Nokia E7 Review
Nokia E7 waving at us, claiming to be an honorable heir of Nokia's enterprise series phones with physical keyboards.
Retaining most of the wonderful features and design cues from the Nokia N8, the E7 just might have the perfect mix of ingredients, with its peculiar looking keyboard, to consider itself as being the next big smartphone from Nokia's camp. Is that really the case? Read on to find out...
The Nokia E7 is essentially a longer and wider version of the Nokia N8, but manages to pack on a landscape keyboard to its 0.54” (13.6mm) sleek anodized aluminum casing. Just grasping it in the hand, there is this enveloping feeling that occurs because it's meticulously well built all around; not to mention resilient in battling normal wear and tear. Furthermore, you can find the Nokia E7 in a variety of colors, from silver to flashy orange.
You can compare the Nokia E7 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
However, there is still that noticeable weight of 6.21 oz (176 g) that it's carrying around, and the anodized aluminum is more slippery than plastic, so it takes some getting used to at the beginning how to handle the elliptic handset. The weight is actually quite decent for a handset with a large screen, physical keyboard, and a metal shell. Even more impressive is the fact that the handset is just slightly thicker than the Nokia N8, not even counting the elevated area around the latter’s huge image sensor. Thus the Nokia E7 is one magnificently designed smartphone that is easily recognizable, and showing the kind of talent that Nokia has in the design department.
What's equally impressive about the E7 versus other Nokia smartphones is that it sizes up with an ample 4” AMOLED ClearBlack Display with 360 x 640 resolution, and support for 16.7 million colors. In addition to the roomy real estate, which our fingers find more than adequate at this point, we adore how the AMOLED panel is capable of displaying some distinctive and deep colors, as well as almost infinite contrast. And even though it might not contend in the same space as other handsets with higher resolution displays, it doesn't particularly detract from its still distinguishable visuals and excellent viewing angles. And, hey, this is the largest screen ever on a contemporary Nokia phone.
Underneath the display, there is a single menu button that also acts as the notification system that will light up or pulsate when receiving calls or text messages. Its location in the middle is much better than the home button on the Nokia N8, which you almost drop the phone to reach. Plus, it is equally accessible in the middle for both left-handed and right-handed users.
On the left edge, we find nothing but an unlock switch, while the volume switch, shutter key, and SIM card slot are all found on the right side of the phone. For the most part, we didn't have any problems feeling out either the volume and unlock switches. You can slot-load your SIM card into the tray that pulls out of the SIM slot, and then plug it back in, covering the slot entirely – something that was absent on both the prototype, and the Nokia N8.
Taking a quick peek at the handset's flat top side, we find its 3.5mm headset jack and dedicated power button perched on their usual spots. Although it's flush to the surface, the power button's size enables us to press it down without much falter. Next to it, there is a plastic flap that covers both the HDMI port, and at the left end of the top side is the exposed microUSB port, which offers USB-on-the-go capabilities with the supplied connector.
In the rear, we're greeted to the handset's 8-megapixel camera and its dual LED flash, probably the same one we have on the Nokia C7. At first, some might be content with the large resolution, but knowing that it's nothing more than a fixed focus camera that can't focus well on objects closer than 20 inches, others might be deterred from it. Then again, the E7 is classified as a business oriented device, as opposed to the camera-centric Nokia N8. And towards the bottom portion of the rear, we find a single notch for the phone's speaker.
Not to be forgotten, there is also a front-facing camera found next to the handset's earpiece – along with the light and proximity sensors close by.
Without much hesitation, our natural instinct instructed us to open the handset like any other device we've used with a landscape style keyboard. But when we began using that normal sliding routine with our thumbs, we're greeted to nothing more than a baffling resistance. In fact, you'll need to push down and into the handset to get the mechanism to activate and expose the Nokia E7's keyboard, which can be tricky with the slippery anodized aluminum case, but that will probably wear in with use.
It all stems from the fact that the two hinges are designed to lift and tilt the screen half in a somewhat diagonal manner, as opposed to first rolling the screen part up, and then tilting it, or pushing the screen down and then sliding it downwards to cover the keyboard, which is commonplace with screen-tilting phones. Once adjusted, we found the mechanism to be extremely satisfying, as it clicks into place solidly, and tilts the display at an angle. Once completely open, the phone hides the ribbon cable that is used to connect the display with the motherboard behind the larger hinge, so no worries it can be damaged somehow.
As for the keyboard itself, we find it satisfyingly comfortable to use, while remaining stylishly chic with its chiclet style buttons. Medium in size, we didn't have too much problems in getting a feel for the somewhat flushed buttons, but they still offered a reasonable amount of feedback, without much force required in pressing down on them. Overall, we quickly got a handle for its layout, and found ourselves quickly typing up messages at a steady rate without that many mistakes along the way. Moreover, we have arrow keys, which are the grand blessing of having a physical keyboard, since we find it a pain to move the cursor on a touchscreen, no matter what trickery the mobile OS uses for that.
In short, we were more than satisfied with the unibody aluminum beauty that Nokia has crafted with the E7, as it exemplifies all of the elements you'd consider finding in a high-end smartphone. From its solid construction, to sturdy choice of materials, the Nokia E7 will instantly capture the hearts and minds of Nokia fans all around.
