136 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
Update - 27th May 2012
It has been a year plus of using this phone. I have been tempted to change to another phone but some things keep holding me back. Maybe I am just sentimental. Maybe it is regret that Nokia decided to prematurely abandon the platform, which is actually pretty good.
But mostly I just loved the fact that I can tether it to my laptop to access the internet without paying extra smartphone tethering plan / jailbreak / etc.. (for some reason, some telco considered this phone a dumbphone - thus I can use the unlimited data plan for dumbphone. Which is cheaper. WIN!!)
This is a good phone. But no gadget is perfect and I will go into the pros / cons. Hopefully this will help those who are on the fence to make up their mind.
(Really, the Symbian / Nokia users need not much convincing and are already very aware of the phone; while the android / iOS fans will probably just stick with what they are comfortable with).
First, I have been a Nokia / Symbian user for a long time. My wife has an iPhone; so I can appreciate both. Played a bit with android but did not spend too much time with it to give a fair opinion on it. On to the review:
What about the Hardware?
First, the hardware is very nice and is a major selling point. The OLED screen with 'Clear Black Display' really looks nice on the eye. If people are impressed with 'Retina Display' they should be equally impressed with E7 screen with the vivid color and unparalleled contrast. OLED also draws less power and have tricks with the sleeping screen (check Nokia Beta Labs - Sleeping Screen app).
The form factor is another reason to consider E7. For those like me, who prefer a hardware keyboard... Let me say that the keyboard is one of the best. The slide mechanism is solid and impressive too.
The GPS function can easily replace a dedicated unit out there. Especially since you can sideload map from all over the world free using the OVI Suite.
USB on the Go, HDMI output, QuickOffice offer great flexibility in sharing / viewing / moving your files and media. The media / music player is an included standard feature as well.
Do I need to mention that the E7 cover all the international variants of GSM / HSDPA frequency band? This means you can access 3G pretty much all around the world where they are available. (Most other phones cover all the GSM frequency variants but not HSDPA.)
In a nutshell, the hardware is a solid five. Some may disagree on the camera though. Being a fixed focus with EDOF (Extended Depth of Field), you will not be able to take close up picture. This is a trade-off for the slimmer body. Still, the picture is usable (I suggest to change the color to vivid and use sharpest setting - the camera processing seems to produce a very subdued picture). You may want to check Nokia N8 if camera is more important to you than a hardware keyboard.
What about the software?
Symbian^3 is a major step up from the earlier version. Still, to really enjoy it, one has to actually go into it and learn the intricacies. So yes, it is not as intuitive (simple) as iOS. But some may actually prefer the flexibility that comes with this. Here is a couple of tips (things I always do when I get a fresh Symbian phone):
- Give accompanying OVI suite a try (try the beta version.. it's faster). I mostly use it as an easy way to tether my laptop (yes sir, big reason why I love unlocked Nokia phone) but some of the other features are nice too.
- Update all the firmware / apps.
- Reorganize the icons into folder structure that make sense to you. It is a hassle the first time but will make a difference as to how you use the phone. (Option > Organize)
- Play around with the setting. (Seriously..)
- If you really have to have iOS style interface, you can customize multiple shortcut widgets on your 3 home screens. Frankly, I never see the need to do this.
- The search widget is quite useful... but do go to the setting to exclude items that you don't want it to index.
Here is a tip... touch and hold is like a mouse right click. It brings up context menu for many items in the phone.
What about the apps?
Sad to say, this is a major con when it comes to Symbian. If you come from Android / iOS, the first thing you will notice is actually the lack of it. This is especially a concern now since Nokia announcement to transition to Windows Mobile. It makes for less incentive for software developers to further develop apps for the platform.
That said, thus far, I am still seeing new apps every now and then. And Symbian is feature rich enough that you don't necessarily miss them. Still, here are a couple apps you should get if you do get the phone.
- Opera Mini / Mobile : Trust me, this will make your browsing experience much, much better. Nuff said. (also, please tinker with the setting.)
- Swype : You don't really need it for this phone because of the hardware keyboard. But if you are lazy to flip it open.
- Gravity : Facebook / Twitter client
- JoikuSpot : turn your phone into mobile WiFi HotSpot.
