Nokia C7 review: Rise and shine

GSMArena team, 03 November 2010.
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Introduction

The Nokia C7 has no intention of breaking the chain of command. It is just a slimmer, simpler and more affordable N8 and comes with more conservative styling. The well-balanced Cseries have received an accomplished leader. The specs are impressive but do well to keep a respectful distance from the Nseries’ finest.

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Nokia C7 official photos

The Nokia C7 still gets really close to the N8 in some ways. It’s got the same blazing fast penta-band 3G, a 3.5” nHD AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, a 680MHz CPU and 256MB RAM, which are some good figures for the efficient Symbian OS.

Understandably, some things have been left out. Getting rid of that bulging camera module has brought down the thickness. But still imaging on the Nokia C7 is down to “just” 8MP and fixed focus. However, 720p video recording is still on – as is Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. The internal memory has been cut in half but 8GB is still plenty, considering there’s a microSD slot if you need to expand.

As always, here are the pros and cons in summarized form and also a quick C7 vs. N8 head-to-head.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Penta-band 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 10.5mm slim body
  • 3.5" 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video @ 25fps recording; geotagging, face detection, smart zoom in video
  • Symbian^3 OS
  • 680 MHz ARM 11 CPU and 256 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • TV-out functionality (SD)
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • Digital compass
  • 8GB on-board storage, microSD expandable
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • DivX and XviD video support
  • Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS, FM transmitter
  • microUSB port with USB On-the-go support
  • Flash and Java support for the web browser
  • Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Smart dialing and voice commands

Main disadvantages

  • Symbian^3 is still below Android and iOS usability standards (especially camera UI and web browser)
  • Camera lacks auto focus, oversharpens images by default
  • Relatively limited 3rd party software availability
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)
  • Battery life is not on par with the best in business

N8 over C7

  • Much better camera
  • Special video zoom
  • HDMI port with 720p video output and true Dolby Digital Plus support
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • Anodized aluminum body
  • Richer retail box
  • Easily accessible memory card slot

The major advantages of the N8 are the camera and HDMI. An 8MP fixed-focus camera isn’t that bad after all and the HD video recording is still there. There’s metal on the Nokia C7 case and regular TV-Out – SD resolution and stereo sound.

Plus it’s slimmer – something people will appreciate. And more importantly it’s cheaper, which was exactly the point.

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Nokia C7 in our office

Anyway, the Nokia C7 stands on its own two feet as a touch phone and isn’t just the ginger-haired stepson of the N8. The screen is among the best we’ve seen from Nokia (same as the N8 screen in fact) and the rest of the spec sheet should be music to Nokia fans’ ears.

But is it worth it? Should you save up some more cash and go for the N8 instead? Hold your horses – we’re just at the beginning of the Nokia C7 review.

Update, 24.08.2011: We installed Symbian Anna - check out our impressions over here.

There are many things to consider – starting with the retail box and hardware on the next page.

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