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May 24, 2011

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My E7 Review: Nokia's Best Phone Ever.. To Annoy and Aggravate Loyal Nokia Users: The superphone that could have been (and should have been) :

Comments

Bruno

Harsh but fair review. Not sure Elop can be blamed for this, though. Would have cost more to pull it when he joined and fix it.

IQR reader does not work with the E7 because the camera cannot focus on a QR code held close to the lens to read it, as you point out earlier. Or is there a fix to this I'm unaware of?

Jim L.

I think the E7's microphone is placed in an odd place.

asturcon3

I also own an E7. I'm comming from a 9300, decided to purchased the E7 because it will be the last nokia+symbian qwerty and... believe it or not, I 'm every day missing features my old 9300 has. Small things, really... the searchable contact book and that tapin/out of every single month day as you also pointed, the years count in anniversaries...

Let's wait that anna to come, calendar seems reworked, hope it helps.

BarbecueBob

I don't think anyone would be surprised by this review. It was pretty clear that this was a flawed device from the spec sheet. What you have shown is that beneath the glaring faults there are some better hidden ones. Nokia had a good run, but their time is over.

Merlin

The contact book is even more flawed than you realised: they removed the ability to edit the fields names, so if you transfer an old contact book to the E7 it will be "de-organized by feature". And it's even more painful when you know that Google just added that ability in the latest versions of Android...

Thanks Nokia, it was nice while it lasted. I won't be going Windows Phone.

E.Casais

This is an extremely useful evaluation of a Nokia device from the viewpoint of business users -- something I really miss from all the phone reviews one can read elsewhere in the Internet. The non-replaceable battery, lack of macro closeup mode for the camera or absence of an SD card are KO criteria that can be checked right out from the data sheet, but the features missing from the phone book and the calendar, or the finer usability issues can only be discovered through hands-on experience by power users.

Apart from that, when you state :

"The E7 is designed as if the design team had collective amnesia and forgot all of Nokia’s rich heritage in smartphones."

you are crucially close to the truth.

A typical symptom of organizations undergoing a process of dissolution is the loss of institutional know-how. This takes a very long time to build and refine; the fact that Nokia seems to be losing its institutional knowledge (and fast) is another ominous sign for the future.

Leebase

Wow....how sad. Let's hope they do better with their Windows phones.

Lee

Erik

Thanks, Tomi!

I was looking for a N900 replacement and now know the E7 isn't it... Nevertheless, I'll be patiently waiting for Nokia's first WP7 or MeeGo output. Still being loyal to this Finnish/European brand... Foolish? Let's wait and see... ;-)

Cheers, Erik

khim

This is kind of funny. It really feels like you are thinking as a pure customer here. This is not what I expect from mobile expert. Have you even read "The Innovators Dilemma"?

Nokia smartphones are disrupted from below: they are attacked by competitors who have very different cost structure and may be profitable at much smaller margin. To compete Nokia must sharply reduce number of custom solutions in it's phone and switch to commonly-used components.

Do you REALLY think it's easy to add microSD slot by just moving connectors? Sorry to disappoint you, but microSD slot does not work if it's not connected to CPU. And CPU package only has one SD channel. And this one is probably now used by main flash package because it's cheaper. Then you have USB host - but it's one of kind, too. You can add USB hub - but this is additional expense (and additional power drain) and you are in cost-savings mode, remember?

Most of the problems have the same root case: custom just-for-the-top-model solutions were replaced by off-the-shelf solutions. This was unavoidable step because margins are evaporating (as usually happens when you are disrupted from below), the only question was: what should you keep and what should you remove from your flagship model. You don't have enough profits to justify all-custom works like you did for years, but your whole organization structure is fine-tuned for high profit margins generated before. So you axe what you think is not all that important - and you do it in hurry because your "platform is burning".

This happened so many times and documented so well that I find it surprising that it surprises you. It's sad, but it's life: if you don't embrace disruptive technology early enough then you are either doomed completely or squeezed in some small niche.

And Nokia failed to do that. This is especially sad because they had the chance with Maemo - but instead of introducing true disruptor years before Google from semi-independent subsidiary they spent all that time playing Bucyrus Erie game - which was doomed to fail just like it did half-century ago.

BTW It's quite hard to keep your old users loyal: they expect to get the same amenities they always had (because "you did that before, you can do that today") but they expect lower price point (because "moore's law is still going strong, right?") and you just don't have enough profits to pay for all that.

expalmandse

Thanks Tomi for this review.

AAS: Please take note on this review, putting functionallity, conectivity, flexibility and reliability up high for business use. In particular, the importance given to close range pictures. I am still amased how you have avoided to properly address the shortcomings of fixed focus for business use, showing pictures, not flowers-please-but actual documents). Yes, you have mentioned it, but not address it for the those interested on the E7.

Now, any comments about how Nokia almost completely came out of the UK retail shops? Example: Argos catalog, which displays quite a range of brands and models, has only two Nokia models hidden in it, an extremely basic 2200 (or something like that) and X6-02. It is like they decided not to participate in the market, putting on hold all their supply chain. I am sure this is not the market refusing to buy Nokia but that they unpluged their efforts to sale. It is extrange because they will lose the pulse and know how on retailing, affecting them even with WP7 models.

