Nokia C7 Review

Camera and Multimedia:
One of the areas the Nokia C7 has been stripped down when compared with the Nokia N8 is its camera. Megapixel count isn't the where the phone's downgrade strikes hardest, with a more than adequate 8MP sensor on the Nokia C7. The real blow comes with the lack of auto focus, leaving the Nokia C7 perfectly usable for landscape shots and distant group shots, but not for shots of objects closer than a meter.
All the camera options on the phone are the same as on the Nokia N8 except for two: the Nokia C7 has a video light mode, and the Nokia N8 has a macro mode. To take a snap, you can use the one stage camera button, or there is a single camera icon on the screen that we found delivered less in the way of camera shake. The camera has face detection, an optional on-screen grid, as well as the following:
    * Scene modes (auto, user defined, portrait, landscape, sport, night and night-portrait)
    * Self timer (off, 2 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds),
    * Colour tone (normal, vivid, black and white, sepia),
    * White balance (auto, sunny, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent)
    * Exposure (-2 to +2 in increments of 0.5)
    * ISO (low, medium, high)
    * Adjustable contrast
    * Sharpness (hard, normal, soft)
Colour reproduction is slightly dull and dreary in full auto. Symbian helps the problem with its vivid shooting mode which compensates for this in processing. The camera's recall for the last shooting mode you were on is however patchy, so you can't for example set the default camera mode to vivid which we found annoying.
A lot of these issues can be corrected from within the phone's in-built editing software, which is one of the most comprehensive editing experiences hard-wired into a mobile OS.

Detail is weak for objects under a meter away as can be expected. Take a look at the picture in the restaurant. As you can see, the face in the background is sharp, whereas our subject is very soft. That said, the more time you spend with the camera, the better able you are to identify optimal focal distance and take good shots, and once you do, detail is generally good.
Exposure on the C7 is not great but is more than tolerable when it comes to camera phones. The inbuilt processor does a good job of evening out high contrast scenes, and for the most part, delivers pretty usable photos. A notable absence is metering control.
Dynamic range is okay in brighter scenes, enabling a well set up shot to deliver a pretty picture. Turn the lights down, and it's naturally going to be another story. Blacks can get blanketed into a sea of noise and highlights unnaturally toned down.
On the topic of noise, this is an area the Nokia C7 has some issues. Without the super advanced sensor or the Xenon flash of the Nokia N8, its twin LEDs aren't enough to make night time shots look like they should. In its attempt of processing the image to lift brightness, the camera brings out huge amounts of noise. In good lighting however, when the image doesn't need to be processed heavily, blacks look clean without too much in the way of noise.
The Nokia C7 captures video at 3 resolutions, HD, VGA and very low res for multimedia messaging, with its HD 720p capture at 25fps leaving us impressed on the whole. As this phone isn't being heavily marketed as an HD camera phone, it was a pleasant surprise that the results weren't far behind the N8. With the Nokia C7 producing a generally duller video than the Nokia N8, and worse night time capture, it nevertheless offers the same shooting modes, including vivid to compensate for the dullness and a video light for darker scenes, something the Nokia N8 lacks.
Nokia C7 Sample Video 1 at 1280x720 px:

Nokia C7 Sample Video 2 at 1280x720 px:

The music experience is an unchanged Symbian^3 experience, which is not a bad thing as it has had a very nice revamp. Upon opening up the application, it takes you straight to artists and albums, unlike previous versions which would require an extra step to get here. Clicking the options button lets you view tracks by now playing, song, playlists, genres and podcasts. There is also a link to the Ovi Music store. When viewing albums and artists, holding the Nokia C7 in portrait displays a list, while landscape displays a coverflow like stream of album art. The Nokia C7’s coverflow is one of the smoothest we’ve seen and is very usable. The revamp however comes in portrait mode. Once an album or artist is selected, the screen will split, the top half displaying a mini coverflow, while the bottom half has the track list. This is very usable and makes single handed music browsing a doddle.

