Six months after: N8 Cameraphone versus E7 Communicator

I have had both the Nokia N8 and the E7 for six months now. Since my E7 arrived early this year, I have used it as my primary mobile device. Nothing else has been able to tempt me away from it. It gets my job done that well.

Six months after: N8 Cameraphone versus E7 Communicator 1

Of recent, I have been wondering why I like the Nokia E7 that much. Comparing it with the N8, I wonder why I am so glued to it over the N8, especially considering that they are more or less the same device.

Someone once said that the E7 is a useless smartphone. Consider too that the E7 lacks some of the N8’s features, and you can see why I am wondering about this.

What Rocks My Boat on the Nokia N8

  1. the unbeaten 12 mega-pixel autofocus camera with Xenon flash
  2. FM transmitter
  3. louder audio production
  4. handy size

What rocks My Boat on the Nokia E7

  1. the superb ClearBlack Display (CBD)
  2. the 4-inch display
  3. the superb QWERTY keyboard

My Leanings

On paper, the N8 beats the E7 in all other areas, minus the keyboard and display. One would think that it would be just natural for me to prefer the N8. I had used the N8 as my primary phone from November 2010 till February 2011 when my E7 arrived. Since then, nothing has been able to tempt me away from the E7. Last week, I picked it up again and transferred my SIM from the E7 to the N8 to use as my primary smartphone.

The short version of it is that using the N8 now as my main phone left me craving for the E7 all the way. Sure, I enjoyed taking awesome pictures with the N8, but the sleeker design of the E7, the true-black ClearBlack 4-inch display (see the above picture to compare blacks on both devices), and that keyboard all put together just made sure that I found myself uncomfortable carrying the N8 around anymore.

If I had never touched the E7, the N8 would work for me. But now, my system has a point of reference, and that focal point is the excellent E7.

Yes; I hate the full-focus camera on the E7, but while I am a photography enthusiast, picture-taking is not a priority on my mobility needs, so I can live with it.

Incidentally, I was at Slot this morning, and listened in on a discussion between the technicians present. They were praising the Nokia E7 to high heavens, and then one of them noticed my unit and pointed it out to his colleagues. Yes; I’m human, and I can say that it felt really good 😀

Communicator Addict?

I must say this too, that with the exception of the Nokia E75 (which I refuse to accept as a true Communicator anyway), and which I found absolutely underwhelming, not once in all my mobile history has any device been able to tempt me away from a current Nokia Communicator. I usually use them till they begin to become outdated before moving on. The E90 was a bad case – I used three (3) of them. Nokia’s Communicators have been that good.

The Future?

Right now, I am a bit bored. I have been waiting for Symbian Anna for my E7 for a long, long time. Sure, it will get around sooner or later and transform the E7 into a new experience. That can’t come soon enough. And Belle, oh Belle! I could have a nerdgasm thinking of Belle running on my E7.

In the meantime, I am bored. Staying with one phone since February (that’s about 6 months) is a long time for me, regardless of how wonderful the phone is.

When a mobile enthusiast is bored, he goes looking for the next exciting device to play with. I have a few devices coming in for review in the next few weeks, and hopefully they will be exciting enough to distract me for a while.

Thereafter, the cycle continues…

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22 comments

  1. Well, I’m happy I never got to use the E7, else I may have been drawn away from the N8 just like you. I hope no other cameraphone beats the N8 for months to come; it’s that superb. Only thing is, I wish it could have the option of video light when shooting videos.

    The other thing I’d really want on the N8 is that physical keyboard. So much so, that I’ve sworn my next smartphone must have one. And if I can’t order the HTC DeisreZ or the Sony Ericsson XperiaPro, then I’ll just settle for a BB Bold.

    And yes, Jikong1, software updates are one of Nokia’s main shortcomings. After waiting for months for Anna, I said “the heck with them”, and I flahsed my N8 with a hacked version of Anna last Friday. And i have to say it looks great!!

