Nokia has already announced that it is dumping its own Symbian operating system in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. But despite this, the Finnish company is taking it's time to actually launch a Windows Phone 7 handset. Instead it seems to be concentrating on finishing off the last of its Symbian models. The X7 is one such phone. It comes with a large 4inch AMOLED touchscreen and runs the latest version of Symbian, which is codenamed Anna. However, with Symbian already on death row, is the X7 actually worth buying into?
The phone is a rather quirky looking device and we can't quite make up our minds whether it's actually attractive or not. Its main design signature is the cut away grills on each of its four corners. Only the bottom two of these house speakers, the other two are for looks only, but it certainly helps this handset stand out from the crowd. On the rear, Nokia has given it a premium looking brushed metal battery cover and this flanked by grey plastic ends on the top and bottom.
There's just a single home button on the front, but there are physical controls for the volume and camera on the right-hand side, and interestingly the microSD and SIM card slots are housed behind pull out tabs on the left hand side. The phone does feel very robust, but also a tad heavy, so you'll definitely notice it when it's tucked away in your pocket.
The X7 has an AMOLED screen that's housed behind the toughened glass on the front. AMOLED displays have a couple of advantages over TFT screens. They don’t use a backlight, but rather the material itself is light emitting, which can help with battery life. The lack of a backlight also helps them to offer deeper black levels.
However, apart from Samsung's Super AMOLED technology, most AMLOED displays we've seen have a tendency to look a tad murky and also usually have a blue-ish tinge. The blue colour in AMOLED displays tends to degrade over time, so manufacturers pump up it's intensity to counteract this. Unfortunately, the X7's screen suffers from both these issues. Colours just don’t look as vibrant and natural as they do on the best TFT screens and the blue-ish tinge is especially noticeable if you hold the screen at a slight angle. The display's resolution is also a bit of a let down at 640×360 pixels, when lots of rival high-end handsets now more typically sport displays with a higher resolution of 480x800 pixels.