The recent emergence of the Apple iPhone and Android smartphones has set a high standard in terms of what we expect from touchscreen phones. Given that Nokia’s Symbian OS has somewhat been left behind by other mobile OS, my expectations with the Nokia C7 weren’t high. But after trying out the phone for the past few days, I was pleasantly surprised with the features the phone has to offer.
The Nokia C7 strikes you right away with its elegant, slim and stylish design. It is made with a mixture of hard, durable plastic and stainless steel and has a vivid 3.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with nHD resolution. With nicely curved sides, the phone is just 10.5 mm thin.
On top of the display is the video-call camera in the upper right and beside it is the ambient light and proximity sensor. At the bottom of the display are three dedicated buttons for Answer, Menu and Ignore. I often mistake the Ignore button as the Back button which can get frustrating at times because instead of going back one menu backwards, you end up going to the home screen instead.
Topside you will see the power button that also serves as the lock and shortcut key for the sound profiles. Beside it is the 3.5mm audio jack and the covered microUSB port for charging and connecting to a PC.
On the right side is the volume buttons that also serves as zoom control for the camera. In between these two buttons is the voice control button which sounds cool at first but you might end up not using at all. It takes a couple of seconds to activate and most of the time, it will give you the wrong result. There’s also the lock / unlock slide on the right side beside the dedicated shutter button.
At the back is the 8-megapixel camera and its LED flash as well as the speaker grill. Taking off the back panel you will see the SIM card slot on the side and the microSD slot underneath the battery. This means you cannot hot-swap your microSD without switching off the phone.
Powered by the Symbian 3 OS, the C7 is Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS capable and offers various features such as social media integration, mobile entertainment, document viewing and maps.
The C7 has an 8GB internal memory that can be expanded to 32 GB to support your multimedia needs. It has 3 home screens and widgets which may seem cluttered at first but can be customized to your liking. I find the highly-customizable home screen panels very useful.
The highlight of the C7 is the experience it provides to social networking fanatics. Through Nokia’s user-friendly Ovi Social app, you can easily manage and integrate both your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This app allows you to view your friends’ recent updates on your home screen and synchronizes your contact cards to their profile picture on Facebook to always keep you on the loop.
Unfortunately, the Facebook and Twitter App is run through the Ovi instead of a standalone app. It would be nice if you can access each social network directly from the home screen in one click. Also, the apps are not as polished as compared to other mobile OS version of FB and Twitter
The C7 can record HD quality video in 720p and edit them with its own video editing application. DivX/Xvid movies can be downloaded onto its memory and played without doing any conversions.
Audiophiles would appreciate the phone’s music player and stereo FM radio. It can also act as an FM transmitter in case you want to play your music over your old car stereo system.
The web browser in Symbian^3 has improved from previous versions but still it’s not at par with the browsers found in iPhones and Android phones. Rendering takes slightly longer and text are not preserved and scrolling the page can be a bit jerky at times.
The C7 has an 8-megapixel camera with a built-in LED flash and it’s capable of 3264 x 1832 resolution images. Unfortunately, the lens is of fixed-focus type. It might look ok in landscape shots but it in close up shots you will see its limitations.
Here are some sample shots taken with the C7.
Nokia offers a wide range of content (Applications, Games, Audio and Video) available in its Ovi Store. Though not as exciting compared to the iPhone’s App Store, there are still plenty of decent apps available. One of which is JoikuSpot which turns your Nokia phone into a wireless router that can share your internet connection.
Other than having a digital compass, also pre-installed on the phone is Nokia Ovi maps which allows lifetime free GPS navigation. This works well with the phone’s large display and its route planning feature is great for finding the fastest or shortest route to any destination.
The phone normally performs well with its ARM 11 680 MHz processor, but when multiple applications are open, I usually experienced noticeable lags between the moment you swipe the screen and the phone to respond accordingly.
Typing on the C7 can be done either on its alphaneumeric or virtual QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode, and since the phone doesn’t support multi-touch – typing at speed on its QWERTY keyboard usually results to multiple mistakes. Speaking of the keyboard, the keys are huge and this comes at the expense of having a dedicated screen just for typing a message. You need to exit the keyboard to view the message you are replying to or before you can click send.
Another thing I’ve noticed is when the C7 is on sleep mode, it simply displays the time and the user won’t notice if he received a new text message or missed a call especially if the phone is on silent mode. The only way to check is to unlock the phone.
The phone’s battery life is very impressive when compared to other touchscreen phones. It can easily last 2 ““ 3 days of solid use, which include a mixture of calls, text messaging, frequent social networking and web browsing.
The Nokia C7 may not be the best phone to handle multi-tasking or support tons of apps. What’s good about the C7 is its beautiful form factor which felt just right in our hand, not too big nor too small and it has a solid, sturdy build as well.
The Symbian^3 is the latest OS from Nokia which offers a lot of customization at your fingertips however, it still needs a lot of catching up to do to really compete with the iOS and Android. If you are looking for a sleek and sexy looking mobile phone that would provide you with a decent social networking and multimedia experience with an impressive battery life, you may want to consider the Nokia C7.
Nokia C7-00 Specs:
- 3.5 AMOLED display @ 640Ã—360 pixels
- Symbian^3 OS
- 350MB internal memory
- 8GB mass storage, up to 32GB via microSD
- 680MHz CPU
- 256MB RAM
- 8MP fixed-focus camera with dual LED flash
- 720p HD video recording @ 25fps
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- HSDPA 10.2MBps, HSUPA 2.0Mbps
- Bluetooth 3.0
- FM Radio Tuner
- FM Transmitter
- 1200mAH battery