Most of the major phone companies have at present got their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Apple – Expensive, but well made (and all round brilliant).
Samsung – Top for Android OS (and stealing Apple’s ideas).
LG – Cutting edge features (but with occasional performance compromises).
RIM (BlackBerry) – Great for business users, email (and starting riots).
HTC – Friendly interfaces, navigation and usability.
Nokia’s current strength is something I sometimes forget when testing a mobile, and that is how it works as an actual phone!
The Nokia X7 looks really nice, is solid and well built, it is also quite heavy. If you dropped it on the floor the phone would be ok, but your floor would need fixing. If you attached the X7 to a piece of string and played mobile conkers with it, chances are by the end of playtime it would be dangling victorious above a pile of broken plastic.
It’s quite wide (119.7 x 62.8 x 11.9 mm), obviously this is an advantage when you are looking at something on the screen, but be careful, it could ruin the creases in your Farah’s at the golf club and no-one likes that digital back pocket overhang (except pick pockets).
Using the phone is a not an unpleasant experience, and the 680 MHz ARM 11 processor does make things happen pretty quickly. The main potential ‘issue’ with the X7 is the Symbian ^3 OS, and while it isn’t bad, there are better operating systems out there. Also despite what Nokia say it’s living on borrowed time until the new Nokia / Microsoft partnership gets into full swing.
Sometimes you will need two clicks to do something when one should have been enough, sometimes too many options when you don’t need them, and overall the experience isn’t as fluid as it should be (especially if you are using it for anything other than making calls or taking photos). Video playback is good though, and web browsing is as painless as it can be on a 4inch screen.
Whether you get to grips with the X7 or not depends really on the sort of user you are. If you are posting to Twitter and Facebook all day, and generally a bit ‘App happy’ there are easier ways to do it, and you may become frustrated with the over fussy navigation.
Also, unlike the Apple Store (and in some respects the Android Market place), if you like downloading Apps galore, Nokia’s selection is not going to blow you away. It DOES have good Apps for the most popular uses (and Angry Birds), and the Ovi Maps App is one of the best navigation systems around. Anywhere.
What the phone does have in its favour is a great camera (8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, fixed focus, dual-LED flash), good video playback (720p@25fps) and excellent audio and call reception.
While the new Nokia Lumia phones are grabbing all the headlines the X7 is a ‘solid’ choice, and if you want something that looks great, does the old fashioned things (like making phone calls) extremely well, this could be your ideal phone.
Stereo FM radio
Camera: 8 Megapixel
Memory: 8GB included, expandable up to 32GB
Internal: 256 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM
Talk time: Up to 4 h 30 min (3G)
Music play: Up to 50h
Screen: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
Size: 360 x 640 pixels, 4.0 inches