Nokia C7 Review
Nokia N8, give it a little more shine, a lot more curve, and monochrome it with a makeover? Well, you'd be left with something that looked much like the Nokia C7, a handsome contender for those of you who want a familiar Symbianˆ3 experience without the visual statement that is the N8, or its premium price tag. On top of the visual streamlining, the Nokia C7 also has a lower spec'd camera and no mini HDMI port, so it is aimed less at multimedia fiends and more at traditionalists who still want some smartphone perks.
With a more curved, pebble-esque look than the Nokia N8, the Nokia C7 also looks more like a phone, with its call and end buttons sitting pretty underneath the screen. Taking into account its curved, chrome edges and super glossy fascia, one would be forgiven for thinking that the Nokia C7’s design is aimed at a female market with a penchant for the shiny things in life.
You can compare the Nokia C7 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Speaking of shiny things, now onto the screen. As with the Nokia N8, there's a 3.5-inch AMOLED display on the Nokia C7. Colours are punchy and vibrant enabling the fascia to transform from a reflective mirror into a bright, beautiful display with the press of an unlock button. Brightness is set to auto by default, meaning it will adapt to your surroundings. While the brightness levels are okay when auto is active, we often found ourselves overriding auto brightness and just whacking it up to full. We wish there was a brightness widget on the homescreen as found on Android's power controls. On full brightness, the Nokia C7 is viewable in almost every situation with decent angles of view, which is impressive given the extreme reflectiveness of the screen.
Images, videos and text are displayed well on the Nokia C7. With a resolutiion of 360x640, pixel density is good enough to ensure adequate sharpness for most smartphone tasks. The capacitive glass fronted screen feels comfortable when your finger or thumb glides along it, and scrolling and sliding feels smooth with an adequate frame-rate displaying what you do, when you do it. In this regard, Nokia have delivered another Symbian^3 phone with a screen that feels high-end, hopefully putting a nail in the coffin of sub-par resistive displays on premium handsets.
Physically, the Nokia C7's curved and beveled edges encourage a comfortable hand holding experience. Made of a combination of plastic and metal, the phone, with its candybar form factor and lack of moving parts, feels distinctly durable and dense. In stark contrast to the high gloss front, the back of the Nokia C7 looks a little plain, sporting the camera and battery cover, but very little in the way of visual stimulation. Without the Nokia N8's anodized alluminium chassis, it hasn't quite got that same expensive air about it, but nevertheless, feels durable and a whole lot more practical. This reiterates our earlier point - the Nokia C7 feels like a phone, an attractive, slim phone. Without any protrusions, it fits very nicely in the pocket, and is comfortable to hold to the ear when making calls on it.
The three physical keys below the screen really help define this phone. They are comfortable to press, provide a satisfactory click and are each identifiable by touch alone. Words can't express the pleasure we get from pressing the call button twice (without even looking at our phone!) and knowing we're ringing the last person we called. Sure, maybe we're just having trouble breaking away from our physical key laden smartphone past, but oh how it feels good and oh how the Nokia C7 is the first Symbian^3 phone we've reviewed that has tickled us in that way.
Based on all this, the Nokia C7 leaves us in general, impressed with the design. Not because it's beyond cool, edgier than edgy and inspired by something positively futuristic, but because it's a solid mix of innovative new and functional old, immediately accessible, with enough slick and sexy to keep things spicy. The phone is too reflective, but we got over that and are sure you will too with the remainder of the package coming together so well.