Nokia C7 review: Rise and shine
Organizer is great
Symbian^1 used to have a pretty decent organizer already so all Nokia needed to do is tune it up a bit and slightly polish the touch experience. And that’s exactly what they did – by taking the same streamlined approach as with the rest of the interface.
The calendar has four different view modes - monthly, weekly, daily and a to-do list, which allows you to check all your To-Do entries regardless of their date. There are three types of events available for setting up - Meeting, Anniversary and To-do. Each event has some specific fields of its own, and some of them allow an alarm to be activated at a preset time to act as a reminder.
The Nokia C7 also allows you to browse office documents thanks to the preinstalled Quickoffice application. The Adobe PDF reader is also here to take care of those .PDF files, while the ZIP manager allows you to deal with digital archives on the go.
Unfortunately, the preinstalled Quickoffice version doesn’t support editing, but we doubt much of the C7 target audience will need it anyway. If you insist, you can get the paid upgrade and enable editing.
The calculator application is very familiar but it lacks the functionality of some of its competitors. The square root is the most advanced function it handles and this is hardly an achievement. If all you do with it is split the bill at the bar though, you're more than good to go.
The organizer package also includes a dictionary, voice recorder, as well as the Notes application. The good unit converter we’ve come to know from Symbian^1 is strangely gone but you can grab one yourselves from the Ovi store.
The alarm application allows you to set up as many alarms as you want, each with its own name, set-off day and repeat pattern. As we already mentioned, thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can also snooze the alarm by simply flipping your phone over.
Symbian is still the best selling smartphone OS worldwide, but you won’t be able to tell that just by browsing the application stores of the different platforms. The Ovi store is way behind the Android Market, let alone the market-leading App Store.
Yet there are signs recently that Nokia are realizing the importance of apps to modern smartphone users. The company has refreshed their Ovi store interface to make it more user-friendly and it is finally making some serious effort to attract more developers. With such a huge user-base, success is merely a matter of time.
There are already a few thousand apps in the store and chances are that the most important apps will be there soon enough. Catching up with the best won’t be easy though.
You can browse the apps available in the Ovi Store by categories – Applications, Games, Audio and Video content, Personalization; or by collections – Go Green, Tools for Professionals, Homescreen Apps, Highly Addictive Games and Web TV.
Your account profile keeps record of all the apps you have installed under My stuff. You can now also select where games and apps should be installed and where audio and video should go. That’s nice – we wish Android had that right from the start.
Ovi Maps comes with free lifetime navigation
The Nokia C7 comes with a built-in GPS receiver, which managed to get a satellite lock from a cold start (A-GPS turned off) in just over two minutes. Keeping the lock from then on was not an issue for the C7 even in a dense urban environment.
As you probably know since the start of the year Nokia made their Ovi Maps navigation free for all their smartphones, which naturally includes the C7. The voice guidance is currently available in over 70 countries and over 40 different languages, with even traffic information for more than 10 of those.
In addition, Nokia did a pretty decent job of the Ovi Maps application itself, blessing it with a cool, touch-friendly interface, as well as nice features such as the Lonely planet city guide, HRS hotels and the Michelin restaurant guide. There's also an Event guide that lists all that’s happening within a 3km range of your position.
With Ovi Maps 3.04 you get three different view modes including satellite and terrain maps. Those however do need an internet connection. The more regular 2D and 3D view modes are also at hand and can be used with preloaded maps.
The route planning algorithm is also rather easy to customize to best suit your preferences. Toll roads and motorways can be avoided and so can tunnels and ferries. Routes can be set to either fastest or shortest.
Ovi Maps is also usable for pedestrian navigation or you can switch the GPS receiver off and use the phone as a hand-held map.