  2. Right now, i’d have to say i prefer to use my Nokia E63 as it can last me up to 2 days with serious browsing. My main ‘beaf’ with nokia E7 is the terrible battery life. Its a pity that my 2.36 inch Nokia E63 phone comes with a 1500mAh while the larger (4 inch) and battery hungry screen(AMOLED) in the nokia E7 comes with a less powerful battery (1200mAh). Shouldnt it be the other way around? I cant enjoy a phone where i have to turn off all the goodies (3G, brighter screen etc) just because i want to get a full day out of it. Why then did they choose call it the Ultimate Business Phone? Wait did i also mention this Business phone can’t take macro shots ( hence you cant scan business cards). Mehn nokia really didnt do well ooo. i’m hoping the coming software updates will improve battery life and usability.
    Anyway, the fone also has its perks most mentioned above. The 4 inch screen is simply put ‘beautiful’. Movies pop on it. Its really good. The hardware keyboard comes in second. USB to go (also on N8) is very useful too. It plays a wide range of formats too. its a very cool phone save the battery and camera.

    @yomi how many hours do you get from your E7 per charge and how heavily do you use it?

  3. You’ve made good point. The E7 has a better display than the N8. Even the picture posted about in the article makes it evidently clear. With that and a few other stuff, perhaps I may now choose the E7 over the N8.

    On my next phone, I’m seriously considering the Nokia E6. The display is the best on of any Nokia device. It even beats the iPhone 4 on the concentration of pixels in it’s “Retina Display”

    At Last check the E6 was available at slot for about NGN60, 000.00! I just wonder if it would ever be available in the mobility Nigeria phone store.

  4. The Nokia N8 would be my best option, if not for the non-replaceable battery….

    Been asking myself – which phone to move up to, after the Nokia 5800. The Nokia has served faithfully. I particularly love the quality of the speakers and the good battery life.

    The two singular reasons why I am considering going for another phone are the inadequate onboard memory, and the screen size (3.2”).

    There is not much that can be done about the small memory, but there are two things that can mitigate the pain of the ‘small’ 3.2” screensize, or any other (Symbian?) phone (of that form factor) for that matter.

    One is to use a software that increases the fontsize (at the OS level) of the phone (therefore improving legibility) – say Somyac Font Zoomer.

    The second strategy is to use the phone predominantly in landscape mode. (I have actually been scavenging for long – unsuccessfully – for an application that will maintain the phone display in landscape mode [without using the accelerometer – which guzzles power]. That way, when browsing, or reading an e-book, the horizontal scrolling is reduced. But, then it becomes more difficult to use the phone one-handedly. ‘Swype’ is also easier to use in portrait mode.

    By combining these two strategies, the Nokia feels far larger than it truly is.
    I have also been hesitating from going for a physically larger phone for two reasons. A phone of 4” diagonal would be impossible to handle one-handed (unless you are King Kong!). Additionally, the bigger the screen size (I would only consider touchscreens), the shorter the battery life is likely to be.

    (*** undecided ***)….

  5. Malik,

    The E7 (and N8) are the handful of smartphones that I’ve used without having to turn anything off.

    I have an always-on mail/contacts/calendar sync setup, and use Twitter and the browser fairly heavilly. uSually, I am on a 3G signal. Still my E7 gets me through a full work day. During very hectic days, I switch to GPRS-only mode to conserve some power.

    Did you take the phone through a number of full charging and discharge cycles right after getting it? I made sure that I did that.

  6. @yomi yes i did the battery cycle thingy. I guess i’m used to charging my fone every 2 to 3 days as in the nokia e63 that the daily charging put me off. Well its all good. i’m pretty sure i’m not the only one who feels that way. Read some reviews on both phones and apparently people are displeased with the battery life of both (they use the same 1200mAh battery). Thanks for the reply though.

    Waiting more for Belle than Anna. It should transform all S^3 devices to what they should have been at the start. Any idea about when we will actually be seeing this update?

  7. I still dont know how to enjoy touch creen phones other than using it to take pictures, which I hate to do in public…..I would have also love the E7 but have learnt my lesson using slide out phones ‘ flex problem ‘…….ill rather buy the E6 if this E5 stop working for me. For those who have the two phones enjoy it…

    1. Ebunma,

      So far, in all my Communicators, I have had flex problems with only one – the 9500, and that was after I refused to retire it and it fell hard one fateful day.

      Besides that, none of the other Commies or swivel/slide devices ever gave me a flex problem. Guess I’ve been lucky; eh?

