Nokia E7 review: Open for business

GSMArena team, 02 March 2011.

Phonebook is pretty good

The Nokia E7 comes with a fully functional phonebook, which can easily be synced with your exchange account. Symbian has been offering users virtually unlimited phonebook capacity and excellent contact management for quite some time but has been revamped with some social networking integration.

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The E7 phonebook is pretty good

Contact details are displayed in two tabs. The first gives a summary of the contact info – a quick shortcut to call the primary number and then several lines, each of which groups similar info (e.g. tapping the “Message – 5 numbers” line lets you pick which number to send the message to).

The second tab just lists all available info sorted by type (names, phone numbers, email and so on). This tab isn't structured so it takes a bit more scrolling to find what you need.

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Viewing a contact

Contacts can be freely ordered by first or last name. You can also set whether the contacts from the SIM card, the phone memory and the service numbers will get displayed.

Searching is quite clever – an incomplete keyboard lets you type out the contact name and unneeded letters disappear (e.g. “X” is hidden if all contacts with “X” have been filtered out already).

Selecting some of your contacts as favorites moves them to the top of the displayed list. This saves you quite a lot of scrolling.

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Marking a contact as favorite moves it on top of the list

Editing a contact offers a great variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like.

You can assign personal ringtones and videos to individual contacts. If you prefer, you may group your contacts and give each group a specific ringtone.

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Editing Dexter's details

A really nice touch when editing a contact’s details is the option to enter their address by locating it on a map.

The social network integration includes Facebook and Twitter, which should be fine for the vast majority of users. However you will need to go an extra step to check out your contact’s status and then another one to see their profile. We agree it might have created a mess if that was all added to the already lengthy phonebook profile but one of those extra steps is probably redundant.

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Checking out the Silver Surfer Facebook profile through the phonebook

Excellent telephony

Making and receiving calls is vital for a business phone and the Nokia E7 is a champ at it. We took it to a place with very poor reception (the signal strength indicator was at one bar) yet the E7 didn’t miss a beat – no disconnected calls, not even gaps in the audio.

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The in-call screen • Nokia E7 supports smart dialing • There’s well tuned voice dialing too

The audio was loud enough and clear at both ends – thanks to the noise-cancelling mic of course.

Smart dialing is available on the E7 and is practical as ever. You just punch in a few letters from the desired contact’s name and select it from the list that comes up to initiate a call.

Another option that the E7 offers is voice dialing. It’s activated by pressing and holding the call key on the home screen and is fully speaker-independent. As far as we can tell performs greatly, recognizing all the names we threw at it.

In noisier environments though, its effectiveness might suffer. Bear in mind too, that if you have multiple numbers assigned to a contact, the system will dial either the default number or the first in the list.

The final option for starting a call is via the Favorites widget on your homescreen.

Thanks to the proximity sensor the screen turns off automatically when you hold the phone next to your cheek during a call. The E7 also has the neat accelerometer-based feature that lets you mute the ringer by turning the phone face down.

The Nokia E7 sat our traditional loudspeaker test. The phone managed an Average result, which while not perfect for a business phone, still puts it ahead of some of the high-end competition. More info on the test, as well as other results can be found here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Apple iPhone 465.160.366.2Below Average
BlackBerry Torch 980065.9 65.865.5Below Average
Motorola MILESTONE 266.563.674.9Average
Nokia E766.662.075.7Average
Nokia C766.665.875.9Good
HTC Desire HD69.766.678.3Good
Nokia N875.866.282.7Very Good
HTC Desire76.675.784.6Excellent

Messaging king

Nokia E7 is the new business flagship from the Finns and as such it’s all about messaging. Unlike the trio of Symbian^3 phones that we reviewed before it, the E7 has an excellent hardware QWERTY keyboard and will tackle all your messaging needs with ease.

Update, 24.08.2011: We installed Symbian Anna and it has a much better on-screen QWERTY. Check out our impressions over here.

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The Nokia E7 messaging app

All your incoming messages arrive in a common inbox. If you like, you can also get them sorted as conversations, in threaded view. The Nokia E7 uses a common editor for all types of messages too.

Stuff like a character counter in SMS goes without saying.

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Sending Dexter a message

Insert some multimedia content the message is automatically transformed into an MMS. In that case, the character counter turns into a data counter showing kilobytes.

The Nokia E7 email client allowed us to setup our Gmail account quite easily, while getting it to sync with an Exchange ActiveSync server required entering some manual settings. In most cases though, all you need is to enter a username and a password and you will be good to go in no time.

Multiple email accounts and various security protocols are supported, so you can bet almost any mail service will run trouble-free on your Nokia E7.

Messages can be ordered by various criteria such as date, sender, subject, priority or even by attachments, searching is available as well.

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The email client

The client can download headers only or entire messages, and can be set to automatically check mail at a given interval. You can set it to check only on given days and have it check more regularly than usual during peak time (which you can define).

There is also support for attachments, signatures and everything you would normally need on a mobile device.

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