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First Look: Nokia E7
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First Look: Nokia E7

2:17 /

The Nokia E7 has some wonderful qualities, like great hardware and excellent battery life, but ultimately its inferior software trips up this business-oriented smartphone.

-Hey, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com, and I'm here to bring you a first look at the Nokia E7. This is the latest flagship device in their E Series of business smartphones and it's available now unlocked, but it costs a pretty penny, $650 to be exact. So, is it worth it? Let's take a look. The phone actually resembles the Nokia N8 in a lot of ways, which isn't bad because the N8 had a pretty great design. What I like about it is the high quality construction and it has an aluminum casing and glass display. So, it feels like a premium device and not plasticky like a lot of the other devices out there; slightly bigger and heavier than the N8 but it's really not that bulky especially when you consider that Nokia packed in a full keyboard. You can access it by pushing the screen to the right or up, depending on how you're holding it. The sliding mechanism is smooth and the hinge feels strong, and I also like that it props the screen at a slight angle, so it's easier to read while you're typing. The keyboard is one of the highlights of the phone. The buttons are a good size and there's a nice amount of spacing between them, plus the layout is really roomy, so it felt very comfortable to use and I could type pretty quickly in it without too many mispresses. Unfortunately, that's about where my love fest for the E7 ends. The device has a good number of features for business users including Exchange Active Sync support, the Quickoffice Suite, and security features, plus it's got a pretty great 8-megapixel camera and an HDMI port. But, like the N8, the Symbian Operating System just brings the device down. It's running Symbian 3, so at least you get some improvements like the simple one-touch user interface and better multimedia options. But, it's still clunky and lacks some functionality compared to other platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. With a 680 megahertz processor, it also feels pretty underpowered and the smartphone actually froze on me once while I was trying to play a video. So, with all these performance and software issues, it's really hard for me to recommend this phone, especially with its $650 price tag. If you really love Symbian, it might be worth it. But otherwise, I'd say if you want a business smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard, go with something like the T-Mobile G2 or HTC Arrive. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Nokia E7.

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