Video recording offers HD-resolution capture at 720p, but there’s no HDMI output. This is a disappointing omission, given the fact that the N8 and the keyboard-equipped E7 each have this feature, along with a large number of smartphones on sale today.
The screen is the same size as the E7, but lacks the resolution of Nokia’s forthcoming MeeGo-powered N9 and as-yet-unannounced Windows Phone 7 model. At 360×640 pixels, it is also down on the VGA-resolution display on the E6, but a bigger problem is that the small text lacks anti-aliasing and looks extremely pixelated as a result.
The only real hardware improvement is a faster processor, yet this is no 1GHz+ dual-core monster. Nor is there loads of RAM (256MB) compared to other smartphones. Arguably, one strong point of Symbian is its memory management and multi-tasking abilities, so packing in loads of memory isn’t vital. A fast processor is more important, however, and it can sometimes fall behind and play catch-up when you’re using the phone.
The phone also makes do with only a 1,200mAh battery, although the OLED display helps keep power consumption down, along with power saving options to further squeeze the most from the (smaller than we’d have liked) battery. On the voice side, the X7 supports the HD Voice codec, which Three began rolling out in May. It’s also available to users on Orange and soon for T-Mobile, offering a much clearer audio experience as long as you’re talking to someone else with a compatible phone.
Software wise, the X7 comes with Symbian Anna and a range of improvements that includes a portrait QWERTY keyboard and a quicker way to enter URLs in the web browser. These might be big things for Nokia, but to anyone else they’ll seem somewhat underwhelming.