Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Last Symbian Standing - The Nokia X7

This past week I had the opportunity to test out the new Nokia X7 and I wanted to let our readers know what to expect with the device.

The Nokia X7 has a very futuristic look to it, with its metal backing and angular design. The device features four grilled "speakers" on the front face, but only two are actually functional. However, this doesn't take away from the epic sound quality when playing movies or music from the phone and keeps the look symmetrical. In addition, the metal backing and seamless buttons across the outside of the phone contribute to a sleek look, as well as the almost-hidden SIM card tray. Although this feature keeps the phone looking smooth, I did have a little trouble working out how the tray ejects from the phone and actually getting it out of the phone. 

The phone takes a regular micro-USB charging cable, one of which is included in the box, and also comes with the most comfortable headphones. If you are one of those people that suffers from ear-ache after five minutes of using the traditional headsets that come with most phones, you are in for a surprise. These fit snugly in your ear and provide amazing stereo-quality sound.

User Interface
This is the last Symbian device to come from Nokia, and it seems that finally, the operating system is exceptionally user friendly. In the past, Symbian was known for its ability to allow the user to switch between a home and work profile, which ended up being more confusing than convenient. This time, Symbian Anna puts everything the user needs on one of three home screens:

  • Icons are very easy to read and understand
  • Rearranging screen set up is very simple by utilizing the now popular "press and hold" motion, the user can move icons to positions on the main screen that suit their usability best
  • Quick links to social media feeds, calendar, applications, Youtube, messages etc, make it easy to find what you want, fast
  • This is a full touch-screen device, and the auto-rotate function has no hesitation which allows the user to quickly obtain a wider, landscape keyboard for faster typing and better viewing
  • The calendar function provides a great visual display from the third home screen, and allows the user to select and day and review appointments in an adjacent window
In fact, there have been many customers mistaken that this is an Android based operating system and device - definitely a familiar set up for many users.

Aside from the fact that the device comes pre-loaded with the Transformers 3 movie trailer, there are numerous other reasons to check out the multi-media on the Nokia X7. 
  • The 8MP camera is amazing for taking high quality pictures - this one was taken in full daylight with barely any zoom required. The clarity is amazing!
  • Shots can be captured with the smooth shutter button located on the back sloped side of the device, as well as on the screen itself. The shutter button can sometimes be hard to reach so the on-screen option is great
  • The video is 720p quality and captures all elements on film, reducing movement blur and ensuring the highest quality video (although I didn't get a chance to video anything over the long weekend, take a look at this sample video from Youtube featuring the X7's 720p camera)

The only bad thing about the cameras on this device is the fact that there is no front-facing camera, so no opportunity to use the full services for applications such as Qik or Skype. 

The four-inch Super AMOLED screen, first debuted on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy, makes every picture, wallpaper, video and main screen look crystal clear. 

Overall Thoughts
A great device all around. It was easy to use, easy to find most things, and I was blown away by the camera quality (better than my own digital camera). The device was pre-loaded with a bunch of fun apps, including Youtube and even National Geographic for some interesting reading opportunities. Social media feeds were easy to stay up to date with, and check on a regular basis. Email was also extremely easy to set up, if using Gmail or Hotmail (POP3 clients). I have to say, that I think I liked this most of all because it was so similar in looks to the Android platform.

The only (maybe) bad thing I have to say about this device, besides the fussy SIM card tray, was the fact that there aren't as many applications available to the Symbian system as there are for, say Apple or even BlackBerry. But, having said that, I don't use millions of applications anyways, so it's not really a selling point for me. The functionality of the device is what I look for most, and this device seemed to have it all. I was pleasantly surprised.

If you have had the chance to use the Nokia X7, or recently purchased one, we'd love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave your comments below.