Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

The C7 has been on the market in Europe and other countries since the fourth quarter of 2010 and was just recently released in the United States with T-Mobile as the Astound. Astound is an appropriate name given that for the past few years the Nokia devices that have been subsidized by US carriers have been primarily the low cost flip phones. T-Mobile had the E73 Mode, which I loved, and the Nuron but neither really could compete with the myriad of Android based phones and Black Berry devices offered by T-Mobile.

Recently I had the pleasure of testing a C7 and it was love at first sight when I opened the box. In my opinion this is a very sexy phone.  So sexy that it has replaced the venerable 8800 as my choice for the sexiest Nokia phone of all time. I really loved the form and feel of the device and being made primarily of aluminum and other metals the build of the hardware is very solid . The screen size is perfect for viewing messages, images, and surfing the web and the colors and tones are very rich and vibrant.

As you can see by selecting an image below the C7 is comparable in size to the E71 and is a little smaller than it’s older brother, the N8. It’s light, compact and felt no heavier than a set of car keys when carried in my pocket.

Sexy is nice, but if there are no brains behind the looks then it’s just a pretty shell right? Well the C7 has looks and brains as it is powered by Symbian^3, the same operating system found in the C6, N8, E7, E6 & X7. I won’t rehash what we’ve already read and heard about S^3 since there have been many articles written since it’s release. Though I will say I was surprised to find that the C7’s screens and applications were more responsive and smoother than on my N8.

The C7 is marketed globally as a phone for social networking, and as the Astound is focused at the subsidized market for the US I thought I would focus on a few features that the US consumer may consider in a device. Besides social networking features I focused on email, photos,  music, multitasking, applications, and syncing.

Social Networking

Nokia Social


I am a fan of Nokia Social and it comes resident on the C7. It’s a great tool to view and update status for Twitter and Facebook in one application. I use this on my N8 daily and was happy to see it on the C7. However, the experience was not the same. Unlike the N8 the C7 has no homescreen widget and each time you access the application you need to log in. Therefore I thought I would see if Gravity was any better so I downloaded it from Ovi Store. It  has more to offer than Nokia Social and is even a little sexier, but for what I need it just isn’t worth the $10 US.

Twitter and Facebook updates are important, but a true social networking device must be able to share photos and videos. The C7 does this very well by using the tried and true share feature built into the photo browser. After adding a caption and optional tagging right from the photo itself, my images and videos were loaded into my Facebook and Twitter profiles.  For sharing to other sights you can also install Pixelpipe which is available in the Ovi Store.

Foursquare is available and there is a homescreen widget that works well. However, since it’s on all the time the battery life was noticeably decreased.


Nokia Messaging sure has come a long way and it’s abilities are truly evident in the C7. With Nokia Messaging you can have many different email accounts on your C7 and can load multiple email widgets to your homescreen. On the C7 I tested I had three accounts loaded with my work email in Mail for Exchange, a personal GMail account and a personal Ovi Mail account. The flexibility of NM also allows for a separate syncing profile for each account and the ability to select what is synced and when. That allows me to sync my work calendar, notes and tasks yet bypass my work contacts as those are synced using my Ovi Mail account.

There are other email tools available in Ovi Store that take advantage of “the cloud” but I really don’t see a need to download a beta product when Nokia Messaging is included and works perfectly. T-Mobile’s Astound users will find that Nokia Messaging fits their needs  and won’t be disappointed given it’s ability to view images and attachments.


Personally this is one of the most important features in a device and why I keep my N8 with me at all times. We all know how the N8 takes pictures, but this review is about the C7.

The C7 has an 8mp, fixed focus camera with dual LED flash and it is comparable to most of the mid and upper-level smartphones available today. You can shoot good images and HD video with the C7 and take advantage of many features available for customizing your shots. You can use settings for scenes, face detection, color, contrast and on-screen zoom. For advanced photographers you can even customize white balance, exposure, and ISO settings. But i expect most will just point and shoot and the C& does this very well.



What the C7 has that the others don’t is the ability to edit your images and videos on the phone itself. With the C7 you can shoot a picture, frame it and add some captions, then upload it to your friends on Facebook and Twitter right on the phone.

Below are some comparisons of shots taken with the C7.