- Nokia Internet Radio / Tunewiki : Good for listening to Shoutcast radio.
- Try out any of the apps from Nokia Beta Labs / Check out Ovi Store...
- If you are adventurous, scour the net for various app out there in the net too (I typically go to allaboutsymbian.com for tips, etc)
Frankly, there is not much essential apps to mention for now.. I do wish we have a kindle app for the phone (are you listening Amazon?). Maybe Evernote. And maybe more games too. Again, here is an area where I have to say that I envy my wife and her iPhone.
What about the performance?
So far, the phone is snappy enough. The only time it sometimes seems to freeze is when I am installing new apps (it will resume to normal if you leave it, I just feel apprehensive whenever that happens).
So there you have it. The phone does have potentials. Whether it will meet your needs or not is another. I am done tinkering with my phone for now to make it works the way I want and am quite happy with it.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
First, I want to say, this is my first Symbian OS phone and it has it's issues. The UI is not as intuitive as an iPhone for example. There were several times I had to read the Help guide in order to figure out how to do some relatively easy things (like adding a non-predefined shortcut to an App onto the home screen). There are fewer apps available for Symbian and there's no SD memory slot. However, once you get used to navigating the Symbian OS's settings screens and get the 3 home screens setup the way you want, this phone cannot be beat. It is relatively quick, the switching between 3G and WiFi is flawless, the calls sound great, the video quality is the best I've ever seen on a phone (try uploading a digital copy of a blu-ray movie) and the keyboard is a joy to type on. Battery life is better than most and the 16 gig memory is sufficient. The Exchange integration is excellent and the OVI maps are awesome (The Trip Advisor integration is a nice touch too). It feels solid and looks great. After using various Android phones and an iPhone 4, I have to say this phone has them beat by far. Yes, there are some things that Android phones or iPhones do better, but overall, feature for feature, this phone is simply the best smartphone on the market at this time. If you want a phone just to play games on, buy an iPhone. If you want a phone that's more than a toy, buy the Nokia E7.
70 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2011
Combined touch screen and full slide-out keyboard...Nokia has put elegance into this form factor
The slide-out keyboard is quite comfortable. I can also touch the screen to get the cursor where I want, no need to tap the scroll keys or reach for a mouse.
Push mail is now more convenient than ever (use multiple email accounts, choose Ovi Messaging, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Mail for Exchange, Lotus Note Traveller, IMAP or POP).
Maps works even when you are not connected to any network (just pre-load maps of the geographic areas you need).
Camera gives excellent quality 8MP pictures and HD video. The lack of auto focus simply means I can't take close-ups of documents or displays.
MS Office documents can be created and edited (.doc, .xls and .ppt) while waiting at airport terminals and on airplanes.
Now I don't need to carry my laptop around for meetings and presentations.
Just an HDMI cable to connect to LCD TVs or projectors.
E7 can connect to external HDD...I have not yet been able to get it to work with my HDDs, but that may be due to my HDD partitioning scheme and filesystems.
Nokia looks to be at a crossroads of the mobile mindshare.
If Nokia wants to improve the User Experience or UX...they should seriously take a look at the MOAP UX used on Japanese Symbian smartphones.
In 2007, a long time ago in mobile mindspace, these Japanese phones with MOAP UX wrapped around the Symbian OS, had rich media, DVB-TV and push email.
The Nokia E7 shows that Symbian can still beat any phone OS available today with features like:
- Efficient CPU and Memory Usage
- Longer Battery Life
- Multiple form factors (touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, T9 keyboard, or any combination)
There's a lot of BS going on about Symbian being 10 yrs old technology.
Technically, most "modern" mobile operating systems are repackaged with graphical interfaces wrapped around "old" operating systems.
Very few companies can claim to come up with a "new technology" mobile phone operating system...a lot of the "innovation" is the user interface.
Under the hood, Symbian is a solid tried and tested truly mobile phone OS kernel.
If Symbian is 10 yrs old then...
