Nokia E7 Preview
Before we get into the nitty gritty portion about the Nokia E7's platform experience, we just want you to be aware that it's nowhere close to being the final build since we've encountered numerous anomalies that frustrated us. With that, the Nokia E7 shares the same 680MHz ARM 11 processor and 256MB of RAM that's found with the N8, but it increases its ROM to 1024MB. For most basic tasks, we found the Nokia E7 to move at a swift rate with very few instances of lag or slowdown – which is a marked improvement over S60 5th Edition.
Employing the same exact interface found running on the Nokia N8, there isn't anything new to be found (so far) with the experience from the E7. Running Symbian^3, there is a high learning curve with the handset if you're using the platform for the very first time. However, users of previous versions of Symbian will quickly adapt to its quirks and menu layout structure. With the homescreen, there is a certain degree of personalization found with it, but for some odd reason, our prototype unit limited us to only using a single homescreen – but it's capable of adding up to three total. Unlike Android, where you can freely move differently sized widgets, the ones found with Symbian^3 are relatively rectangular in shape and static. Meaning, they're simply blocks that are primarily stacked one on top of each other. Still, it's better than not having any say in its layout.
For a more detailed and comprehensive look at what the platform experience is all about with Symbian^3, you can read about it in our in-depth Nokia N8 Review. Naturally, the E7's outcome experience should be identical, but with our prototype, we saw a few glitches, random forced closing of apps, and even a few inexplicable restarts. Again, it's a prototype and we can't pass judgment since it's not a final build of the software.
As we've already mentioned, the best messaging experience is found with the handset's fantastic physical keyboard, but Symbian^3 boasts a couple of on-screen options for your pleasure. In portrait, we find the usual looking numeric keypad that offers plenty of room to move around with our fingers, but it can be a painstaking process unless predictive text is enabled. Conversely, the full QWERTY keyboard found in landscape is a decent offering, but since buttons are slightly smaller, we found ourselves making some mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, both options are still decent in their own regard, but without hesitation, we'd prefer sticking it out with the physical one.
Taking the competition into consideration, the biggest obstacle that Nokia has to overcome is not surprisingly itself. Baffled? Well, quickly looking at the frantic pace that we see iOS and Android moving in pushing out updates, Nokia seems to be at a standstill in bringing to market their updated OS. Using the Nokia E7 briefly, there isn't a substantial case in siding with the platform when it clearly doesn't have the polish and allure found with the competition. Even yet, we find RIM somewhat in the same boat with BlackBerry OS 6, but it seems that Nokia is still trying to figure out its comfort level with their platform.
Camera and Multimedia:
Alright, if you're looking for a great photo taking experience with a Nokia phone, it's clear your best bet will be the N8 with its 12-megapixel auto-focus camera with Carl Zeiss lens. Granted that we still have an 8-megapixel camera in tow with the Nokia E7, we're saddened to see that it's nothing more than a fixed focused one. However, it does make some sense since the E7 is positioned to be a business class handset first – but still, it's slightly diminished because of it. We're not going to go into detail about its interface, since it follows accordingly to what we see with the N8. We'll restrain from making comments on the quality of the pictures we took, because the E7 is obviously still a work in progress. However, we're a bit disheartened by what we experienced with our prototype.
Not necessarily the first thing that stands out for most business oriented users, but the Nokia E7 has the ability to shoot video in 720p. Again, we'll wait for a final unit in order to make any sort of comment about its qualities.
Running the music player, it combines the customary elements we'd expect out of any other player out there, but sprinkles a dash of visual appeal in the form of its 3D carousel for browsing albums. Although it follows in fashion to the iPhone's coverflow mode, we're amazed to see its buttery smooth responsiveness in browsing albums, but nonetheless, its energetic radiance is quite appealing to the eye.
Playing high definition videos is no problem for the Nokia E7 as we managed to load a video encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution. Naturally, its AMOLED display and relatively larger size makes for the perfect combination in watching videos in their full fidelity, but its smooth and lag-free playback complements its already premier status in this department.
Internet and Connectivity:
Seeing that the Nokia E7 is much like any other GSM phone out there in the market, which means you can place voice calls just about anywhere in the world, its pentaband UMTS radio is a rarity in itself since we even managed to get 3G connection through T-Mobile USA's AWS band. Even though it wouldn't be very difficult to find 3G connectivity with this device, it still packs 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi to get you plugged in when you're in a spotty location. Furthermore, the handset features aGPS which can be used with Ovi Maps and Bluetooth 3.0 to get that useful wireless headset connected.
Being connected to T-Mobile's 3G network, our web site managed to load in a timely manner. Additionally, we found some Flash content loading as well since it has support for Flash Lite. However, we did experience some slowdown when navigating sites that have heavy Flash content, but aside from that, it's a decent offering on its own. We noticed that it takes a little bit of time for the phone to render content if you scroll too quickly – but it's nothing that adversely affects the experience. In the end, the web browsing experience with Symbian^3 is vastly improved versus the challenging performance of previous iterations.
1. box (unregistered)
If this only had a MicroSD slot, I'd be ready to put down the purchase price today... Guess I'll wait for the N9 :(
2. jack395 (Posts: 23; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)
Wow this is the kind of preview I look forward to each and every time I open PhoneArena for news, views, and info on the latest gadgets - fair and square! Hoping that the succeeding full review of the unit will be as unbiased as this one.
3. jack395 (Posts: 23; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)
I guess an E7 with meego as the os will make it a tasty offering from Nokia. In my opinion, E7's design is better than N9's and should not be let down by the OS that, though clunky, is overly despised and trashed by irresponsible fanboys of other OS'es. I would love to get my hands on an E7 as much as I want to have an ATRIX!
4. passsd (unregistered)
No one outside of Nokia knows what N9 will look like. The old silver qwerty photo was just a super early proto or even consept. N9 will liike nothing like that, and pretty sure it dosent have qwerty. N9-01 or smt will have fysical qwerty.
With usb on the go you can blug your whole hard drive on E7. Its a business model and thats why MicroSD isint that important.
5. n.9 (unregistered)
360x640 on 4" :(
6. nirmal V (unregistered)
Fixed focus camera ? I never though i will see another in 2011.The pics look worser than my old E90. With a lower res screen than a E90 and smaller keys, i have no idea why everyone keeps saying nokia has good hardware?? E90 and E71 were exceptions in a otherwise crappy barren finnish landscape..
7. naren (unregistered)
to compete with other mobiles pl bring nokia n8-01 with same features and 4 inches screen with price of rs 20000 inr with same camera of 12mp with detatchable battery and seperate slotes for sim and memory card enhanced ram ok because indian wnts all features in one phone at min price ok