Interface, Functionality, Internet and Connectivity
1. superpooburger (Posts: 31; Member since: 17 Feb 2011)
only playing 720p format? and 5h of battery? i was expecting more...
2. thilan29 (unregistered)
Good, objective review. I was using a Nokia C7 with similar hardware specs and yeah the browser was the only real drawback for me. I've gone to a Droid 2 Global now and like most aspects of the phone, other than the fact that it is no AMOLED screen in terms of picture quality.
4. Lucas777 (Posts: 2115; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
where do you even buy a nokia phone in the us? i really dont wanna pay 579 or whtever it is...
3. box (unregistered)
Nicely done review. I use Opera and/or Skyfire on my Nokias, so I never worry about the native browser. Same browsers I use on my Android and my friends use on their iPhones.
5. mrcrangle (unregistered)
Lovely looking phone, all the right features for me, will I upgrade from my N900? The answer is no. Why? Simple....S^3. It's a dealbreaker in my view.
6. Severin (unregistered)
How anyone can call this phone a business phone if two most basic and most important business options are missing!?
1. Build-in VPN is basically useless.
2. Remote Desktop access to computer is absent.
Epic fail. Sorry to see how phone is failing down because very basic software is missing.
7. Johnny12 (unregistered)
Severin is right. EPIC fail right there. Don't buy nokia, they suck. if you want to get a REAL business phone get urself the new hp pre 3, vpn and remote dekt built in.
Nokia = FAIL
8. OsirisRa (Posts: 46; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)
Im going to upgrade from my N900, wish the N9 had come through. Wont be buying another Nokia in the future due to WP7. Hate it. Hopefully the update for Symbian 3 comes sooner than later. Only real worry is if the update to the UI will slow the E7 down.
10. Seylan Naidoo (unregistered)
I really love the looks of this device...But its so hard to choose which smart phone to get...should I stick with trusty Nokia, or go for Android? Hmmmmm....
Please pray, that Nokia and microsoft will produce Windows phone 7 "lite" edition for all symbain 3 users to upgrade.
11. logty (unregistered)
Hello. Pls does nokia e7 come with a FM Transmitter? Rilli urgent pls...
12. Theresa (unregistered)
if you are still wondering, the E7 does not have an fm transmitter. However, if you want you can get the N8, which does.
13. jags (unregistered)
Wanna buy e 7 should i go wit it... or any other good 4 for office use.
14. diogo.rva (unregistered)
It's ridiciliously that PhoneArena doesn't count Nokia CBD as some of the "PROS", they did the same with C6-01 review and now with the E7, but they mention about Samsung's SAMOLED on their reviews.
I hate this attitute, it's obviously biased.
15. Claudiu (unregistered)
Enjoy every season with Local & Fresh for Nokia E7
A free app that allows you to find and map thousands of farmers markets in US
Get it on Ovi Store:http://store.ovi.com/content/1
16. Suvarna (unregistered)
Powrful Loudspeaker as you have analysed as plus point, I think its a horrible sound, I have read the reviews from your site and Purchased it. even the call quality is not that good as a business phone should be.
17. Hateman20 (unregistered)
Well this phone is based on new operating system of symbian series and named as Anna. This os is not so polished and clear with aero peak as compare to other like phones based on windows 7 and iOS and need more work. Should i buy this phone or not , Read At :http://bit.ly/qWU5qe
Must Read Before Buy
19. ALP (unregistered)
I have nokia e6. And I thing it is better than the nokia e7.
20. Febin (unregistered)
i have noted i ting in the QWERTY keyboard of E7....the letter Y an Z is misplaced in the image shown in PHONE ARENA...in all other E7 pictures its placed in correct order....
21. FJ1 (unregistered)
@ Febit it's probably a European version that's why the different config.
22. Rockey (unregistered)
I want SPB Shell 3D for Nokia E7
23. suchetaa (unregistered)
very pathetic phone....i hav bought ths phone e7....automtically it stoppd working....aftrwds i got new e7 peice in replcment by nokia...it ws mor worst...it ws gettn hanged evrytym....nw m gng fr nokia payback policy...i hope it ll work atlst.....
24. KOH EJ (unregistered)
Got my E7 after the Anna update. Used and tried with numbers of app (install, try and uninstall) over the past few weeks and so far has been very satisfied with the phone.
I have been using Nokia phones for more than 15 years so is considered quite familiar with Symbian OS from S40 to S60 n now to S^3 and therefore have no complaints about the OS and the usage of all relevant applications/games/phone customisation.
Have been reading lots of complaints from other users (about the phone, the OS and the related app store for the OS) before I bought this phone but decided to buy after trying the test unit in Nokia Store (Malaysia). So far have been able to get all the app that I need to run my normal/daily usage of the phone from various forum/websites.
25. fcbhammer (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)
Sorry to say this, but it is a really bad phone! I had one and it stoped working in 6 months, lots of errors, ovi store has very just few apps (very upsating...all the great apps, they don't have, so if you buy this cell forget to have the coolest apps) and the worst thing was that even under warranty, Nokia didn't fix it! So if I can give any advice...DO NOT BUY NOKIA!!!!