Nokia E7 review

Nokia's last gasp Symbian smartphone, the E7, is here. Does it go out in a blaze of glory or is it a damp squib? Julian Prokaza finds out in our review.

version of Symbian^3 used on the E7 has been reworked for touchscreen use and, superficially, it looks the part. Start to use it, however, and it soon becomes an exercise in frustration, with its counter-intuitive controls and cryptic settings squirrelled away in the menu system.

This kind of OS silliness simply has no place on a smartphone in this day and age.

The web browser, for example, feels wholly inadequate and struggles to render some web pages accurately. The screen lacks the resolution to render text-based pages readable in full-page view, but double-tap to zoom in and rather than the main column of body text being enlarged to fit the screen width (a standard feature on other smartphone OSes), the whole page is simply magnified by some seemingly random amount.

Pinch the screen to get a better text fit and everything jerkily steps up and down in size, with embedded images still usually left half off-screen. It's a similar annoying story with other apps Maps doggedly refused to download any maps data, despite incessant prompts to do so, for instance. This kind of OS silliness simply has no place on a smartphone in this day and age.

As for other modern smartphone hardware features, the E7 packs them all including a mini HDMI-out port and call quality is commendable enough. The non-removable 1200mAh battery is rated by Nokia at up to 9 hours talk time and 430 hours standby, and ran for just over five and a half hours in a video playback test.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

A few fiddly aspects aside, the Nokia E7 is a lovely piece of hardware, but the Symbian^3 operating system is just out of its depth when compared to the competition — and the fact that Nokia has also lost faith in Symbian is hardly encouraging either. So, unless the operating system is inexplicably a must-have for operational purposes, either the Android-powered HTC Desire Z or the Windows Phone 7 Dell Venue Pro are far superior hardware keyboard-equipped alternatives.

Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/900/1700/1900/ 2100 Display: 360 x 640 pixels, 4 inches OS: Symbian^3 Camera: eight megapixels rear facing, 0.3 megapixels forward facing GPS: A-GPS Processor: 680 MHz ARM 11 processor with Broadcom BCM2727 GPU Bluetooth: 3.0 Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n Storage: 16GB internal RAM: not disclosed Dimensions: 124 x 63 x 14mm Weight: 176g Battery: Lithium Ion 1200 mAh

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