11 years ago, the last business oriented device from Nokia , the E7 was released. To many, this is the closest we could get our hands on a similar form factor to the limited ,and developer only ,Nokia N950. The Nokia E7 combined the best that the Nokia had to offer back then, by combining the Communicator series with that of the more modern Nokia N8.
Reviewing classic devices always stirs up the memory but wherever its possible, I would prefer to bring them back to life. What if this device can somehow be brought back to its glory days, serving as a companion or a weekend device , allowing light browsing, some gaming, binge watching YouTube and even as a dedicated GPS?
The Nokia E7
The design of Nokia E7 is primarily refined from the industrial designs of the Nokia N8. It is slimmer too. The sliding display unveils the full qwerty keyboard underneath which is its key differentiating factor. The gorgeous 4 inch AMOLED display with Nokia’s proprietary Clear Black Display technology is complimented with a modest hardware, the 680MHz ARM 11 with 256 RAM and 16GB of non expandable memory. Thankfully, the micro USB 2.0 supports USB On-The-Go feature, so there is room for expansion. Couple this with a usb dongle, a pendrive and apps like Core Player, you can watch movies albeit at a lower quality formats.
As this is mainly a business oriented device, the camera is a fixed focus 8MP sensor which isn’t any good for close up shots. It aports a HDMI port that was a rarity back in the days which allows a 720p TV-Out , so you can share contents on a big screen. And my personal favorite is the Ovi Maps which made them stand out by offering full navigation.
The Nokia E7 Re-Birth
Judging by the trend these days, there area only a couple of manufactures producing modern smartphones with a mechanical qwerty keyboard. Unfortunately, these are hard to get by and the asking price is skewed toward the higher side, with questionable support especially if you decide to grey import them.
But , the current Nokia E7 is more accessible and you could still make use almost all of its essential functions.
In general, there are 2 ways of doing this. One is simpler than the other.
In the first instance, the method is the same as I have shared earlier on how to revive the Nokia N8 with similar hardware and software.
The second method is slightly more technical and it was my first experience doing so but the overall learning curve isn’t as steep as I initially thought. However, to do this , there are several pre requisites.
This method includes flashing the device with a custom firmware, and my choice is the Delight CFW which offers a lot of improvement under the hood.
Firstly, a Symbian Belle device with a working usb is needed.The Phoneix software that is required for the flashing part only works well with Windows 7. It doesn’t play well with Windows 11 and Windows 10 even with the compatibility adjusted.
So, with that said, the essential step here is to have a Windows 7 PC. If you don’t have one, the next option is to run Windows 7 virtually using apps like VM Ware . You will also require a Windows 7 iso file which you can find via google.
Once you have Windows 7 set up and running virtually,the next step is to install the Phoneix software. It is also helpful to install the Nokia PC suite as the device needs to be connected in the PC suite mode for it to be recognized. Do keep in mind that Phoenix software will be flagged containing virus so if you are worried , do not proceed.
The detailed steps on downloading respective CFW for your device can be read here, in the original site that hosts it. I will recommend reading it completely to understand the process, which is rather straight forward.
Once respective files have been deployed to the said folder, the flashing procedure is quite simple and in less than 20 min, you have a brand new device.
The Delight firmware brings a lot of improvement and updates under the hood that are noticeable. The device is faster than before, apps installs much easier, browsing experience is better , and some minor improvement in the camera department. You can have a read on all the improvement in the site above.
With that done, you can simply head over to the new sis store and tienda maps sites to complete the device experience. I would recommend the Opera Mobile browser for better experience. Proceed to install Jtube client from sistore and once that’s done, change the playback options in the settings to play via browser to enjoy YouTube.
You can catch the same here and also see the GPS, alternative app store and YouTube in action.
My previous video on the Nokia N8 is here
If you find the video helpful, do hit the like button so it will show up under YouTube suggestion for other Nokia fans elsewhere.
The above methods of utilizing Symbian device well past its glory isn’t new and it has been around for years. This article is meant for those who aren’t familiar with the steps or wants a reference before embarking on this trip.
For me, the whole experience has been enlightening to say the least. I have learned a lot along the way and humbled at the same time seeing many Symbian enthusiast working hard independently to keep their devices alive.
If you have a spare device, do try this out as most of the hosting servers would not be up forever.
I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I did making them, if you have further queries, do hit me up at twitter where I am more accessible.https://twitter.com/theoriginal086
Credit to the original posters in each website link attached above.
Till then , take care.