Branded as ‘The Ultimate Business Smartphone’ the Nokia E7 is clearly an attempt to capture Blackberry switchers. Believe it or not, there’s still actually a decent number of people (a lot in business) that haven’t let go of that physical keyboard and just MUST have one to ‘be productive’.
It’s not all button presses though, there’s a 4 inch AMOLED touchscreen to get your grubby mitts all over. The Nokia E7 continues its business attack with support for viewing and editing office documents, doesn’t mean you’ll actually want to though. There’s also support for exchange email, but any modern phone that calls itself smart should have this.
4” AMOLED touchscreen, 640 x 360 resolution
Slide out qwerty keyboard
GPS, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, ambient sensor
8MP camera with LED flash (rear), front facing camera (VGA)
Available in Dark grey, Silver white or Blue
Cameras are always Nokia’s strength in smart phones. Lets face it, they pack some of the best mobile camera image processors and glass available. Sure the E7 isn’t as good as the N8’s camera, but it doesn’t have the ugly booty either. The back of the E7 is smooth and sits flat when placed down on a table. The camera can also record video in 720p and thankfully uses H.264 coded in an MP4 wrapper.
The slide out keyboard take a little technique to get it snapping out, but has solid build quality, really feels like you could slide it in and out all day and not have the hinges break. Clearly some users have had issues working out the sliding mechanism as Nokia include a how-to-slide instruction in the box.
Nokia’s widgets system can provide easy access to commonly used apps and snippets of information, like a basic-android style.
Hardware wise, the biggest issue I had was the flimsy volume up/down slider. It’s a strange decision to cover all the external ports on the phone bar the USB, but this doesn’t really effect the use in anyway.
Configuring mail and social accounts on the E7 or Nokia in general is a nightmare. Your best bet for social is to download an app from the Ovi Store rather than try and use Nokia’s ‘Connect your social networks’ option. Turns out you may not be able to use it even if you wanted to, when trying to add a network the ‘Select community’ screen was blank.
Its hard to ignore the impending end for Symbian OS as Nokia focus on the wholesale shift to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 smart phone OS. While Nokia will continue support for devices for a while yet, the problem will come when application developers jump ship. With a hard cut approaching for the software that powers the E7, its hard to recommend it to anyone business or otherwise who keeps up with technology.
In reality a lot of businesses invest in technology, then sit on it for years to come. These customers may well be perfectly fine with a phone that does what it does today and for its entire life. By the time a 2 year business contract expires, WP7 should have its issues sorted out and be a solid mobile platform. By then its likely to be WP8.
While physical keyboards belong in 2005, the E7 actually benefits from having one, it actually makes it far more usable than the N8 which is burdened by T9 on-screen typing. Another neat trick of the E7’s flip up screen is the angle it gives you for watching videos, not everyone has an iPad for that plane ride.. not yet anyway.
Check out Nokia’s promo video for the Nokia E7 below.
For more information, check out the Nokia E7.