I got a chance to take a look at Nokia’s E7 and I had a blast doing so. It was cool getting stares and having people ask what type of phone it was. I have the lowdown on what it was like to actually use the phone. Though my relationship was short-lived, about two weeks, I had some ups and downs. Read on to find out what they were.
So did I mention this phone is sexy? I got the Austin Martin Grey (ok I made that up). The phone just looks and feels nice in the hand. It has gentle angular curves on both ends of the device much like the N8 which no other device really has. It’s not the thinnest device, but it doesn’t feel flimsy at all like the Nexus S or the Galaxy S. In fact, it’s sturdy enough to hang out in the pocket all day and come out unscathed without the aid of conventional phone armor. I’m still not a fan of the slidy-nob to unlock but at least the center button serves that function as well. There is also another slidy-nob on the top right of the device that serves as a zoom in/out or volume control which I found clever. I also loved the slide-out sim-card trey. It keeps you from having to open the phone for switching sims if your into that kinda thing.
Again, I love the fact that it comes with a mini HDMI slot and adapter for Hi Definition output. Dual LED lights for a nice bright flash instead of the commoner’s one LED light source. Really spacious and well thought out keyboard that slides into a provocative pose. Though it takes a little getting used to at first, the sliding mechanism is quite sturdy and unique. Most people I showed the phone to were pleasantly surprised with the hidden keyboard. These are the little things that make the phone pleasant to use. The 4″ AMOLED screen certainly doesn’t hurt either. The display is quite bright and is makes video playback look great.
You can stay connected through your OVI password. I liked being able to stay logged into my facebook and twitter and get updates via the widget on one of my homescreens. You also get updates from your different email accounts as well as messages from contacts.
On more than one occasion, I did notice the phone quality seriously depreciate. The audio would sort of pop, almost like an old vinyl record would. Not sure what that was about, but it wasn’t often. However, I did notice it and thought it worth a mention. Other than that the audio quality was on par with my other phone experiences.
I’m not clear on what the vision is for the Symbian browser, but I wasn’t too impressed with the browsing experience. It was fairly fast on my T-mobile “3.5g” connection, however, I found it cumbersome to navigate. It would give me a list of sites to navigate, but it always felt like I was doing too much work to get from one place to another. The phone never really supplied me with possible sites I was trying to type out, nor was it visually engaging. Of course you can bookmark, the surfing with more than one window open wasn’t very elegant and was definitely difficult to do while on the go. You had to stop what you were doing in order to navigate and that can be a little annoying in a city like NY where I need my info ASAP while I’m on the street.
The keyboard definitely helped with text input but I am still unsure of why Nokia doesn’t just break down and add a full digital keyboard for both portrait and landscape modes. Why do I have a number pad in portrait mode? It’s useful when talking with the drone on the other end of the phone when trying to pay a bill or turn the cable back on, but that’s about it. Wish there was at least an option to switch between keyboards. I also didn’t like being taken to a text area when typing up an email or response to a text. I think it would look better if I would see the text right there next to the original received message without first going into that text box. It feels like an extra step which ads to the time it takes to get simple things like that done.
Why oh why did you skinch on the camera for the E7? Give it the bulgy eye like you did with the N8. I don’t care if you guys were concerned about the slimness. I like my phones with curves in all the right places! I thought 8 Megapixels was good, but no true focus killed it for me. All of the pieces for a great shooting experience and no control over focus ruins the fun. It’s like going to the mall on a shopping spree and only having a dollar to spend. Ok I’m being a bit dramatic, but it did feel funky. I ended up wanting to wait till I got my true camera for picture taking.
Overall I enjoyed the device and I can’t sing enough praises about how well made and beautiful the device looked and felt in hand. Other than a few funky sounding calls, and camera disappointments, I enjoyed using the phone and wouldn’t mind owning the device. However, I must say that Symbian is beginning to feel a bit aged, especially when I compare it to iOS or Android. It’s a shame because the phone itself is a true beauty.
You can find the specs here