Nokia C7 smartphone

Nokia C7 review: The Nokia C7 has a great metal body, excellent battery life and plenty of features, but is let down by unintuitive Symbian software.

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Nokia C7
  • Nokia C7
  • Nokia C7
  • Nokia C7
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    1.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)


  • Stylish, metal design, excellent battery life, AMOLED touchscreen, 8-megapixel camera


  • Sluggish performance, inferior software to competitors, poor text input, limited apps in Ovi Store

Bottom Line

The Nokia C7 impresses with a stylish metal design, but suffers from Symbian software that isn't as easy to use as the competition.

Would you buy this?

The Nokia C7 is a stylish smartphone with a great metal design, excellent battery life and plenty of features. Unfortunately, like most of Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones, the C7 suffers from software that isn't as intuitive or easy to use as competitors' offerings.

Check out other top Nokia phones and read our Nokia N8 review.

UPDATE: The Nokia C7 is available in charcoal black and frosty metal colours for $0 upfront on Vodafone's $29 cap over 24 months (total min cost $696), or $0 upfront on a $45 Vodafone Infinite plan over 24 months (total minimum cost $1080). All Vodafone Infinite plans are available on both 12 and 24 month contracts and feature unlimited standard national calls made in Australia, unlimited text messages and unlimited social networking on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and MySpace.

Nokia C7: Design and hardware

Much like Nokia's flagship N8 smartphone, the C7's physical design is one of its best features. The aluminium body feels excellent in your hand and build quality is superb. We aren't a fan of the mirror-style bezel surrounding the display; it attracts far too many fingerprints, is too reflective and is tough to keep clean. The C7's black aluminium finish — including a battery cover that doesn't rattle — along with well positioned power and volume keys make it comfortable to use. We also liked the physical answer, end and menu keys; they are backlit, and responsive.

The Nokia C7 uses a 3.5in AMOLED touchscreen — the same size as the iPhone 4's display. While it has a lower resolution than the iPhone, the capacitive touchscreen is responsive. It has excellent viewing angles and produces vibrant colours. Its performance in sunlight is also pleasing, though smaller text can often be difficult to read because of the resolution.

The Nokia C7 lacks the multitude of features of the flagship N8 — there is no HDMI output, no USB On-The-Go connectivity and no 12-megapixel camera. The C7 instead has an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash. Images produced lack the wow factor of those produced by the N8, which remains the best camera phone on the market, but they are respectable and possess good detail.

Nokia C7: Software

The Nokia C7 is just the second smartphone released in Australia to run the Symbian^3 mobile operating system. Symbian^3 improves on its predecessor in many respects; it is smoother, faster and easier to use than the software on previous generation phones like the Nokia N97 mini.

Unfortunately, the Nokia C7's interface still looks inferior to most of its competition and is clunky to use compared to the iPhone and Android phones. Performance is sluggish, especially when you have a few apps open simultaneously. Multitouch zooming, particularly on maps and in the browser, isn't as slick as with competitors. Swiping through home screens results in a noticeable delay, and transitions between menus aren't smooth. The included Web browser takes longer to load and renders pages poorly in comparison to competing phones. It does display Flash, and there are a few nice touches (such as browser history shown as separate thumbnails). But text doesn't automatically fit the screen when zoomed and basic tasks like refreshing the page take way too many touches on the screen.

Despite Symbian^3 being a clear improvement over its predecessors, it's still evident the OS hasn't been designed with a touchscreen in mind. A perfect example is the on-screen keyboard; there is no QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode. Instead, the C7 has a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input. You do get a full QWERTY keyboard if you rotate the phone to landscape mode, but the keys are fairly small and there are no intuitive, context-sensitive buttons like .com. Symbian^3 also brings up a new screen when you have to enter text, meaning you can't see any messages you are replying to as you are typing.