The on-board loud speaker is a-ok. With no stereo output, and a slightly sharp sound though, it isn’t there to be used very often for music. It does a great job of ringing, being loud and audible, and also acts as a good speakerphone which we'll talk more about later. Output from the on-board 3.5mm headphone jack is great. As is generally the case, connecting a good set of headphones makes all the difference, turning the Nokia C7 into a very capable MP3 player.
Video playback is also immense. The Nokia C7 played back everything we threw at it up to a resolution of 720p (DivX, H.264, MP4 and Xvid), and managed to play it as smoothly as can be. Sure, it won't output content to an HD TV, but if you're looking for a very capable phone-based video experience and don't feel the 3.5-inch display is too small - this is a great way to go.

Internet and Connectivity:
Once again, the Nokia C7 keeps you connected in much the same way as the Nokia N8. With the same wireless options and the only physical connection difference being the lack of mini HDMI out. This means, if it should be on a high-end smart phone, it's on the Nokia C7. GPS, Wi-Fi, quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G, Bluetooth all play their part in making this a well connected phone.
With an improved mail client, it’s a piece of cake to set up email accounts such as Windows Live, Gmail and Yahoo!, and with Mail for Exchange support, inputting just a little more information will give you access to additional mailboxes as well as calendar, contacts and task sync.
Symbian^3's web browser sadly doesn't carry forward the speedy performance seen in the rest of the OS. Web pages load accurately enough, however, stutter when swiping around, especially on larger pages. This can be remedied by loading up Opera however, available through the Ovi Store. While this does mean forgoing multi-touch, it makes for an improved experience on the whole.
The on-board GPS finds the Nokia C7’s position pretty quickly. Coupling this with Ovi Maps makes the phone a possible GPS replacement. As the Nokia C7s battery life is pretty good, using it as a GPS for short journeys is realistic, however, we'd take either a charger or a spare battery for any journey in excess of half an hour.

The Nokia C7 doesn’t have a huge amount of software loaded on it, but what it does have is generally good. Take social networking for example, there is a social networking element from Ovi - Social. This integrates Twitter and Facebook, pulling up feeds into a widget on the home-screen, and linking it through to the installed Facebook / Twitter app. There is also Ovi Maps which as mentioned, does the job well of getting you from A to B. Quickoffice reader is also on the Nokia C7 as is Adobe PDF reader, but for the most part, that’s it, except for a Paramount trailers app which we didn't use more than once. Even the on board YouTube shortcut is just a link to the mobile site.



1. ella unregistered

Why in this review says that the camera and video of this phone is dull? Why on GSMarena, the pre-sample shot was very impressive indeed (even shot @ 6MP). This is why PhoneArena is behind GSMarena in reviewing this kinds of phones because your not even close to what users will have to experience. Your somewhat biased at some point. People out there, compare the review of GSMarena and this site to Nokia N8, you can see the difference.

2. ella unregistered

Why in this review says that the camera and video of this phone is dull? Why on GSMarena, the pre-sample shot was very impressive indeed (even shot @ 6MP). This is why PhoneArena is behind GSMarena in reviewing this kinds of phones because your not even close to what users will have to experience. Your somewhat biased at some point. People out there, compare the review of GSMarena and this site to Nokia N8, you can see the difference.

3. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

Nokia's recent announcement that Qt would become the standard basis for User Interface developments going forward has made the C7, N8, E7, and C6-01 much more appealing. All UI enhancements previously planned for Symbian^4 will be accelerated AND included in Symbian^3. In fact, the ^3, ^4 naming has also disappeared. Owners of the C7 will see a lot of software upgrades over the next year. It is also excellent news for apps, as there is NO legacy break under this strategic shift in Symbian's UI. The completely new browser will also arrive near term, based on Qt/webkit.

4. Ergonpandilus unregistered

Can you be more specific on this: "Symbian^3 is at times convoluted." Besides browser, what are the things that you find hard to use? And how about "Shiny fascia loves fingerprints"? Isn't that the case for ALL the touchscreen phones with capasitive touch?! PS. Try Predictive Text and Word Auto-Completion on QWERTY(!) too, that really improves the usability.

5. RVM unregistered

nice review, thx

6. FCBM unregistered

Good day, very nice review indeed and very nice phone too. Too bad though Nokia doesn't get the recognition it deserves for putting out the N8, C7 and E7. As I said I like the C7 very much. However I can't find a whole lot of Apps in the Ovi Store. Now my question is, are Apps and Games interchangable between the N8 and C7? I thank you in advance!