  8. It’s been barely 9 months since I’v been using the N8 and I’m tired of the phone already. I think Nokia should run a “How many times does your N8 restart in a day ” competition… My N8 should finish in the top 20 restarters. My speakers have also stopped functioning and looking online I realised lots of other N8 users have similar complaints. I can’t believe this day has come, the day I will finally have to face the infamous Nokia customer care. No one I know has a good experience with them they always have a way of making the phone worse than before and I probably would loose all my apps and other data. I’m thinking of taking it to computer village instead, does that means it will void my warranty ? But what do I need the warranty for when I don’t want their cc experience.. Pls I need some advice on what to do about this issue I can’t drop this phone with Nokia cc.

  9. @Telneting

    I’ve been experiencing that ‘restarting’ problem for weeks. My N8 restarts at least once a week.

    I’d advise you to use Ovi Suite to backup all your phone data before giving it to Nokia Customer Care.

    If you’re willing to take the risk and experiment, you can flash your phone with a hacked version of Symbian Anna, or with the earlier PR1.0 version of Symbian^3.

    You can visit the following links for more info and directions:

    http://www.n8fanclub.com/2011/07/how-to-flash-nokia-n8-with-hacked.html

    http://www.n8fanclub.com/2011/08/how-to-successfully-downgrade-nokia-n8.html

    http://www.n8fanclub.com/2011/07/how-to-flash-dead-nokia-n8-with-phoenix.html

  10. @Telneting
    Just got my nate last week and the first 3 days were the most frustrating experience i’ve EVER had with an electronic device.I tried everything to stop the restarting issue but NOTHING seemed to work until i noticed that if i charge the phone using ONLY usb it became far more stable.The restarting has been cut down to once every few days and that is usually during something intensive.I used to be scared of the phone but now i put it to its paces(qt 4.7.3,bubbles lockscreen,sleeping screen,liveview,angry birds,hangman,situations).I LOVE THIS PHONE.

    1. I honestly don’t know. In the first few months, the restarts were rare and far in between. But in the last 2 months, [sometime after I upgraded to PR1.2], the restarts suddenly became much more frequent.

      At first, I thought it was due to a hard 3-key reset that I did. But re-installing the OS via Ovi Suite didn’t help matters.

      As it is, even with the hacked Symbian Anna, it has restarted a few times already since installation last Friday.

  11. @Yomi
    As i said earlier,i really don’t know the exact cause.I tried tweaking all the variables on the phone(screen brightness,gsm only,accelerometer off e.t.c) to no avail although i did notice that moderate use of wifi was a major cause.I believe that it is probably a hardware fault most likely with the gpu especially in my case because the lockup/restart happens while i’m scrolling(webpage,menu,lists).It could also be the battery getting excessively hot and triggering some sort of failsafe restart mechanism because i feel the back of the phone get really warm during such problem times.Software updates didn’t help although they could if nokia identifies and pushes it out.
    Had a similar problem with my 5800 and it wasn’t until firmware v41 or v50 that a software fix was pushed out.I’d already been to nokia care by then for a fix(in this case it was thick coloured bands appearing on the screen after a screen lock or screen dimming although heat or a restart temporarily solved the issue).

  12. @Samunosuke: / @Spacy Zuma, Talking about restarts, my NOKIA 5800 also does that.It is infrequent enough for me not to worry about.

    I can almost bet it that a particular app is causing it. There was a time I traced a problem of intermittent failure of starting to a particular app (smartphoneWare Tracker). Once I uninstalled it, the phone was okay again.

    My suggestion, do a hard reset (*#7370#). use the phone without any app installed for a while and see if the phone misbehaves.That way, you can determine if it is an app thing, or the phone itself..
    One of the apps u guys use may be cracked-and performing its viral magic -(never mind that nonsense about symbian being virus proof)

    Avoid cracked software- if u can. Avoid custom ROMs. My bit.

  13. @Eye.Bee.Kay
    Been there, done that.Formatted the phone several times but even in that state, it restarted.In fact, in my case a format makes it worse.A lot of cases may be different but as I said i’ve found a solution which works for me – USB charging only.Haven’t had a restart in the past 5 days.
    Btw, never had a restarting problem with the 5800 which was rocksteady albeit a bit slow especially from firmware v40 onwards.

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