Like a thinned down Nokia N8, the Nokia C7 offers Symbian^3 in a slightly cheaper chassis. Will it disappoint like its elder sibling or will the lower-spec handset manage to impress us where the N8 failed?
What we like
This reviewer prefers the slim lines of the C7 to the chunkier thighs of the N8. Gone are the gaudy colours, the chunky feel and the square looks. The Nokia C7 is pure stainless steel and glass, but the handset is light and grown up – just what we want from a phone.
The screen is lovely and crisp, as well as being bright and responsive.
The camera on the C7 is not bad; occasionally it’s a little slow to take pictures but the image quality of photos taken with the 8-megapixel camera is pretty good. It’s easy to get to grips with the camera, particularly with the dedicated shutter button and the HD-video shooting is fast and responsive too.
Social networking is nicely integrated into the software so you receive updates straight to the home screen and events can be saved to the calendar, although this requires you to physically save each one. We’d like to see a better syncing process that incorporates your contacts too.
Call quality is good and the battery life will keep you yakking for a while.
Nokia’s offline maps service is excellent – you should find it on most new Nokia handsets – and will come in very handy if you intend to travel with the handset as you won’t have to pay roaming charges to use them.
What we don’t like
The Nokia C7 comes with Symbian^3 OS. There’s no place for such an antiquated OS in today’s market. Maybe you won’t hate it if you’re upgrading from a similar Nokia handset, but if you’ve ever used Android or iOS, or if you’re looking for a simple smartphone experience then we’d advise you to steer well clear of the C7. Although you can set up personalised widgets, the three homescreens tend to be messy and confusing, while complicated menu webs drove us insane.
The keyboard on the C7 isn’t ideal either. We like the capacitive touchscreen, which we found reasonably responsive, but what’s the point when typing is such a chore? In portrait mode you’re stuck with a traditional numerical keypad, while in landscape we found it difficult to hit the right buttons; perhaps this is calibration issue but we couldn’t find a fix in the settings either.
Although there are a lot of good things about the Nokia C7 – the build quality, design, maps and battery life – we can’t overlook the huge pain in the neck that is the operating system. With a better, cleaner operating system this could be a great handset, but Symbian^3 renders it painful and out-dated. That said, if you’re used to the Nokia system and not looking for a change, then this could be a cheaper option than the likes of the N8.