7. Sankalp unregistered

How come there isn't a single mention of "TV out & USB On The Go" feature which have found their way for the very first in any smartphone (alongwith N8 & C6-01 ofcourse). Agreed the standard sales package of C7 doesn't provide the USB-OTG adapter (while N8 does that) but still don't you guys think it was worth a mention atleast.. !! I would also like to know its price in India?

8. Justus Jonas unregistered

Good day, I think, this is going to be my next phone. However, there's one thing I need to know, before I am going to buy it: Since the phone is equipped with a full focus cam, instead of autofocus, will it be able to scan barcodes (with barcoo for example) and QR-Codes? I know that the old iPhones (w/o autofocus) can, but what about the c7? Thank you and regards.

9. AbhiKumar unregistered

I but this Phone recently. Very Nice phone and the Symbian ^3 experience is also Good.. I really enjoy with Phone Thanks

10. Shejuguru unregistered

If this Phone had Autofocus and its default Web browser changed to Opera then it would have been a perfect phone. Almost all reviews on the net has a view that Symbian is very old it cannot match with Iphone OS or Android etc etc. But the fact is that , still Symbian(Nokia) is commanding around 50% of the world's Mobile market. Are we so stupid of getting diverted from our Symbian Phones based on reviews from the Authors who are getting paid from Apple or Android. Be wise ,think twice before leaving Nokia, If at all you go I am sure you will come back. Thanks Nokia Fan

11. Dhamodharan unregistered

I can see some of Nokia C7 owners say that the phone gets hang up / getting switched off often. I wanted to know what exactly the owners of C7 really feels after using it. Pls respond.

12. Dhamodharan unregistered

I saw those comments on

13. imran unregistered

this is nt d phone. stupidity. i ll go 4 samsung

14. ish unregistered

i always refer phone arena for comprehensive review. gsm arena makes casual remarks on speech quality where as phone arena makes it a specific point to offer detailed opinion on call quality and clarity. i just brush aside reviews which go to great length in describing features of phone keeping mum on signal strength, call volume and clarity. in this aspect phone arena beats all other reviews hollow. often i have been tempted to buy a handset after reading reviews on other sites. but i never bought any until i read what p a has to say about prime aspect of any handset-speech quality snd volumes. if it is bad p a says so without mincing words. gosh i have been saved many times by the crisp and straight remarks of p.a. had i ventured to buy that set it would have ended in my dust bin. keep it up p a.

15. torrentblock unregistered

SWYPE works a dream on this phone and blows away any other form of text input. that, plus divx out the box, the ovi maps... fm transmitter, makes driving so much more enjoyable!

16. torrentblock unregistered

i love this phone. to answer the question above, i am able to use this phone without it hanging up or dropping calls. My girlfriend can't quite get the hang of it though, but then she manages to drop calls on her HTC desire too...

17. LYK unregistered

Pls don't buy nokia handphone, i just brought nokia c7 in 11/11/2010 from Nokia dealer , just use for two days the phone 'hang' and phone lock up no responding, so i bring it to the Nokia dealer where i brought ( Jusco Permas Jaya , Malaysia), they said they won't give us service or repairing, then i have no choice i send to Nokia service center at Landmark IT Mall Johor Bahru malaysia, they said 3 hours will settle my problem,but after waiting for 6 hours the answer is no spare parts for repair, i must go back and wait for theirs news. After 1 week we didn't get any respond from them, so i call them again... answer is you must be patient , once ready they will inform and no time Nokia care center same tone also , have to commitment..........! As a consumer buy a handphone can not be use,what do you think.... DON'T BUY NOKIA HANDPHONE ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!

18. JudaZ unregistered

LYK - well buy an icrap then and see what support you get after 90 days.... none

19. RLKK unregistered

Am in Singapore ..... Don't .... don't even touch this phone. Got a C7 for a month now, after less than 1 week, it keeps hanging. Sent to Nokia Care and they took two weeks and cannot figure out, then after much pressing, they replaced the motherboard and now (after 1 week) phone starts hanging again.

20. holomodo unregistered

Bought a C7 three days back. Have nothing to compain about so far. Fantastic build quality. Excellent hardware features. UI is smooth and responsive. Symbian OS is acceptable, not the monster that some people are making it out to be. This phone is worth the money that you pay for it. I am glad I bought this phone.

24. Rawv unregistered

lucky !

