Over the past few weeks, my venerable E71 has been having a few problems – loss of connectivity and ‘SIM regsitration failed’ messages appearing, forcing a power off. I’d also been filling up the memory with quite a bit of stuff (music, documents etc) and after doing a bit of research on a replacement mobile phone, checked out the Nokia C7-00 on O2’s website. The specifications looked fine, sporting the new Symbian ^3 O/S, 8Gb internal memory in addition to a microSD slot (so I could move my 8Gb card from the E71 to the C7) and I could get it on a reasonable contract renewal (2yr, £25/month, no purchase cost).
I’d always extoled the virtues of havng a ‘real’ keyboard and adore the E71 form factor. I’ve tried fill touch-screen phones before, my wife’s Apple iPhone for example, but detest how sensitive the screen responds to touch and find the layout immensely irritating when used by my large fingers. I have a number of Symbian applications that I have bought over the past couple of years that I like and really can’t be bothered with making the switch to another ‘ecosystem’ having to learn what you can and can’t do with another mobile O/S. Symbian ^3 suits me – improvements made over a familiar O/S and I can transfer all my ‘stuff’ from the E71 easily. Besides, I don’t subscribe to all the Google services, so I’m not willing to make that commitment (life is too short).
Back to the E71 however, the screen size (2.4″ 320×240), I was getting tired with. ‘Try before you buy’ was the watchword so I trotted off to the local O2 shop in search of one to play with. I was pleased to see that one was on display and powered. Within 5-10 minutes of using the touchscreen, I could see that this was a phone I could use and proceeded to talk to the store ‘guru’.
To cut a long story short, I walked out with a new C7, having renewed my contract for a couple of years at £25 per month. However, I did get the impression that the guy was trying to steer me away from buying one. Comments about ‘they’d had a number of C7’s and N8’s back because of the O/S’ seemed odd, I countered this with explaining that I’d done my research and made sure I’d got upgraded versions of my favourite applications (Gravity, ProfiMail, Adobe Reader, WordPress editor, Opera mobile). I was puzzled by a few other comments and just came away from the store that he was trying to put me off. I’m sure the guy was doing his job and wanted to allow me to make the most informed decision possible, but I consider myself to be aware of the mobile O/S market and knew what I was letting myself in for. He also advised me incorrectly about the charger, when trying to sell me a car charger (I’ve got one from my N95 days) saying that I’d need one and I couldn’t use my old 2mm car charger.. The C7-00 supports USB charging via the micro-USB port and it does have a 2mm-style charger in the box.
First impressions are very good; Despite sending a email to @janole, author of my twitter client ‘Gravity’ at 10.15pm, I’d had a reply saying that my license had been transferred within 20 minutes. I’d updated my ProfiMail license online and downloaded updated versions of my applications. I left the E71 and C7 talking to each other via bluetooth and the PhoneSwitch application, copying all my old SMS’s (I really must have a clear out one day), contacts and calendar entries. Within about an hour, I was up and running again on the C7.
Battery life looks good, after heavy use (lots of browsing, tweeting, playing with the phone) the phone is down by three bars, so more than 50% remaining. The homescreens are very easy to personalise and the phone is fast and responsive. Something that has saved me a couple of quid – the C7-00 fits into my old E71 leather case (that was supplied with the phone) quite nicely (slight squeeze, but otherwise ok). The box contents are bare minimum – a quick guide on using the phone (a slight disappointment as it would have been nice to read a bit more on the differences between the S60 3rd edition FP1 and Symbian ^3), a brochure on Ovi services, BL-5K 1200mAH battery, a short length USB to microUSB cable, AC-15X 2mm mains charger and a set of hands-free headphones/microphone.
The obligatory unboxing image…heh!
Thankfully, my old CA-101 micro USB to USB cable appears to charge the phone at the same time as transfer data. In Nokia’s continuing commitment to the environment, the box contains the minimum of packaging (all recycleable), which is in their favour.
All these minor touches help make moving from one phone to another a pleasant ‘user experience’ and I’m looking forward to getting used to the phone over the coming weeks.