The Nokia E7 Communicator was announced at Nokia World in September 2010. In phone manufacturer language that means "12 excuses ago." But do I care? Pah... anticipation is half the fun, and anticEpate I do. Yes, I confess: I am biased. There. Something to talk about in the comments. Truth be told, Nokia's eSeries smartphones are probably the reason I'm here on this site. Incredible. The Nokia E61 opened the door to the online universe in the broadband-less part of the world I call home.
A bit of history: Announced in 2005, Nokia's eSeries (check the full historE on wikipedia) brought the world some of the most entertaining business-oriented smartphones ever. In May 2008 the Nokia-skeptics over on The Boygeniusreport.Com called the Nokia E71 the "Best Phone Nokia Ever Made." And indeed, the Nokia E71 went on to win many industry awards in 2008 and 2009 - from Wired Magazine's Best of Test to "Highly Commended" at the 2009 GSMA Awards.
But fuzzy feelings of nostalgia and award-winning hEritage aside, what tricks has the Nokia E7 up its sleeves that other smartphones don't already perform? Well, Nokia's old non-phone internet tablets aside, the E7 is the first Nokia phone with a 4in screen - the Nokia N8 has 3.5in to offer. That is only half an inch more, I hear someone say... diagonally. Class, get out the geometry books now. Or don't. Look at the photo below - Nokia E7 versus Nokia N8 versus iPhone 4. The difference in screen size is significant. And not even talking about the full slide-out qwerty keyboard on the Nokia E7, the bigger screen estate alone should enhance overall usability (Thanks to Phonearena for the handy size comparison tool).
Like the Nokia N8, the E7 sports tough Gorilla glass to protect its 4'in AMOLED screen - needless to say that it's capacative and capable of showing 16 Million colours. And the same ARM 11 680 MHz processor that keeps the N8 mostly smooth and lagfree is running things on the Nokia E7. What? Booo? Where's snapdragon? Why not a GHz processor? Why not 10? Yes, these days the GHz number is tossed about every time someone talks about a smartphone, but don't worry, the N8 runs nicely humming away, and there is no reason to suspect the Nokia E7 will be on its knees by the time you have figured out how to use it. Not every Operating System needs the same kind of processing power. If you have an old computer around that couldn't handle Windows Vista, try installing Ubuntu on it. Chances are, it'll run rather splendidly on Linux. Symbian apps, similarily, are lighter and less powerhungry then, say, their iPhone or Android counterparts.
Furthermore, the Nokia E7 features a 3D Graphics HW accelerator - so gaming is another feature to look forward to. Angry Birds on the N8 is as enjoyable and addictifying as it is on the iPhone, and the E7 comes with extra screen estate. Yay!
Hardware wise, the anodised aluminium case combined with the Gorilla glass screen should ensure longevity of the rather nice appearance, don't you think? I spent 2 months abusing the Nokia N8 that is made from the same stuff, and if I was ever forced to choose a phone to nail a screw into concrete, I would probably pick a Nokia N8. I mean that in a good way.
The full specs for the Nokia E7 are available at Nokia.Com but I'll just throw in a few choice ones: TV-Out, tethering, Support for MS Outlook, USB-On-The-GO (that means the E7 can host USB devices - you can connect a USB pendrive without the need of a PC. Check it out on AllaboutSymbian.Com). What else? Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI, an 8MP camera and a browser that can handle flash. Connectivity-wise you should find it hard not to connect to just about every signal and device out there.
Also: Nokia's OviStore may not feature as many apps as Apple's or Google's Android Market, but on the plus side you can purchase apps from Ovi and pay by phone bill. No credit card or paypal account need.
If you find the iPhone too restrictive...if you think Windows Phone 7 is "a bit boring" (Like LG's marketing boss, James Choi)...if Android is too 'google' and HTC too Sense...heck, if you want a stylish, tough and feature rich allrounder that works for you, the Nokia E7 should be for you.