21. c7 user unregistered

was given a c7 by my wife as a birthday gift. within 7 days of usage, the phone died and would not start again. when i brought to the service center, the phone was diagnosed to required level 3 repair, and thus was sent to the nokia head ofc here in the philippines. was advised that it will take about 7 days to diagnose the problem. stay away from this phone.

25. Rawv unregistered

Did you get this back ?????

31. c7 user unregistered

as an update, got my phone 3 weeks after i turned it in. they had problems getting a new mainboard replacement. when they were about to turn it over to me, they discovered that the sim card containter (back cover) was also defective and needed to be replaced. so i was happy with the phone, spending hours enjoying its features - until i got a message from nokia recommending a software upgrade via ovisuite. so stupid fool that i am, i did so, as it promised better performance. i followed every instruction to the letter. but when the phone reflash was done, my phone could not power off. so i brought it immediately to the nokia care center. the following day, i was advised it had to be sent for level 3 repair again. and guess what, it needs a new mainboard replacement!!!! and of course, there are no available parts. of the 10 weeks since i've had the phone, its been 5 weeks in the nokia repair shop. i love the features of the phone - but i hate the fact that it needs frequent mainboard replacement. again. if you are thinking of getting this phone - stay away from nokia. might as well try samsung or other android phones. btw, my brother in law bought an n8 last november. within 7 days, the phone got bricked, and it took also 3 weeks before its mainboard could be replaced. NO to NOKIA

22. rre unregistered

I brought it last week.with in one week if automatically switched off more than 20 times.while making call and receiving call get hanged and after some times phone got switched off.After few minutes only its again getting on..Search in google nokia c7 complaints before buying it.

23. Rawv unregistered

I had bought this phone last sunday, within 8 days the phone got dead. Now it has been sent to the Nokia Care ( Main Branch- Noida ). Not sure when will i get this back. My money is at a stake.......

26. John unregistered

Don't go for c7 now..I brought last week and its totally dead yesterday.Now its sent to factory for checking.Some of my friends also facing same problem.Seems to be some buck in this product.wait for get it fixed

27. Santhosh3186

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

C7 PROBLEM: 1. Phone hangs then restarts after a few seconds hangs, shuts down, then cannot be started up again for a while, like 30 minutes. C7 SOLUTION OF PROBLEM: Mine also has defect in it and i rectify in following way. ~back up ur msg,contact,videos,image to PC. ~then format ur mmc and remove it. ~remove 3rd party app,games from ur phone. ~do hard reset by pressing *#7370# then ~reinstall C7 FIRMWARE from nokia care and after that ~then update ur phone with latest firmware v012.004 RM-675 file size-274 MB (release on 30dec) in INDIA from ovi suite or from nokia care and then ~transfer ur back up msg,contacts,photos. now it will work fine and flawlessly without any problem and now ur problem will be solved. IMROVEMENTS IN FIRMWARE v012.004: ~fix all restarting,hanging bugs that have in older Firmware ~Updated version is very quick for video sharing. ~It has all new updated Facebook application. ~Improved browser speed and also the search speed also. ~It also provided updated country and region maps plus in-device user guide. ~Improved search. Performance improvements. THANK YOU.

28. Santhosh3186

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

1st batch of C7 Has defect in them. Mine also has defect in it . ~I reinstall C7 FIRMWARE and ~then update my phone with two firmware v012.003(release in November) and v012.004(release on 30dec) and now working without any problem. I am happy now and install lots of app,games. Play games on tv screen with C7. PLZ PLZ! follow these steps and update ur phone with these two firmware and ur problem will be solved. NOW IT IS CONFIRMED THAT 2ND BATCH OF C7 WILL BE DEFECTIVE FREE.SHIPPING FROM 15TH OF JANUARY.

29. Baiju unregistered

Hi guys, Nokia C7 is a fantastic phone...sorry smart phone. It is really smart. People may say their experience..most of them may not even tried out one forth of its features. I tried all the features and impressed a lot. It is a mini computer, a HD video cam, a Digital Cam, A multi format video player, music player, a very good navigation device, a very good smart touch phone... what else you are looking for... Symbian ^3 is a good OS and offers most of the advanced features... also offerring more and more through OVI store... Enjoy the smart phone leader favourite Nokia C7.
  • Display 3.5" 360 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1200 mAh(5.30h 3G talk time)

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