Flash & No Flash Comparison

Greater distance brings more in-focus images

To view a comparison of shots taken with the N8 & C7 without flash select here and to view a comparison with flash go here


Since the Xpress Music 5800 one of my favorite features on Nokia devices has been the music player. I’m happy to report that nothing changes my feelings with the C7. I was able to transfer all of my music from my N8 to the C7 without any problems using the Ovi Suite back-up feature. I can play music from CDs, Apple iTunes, Nokia Ovi Music UK (not available in the US yet), and Amazon and retain the song or album artwork.  The sound is clear, crisp and loud when using wired headphones,  my Nokia BH-505 bluetooth headset, or plugged into the mp3 port in my car’s sound system. Playing over the devices speakers is good and as clear as can be expected using the rear speakers.

Finding the music is simple and utilizes kinetic scrolling well. You can select by artists & songs, albums, genres and playlists and can view them all in either portrait or landscape modes. Landscape allows you to flip through choices using album artwork.



One of the greatest advantages Symbian^3 brings is true multitasking and that feature is perfect for the non-power user as most will open applications without giving a thought to memory usage. The C7 allowed me to have applications like Ovi Maps, the music player, Conversations, Nokia Social or Gravity, email, photos and ScreenSnap (a must have for blogging) all open at the same time without any real degradation in speed and application response. The only recommendation I can make in relation to multitasking is that you turn the phone off once a day to reset the memory. I did find that the C7 (and my N8) would become less responsive or would start to freeze after a couple of days of multitasking without shutting the device off or closing applications.


Ovi Store has been around for quite some time now and there are thousands upon thousands of apps available for the C7, both free and paid. App availability is based upon country and device and I am happy to see that even though Windows Phone 7 is part of Nokia’s future, new S^3 apps are being added to the store on a regular basis.

You can search and install right from your device, or from a computer. Paying is easily handled with a credit card or through your monthly phone bill depending upon your carrier. However, I see Ovi Store alone as unable to help the Astound’s chances in the long run in the United States. The content available in the US has gotten better, but it’s too late to compete with The Android Market and iTunes. This is not a device specific issue and has to do with Nokia’s marketing and presence in the US. Future Nokia devices like the rumored W7 and W8 will probably be better served in the US market by Microsoft’s Marketplace for WP7.

Syncing Music, Calendars, Tasks & Contacts

In my mind no one can compare to Nokia and Ovi Suite when it comes to syncing between a PC and your Nokia Device. Ovi Suite has saved me sssoooooo many times because of it’s ability to back up everything on a device and from all memory sources.  Android does okay on music, but I am still bewildered that there is nothing to really sync Outlook between your device and PC. There is an expensive app called CompanionLink that almost meets the needs but it failed terribly in identifying personal and business calendars and would constantly wipe out appointments, tasks and contacts when I used it.

Apple has an advantage over Nokia when it comes to Mac users as their product iTunes  works well on a PC and Mac. Ovi Suite is not  yet available for the Mac (though development is under way) and this may also hurt the Astound with the US consumer. Nokia does have Mac support, as shown here, yet most T-Mobile stores probably aren’t aware of what Nokia offers for Mac users. Nokia will need to get Ovi Suite compatible with the Mac platform sooner than later, and should get it done before the first Nokia WP7 devices are released. There are a lot of Mac users out there and they must be included in any growth plans Nokia has for the US.

GPS & Ovi Maps

There is a lot more to the C7 than the items I listed above, but again this review was written with the T-mobile US buyer in mind. This review would not be complete though if I failed to mention Ovi Maps and the GPS signal.

Connecting to the GPS signal is smoking fast. I even tried to time the difference between the N8 and C7 and just could not see any significant difference between the two. The signal strength is strong, constant and accurate and all-in-all the reliability exceeded my expectations using Ovi Maps and Sports-Tracker.

Ovi Maps has evolved into a pretty solid tool. The few times I used it for directions I saw little lag in the voice guidance and mapping to my current location, even at 70 mph. I could search for businesses based upon my current location and get walking or driving directions from that current location. And I could check in to a multitude of social network apps like Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, LiveJournal and many more.  I wonder how many check in applications Nokia is going to load onto devices? If I didn’t have a GPS and guidance system in my car Ovi Maps would be my preferred guidance tool.


