Nokia World 2010 - Reinforcing Symbian^3

Hands-on with the Nokia E7

Hands-on with the Nokia E7

The Nokia E7 is designated as the heir to its earlier Nokia 9000 Communicator, a device that was well-received for its business-centric features. Thus, it's apparent that the E7, as you might have surmised from its E-series label, is such a device too. For the enterprise user, the E7 comes with a few propositions, including support for more Microsoft Exchange Activesync policies, plus Cisco and Juniper SSL VPN support in a software update by Q1 2011. If the previous features are too technical, you might be interested to know that the E7 is also preloaded with business-centric apps, one of which is JoikuSpot that lets you create Wi-Fi mobile hotspots on-the-go.

For its hardware, the E7 has a few advantages over its multimedia cousin, the N8. Somewhat of a surprise is its screen size, which is bumped up to a 4-inch AMOLED display, whilst the N8 is locked down at 3.5-inches. On a similar note, Nokia has also included ClearBlack Display, a display technology that supposedly increases the contrast quality and gives better visibility of the black spectrum. Honestly speaking, the screen had a rich texture to it, but we're more likely to attribute that to its AMOLED display instead.

Though similar to the N8, the E7 comes with a larger 4-inch screen.

As the successor to its Communicator heritage, the E7 is equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard, revealed when you slide the screen from the side. Once we got around to pushing the display outwards (with a significant amount of force), we were greeted to a keyboard with seemingly flat keys. Our experience with the keyboard was kind of easy on the fingers, with sufficient spacing between keys that prevented any accidental mashing of adjacent keys. Typing on the keyboard is subjective, based on the size of your fingers. For our thick fingers, we had minimal errors after a string of words.

The hinge mechanism was kind of stiff, making it hard to slide the screen.

From this angle, you will notice how flat the keys are.

Thankfully, we didn't have too much trouble with the flat keyboard.

Though it does come with a larger screen, the E7 doesn't seem as blown up as we might have expected. Weight-wise, it wasn't hard to handle, and the streamlined design felt great and smooth in our hands. You will notice the gap between the screen and the keyboard, which is negligible in our eyes. As expected, the side is where you'll find the usual suspects, such as the volume, screen lock and camera buttons.

From the sides, you can see the unibody design of the E7, which is similar to what we've seen on the N8.

Likewise, you get a HDMI-out on the E7, located at the top of the device.

We did mention how streamlined the design is, and like the N8, the E7 will have an integrated battery, rated at 1200mAh. Should we be concerned with the battery life on this smartphone? In a way, you shouldn't be too hung up on that if you take every opportunity to charge your device. But thanks to Nokia's decision to utilize a non-removable battery, you'll notice a very smooth and aesthetically pleasing backing on the E7. What you'll notice is the 8-megapixel camera, which doesn't bear the Carl-Zeiss brand on its lens. Nonetheless, you do get a decent camera, and dual LED flash for low lighting conditions.

An 8-megapixel camera is included, but you'll notice the absence of the Carl-Zeiss brand on the E7.

What lies beneath the E7 is the Symbian^3 operating system, which has been seen on the N8. Similarly, you get up to 3 home pages to work with. In our opinion, that's still not an optimum number, though you should be able to appreciate the new widgets that will be included on this new OS. Though it isn't designated as a multimedia performer, the E7 still retains such an option, and to that effect, you'll get a 16GB internal storage on top of its microSD expandability.

The Nokia E7 is expected to be shipped by the end of the year, with a price tag of 495 euros before taxes and subsidies. It will be available in the following colors - Dark Grey, Silver White, Green, Blue, Orange

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