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 Nokia E7 Review

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PostSubject: Nokia E7 Review   Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:11 pm

The Communicator is alive and has transformed into what is now the
Nokia E7. It has gone a long way ó slimmer, lighter and faster while
retaining that signature form factor. Check out our full review of the Nokia E7 after the jump.



If youíre familiar with the popular Nokia N8, the Nokia E7 looks very
similar ó a solid, metallic unibody design with a large 4-inch touch
screen ó but when you flip it sideways and open up the sliding keyboard,
the handset transforms into something totally different and reminiscent
of the N900 or the decades-old Nokia Communicator. Itís basically an N8
with a physical keypad.

The body is relatively thin (just a few millimeter away from the
slimmer N8) and has a somewhat rounded edges with the top and bottom
corners a chopped off to make room for ports and buttons ó a USB port,
HDMI, power button and 3.5mm audio jack is positioned on top while a
slender Home/Menu button is placed at the very bottom of the front
panel.



Since the Nokia E7 comes in a unibody casing, the battery is built
into the device and is not user-replaceable. Likewise, the SIM card slot
is accessible from the outside via a small cradle that slides out from
the top right side of the unit. Beside it is a slider for controlling
the zoom of the camera and on the far end, a dedicated button for the
8MP camera.

On the left side is a single switch thatís easily accessible by the
middle finger or index finger that controls the screen lock. At the back
is a non-descript 8-megapixel fix-focus camera with dual-LED flash
(more on that later).



The slider mechanism is similar to that of the Nokia N97
as it is positioned in a titled angle once fully opened. Nokia was able
to make this handset a bit thinner but carving out a few millimeters
off the unibody which somewhat buries the display panel into the body.



The full qwerty keyboard is large and spacious although the
individual keys are a bit buried into the surface and comfortably typing
with both hands could get a little bit time to get used to (the review
unit given to me has a different language setting so Iím still groping
around with the keyboard ).

When closed, the touch screen has a virtual keyboard you can use to
navigate and make calls or send text messages. Sliding out the full
keyboard allows you to type longer messages at a much faster rate ó like
composing mails or even mobile blogging.



The large 4-inch screen is among the largest Iíve seen on a Nokia
handset ó itís clear, bright and crisp, thanks to the AMOLED screen and
Nokiaís ClearBlack display. The 360◊640 pixel resolution seemed a bit
low but thatís not noticeable most of the time.

The E7 is among the few Nokia handsets that have move on to using
capacitive screen and the performance on this unit is pleasantly
surprising. There are 3 home screens you can flip across with widgets
and shortcuts you can customize.
Probably the biggest debate among smartphone users is the Symbian^3
OS thatís installed in the handset. Itís been a long while since Iíve
extensively used Symbian so Iím not very familiar with the improvements.
The last time Iíve really owned one was with the Nokia 5800XM (which
was like 3 years ago) so when Iím force to compare it with this unit,
Iíd say thereís been very significant improvements. For Nokia N8 users,
this is practically the same. In any case, if youíre very familiar with
Symbian phones, this handset will not disappoint.



IMO, Iíd wish theyíd consider running Meego/Maemo on this unit like
what they did with the N900 (which was on Maemo). If youíre into apps
though, thereís the Nokia Ovi Store you can browse thru to download
games and other apps. I like Oviís integration with 3rd-party email
accounts and social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter though
(of course, youíll need to sign up for an Ovi account in order to set
that up). The built-in browser isnít the best weíve tried but itís
simple and works just fine. Fortunately, you can just hope on to Ovi and
download Opera Mobile.

Moving back to the camera ó I was initially excited about the camera
of the E7 and knowing that they have a similar genetic make-up as the
N8, I was hoping to get almost the same photo quality. Unfortunately,
they are miles apart ó the 8-megapixel camera is fixed-focus and uses
dual-LED flash instead of Xenon.

Photos take with the Nokia E7 are decent but not exceptional. General
scenes, large and wide subjects are pretty easy to shoot at but once
you come closer, macro shots are almost impossible. Here are some sample photos taken using the E7.
The HD video quality is pretty good though which is a bit of a
redeeming factor for the unit thatís supposedly geared towards
executives and the business sector.



Understandably, this is Nokiaís way of drawing the line between their
business class E-series phones and the multimedia class N-series
phones. That and probably cost savings on expensive camera parts which
they can pass on to consumers.

Nokia E7 specs:
4″ polarized AMOLED display @ @ 640◊360 pixels
Gorilla glass display & capacitive touch screen
680MHz ARM 11 processor
Broadcom BCM2727 GPU
16GB mass memory
350 MB internal memory
256MB RAM
1024MB ROM
8MP fixed-focus camera with dual LED flash
720p HD video recording @ 25fps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
HSDPA 10.2MBps, HSUPA 2.0Mbps
Bluetooth 3.0
FM Radio Tuner
GPS w/ aGPS support
1200mAH battery

Over-all performance of the handset is pretty good despite the
processor being rated at only 680MHz (when other smartphones come in at a
minimum of 1GHz). The dedicated mobile GPU also helped in video
processing so thatís a huge plus. Video playback is good as well as the
audio quality.



Really liked the USB-on-the-Go support and the TV-out via HDMI. The
review unit did not include the entire box so Iím not sure what
accessories come with the unit.

Whatís a bit disappointing is the lack of microSD slot and the
1200mAh internal battery isnít at par with the earlier E-series Nokia
smartphones like the E72. Youíll have to contend with the 16GB built-in
storage for music, video and photo storage.
Hereís another shot of the Nokia E7 showing the hardware and user interface.


The Nokia E7 is supposed to arrive in the
Philippines later this month but weíre not told how much the suggested
retail price would be. I reckon it will be a bit more expensive than the
N8′s SRP and lower than the N900′s SRP so that would put it somewhere
between Php25k to Php28k. Thatís just my guesstimate though.


Disclosure: Nokia Philippines is an advertiser on this blog and this handset was lent to me for review purposes.
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