Nokia X-Series is designed to quench the thirst of music lovers, the latest in the high-end music series is Nokia X7. With the stainless steel body, AMOLED touch-screen and Symbian Anna OS, X7 cannot be ignored. We got the device and gave it a really hard time before starting to write the review. We will be following the same sequence as E7 review.

Unboxing

Nokia X7 comes reasonably packed with the basic accessories. Here is what we found in the box:

  • Charger
  • MicroUSB Cable
  • Headset
  • 8GB microSD card

Build & Design

You can’t help noticing the bold design of Nokia X7; its futuristic design looks better in reality as compared to its photos and may remind you of a stealth jet. X7 has a rectangular form-factor and tilted edges which can easily be taken for speakers however, only the bottom two work as speakers. The phone measures 119.7 x 62.8 x 11.9 mm and weighs 146 grams.

Phone build is top notch with the stainless steel body adding to the beauty and solidity of the phone. On front is the 4” AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, earpiece and a solitary menu button in the bottom. On the top is a uniquely shaped power button which can also unlock the phone and can be used to change profiles, however there is no indication on the button itself that it’s a power button. Apart from the power button, there are two ports on the top, a 3.5mm audio and a microUSB port which is used for charging as well as data transfer.


On the left there are two slots, one for SIM card and other for the memory card. We found it very hard and annoying to use those as we feared we’d break something while trying to open them. On the right is the camera button and volume rocker. The buttons reside on a downward curve hence they are extremely difficult to operate. The camera button was not working on the phone we got our hands on and the phone hanged when it was pressed. When trying to press the volume rocker and camera button, the phone tends to slip from hand until an intentional effort is made.

At the bottom there is a tiny mic hole and a few labels including the fact that the phone is made in Korea instead of Finland, Hungary or China. The 8 mega pixel sharp shooter is resides on the back with dual-LED flash on its left. The camera has no cover and should be prone to scratches as it come into contact with surface when the phone is placed on down.


Display

Nokia X7 boasts a 4” AMOLED capacitive touch screen which has the ability to display 16 million colors at 360 x 640 pixels which means around184 ppi pixel density. The screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass which means it’s pretty resistant to scratches. Screen sharpness is excellent and makes screen one of the best features of the phone. Sunlight legibility is not the greatest, but phone can still be used without major difficulty.

Symbian Anna

Nokia X7 is one of the few phones featuring Symbian Anna which has removed various shortcomings of Symbian ^3 but it still lacks the cutting edge of Android & iOS. Symbian Belle has been released which will be available for X7 as and when it is released. Nokia is certainly trying to establish itself in the touch based smartphone market, but it cannot compete with the leading operating systems as it is lagging behind.

The home screen consists of three panes which can have up to 6 widgets per pane. Each pane can have its own wallpaper and you can even delete a pane if 3 are excessive for you, but you won’t be able to add to the 3 panes. You can instantly scroll to the next pane by swiping your finger or by tapping the three dots at the bottom. Widgets change orientation and are organized accordingly as soon as phone is flipped from portrait to landscape orientation.

The menu is almost the same as in Symbian^3, the edges of menu icons are more rounded, but overall experience is same. Anna OS retains the hierarchical structure of the folders which has been a hallmark of Symbian devices from many years, but a change in this would be better. There are 12 icons in the menu and there is nothing to scroll down or sideways, menu icons can be organized in both grid and list view. To access applications you have to go to the applications menu and there is no shortcut to go to the apps directly from the home screen. New folders can be added; menu items can be reorganized and put in these folders to create a customized hierarchy.

The task manager is same as Symbian^3, it can be accessed by long pressing the menu key and shows three active programs at a time regardless of screen orientation, programs can be killed with a single tap. Tapping the top right corner of the home screen reveals a nice little pop-up which shows a bigger digital clock, active alarm, a batter icon which can be pressed to view the remaining batter in percentage and a connectivity icon which leads straight to the connectivity menu.

Call, Contacts, Messaging & Email

The call quality on Nokia X7 was excellent; voice call was clear using both the earpiece and speaker.

X7 has a great contact book which boasts all the features expected including SNS (social network service) integration. Contacts from Facebook & Twitter can be integrated with the phone contacts and updates can be seen from within a contact. The contacts can sync with any exchange account but only 50 contacts per sync were transferred from Google contacts (the problem may be due to a glitch in Google’s systems).

X7 won’t let you down if you are a texting freak, all the messages arrive in a single inbox and you can view your messages as conversations in the conversations folder. There is a single editor for text and multimedia messages, as you insert an image or other multimedia in a message it is automatically converted to MMS.

Email on X7 is as good as E-series, multiple accounts can be set up to fetch complete mails or just headers. Setting up an account is easy and it just asks the email address and password if you have account on a major mail provider like MSN, Yahoo and Google. Setting up exchange requires entering a number of detailed settings which a user cannot enter without the help of a manual or an internet search, Nokia should try to make this process simpler.

Nokia X7 offers a full QWERTY keyboard; it changes orientation as soon as the phone changes it. The portrait keyboard is very hard to use and another key is pressed quite often, however the landscape keyboard is easy to use and spacious placing of keys shoes accurate typing.

