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Review: Nokia E7 Hands-on hardware and design, Pictures, Gallery

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A few days back we got our hands on Nokia E7 for a very limited time period, hence we couldn’t review the device at its full. But as the Software in Nokia E7 is Symbian^3 (Symbian Anna later) so it was not that much different than other Symbian^3 devices – Nokia N8, Nokia C7 already have been reviewed in great detail. Later the Symbian Anna came with Nokia E6 which has improvements over Symbian^3 and then released as well for other Symbian^3 devices including Nokia E7.

While the Nokia E7 we got was having earlier version of Symbian^3 and not Symbian Anna. As Symbian Anna has also been released for Nokia E7 and due to the Symbian^3 related articles have been done in depth on Tech Prolonged already with Nokia N8, Nokia C7 and Symbian Anna with Nokia E6 so we’ll keep this review limited to the hardware and design of Nokia E7. Though we’ll be looking towards writing a full review of Symbian Anna alone for later devices releases including N8, E7, C7 and C6-01.

Also like before we’ll try to write about the Camera in Nokia E7 in a separate article. As we did earlier with Nokia C7 Camera Review and Nokia E6 Camera Review. We’ll give an update here as well


Topics Covered

This review will be categorized as below

Let’s first rewind and have a look at major technical specifications of Nokia E7.

Major Technical Specifications

Display 4 inches
360 x 640 pixels
ClearBlack – AMOLED
Gorilla Glass
Capacitive Touch
Input Method Touch Screen
Physical Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard
Camera 8 Megapixel EDoF
3264 x 2448 pixels resolution
Full Focus
720p video recording at 25fps
Mass Storage &
Memory
16 GB Mass Storage (Internal)
256 MB of RAM
No Expandable Memory/No External Memory Card Support
Central & Graphics
Processing
CPU Type ARM 11
Clock Rate at 680 MHz
Dedicated GPU for 2D/3D acceleration.
Connectivity Bluetooth 3.0
WLAN
Composite TV Out via 3.5mm AV Connector
HDMI Out
Audio Out via 3.5mm AV Connector
Micro USB for Connectivity and Charging
USB-OTG via Micro USB

See full specifications at Nokia E7’s page.

The Design

Nokia E7 however is look-alike N8 but it’s just bigger – I’ll call it a big brother of Nokia N8 – The “bigger in size” doesn’t make it bulky in hands. In fact the grip is perfect in both the portrait and the landscape mode – no-bigger no-smaller. 4 inch screen really was an awesome use in hands.

Keyboard

Properly fits in hands with a slightly bigger in width than Nokia N8, which also made it perfect when typing on on-screen keyboard in portrait mode. Additionally the physical slide-out full QWERTY keyboard is a plus point.

The mechanism of slid-out keyboard is perfectly designed, like Nokia always did with its slide-outs in past. An illustration is shown below.

We just don’t have any complain about the keyboard usage. In fact it still has the same plus point over today’s on-screen keyboards. However many believe that a better designed on-screen keyboard will be enough for them but this should not deny the fact that a better designed physical keyboard will be a missing part from a device if it doesn’t exist. Nokia did always great job with physical landscape keyboards – that is what I always said and still says so “No comparison yet”.

Back Panel: Camera, Flash, Loudspeaker, Microphone

8 Mega Pixel camera on the back looks like a tiny on big body but flat. Dual-LED flash resides just beside the Camera. Microphone is on the upper right while the loudspeaker is down there on bottom.

The loudspeaker in E7 also hasn’t placed well and can cause sound blockage when it’s sitting straight on a soft surface. However a common plain surface like table-top won’t make any trouble with it as the speaker is faced on the bottom curved panel so there is good chance for the air-space left when sitting straight. But a soft surface e.g. a Pillow or a Mattress will probably block it when the phone rings. It’s the same situation with Nokia N8.

Side Panels of Nokia E7

Next the Lock Switch. Unlike other Nokia devices, the Lock switch on E7 resides on the left side. On the Right it houses the Sim Card slot, Volume controller and a Camera key. Lock key also can be used to turn on/off the flashlight (via Dual-LED).

Micro USB port (for connectivity and charging), Mini HDMI (for HDMI Out), a power button and 3.5mm jack (AV-Connector for audio-video out) are all residing on top panel leaving nothing for the bottom of Nokia E7 else than the device info/make/model/region etc.

As already opened the design section with the keyboard praises, there is a technical note remaining on it. The slide-out keyboard in Nokia E7 is just another quality work by Nokia which

SIM Slot

Like Nokia N8, SIM Card in Nokia E7 is also placed on the side of the device. But unlike Nokia N8, it’s slot based SIM card insertion mechanism. Very first in Nokia devices to have a slide-out SIM slot (like iPhone) but in E7 unfortunately it’s not hot-swappable. That said, you need to turn off E7 before removing/replacing the SIM card. It’s on the right of the E7.

