Today Nokia announced three new Symbian v3 smartphones, the C6, C7 and E7. At Nokia World we were lucky enough to spend a bit of time with these handsets and here are our first impressions.
The Nokia E7 is the most interesting handset, joining Nokia’s E-Series of business smartphones. But unlike those workmanlike handsets, the E7 comes in green, silver, black and burnt orange, along with our electric blue sample. It feels comfortable in the hand, but perhaps lacks the style factor of the Apple iPhone 4 and HTC Legend.
The highlight is the 4-inch AMOLED touchscreen, it’s certainly bright and sharp and excellent for video playback, although collects fingerprints and we’d worry about visibility in bright sunlights, something we weren’t able to try out.
Like the Nokia N8 there’s HDMI and what Nokia is calling 'USB on the go,' which is basically a microSD slot that you can use to hook up an external USB drive or similar device.
The full QWERTY is a highlight. Sliding out quickly, the keys seem to be a good size, although we weren’t able to type for long. The E7 includes a 8MP camera and also 720p video mode. Results were impressive on the screen, although we’d have liked to have hooked up the handset to a HD TV to try it out.
The Nokia C7 is a more consumer focused handset. It’s a candybar design, with a 3.5inch screen and clearly targeted at a more consumer audience to the E7, although both share many features.
One is the interface. As Symbian v3, it’s instantly recognisable, but there are three home screens you can customise with either six widgets or 24 apps. Do this simply by pressing and holding on the screen. Social networking is handled via the Social Live widget, which pulls together your Twitter and Facebook feeds and syncs contacts.
Symbian v3 supports visual multitasking. Hold down the menu button and you get live views of each of the open applications (instead of icons), enabling you to quickly swap between or shut down each one.
Multitouch is supported by both handsets. The screens responding quickly as we swiped through photos, and up and down web pages. Pinch to zoom works well and you can also zoom in and out by double tapping. The music player displays album artwork, which you can quickly flick through.
First impressions of the Nokia C7 and E7 are good. The touchscreen responds well and the latest version of Symbian certainly seems intuitive to use, but neither handset has the wow factor or offers anything ground breaking. But our time with the handsets was brief and we'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.