- Android is even older (with the 20 yr old Linux kernel)
- Apple iPhone iOS is 25 yrs old (iOS contains the Unix Mach/BSD kernel)
- WP7 is 15 yrs old (WP7 contains the Windows CE kernel)
Besides putting in great graphics, animations and eye candy for the GUI...Nokia certainly need to take better care with doing a "task analysis" of the user interaction on each phone model (since Nokia have an abundance of phone models that are most likely designed, built and shipped by different groups within the company).
This should help bring about consistency with the key press and screen taps for
....different operations for related user actions
....steps to perform similar types of operations.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
This phone is a best looking phone on the market right now. I was so excited to get the phone and I set it up similarly to my N8, which I decided to keep as a backup. The hardware on this phone is exceptional - better than any phone I've had before and it puts the iPhone to shame in terms of its looks, beautiful flip up screen and amazing keyboard which is so easy to use, but the O/S on this phone is not nearly as smooth or user friendly as it should be.
Basically the problem is that they have modified Symbian^3 from the Nokia N8 for this phone and whoever has done it has made a real mess of it. Once you have a decent number of apps on the phone ( - incidentally much less than I put on my N900) the phone constantly lags, and even after a hard reboot, unless you turn off the online widgets freezes and needs rebooting all the time - on average I am rebooting it 6 times per day with the widgets on. After hours on the phone with Nokia support they really can't offer any solid suggestions.
Until Nokia gets their act together on their O/S I would say that this phone will only serve a niche market - and that really is a shame because it feels wonderful in the hand and has a marvellous display, but without a decent O/S it basically doesn't completely do what it's supposed to do!
Note: I have revised this review as I realized that the problems I was having relate to using the online widgets in a non-3.5/4G environment - I will still keep this phone for the moment but will likely upgrade to the new Meego Nokia N9 phone when it appears.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
I'm writing this review from the perspective of someone who's had a Nokia epiphany with the E71 (some time ago) and a somewhat muted (at least, at first) yet ever-growing blast with the E72.
Essentially, the jump from a non-touch ~2" screen to a truly gorgeous 4" AMOLED touch screen (and the wonderful freedom it allows for Symbian to finally let loose) is just short of life-changing, and thus, if you're making the leap into the touch screen arena for the first time, you can expect to be just as -- if not more -- blown away as I am now. For those of you who've been playing with touch screens for ages now, even I can admit (and, so far, a good number of iPhone and various Android users, too) that this screen's size and brilliance is definitely at or near the top.
One more thing before I cover a few, select details: I had heard that Nokia's earlier ventures into the touch screen market didn't quite measure up to the fast, responsive, and flowy moves of iOS (e.g. N97, X6). This was a major worry, because I just couldn't imagine anything worse than being stuck with a physical button-less screen that jolted and froze as I poked around the Symbian interface. However, due to the difficulty in finding independent retailers that had any of the newest models of touch screen Nokias available for demos, I took a very cautious step out, bought the E7, and was most pleasantly surprised! It's a breeze, and even after the wonder of the screen's beauty wares off, the sensitivity, responsiveness, and class (yes, it's classy) will continue to make you ponder how Nokia's E7 could possibly still even have one of the best mobile keyboards ever built!! It's overwhelming...
Now, time to be short and sweet and name just a few ups and downs:
- The fact that Nokia managed to squeeze the keyboard and screen into a mobile device whose hardware (as usual) is impeccable and truly some of the best Nokia's ever put together (which is saying something, trust me), and whose form factor is as fresh, slim, and eye-catching as a concept phone that's come out 6 months too early, is just unheard of in today's somewhat mundane mobile marketplace. And plus, the whole brick-like "communicator" style seemed to be out, but now Nokia has given it more than enough new and improved life to make the E7 also an incredibly unique piece. Tired of having to come up with new tricks and apps (what is that one.. Swype?) to type on a virtual, touch keyboard...and dealing with an unfortunately steep learning curve (which many times doesn't have a top)? Well, why don't I just pop up my screen to this curiously comfortable 30 degree angle and type on a real keyboard! How refreshing...
- As always, phone's tend to seem they could use a bit more power. And, like any phone, I wouldn't complain if there was just a little more kick here as well. It's fast, but you'll notice just the tiniest inkling of lag when you're installing new programs (and, ofcourse, new software updates and whatnot, as mentioned by another reviewer here). I have to admit -- being used to Symbian -- I have become patient and understanding when my phones have seemed to freeze for a second or two when introducing new software to them, but it's not the end of the world.
