Nokia X7 hands-on

Nokia says there’s still life in the old girl yet, updating Symbian to Symbian Anna, and launching a new multimedia focused handset – the Nokia X7.

As you might expect Pocket-lint was on the scene at Nokia's London HQ to have a play with the new handset just moments after the announcement was made official.

The new phone is clad in stainless steal, features a 4-inch Clear Black Display AMOLED screen and an 8-megapixel camera around back.

Rather than just another black box, the X7 features an almost retro design that is certainly different to what’s currently on the market. The striking design takes the angular voice of the N8 to the next logical level, playing on those lines to create a phone that is both curved and sharp, making it stand out from the crowd.

It’s solid in the hand and as we’ve come to expect from Nokia well built. Combined with the Gorilla glass on the front and the metal body, this looks to be a phone that could take a beating - it probably already has in the test labs.

Like Sony Ericsson with its Xperia Arc, Nokia has worked hard, it tells us, to make the screen closer to the glass and therefore cutting out the air gap between the two. Combine this with the AMOLED screen and you’re in for a treat - the only drawback is that it’s still only 640x360 on the resolution front.

Nokia tells us this is a developer issue (i.e they want it to play nice with the developer community rather than because the device can’t handle it).

As for the camera, although we weren’t able to take sample shots away, a quick play outside seemed to give us with the intel that it will be as good as the N8, which has a good camera. Its 8 megapixels comes with 720p HD video shooting capabilities and allows you to instantly share your images via the usual channels.

The new Anna interface makes things a lot smoother, and you would be forgiven if you thought it all looked a “little Android”. Widgets, sliding homepage tiles, a scrolling grid of apps on a black background, and an array of settings and customisations all help blur the lines. It’s no biggie though as the improvements work, making Symbian a more modern-looking OS, even though Nokia has formally announced that come the end of the year it’s not going to be the main focus.

And that’s going to be the X7’s biggest hurdle, convincing people to opt into a perfectly good looking phone with a strong sense of design (think HTC 3 to 4 years ago) that packs a OS that while still popular, is likely to play second fiddle in the coming months and years.

Take Windows Phone 7 out of the picture however, and Symbian users should expect to be very happy when this phone appears in shops in the coming months.