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Good review! One of the best! Thanks foe efforts!

agoedde

Agree that some terribel choices were made with the E7.
On the hardware side, some are a mixture of penny-pinching and Nokia not upgrading the Symbian^3 hardware platform enough, e.g. the lack of a high-res screen might be owed to the limitations of the CPU/GPU combination. Others might be based on faulty initial design constraints, e.g. the microSD slot might simply not have fit in anywhere (it's not a hardware platform thing as khim suggested - both the C7 and N8 have an internal SD card as well as a slot). Others are a mix of both, e.g. not much space for the camera and the intent to use the cheap Symbian^3 standard camera module. All are bad an inexcusable.
But it's the software side that is completely bizzare. In addition to the ones you mentioned, there are things like no auto-dial when a phone number is busy (which I really could have needed just the other day), and no user-adjustable equalizer in the music player anymore. Symbian^3 really is two steps forward, one step back.
Add to that things like a network stack that is fundamentally broken (wi-fi problems all the time, instances of both wi-fi and mobile data at the same time, applications that will only connect via mobile data without the possibility to change this), and you get daily pain.
That I haven't yet thrown away my own Symbian^3 phone (an N8, so at least no camera and microSD card issues) is testament to the fact that there were some people left who also got a lot right. It's not enough to recommend Nokia/Symbian^3 at the moment, or for me to consider Nokia for my next phone purchase.

Antoine RJ Wright

I got some hands on time with an E7, and yes, it did make me glance at my N97 with a fair amount of disdain. The E7 is a compelling, and probaly most obvious type of device to upgrade to. But, as was highlighted here, it's the kind of mobile for those who don't change their uses of mobile (too much) and have a certain cachet to their use that the device has to still assume.

That said, I liked this review. Tomi, very nice indeed and great to see that side of you that tends to come out within our emails. You pull the reader here into appreciating the device, flaws and all. That's about all anyone putting up a public opinion can do, and you do it well.

As for me, I opted for the N8 ;) The camera, microSD (and overall storage space, which needed to equal or better my N97 in my point of view) were just more compelling. And though I miss that screen of the E7 (recently also had the C7 which has a similar screen), I won't miss evolving my use of mobile yet again. Symbian might have gone as far as it can, but it can learn a few new tricks from my point of view.

Kyle

This is not Nokia's flagship phone, clearly the N8 is. A larger screen or keyboard don't make it the flagship and neither does a higher price. It's a newer model so of course it costs more. The N8 is competing against iPhone and Galaxy S so a lower price is a marketing move.

I say it's reasonable that it doesn't have an autofocus camera or microSD. These were obviously excluded to keep the bulk down. It's not
valid to assume that a replaceable battery only adds a mm; Apple and some others have also moved away from user replaceable batteries. User expectation (thinness) trumps functionality here. Missing FM transimitter could be a space issue but I suspect it's to create differentiation from the N8.

And speaking of Apple, they're not feeling inferior for lacking a QWERTY, they'd rather market touchscreen type. Kudos to Nokia for offering such a beautiful typing experience on the E7.

svensson

Awesome review Tomi! Nokia is regressing, you are right. Fixed focus cameras are so outdated! Who is making all these horrible decisions over there in Finland? The E7 should have been a brick with all the features in the world, but they went the other way...

Stan

Loyal Apple boy :p

Jorge Spain

I have this but just Shifted to Galaxy SII. Main defects no microsd, crap camera, no battery replacement and underpowered CPU and only 256 mb RAM. I was a cool to pay €629 in Spain. Tomi, its as if they were dmoing everything possible to destroy Nokia, immediately. In which world are ruede guys living? Extremely sad, never seen a company lose market share SO WILLINGLY.

olga

Hi Tomi,
What an excellent and detailed review. At times it seems that I was the one writing it, as I had the same love and hate relationship with my last Nokia.. E series older model.. that by the way I was so tired of it, I replaced with a pay as you go one, cheap, flip .. until I can find a replacement for it.

For some strange reason, i wanted to check the newer models coming..

After reading your post.. I am not walking.. I am running away.. my flip is looking better.. every minute! at least I do not expect anything from it! just to make a call .. :)

Great review!
Thanks!

HoweRachelle

It is understandable that cash can make people independent. But how to act when somebody does not have cash? The only one way is to receive the credit loans or credit loan.

Michael

A dog with diamond brecelet, is still a dog. Whatever you put Symbian on, you won't get far with it, regardless of everything else.

Nokia's image is where it is right now. A lot of hard work will have to be done for them to get back on track.

Maybe Microsoft will help them realise that they should sell a PROPER smartphone. Nokia's business practice of endless market segmentation in which not all functions (removable SD card FM radio, good camera, good media player, good e-mail client, etc..) were available to all models should end immediately.

Microsoft will end Nokia's practice of cutting coners on technical specs. Small screen resolution, underpowered CPU's and not enough RAM, should be thing of the past.

We'll se how things unravel with Microsoft WP7, but it will take years befora large numbers of former loyal Nokia customes start returning to Nokia from Android and iPhone, after the N97 debacle.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody,

Thank you for the comments. I'll be returning later to reply to all of you. But I have to post the market share blog now, I have just finally gotten all the data I needed so we can do Q1. But don't worry, I will return to chat with all of you, and thank you for many kind words. Keep the discussion going.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Sander van der Wal

The 9500/9300(i) were the last communicators. S60 doesn't cut it as a poweruser OS. You could see that happening with the E90. Excellent hardware, a good OS with excellent application engine functionality, and a toy User Interface to make sure nobody sees the goodness inside.

Harri Salminen

One more complaint about the calendar: all entries you make to phone and synchronize to your calendar server become private and there is no way to change the visibility of an entry with E7. Then your colleagues take a look to your calendar, book a meeting to a free slot without seeing there's already something and you've got a double booking!

Steve

hi
i was about to get ripped off. thank you for saving me a lot of money, tomi!
best regards, steve

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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