Nokia E7 - Getting Down to Business

Launch SRP: S$989


Keying in the Details

The physical keyboard for the E7 comprises of well-spaced but compact keys that boast good tactile feedback. However, we felt that the keys might be a little too flushed 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 and this includes the all important spacebar too. The keyboard follows a standard format, including small directional keys on the right hand side for navigation. Don't expect bells and whistles like keyboard shortcuts though.

We found that the keyboard is slim and stylish with well-spaced keys. On the down side, they are also rather flat, making it slightly hard to type fast without making any mistakes at first.

The E7 is primarily positioned to be a business-centric smartphone. As such, the E7 comes with a suite of pre-installed productivity apps like QuickOffice, Microsoft Communicator Mobile, and JoikuSpot (an app that that lets you create Wi-Fi mobile hotspots on-the-go). We often keep sensitive information on our smartphones, so Nokia has also included F-Secure Anti-theft protection which allows users to remotely lock, wipe, as well as locate misplaced devices. For the enterprise user, the E7 comes with support for more Microsoft Exchange Activesync policies, plus Cisco and Juniper SSL VPN support. If you are looking for major differences in the Symbian^3 platform on the E7 as compared to when it was first seen on N8, you wouldn't find much, save for a few minor cosmetic changes. The user experience stays almost identical (for an in-depth look at the OS, you can check out our N8 review here).

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 transfer data easily when on the move; an imperative feature especially, if the information requires a backup. While we fancied this handy feature, it took quite a fair amount of time before the phone could properly read our SD card mounted via a USB card reader. Even so, before it was able to achieve that, the phone crashed twice on us.

Navigate to the File Manager app to move or copy your files into the phone from your USB device or vice-versa. With an on board flash memory storage size of 16GB, the E7 has sufficient space for lots of files. Nonetheless, the device would have been better off with a MicroSD card slot for memory expansion.

The Good
Sturdy and well-constructed
Beautiful 4.0-inch AMOLED screen
Substantial physical QWERTY keyboard
The Bad
On the pricey side
Disappointing camera capabilities
No SD memory card slot
Complicated Symbian OS