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.
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.