduced in Symbian Anna) which is much better than the previous virtual view.

I love the search functionality on the Symbian now. Start typing what you want to find, you will get the results from Apps, Mails, Photos, Music etc.

Apps Bundled:

Nokia Maps, its undoubtedly the best bundled app and I wish it was present on all the phones. Nokia Maps is the life time free app and gives you directions and gets Voice-guidance with it.

The other app which comes bundled is the Communicator. For personal use, not much of a benefit. The others being the mail and social clients from Nokia. The Mail app does synchronize stuff very well and and allows you to keep track of the mails coming to your inbox (public mail or office mail ).

There are photo and video editors on the phone which can be used too. (haven’t tried it though)

Camera:

All this Full Focus stuff is due to the phone belonging to the E-Series and communicator range of devices. The 8MP camera does come in handy to the folks who are not much into the imaging field. All they would do is, hit the shutter button and get a snap. This Full Focus camera would suit them for sure. Watch out the pics captured below.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Good:

  • Premium Build Quality
  • Hardware QWERTY
  • 4″ CBD
  • Out of box support for DivX, XVid
  • Connectivity options
  • HD recording
  • Nokia Maps

Bad:

  • Processor, RAM.
  • Symbian OS still has a long way to go to match Android, IOS (Wish Symbian Belle was on E7)
  • EDOF Camera on a premium device
  • Higher price
  • No Micro SD slot

Hope I have covered all the points which you generally look out for. Do let us know your comments.

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