Nokia X7 Review
Nokia X7 is one of the front-runners of Symbian Anna, a major overhaul bringing portrait QWERTY input, improved browser and a refreshed design to the Symbian^3 platform. But the X7 is also a media-centric device with a premium feel and a 4-inch AMOLED screen. It's also one of the latest high-end Nokia handsets running Symbian, so it deserves some special attention. But does it deserve your buck? We'll guide you through the novelties of the interface, see if that 680MHz ARM 11 processor under the hood can back up the experience, and look at the 8-megapixel fixed focus camera, but let's start with some history.
The Nokia X7 first leaked out in November 2010, but since then it's been through a bumpy ride to the market. In December, it appeared with AT&T branding and seemed set for a Stateside release, but only a month later either the carrier or the phone maker decided to cancel that partnership, so the device wouldn't appear subisdized in the States, at least initially. The Nokia X7 however was finally made official in April heralding the all-new Symbian Anna, previously known as PR 2.0.
But it's not just the new interface – the Nokia X7 is coming with a rather unique angular design with four grills on each of its corners, but only the bottom two hold speakers. A 4-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels dominates the front. It doesn't come with Nokia's ClearBlack enhancement for nearly perfect blacks and better anti-reflection for outdoor visibility, but we found the colors to be very vivid, with blacks still very deep. Add to that Gorilla Glass scratch protection, and you're looking at a delicious screen, corrupted slightly only by the average sunlight legibility. Oh, and we do understand Nokia's wish to keep its ecosystem consistent, but that nHD 360 x 640 pixel resolution seems dated now.
You can compare the Nokia X7 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Up front, you also have the earspeaker on top and the menu key on the bottom, while on the right side there is a volume rocker and a nifty dedicated camera shutter key that will let you quickly snap photos. On the left you're in for a surprise – a lid-protected microSD card slot and a SIM card slot allow hot swap of cards. But opening them up proves to be a challenge even for the most experienced smartphone user. The engineers at Espoo have managed to come up with a unique opening mechanism – the lids actually serve as the front doors for the tiny drawers where you can put your cards. To open them, you first need to press one side of the lid and only then pull the whole drawer. After getting to grips with the mechanism, it works seamlessly, but the casual user with no manual at hand will find it unintuitive at best.
back is where one of the most controversial elements of the Nokia X7 is – the fixed focus 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. Fixed-focus, also known as full focus in Nokia's terms, has the advantage of keeping nearly everything in focus. At the same time it's extremely snappy as it doesn't take the time to adjust focus for each shot, but everything closer than 20 inches automatically gets blurry, so you can forget about macro shots.
The metal back cover seems very durable and adds to the premium feel of the handset, but unfortunately it's not removable. On top, there is a microUSB port for charging the device, a 3.5mm headset jack and the lock key, while the bottom is just plain.