Nokia E7 review

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If you are wondering why the Nokia E7 looks so familiar, you have the Nokia N8 to thank. Outwardly, the former is basically a larger version of the latter, but with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Similarly, the phone sports a somber and minimalist design with well-defined curves and contours that will fit right in with the business-minded crowd. The E7 is remarkably slim considering that it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, though feels distinctly heavier at 176g.

On the multimedia end of things, the Nokia E7 does pretty well, save for its disappointing 8-megapixel fixed-focus camera. Otherwise, we were generally impressed by its above average audio quality, as well as Nokia’s inclusion of a HDMI port and especially by its bright and clear 4.0-inch AMOLED screen with ClearBack technology. The latter does very well with color reproduction boasting excellent readability under bright sunlight. On the downside, we expected a screen resolution of at least 480×800 pixels on a high-end phone like the E7, instead of its low 360×640 pixel resolution.

The physical keyboard for the Nokia E7 comprises of well-spaced but compact keys that have good tactile feedback. However, we felt that the keys might be a little too flush into the chassis for comfortable typing. Those with smaller hands might find it hard to reach the middle portion of the keyboard given the width of the phone; this includes the spacebar too.

In accordance with its business-centric positioning, USB drives or memory sticks can be accessed on the E7 with an included Micro USB to USB (On-the-Go) OTG adapter. This useful feature allows users to easily transfer data when on the move.

The Nokia E7 comes with plenty to like, as well as a few quirks. For starters, we were impressed with its sturdy and eye-pleasing design. However, we felt that its ports and controls could have been better positioned, given that the power button and volume/zoom slider placement wasn’t ideal. On the other hand, our experience with the physical QWERTY keyboard has been generally positive, though only when you get used to the key placement and keyboard design. More importantly, the E7 comes packed with a couple of nifty additions for the business-centric user for both software (support for corporate email; remote wipe facility) and hardware {HDMI port and USB OTG capabilities). Battery life is average for a smartphone of its caliber, requiring at least one full charge everyday.

Despite a high price tag of $650+, the Nokia E7 is a reasonable purchase for those who are looking for a business-centric phone that strikes a good balance between productivity and lifestyle – if you don’t mind the dated Symbian OS. The E7 would have been a stunner if it came a year earlier, but at this juncture, the software platform featured on the E7 raises a lot of questions with regards to its longevity.

At A Glance

Display: 4.0-inch capacitive AMOLED touch screen
Camera: 8 megapixels / Dual LED flash / Fixed focus
Battery: 1200 mAh
Talk time: 9 hours (GSM) / 5 hours (HSDPA)
Price: $650

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The author is the founder of eches.net. He was brought up and is currently living in a small town at the northernmost of Malaysia.