- Now that Nokia's officially jumping ship (or "platform"....) to Microsoft's mobile OS, one would (reasonably) assume that Symbian's essentially dead in the water. This idea went through my head for a second, but I've put it behind me. First of all, I think Nokia's done a really good job with Symbian^3, and considering that I've only come onboard a few months after the E7's release, there've been a good handful of serious software updates, and I have had nearly zero problems at all with the OS thus far (with only a minor problem installing some updates to Ovi maps and the Symbian search: they'd download, but would continue to fail in installation...but nothing a restart of the phone couldn't fix ... which tends to be an easy and simple fix for most things when it comes to Symbian). Therefore, I have a good feeling that this switch to Microsoft's WP7 will not be much of a problem at all (considering the following Nokia has in the Symbian world), at least, not as much as what it will probably bring to the OviStore (which is also debatable). **UPDATE: Symbian "Anna" will be available for the E7, sometime soon (as of April '11)**
- Also about Symbian: for those of you who know the OS, I think Symbian^3 on the E7 will be a lot of fun; although I'm definitely used to the ins and outs (however, I'm surely not a pro), I still had to do a little internet research for the usual hidden tips and tricks, and some basic how-to. Those who know Symbian will know what I'm talking about. Symbian isn't about dumbing things down so that everything is as clear as day (and simultaneously taking the customization and uniqueness to the chopping block). There is no one place for all your phone's preferences, for instance. So if you can't find how to change something, don't give up. It's part of the fun and once you figure it out, it'll slowly all make sense, and a wonderful map of a world known as Symbian^3 will slowly form into a coherent, simple, straight-forward and truly logical OS.
I'm still discovering plenty on the E7, and I'm still doing double takes at it's distinctive elegance, refinement, and true artistry, as it sits on my table with it's slightly tilted, thin, brilliant face looking up at me over a streamlined keyboard and award-worthy body. If you have yet to jump into the world of Nokia, this is the top of the top and one hell of a place to dive in. For those of you who have anything at the level of an E72 and below (essentially anything but the N8, C7, and, perhaps, the C6), this is definitely a worthwhile upgrade.
I'll be back with some pointers!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
I rarely write reviews, especially for products that majority of people know they are good products. Nokia, though losing marketshare slowly, is still a big player and with many tricks up its sleeve. The fact that they design a phone for the end users not the networks, is what keeps it a good phone in terms of customization and controls (privacy, tracking, sharing location, etc).
The phone is very slick in terms of being a business phone, a bit bulky..but even with forced feedback touch screen, I still have a hard time using the touch screen to type..even on my wife's iPhone..and the iPad...I guess our ability to sense touch compared to sound is better..so I prefer forced feedback (tiny vibration to let you know you are touching the screen as you type). So bulky...but that's the beauty..it has a QWERTY keyboard with Ctrl+V+X+C functions (copying and pasting stuff for documents, emails, etc).
People complaining about the Ovi app store not having enough apps compared to App Store or Droid Market? Well...all of them offer crap apps anyway..so you won't be disappointed. If you like crappy free apps, or to pay a premium for "better ones -aka no ads" then buy a an iPhone, or Android phone.
If you like functionality, business use and ability to still have some fun with your phone...buy this phone. Great camera (no auto focus....but if you need details up close...buy a real camera). 8MP, HDMI out, 720p video recorder, micro USB to connect memory stick, office suite (full)....plays all kinds of audio/video formats, it has full version flash (unlike iPhone..who push people to develop apps to display ads..not through flash on sites).