The Display

In Nokia E7, 4 inch CBD AMOLED display really did great and the experience with it was even better than Nokia N8. Of course Nokia N8 stays behind E7 regarding screen size and display type. Clear Black AMOLED Display in Nokia E7 was better outside in direct sunlight. and the 4 inch screen.

But what if we compare it with other display types? Well the top notch comparisons on the web show that ClearBlack AMOLED does stand besides the most-anticipated Super AMOLED. As we said we just got this Nokia E7 for very limited time period we couldn’t hold it for comparisons sake. Wish we could have it for a little more while.

Hardware – What Nokia E7 has got inside and what can it do?

  • 123.7 x 62.4 x 13.6 mm is much bigger than Nokia N8. But that surely didn’t look bulky in hands. Did you see above in the picture? you can see in pictures at the end of the post as well. Though it is heavy and it feels so.
  • But it gives Screen Size as large as 4 inch (diagonal) and I really wished that my N8 would have that big size of screen.
  • Most importantly in talking about AMOLED Display of E7, the Clear Black Display (aka CBD) is the part of it which really needs to be mentioned. It is what it says. The “Clear Black” is what makes it crystal display with full black colors in dark images. As well you see more cleared outdoors in direct sunlight. Gorilla Glass is the same as it’s on N8 or C7.
  • Along with all the touch interfaces the first figure to mention of Nokia E7 is the hardware/physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
  • Nokia E7 comes with the same CPU Type of ARM 11 and with Clock Rate of 680 MHz as other Symbian^3 devices were shipped with.
  • Additionally like other S^3 devices Nokia E7 also got a dedicated GPU for graphics processing. It’s a 2D/3D Graphics Hardware Accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0 support. That means E7 is not just Nokia’s another business smartphone or not just another communicator but it gives pretty much the deal for entertainment.
  • Nokia E7 only has got its own fixed Mass Storage or Memory of 16GB. The bad part of it is that no expandable memory option is provided, means No Memory Card extension.
  • 256 MB of RAM is just same as it was in other Symbian^3 devices – e.g. N8, C7, C6-01. Even Nokia X7 the later release with Symbian Anna also had got only 256 MB of RAM. Well that’s kind a lowest RAM if compared to other ranges of high-end smartphones like Androids. But technically 256 MB of RAM in Nokia’s Symbian^3 smartphones is pretty much enough to do the jobs well. There is however quite a big range of usable apps and HD games in the Ovi Store for Symbian^3 platform, but they aren’t as resource hungry that 256 MB of RAM comes to end. Simply we didn’t see any thing like “memory full” error throughout our whole evaluation of Nokia E7, while running multiple apps at once, playing games and putting them down at background and doing some thing else. etc. etc.
  • 8 Megapixel Camera EDoF, as official specifications tell us, is just same Full Focus camera as shipped in C7. But focal length is not specified with E7 that’s 4.3mm in C7. We’ll post another article with a gallery of pictures shot by Nokia E7.
    (Camera Features: Auto Exposure, Dual-LED Flash, Exposure Compensation, Face Detection, Full Focus, Full Screen Viewfinder, Geotagging, Red-Eye Reduction, Self Timer, Still Image Editor).
  • Camera in E7 records up to 720p (1280×720) videos at 25fps recording.
  • Connectivity with Nokia E7 has lot of features for you are still new and still useful.
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with Stereo Audio support.
  • HDMI Out is awesome to play HD movies directly onto your HDTV connected via an HDMI cable – (HDMI Adapter cable is provided with the package with Mini HDMI port).
  • Compasite TV Out is also supported via 3.5mm AV Connector. If you don’t have an HDMI supported output device, then you can simply use this way to get your output to your standard TV with composite support. Read more about Nokia TV Out feature
  • Micro USB for connectivity and charging – (no standard Nokia micro-pin charger support).
  • USB-OTG (USB On the Go) support via Micro USB – Micro USB to Standard USB adapter cable provided with the package. USB2.0 High-Speed with USB Mass Storage support.
  • WLAN support with 802.11b/g/n (WEP, WPA, WPA2 (AES/TKIP)).

Conclusion

As said Nokia E7 is not just another business smartphone but like Nokia N8, it’s as much capable of playing latest 3D games, playing High Definition movies with most of the common video formats, shooting video at 720p resolution, playing music, etc. It’s the combination of the both series E & N. Having a hardware keyboard however, there are a few features/components that lack in E7 which doesn’t make it any better than Nokia N8 e.g. Expandable Memory Card, Auto Focus Camera. Of course that also doesn’t make it lower value. At last it depends on the requirement of the consumer what you need the most, a smart camera phone with a lot of memory to take along on your tours/trips or a smart messaging/business phone while you were on-the-go.
Tell us what will you prefer. Give your comments below.

Nokia E7 Photo Shoot

A good set of photo gallery of Nokia E7 we could have for you.

 

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