In the coming weeks, Nokia is expected to launch a couple of new touch-screen based smartphones that are powered by their Symbian^3 platform. These include the N8, C7, E7 and the C6. Some are already available for pre-order while others should be available soon. I have had a chance to spend some time with these device at Nokia World and the initial impressions were quite positive.
The most eagerly awaited device of them all is the Nokia N8 which is an absolute powerhouse as far as hardware is concerned.
It has a 12 MP camera with a Xenon flash so your images don’t appear washed out. The camera can capture 720p HD video and there’s a built-in video editor so you can quickly mix your videos clips, music and photos into a quick movie right on the phone itself.
N8 has some unique features. For instance, you can connect the phone to your home theatre using an HDMI cable and watch HD movies on the large screen instead of your 3.5″ phone.
There’s “USB on the go” which means you can connect your USB stick to the N8 directly for transferring files in or out of the phone. There’s also a built-in FM transmitter so you can stream music from your phone to the car stereo without any cables.
Nokia N8 has an anodized aluminum body and is therefore less likely to catch scratches from your car keys. In India, Nokia N8 will launch with an unlimited subscription to the Nokia Ovi Music store and that means you can download millions of songs to your computer and phone legally. If you are fan of music, this should alone pay for the cost of device.
Next in the queue is Nokia E7 which, on first glance, may look like an exact clone of the Nokia N8 but is primarily targeted at business users and mobile office workers.
The E7 sports a large 4” screen and a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out with a little effort. It’s 8 MP camera can capture HD video and like the N8, E7 too has an HDMI port and USB on the go.
The E7 comes pre-loaded with apps for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync so you can access your corporate email inbox without any complex configuration. There’s a built-in Nokia Mobile VPN client to help you connect to your company’s intranet on the go plus you can encrypt your phone’s memory to prevent others from accessing your files.
Moving on, the device that has impressed me the most is definitely the Nokia C7. It looks extremely stylish with a curved stainless steel body and at 130g, the C7 is about 25% lighter than its powerful cousin – the N8.
The hardware of the C7 is no less impressive.
There’s a 8 megapixel camera than captures HD video and there’s a second camera for video calling. The device can automatically geo-tag your images and videos. You have a built-in FM transmitter and it supports Web TV, Nokia’s latest effort to stream TV content from their own servers.
Nokia C6-01 is like a cute-version of the C7 – the phones are very similar in terms of features except that C6-01 has a smaller and slightly thicker body that’s just right for holding in small hands. And C6-01 is the first phone ever to use recycled metals.
To quickly recap, the N8 is an entertainment phone with some very powerful and unique features. E7 is a business-ready phone with a full keyboard where the C7 and C6-01 are stylish devices perfect for social networking and entertainment.
All the new Symbian^3 devices have a very similar widget-based UI which is not very different from the previous Nokia touch-screen phones like the
N95 N97. If you are in the market looking for an entertainment-centric mobile device, you might want to wait for a few more days /weeks as these impressive devices may be just around the corner.