The phone itself has many built in security software and other software to keep you buys before buying any apps (tracking, security, locking, etc)
Overall...if you remember the communicator (great business phone), this is definitely 100% improvement. And get the Otterbox case for it...you don't want to scratch it:) Apple and droid have great marketing skills and presentation...but Nokia steals the show....their Symbian OS will be replaced by Windows mobile soon..I am not looking forward to use Ctrl+Alt+Del to login to the phone, but it's not a bad mobile OS.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2011
ok, maybe the screen doesn't move right under your finger like iphone 'magic' BUT these are the reasons I stick with symbian:
free side-loadable(meaning no net connection necessary to use) voice guided navigation and on a nice screen like this really is just as good as any dedicated gps unit out there.
again side-loadable content, you can just plug in USB and drag your music, pictures, videos onto this phone and they are there, eat your heart out Itunes.
user accessible filesystem, i.e. you can download stuff from the web, pdfs, whatever, make folders, just like you can on a normal PC.
out of the box support for viewing and editing and saving locally office documents
out of the box pdf reader
integrated SIP client that works over 3g
the nokia internet radio app, yes, been using it for years, love it. free
integrated webdav client (remote drives)
integrated syncml support
integrated support for just about every bluetooth feature there is.
very awesome GSM support for frequencies and standards, I like delivery reports on sms and even read reports on mms
battery life is really good compared to android and iOS(depending on your use of course)
the graphics processor unit is a beast.
uhhh, USB OTG. I was with a friend on vacation, hooked my e7 to his nikon d90 with only a 1GB card via USB and copied all the pictures/videos from his card so he could keep shooting. Yeah, that was cool.
unlocked, yes you people with the 2 year plan are actually being raped, fools. Try a taste of freedom.
How to beat the Cons:
use opera browser
wait for Anna update with Qt/webkit browser
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
UPDATE: 12/12/2011: I have been having trouble with the maps lately. It would not work no matter what. Also the phone died all of a sudden today.
I have been using Nokia phones for the past 15 years approx. I have used 3301, 3510, 3510i, e63, e71 and now this. I also have used Android phone for over a year. So I can say I am not new to smart phones and definitely not new to Symbian. I have had this phone for 2 months now.
I bought this phone because of my confidence in Nokia. They make amazing phone designs and solid build. Nothing can compare to the build quality on this phone. Nothing! The screen is big and very very clear. Keyboard is out-of-this-world awesome. The design is killer. You put this phone of the conference table and see the eyes rolling, it is that kind of a beast. So I give 10/10 points to Nokia for their design sense which almost all other phones (except iPhone) lack.
Phone has a less powerful processor but that is because Symbian does not need high processing speed. Android requires a high processing power so those phones have higher speed processors. You will not find any delays on the phones but the whole Symbian OS is slow when installing new apps. Once installed, they run fine. The menus do not have any noticeable lag even with their animations.
I'll put down the pros and cos now to make it easier for you to decide if you want to buy this phone.
The KEYBOARD (10/10) is unparalleled. You will not find a better keyboard on a phone. Period! One thing to notice however, is that slide out keyboard is at times less convenient but on board virtual keyboard is there for you in such situations.
GPS (10/10) in this phone beats Google maps by a long margin. It is one of the best navigation devices I have ever used, and the count includes GPS only devices as well. Remember, it is in a phone and what you get is a fully functional voice guided navigation through world largest map company, which is now owned by Nokia. You can have navigation speak in your voice or in many languages. You will also be able to use the GPS if you go abroad since Nokia has navigation and guided maps for a large number of countries, compared to competitors, that have it for US and Canada only.
The SCREEN (10/10) is very clear even in bright sunlight. It is seriously clear. It adjusts itself so if you are inside it will be less bright but if you go to well lit area or under the sun it go's brighter. Many phone these days can not be used in direct sunlight. This one can be used without a problem. Clear black is Nokia's technology that makes black look like black on the screen. It is a really good addition. You will love the blacks on this phone.
Best MULTITASKING(10/10). You can close an app after using it since all apps have an "Exit" option in the menu item which removes the app from the memory.
One of the best EMAIL CLIENTs (10/10) that you can find on any phone. It almost looks like outlook in your hands. Very smooth, fast, efficient and connects with Exchange like a charm. You can have upto 10 Email accounts linked and you can set different sync frequency for each one of them. For the main Exchange account you can tell your working hours and the phone will remain in sync (all the time) for your working hours and then you can set it to sync every 15mis/30mins/1hour, as you like, in non-working hours. I think it is simply wonderful.
BATTERY (8/10) on this phone is okay. It will get you through the day with heavy use easily but you can not remove it yourself.
