Nokia C7 Review
Nokia is still clutching desperately to its Symbian ^3 operating system so can the Nokia C7, positioned in the middle of the market but running this less popular OS, offer the consumer a viable alternative to Android devices?
The look and feel of the Nokia C7 sets it amongst the mid-range smartphones. It is largely constructed of plastic and the build quality is average at best. Measuring 117.3 x 56.8 x 10.5 and weighing 130g is size could also be described as of average proportions and its form with rounded corners does not make this handset stand out from the crowd. The 3.5 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels and the ClearBlack display feature adding contrast and enhancing clarity.
The C7 features a power switch, 3.5mm headphone socket and USB port along the top edge. On the right edge you will find a dedicated camera button, volume up and down buttons, which also double as zoom controls, a lock button allowing you to lock the device easily and the Voice button. On the left is the charger socket and to the front is a front facing VGA camera for video calls and three physical buttons below the screen – Call End, Call Pick Up and a lozenge-shaped menu key.
The Nokia C7 runs Nokia’s new Symbian^3 operating system which is an improvement on earlier versions of the Symbian platform but remains less user-friendly and less flexible than Android. Three Homescreens can accommodate a maximum of 6 widgets. Some widgets such as the media launcher can also incorporate an app controller but the operation required to add these additional icons is a little laborious. Nokia have also over-complicated the main apps menu. Instead of easily accessing individual apps via the main screen they are often filed away for you to try and find.
Where the Symbian OS also falls short of its rivals is in voice commands. To launch this feature press the dedicated Voice Command button on the side of the handset and say a command. This will bring up a list of possible commands for you to choose from. Unfortunately we found that there was often no command listed that matched ours, or that we needed to use an entirely different command to get what we wanted. Not a feature we would rate.
The web browser for the Symbian OS is a bit clunky and relies on Flash Lite 4.1 which means some of the most intensive videos cannot be streamed. Access to menu options is also very labour intensive. The small screen of the Nokia C7 is not conducive to easy viewing of webpages and although the Nokia C7 does offer a pinch to zoom feature it often seemed jerky and with no text reflow function makes hard work of scanning across text.
A success story of the Nokia C7 is the media player. The C7 will search any microSD card for music files and add them to the library. You can then simply scroll through the titles and tap the one you want to play. The speaker sound quality is very good and sound quality is maintained if you listen through headphones.
The Nokia C7 has a rear mounted 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash which is also capable of recording video at 720p. Whilst it is not quite as impressive as the 12mp camera of the Nokia N8 and its Xenon flash the C7 camera is a good piece of kit for a mid-range phone. The dedicated camera button makes the camera quick to launch and easy to use. Overall the camera quality is good with crisp clear still shots and video.
The Nokia C7 is powered by a 1200mAh which on the face of it seems a bit puny but when put to the test the battery outlived our expectations. With general daily usage including web browsing, some GPS mapping and listening to music as well as the usual calls and messaging the C7 battery lasted two whole days.
Nokia C7 Price
You can get a pay as you go deal on a Nokia C7 for £299.90.
For a mid-range smartphone the Nokia C7 delivers a good media experience and has a good camera but internet browsing and messaging are not so user-friendly. Overall the Symbian^3 OS still lacks the flexibility and functionality of its Android rival resulting in a smartphone that seems less “smart” than many others in the same price bracket.