In short, the C7 is a true multitasking giant in a small, sexy shell. It is a fantastic device that I would recommend to anyone. Especially someone who isn’t a power user and is seeking a reliable, feature-rich and well-built phone.  It’s sturdy enough to take a beating from your teenagers, yet has all of the social networking features and access they crave.


Since Nokia released their latest firmware (21.2.045) for the N97 I went from loving my phone to wanting to throw it against the wall. Luckily I loved it enough to spend the time trying to get it back to the phone I knew before the update. After 4 hard resets and a mass storage defrag I was still having issues.  In short, the phone was restarting itself 2 or 3 times a day and when it stayed on I would get memory full errors when trying to use the built-in web browser, Nimbuzz or Nokia Communities. I also could no longer use the FOTA feature as selecting the icon just resulted in the screen blinking and returning to the Applications menu without searching for updates.

What rekindled my love for the N97? The thanks go to Ricky Cadden at and his response to a comment I made on his article, “Anssi Vanjoki On The Nokia N97 Debacle“.  Ricky pointed out that since I had not formatted the mass storage drive I would run into many problems. As all my Nokia Music is on my mass storage drive I was reluctant to do the formatting. However, the problems continued and out of frustration and hope I bit the bullet and did a 5th reset and formatted the mass storage drive.

Problem solved! Well at least until I started adding some apps back on the phone. Luckily I tracked each app as I installed it and to test the phone I would use the browser and Nimbuzz, after reinstalling it, and FOTA all at the same time. Everything worked for a day until I loaded the last two applications….Nokia Sports Tracker and Handy Taskman. The phone started repeating the problems and I since I tracked the installs I did not return to a state of frustration.

I removed both apps and the phone has been perfect for the past two days and I can’t do anything to make the breaks reappear. To demonstrate this, and for the purpose of this article, I had Ovi Maps, Nimbuzz, and ScreenSnap all running at the same time with Communities and AccuWeather active on my homescreen. I was also able to use FOTA with no issues!

At this point I have no plans of installing Taskman until I contact the makers to let them know of the issues. I beleive the application has not been changed since the N97 was released in June 2009 and there may be a conflict between Taskman and v21.2.045. As for Nokia Sports Tracker, I will give it one more shot as it is one of my favorite Nokia apps of all time. I haven’t installed my music again and I’m saving that for after the reinstall of Sports Tracker and ensuring a couple of days of stability….both for the phone and me.

Thanks for your suggestions Ricky. Thanks to you I am in love with my N97 again!

There are many tools out there for the emerging social media network and many allow for access to your facebook, twitter and IM accounts. Yet from my experience the either lack graphical interface features, only allow you to see your friends, have costs associated with them, or because they lack certain features other apps may have we are forced to use multiple applications. Wouldn’t it be great to have one app that did it all and for multiple networks?

In September of 2009 Nokia Beta Labs released their Nokia Messaging for Social Networks beta through Nokia Beta Labs. While the application is still in the beta phase it is showing some definite promise. Here are a few reasons why I think this may be one of the best apps to date for Symbian devices:

First and foremost, the ability to install on your mass storage drive:

Need I say more about this benefit, especially on the N97?

2. Access to multiple Social Network from one app

An added benefit is being connected to multiple networks at the same time through Nokia Messaging for Social Networks!

3. A functionality and look similar to the social network’s web-based pages with thumbnails images

We have these high-speed devices that can display multiple colors and in many devices we can switch between portrait and landscape views. Why not take full advantage?

4. Adding images using your device’s image gallery interface

Almost instantaneous access and you can load up to six images at once instead of one at a time, or through an additional app like Pixelpipe (a good app in itself).

5. Add your current location to your status updates

The speed to do this is enhanced greatly if you’ve purchased Map Booster from the Ovi Store.

Honorable Mention

While it isn’t one of my top 5 reasons, a mention should be made about the homescreen widget. It lets you scroll between facebook and twitter and allows you to do a manual refresh from the widget without opening up the app

Yes the app is still in beta and needs some work but it shows great promise. To become a part of the beta please register at Nokia Beta Labs and download Nokia Messaging for Social Networks.