This phone SAVES YOUR DATA (10/10) since it downloads all the maps on your phone and then, even if you do not have a data plan, you can still use the GPS. It rocks! You will notice a decrease in your data usage once you shift to this phone.
The BIGGEST(06/10) downside to this phone (and I hate to say this) is Symbian^3 which was later upgraded to Symbian Anna. I am not an Android or Apple fan for many reasons. One of the biggest reason is that you do not have much control on the device on Apple. Android gives you that control but it does not have good phone functionality. After all, what you want is a phone first. So, Symbian gives you a good phone with one of the best wireless stack out there BUT an outdated interface. It restarts often. Sometimes it gets annoying. I hope this will get better with Symbian Belle update but only time will tell. Symbian Belle is supposedly coming to the US around January (unofficial). Nokia will now be shipping phones with Windows OS so many people are afraid they will stop supporting Symbian but I doubt since millions of Symbian phones are out there and Nokia will lose their reputation if they stop supporting Symbian. I think they will keep up the support for at least 5 more years. That is just a guess.
Many people use a lot of APPS (04/10). I don't! So I do not mind much if there is a pathetically low number of apps available for this phone. Nokia needs to pay banks, insurance companies and other giants to get apps made for them. This can easily be the biggest setback for many people. The installer was down right lazy and slow when I started using the phone but with Anna update and another updates few days ago, installer is better, much better!!!
Overall, this is a great phone. If you buy it, give it few days and it will grow on you. You will not want to return it afterwards. BUT if you are app-crazy, this phone is not for you. This is a serious phone and helps in managing your work life like no other.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2011
Apple made me part of the smartphone world with its iPhone (beside the no-fun Blackberry I had to use before), but this phone is just of another category. Just give the keyboard a try - the virtual iphone one is "usable", the tiny Blackberry keys are "okay", but the writing experience on the Nokia E7 is just amazing. The large tilting 4" Oled screen gives you just the right angle of vision and stability, much better than that of undifferentiated mass of Chinese Android Qwerty sliders.
Another killer function is the free offline GPS navegation. The iPhone doesn't have it (you have to buy TomTom or Navignon solutions which are good, but not cheap) and the Android phones consume megabytes from the data pack while navigating (and its turn by turn functionality is limited to North America). Nokia owns Navitech, so they are one of the technology leaders in this field - you really don't need a secondary GPS device any longer. The US comes preinstalled, and you can download from the device (no need to connect to a PC) any other map worldwide while you are still under fast and free Wifi coverage.
Another important feature is that it is an open and truly international phone. I am traveling regularly to Europe and Latin America. Even an unblocked, jailbroken iPhone is not easy to adapt to different SIM card settings, but this one is a no brainer: slip in a local prepaid SIM card with an local data allowance (which is much easier and cheaper to buy in Europe and Latam as US carriers are still reserving competitive data packs to their contract customers) and voilá - the phone updates all settings automatically so you are online in a breeze at low costs, wherever you are. Additionally it is the only nine-band phone I know (5 3G bands, 4 GSM bands), so it works anywhere in the world with high 3G data speeds, guaranteed).
Just one minor thing: I like reading news via RSS. The E7 can do that, but the functionality is buried in the menu of the web browser. Also, the contact management could be streamlined a bit, It works, but iOS has better implementations.
In summary: after years of Blackberry and, more recently the iPhone, this Phone is the best solution for anybody who writes a lot (SMS, emails, notes, whatever - writing on this phone is MUCH faster produces less typing errors than any other phone I know), for anyone traveling abroad and for anybody who uses the phone as a car/bike/walk navigator. These functions are outstanding, the rest is OK.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
I bougth it from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The free ship to Miami via LASERSHIP was good. (2 days)
Hardware is very solid (a little heavy) I think it's perfect for people who has big fingers/hands. The keyboard is spectacular.
Symbian is not bad. Has a lot of Apps. Works find. I had no problem. I opened more than 40 apps at same time. Everything you need. Very good performance. I'm coming from a N95 - The gap is huge.
I have 4 emails boxes configured. I can see movies directly connecting to the HDMI TV. The camera is very goog for a phone.
I paid $549. For $440 it's a present.
I recommend this phone. Woks perfect on the Pampas. If works here, you can use it everywhere.
(Sorry for my English)