Music

Nokia X7 is a phone which an impressive array of qualities to be termed rightly as a music phone. The music player is sleek and stylish and offers to sort the music in various different ways. The music player can be minimized and can be controlled through the music widget on the home screen.

Radio on board X7 cannot be listened to without the hands free which serves as its antenna.

We were eager to try out the OVI Music app but were very disappointed to see that it did not have Pakistan in the list of countries, we went on by selecting India but it asked to enter the cell number with Indian country code and we didn’t proceed further.

Shazam is a nice utility to have when you want to identify the song or tune you are listening to, it recognized Lady Gaga’s Born This Way in first attempt & gave a correct link of the song on YouTube, however it didn’t recognize any Pakistani song. Sound quality on speakers as well as hands free is excellent and justifies the phone as one from the Music Series.

  

Camera & Image Gallery

Nokia X7 boasts an 8 megapixel sharp shooter but we were very disappointed with the lack of auto-focus and absence of macro mode, moreover the X7 we got had a faulty camera button and the cell hanged as soon as the button was pressed, but surprisingly when the same button was used for taking screen-shots the camera button worked perfectly.

The camera is good for landscape photography and we took some pretty impressive pics at day. Photographs at night were less than impressive but the results were relatively better after Night Mode was turned on, another issue was that whenever we switched to Night Mode, the camera automatically turned off the flash which was quite irritating. We have taken a few photos to illustrate the capability of the camera and highlight its shortcomings.

Lawn @ day

Flowers @ day

Lawn @ night – Flash & Night mode turned on

Lawn @ night – Only Flash turned on (no Night mode)

Flowers @ night – Flash & Night mode turned on

The image gallery has been updated and the 3 columns of images are displayed in the portrait mode, with kinetic scrolling you can scroll up and down with ease. An image can be viewed by tapping a picture which can then be zoomed in and out by a pinch or a double tap. Images change orientation instantly as the phone is rotated, thanks to the built in accelerometer. An image can be shared as a message (MMS), email, Bluetooth and on social networks right from the gallery or as it is captured.

Miscellaneous

X7 has a great file manager which can do all you can ask. The USB on the go feature is available in X7; hence you can easily get data from a flash drive when there is no pc around.

The issue of switching of Wi-Fi was encountered in E7 but now it has been resolved, when the scanning is turned off, the phone does not force itself to connect to Wi-Fi. The battery life is reasonable, but the cell needs to get juice once a day for extensive users.

X7 has a much improved browser than that of Symbian^3, YouTube works out of the box and there is no issue with normal flash, double-tap or pinch to zoom both work seamlessly but the text does not auto-fit which means the cumbersome effort of side scrolling is needed to read.

High quality videos can be played in the video player but we suffered some issues while trying to move forward or backwards in the move, in one instance the phone got stuck on a scene and in another we could not do anything with the movie as it was playing and had to restart the phone to continue using it.

OVI maps come with free lifetime subscription, I was disappointed that maps did not recognize the street on which I am living although Google Maps recognizes the street and can show directions when asked.

Maps are available in satellite and terrain mode and can be downloaded from the phone instead of pc. A five-day weather forecast is also available in the maps menu.

The alarm application, organizer and the calculator are gems as ever and we were pleased that Nokia has not made any changes. Social app is hub of all the social activity on X7; the app supports Facebook & Twitter which will be enough for most of the users. More than one FB & Twitter accounts can be added but only one can be used at a time. An aggregated feed of both networks’ statuses is available and both networks can be updated at the same time.

OVI store has seen some UI tweaks but it lacks the wealth of apps present in iOS Store and Android Market, it is nice to see that paid applications can be purchased from Pakistan using credit card.

Final Words

Being dubbed as the best Symbian phone used to be a compliment a few years ago, but times have changed. These days, the best Symbian phone is not anywhere near the top of competition and Nokia will need to bring a host of changes if it intends to launch devices which are considered the best of the best.

Nokia X7 has a unique and attractive design and an excellent screen which are its biggest assets. The UI has seen some improvements due to Symbian Anna update as Nokia is making gradual progress to return to the top.

The phone hanged quite a bit during our review mostly due to the faulty camera button and a connection unavailable error which rendered the phone useless for about five minutes at a time. We were disappointed with a two way only auto-screen orientation; the accelerometer should be able to change the orientation to three ways.

Apart from the lack of autofocus and macro mode in camera  and a couple of issues described above, X7 performed well during our tests. Nokia X7 will cost you around Rs. 44,000 so you might look at other options if you are not a die-hard Nokia fan as there are a lot of powerful droids available in this range.

Pros

  • 4″ 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Impressive display
  • Symbian Anna, Belle update coming soon
  • 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash
  • Browser supports flash and Java
  • SNS integration
  • 3.5 mm jack
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Excellent audio & voice quality
  • 8 GB card included

Cons

  • Symbian Anna is not up to the standards set by iOS & Android
  • No autofocus and macro
  • Processor should have been at least 1 GHz and RAM 512 MB
  • Office document editing unavailable out of the box
  • Slippery camera button and volume rocker
  • Extremely uncomfortable SIM & memory card slot
  • No OVI Music support for Pakistan

Note:
This Review is made by “Bilal Sulehri”. This is a really good work bilal and i really like it that’s why i post this review on my blog.

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