Most of the rest of this phone’s apps – the music player, video player, alarms, calendar – follow the similar sort of trend already set out: they get the job done but aren’t exactly a joy to use.
The same could be said for social networking. Apps for Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare (among others) are available and they’re reasonably easy to use – you can even manually sync Facebook events to the phone’s calendar and get updates on a homescreen widget. However, there’s no proper contact integration and the general interface is sluggish.
After the N8’s impressive photographing abilities, the camera on the C7 is a big disappointment. While its 8 megapixels allow for quite a detailed picture, the lack of autofocus means it’s of very limited benefit. The small lens and sensor mean that most objects further away than about a metre are all in focus so general photography doesn’t suffer too much, but the inability to take any sort of close-up is annoying. It’s all the more of a shame considering there are twin LEDs on the back for otherwise capable shooting in the dark.
HD video is also on offer and the same positives and negatives apply. Overall, though, we think the lack of autofocus is less of an issue for video and the footage this phone produces is generally rather good with plenty of detail and accurate colours.
Where this phone really excels, though, is in its most basic phone duties. Call quality is excellent for both caller and receiver, and the loudspeaker is as good as we’ve come to expect from Nokia. Battery life is also superb, with a week between charges easily obtainable under light usage. It’s also worth noting that Nokia has said a software update will be arriving shortly that will improve the browser and add a portrait keyboard amongst other things but until those updates actually arrive we obviously can’t take them into account in this review.
The Nokia C7 is another return to form from Nokia on the hardware front. It’s well made, has great battery life and call quality puts many rivals to shame. However, except for the incredibly useful OVI maps application, the software trails pretty much all other smartphones for ease of use and – in some cases – functionality.
As such, we think that anyone used to slicker OSes like iOS, Android and WebOS won’t be tempted by this device. On the other hand, fans of previous Nokia and Symbian devices will probably see this as a nice upgrade. Regardless, with this phone ”only” costing about £50 less than the much better N8, we’d recommend that anyone tempted just stump up the extra cash and go for that phone instead.