Nokia C7: Live widgets and Ovi service

The Symbian^3 OS offers a number of live widgets across the C7's three home screens, but they can't be resized. One handy widget allows you to add your favourite contacts to the home screen, while the social-networking widget displays recent status updates from Facebook and Twitter. It should let you to update your Facebook and Twitter status from the home screen, but instead tapping on the widget simply opens the full client to update your status. Text is too small and can't be resized, the app is noticeably slower to load than clients on other smartphones, and the size restrictions imposed on widgets means that tapping the up and down arrow buttons to read status updates is awkward.

Extra widgets can be downloaded from Nokia's Ovi Store. Though the Ovi Store has steadily improved since its release, it has only about 13,000 apps — far fewer than its competitors. There are still no official Symbian apps for Twitter, eBay, PayPal or Dropbox (to name just a few). There is also a distinct lack of apps that have a 'wow' factor, such as 3D games, and the store itself isn't as easy to use as its competitors.

A nice touch is the fact that the preloaded Ovi Maps application includes a lifetime, free subscription to full turn-by-turn navigation. This is an excellent feature considering you have to pay up to $100 for the same service on the iPhone. The upgraded music player is slicker than ever and displays albums in a similar "cover flow" style to the iPhone.

The Nokia C7 is also sold through online store MobiCity.

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Read more on these topics: Nokia C series, mobile phones, smartphones



Couple of corrections:
Ovi store has over 40k applications and currently has the highest growth rate in the mobile app segment. ( and

With games like Angry Birds (+seasons), Hawx, Uno, Galaxy On Fire, Need for speed, RollerCoaster plus several other professional titles from Gameloft and EA there is a nice game selection.

Skype integration is also good due to the good multi tasking, just leave it in the background and it will come up when somebody calls. Spotify for music. Gravity for twitter/facebook.

Other application fact I like with symbian compared to Android is the that there comes so many applications out of the box. With my X10 I need to install a file manager, Timer, Anti theft guard, Office viewer, Zip app, wordlist and ofcourse pay for turn by turn navigation. While my C7 comes with all these applications built in.

With usability Symbian has come a long way with wizards for email, fast gallery viewer, home screen system which works in portrait and landscape, good app store :) I believe from personal experience that if you give an SE X10 / C7 to someone with little mobile OS experience and ask them to do basic tasks like make a phone call by looking up a contact, setup email, browse web I believe the C7/X10 would be pretty identical in most of the basic operations though the X10 would certainly win in the browser department. The C7 comes with 3 physical buttons which helps which provides the best usuability in the call department. I have tried Android phones with 3 buttons on the bottom where if you recieve a call you cant use the left button to accep the call. I dont find that intuative.

I miss the posibility for a portrait keyboard and text wrapping in the browser. I like the t9 keyboard for single hand use but would like to have the option for a full keyboard in portrait. I have also had the C7 reboot twice in the first week of ownership, both due to the Opera browser i believe, but is worrying that the application failure can cause entire OS to shutdown.

Other features which are interesting:
DLNA hosting so if your tv supports this, you may use the C7 as a media center.
NFC chip inside, will be interesting to see how this gets used.
Support for DAB headset.
Bluetooth 3.0 which provides blazing speeds.

As you can tell I am a happy C7 owner :)



This comment is for the post "Best camera phones" By: Ross Catanzariti

The reviewer seems to be written everything without even seeing the face of phones

First the article is about best camera phones but he added other merits and demerits of a phone in the review.....

Second...... the reviews are just nothing more than rubbish claims....example - he didn't gave even three stars to Nokia N8 but gave all three stars to Nokia C7....haaaa..... per him ... Iphone 4 is lot more better camera phone than Nokia N8 (see the stars) ...he he he.... even a street dog knows that which one is better in taking pictures...

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look and camera
display is poor and battery life is also very poor
• • •

it is a aatractive mobile display and battery disappoints huge and size is also very large......




battery life, camera
• • •

agree with jorge matos fully




easily used
annoying updates
• • •

this phone is easy to use but it consistantly locks up atleast weekly and requires master reset. downside is obvious have to keep reloading information what a pain.

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