Everybody’s favourite Finns, Nokia has finally gotten around to releasing a slew of handsets to showcase their eagerly-awaited Symbian 3 operating system. The Nokia C7 arrives as part of a trio of the new Symbian devices alongside the affordable mid-ranged C6, and QWERTY slider the E7. Is the new OS up to scratch? We have a firk around to find out.
From the first glance the C7 looks quite formidable being as it’s constructed in the main from sturdy and solid aluminium. However, the ultra glossy 3.5-inch AMOLED glass touchscreen does seem to be a bit of a grease magnet meaning that you’re forever wiping unsightly smears from the exquisite exterior.
Nokia have also been quite clever in enhancing call quality by including a neatly disguised second microphone in the back of the handset which aides ‘active noise cancellation’. It works by recording any external sounds and creating opposite frequencies which apparently makes it easier for those on the other end of the line to hear you.
Also on the rear of the handset is the ornate camera mounting which houses an 8MP piece complete with duel-LED flash and the sleek-looking chrome battery cover. The model that we were sent to play with was the ‘Frosty Metal’ variant, although the phone also comes in black and brown.
Running the latest version of the Symbian operating system, the Nokia C7 comes with a wealth of social features, all easily accessible and customisable from the homescreen. These allow you to link contacts in your address book to their profiles on Facebook and Twitter via Nokia’s Ovi Social app. Whilst at present only Twitter and Facebook synchronisation is offered, more networks are supposedly being added.
The user interface, powered along by an ARM 11 680 MHz processor, is very clean and easily navigable, with three homescreens which are all customisable with widgets. Anchoring news and social feeds to the various screens is simple and straightforward meaning you can keep on top of all of your social media in one fell swoop. Web-tv is also supported with a couple of pre-installed widgets with the option to add more.
We also found the C7′s employment of scrolling thumbnail pictures quite a nice touch, again adding to the usability of the handset. Quick access to as many as 20 contacts can be found via a compact widget on your home screen, which allows you to scroll from side-to-side across thumbnails of their profile pictures.
Also quite neat is the synchronicity with social media – logging in to Facebook grabs your online friend’s profile pictures and attaches them to the corresponding entry in your contacts list.
The 3.5-inch screen is capable of 720p video playback but rather disappointingly doesn’t have an HDMI connection. However, as a device that clearly has web-use at the top of its agenda, connectivity options are second to none with Wi-Fi and 3G making getting online a walk in the park.
8GB of internal memory, with the option of up to 32GB more from a microSD card, is more than enough to house all of your Mp3 and Picture files although the C7 comes without a standard SD card slot meaning that you have to remove the battery cover to get the thing in.
What Else Can It Do?
- Stereo FM radio, FM transmitter
- A-GPS support and Ovi Maps 3.0
- Web TV
- Digital compass
- MP3/WMA/WAV/eAAC+ player
- DivX/XviD/MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- Quickoffice document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Adobe Reader
- Flash Lite 4.0
- Voice memo/dial/command
- Accelerometer for auto-rotate
The one-size fits no-one approach they’ve taken with the camera is slightly disappointing as without an auto-focus option, shots can look a bit lacklustre depending on the ambience and positioning. This is perhaps a bit of an oversight by Nokia as they concentrated their attentions on the C7′s web capabilities. Also, the lack of a HDMI port is similarly annoying.
A handset that combines understated glamour and immense web-prowess, the Nokia C7 is perfect for those of you who are social media connoisseurs and need to keep on top of their on-line world but don’t want to lug around a huge smartphone. Slim and sleek, and doing enough useful stuff without over-egging the pudding, this handset really is the choice of the discerning smartphone consumer.