Nokia C7 vs Nokia N8 Comparison and Review

11. January 2011 at 13:13

Last time I had a Nokia C7 trial in my residence for almost a month – and an overdue because of holidays, sorry WOM! :) So luckily I had an enough time to post some interesting articles like from the unboxing to a comparison.

And today I’d like to post a comparison with toppings of N8 vs C7 review. The C7 is more on focus here and the purpose is to answer the questions of the people who are planning to buy one of these devices but can’t decide yet. So I hope it would be helpful by highlighting the main differences and common features of these two S^3 devices.

Let’s begin with the comparison specs table between N8 and C7. Note that the bold blue font means somewhat better in the scope for most users.

Nokia N8 Nokia C7
Operating Platform Symbian^3 Symbian^3
Screen Resolution 360 x 640 pixel 360 x 640 pixel
Screen Size 3.5” 3.5”
Screen Type Capacitive, AMOLED, Gorilla Glass Capacitive, AMOLED, Gorilla Glass
Dimension 113.5 x 59 x 12. 9 mm 117.3 x 56.8 x 10.4 mm
Weight 135g 130g
Pentaband Yes Yes
Wi-Fi (b/g/n) Yes Yes
CPU ARM 11 680Mhz ARM 11 680Mhz
HDMI Yes No
A-GPS Yes Yes
Sensors Proximity, Ambient light, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Proximity, Ambient light, Accelerometer, Magnetometer,
Camera 12MP AutoFocus, Carl Zeiss 8MP Full Focus
Flash Xenon Dual LED
HD video Yes, 25fps Yes, 25fps
Secondary cam Yes Yes
Dolby Surround Plus Yes No
Loud Speaker Mono Mono
User Storage 135MB max over 512 350MB max 1GB
Internal 16GB 8GB
microSD Yes, up to 48GB total Yes, up to 40GB
Bluetooth 3.0 3.0
USB OTG Yes Yes
Battery BL-4D 1200mAh BL-5K 1200mAh
Standby 16.5 days 25 days
Talk time (GSM) 12 hours 9.6 hours
Music Playback 2 days 2 days
Color Silver W, A. Green, Blue, Orange, Dark Grey White, Brown, Black
Price (VAT incl.) UK £379.00 £319.00
US $469 $399
Philippines Approx. 23000 PHP Apprx. 18000 PHP

We can see that the main difference of these two devices are on the hardware design and multimedia components. So we don’t need to argue any more on the OS as they run on the same platform.


Camera: 12MP AF Xenon Flash vs 8MP FF Dual LED
There is no doubt that the Nokia N8 is a beast in terms of multimedia feature. From HDMI with Dolby Surround Plus to Carl Zeiss Optics found on its camera system. But how much of difference will it take when we compare to C7 as a core series device that is intended for affordability benefit of the mass?

Being the top mobile imaging manufacturer for almost a decade means Nokia is still the current supremo on this section. Thus, we see the first mobile to tremble the world of pocket digital cameras, none other than the hunky Nokia N8. Talking of the other innovation to contribute on this title, the new generation of Full Focus camera system was introduced to the sexy Nokia C7, C6-01 and E7. In a goal to achieve slim and affordable smartphone without reducing the camera performance.

The performance of C7’s camera is good and the HD video quality is as crisp as N8 shots. But the issue is not on quality but on camera module system, Full Focus vs Auto Focus. For most users that came from AutoFocus cameras, like N82, N95 etc, there is no doubt that it is freaking annoying to have a Full Focus. Even if it is a 2nd generation or what ever, I still think of jumping to Auto Focus camera rather than sticking with a Full Focus equipped.

If Nokia really want to introduce the Full Focus technology, it would be nice if they put it on mid and lower end C and E series devices.

The other issue is on the DLED vs Xenon. As Nokia N8 being the the imaging flagship device of Nokia, it is a must to have Xenon flash. And I suggest if you like to appreciate more photos, the N8 is really a choice. And DLED is not that important once you’ve got the N8.

The quality, sharpness and the natural details are present on both C7 and N8 shots. There are also few optical aberrations and ghosting on C7 but mostly it is not visible for standard view and compare to N8, of course, the Carl Zeiss is a win. There is no doubt Nokia is bring the best camera phones in the market. So it’s up to you to decide if which is for you, Price or more MP with Xenon flash.

The question is…

*Is the 12 MP, Carl Zeiss, and Xenon are worth for upgrade from C7 to N8?
– Yes. If you really want to enjoy taking photos, the N8 is a good choice and price difference is worth to pay for. But if you feel bringing a pocket camera often, then the C7 is the choice. The final choice will still depend on your needs.

>>> More Nokia N8 Shots
>>> Nokia C7 Camera Review



Nokia C7 Sample Shot


Design: Sexy vs Hunk
I visually love the hunkiness and chunkiness of the Nokia N8 compared to the Nokia C7. But what feels better to hold is the Nokia C7. Even on landscape held of C7, the feelings is different and it’s much better when typing. I think the C7 is a very comfortable device to hold and has the very nifty front keys (call/end/menu). But the Nokia N8 looks more appealing for its tron effect construction like the control keys at side. But I’m sure there are people who would consider the classic sexy form of C7.

The question is…

*Which one is the star?
-Both are really new and appealing to self and people’s view. But for comfy and sturdy feeling, I’ll go for C7 and for cool looking device, I’ll go for N8.

>>> Nokia C7 vs N97 mini vs N8 vs E52 design comparison

Multimedia: HDMI vs Analog TV out (composite)
Is the HDMI really a big necessity?

Well, it is indeed useful to those who have home theatre as the Dolby Surround Plus 5.1 Channel will be maximize. But for Nokia C7, you can still connect the phone into your TV even on HD TVs as they are still supported with analog video components. And same with N8 you can have the choice between TV out or HDMI way.

The question is…

*Do you have an HDTV/Home Theatre?

>>> Nokia N8 on HD benefits

The commons: Symbian^3, USB OTG, Connectivity, FM Transmitter, Loud mono Speaker, AMOLED and others
With C7 you can also get other features that are common on most Symbian^3 devices. So all Symbian^3 platforms now can run more lists of video types. USB OTG is also supported to all S^3 but the you won’t get the adaptor on C7 and C6-01, guess it’s another cost-cutting steps for an affordable smartphone. But the exclusive feature that C7 and N8 have is the FM Transmitter, which is fabulous topping for those who have cars and alike. For the other commons like connectivity, the Pentaband, Wi-fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 will surely become a standard for the next other smartphones of Nokia.

The review of C7
I will also take this opportunity to give my thoughts and feedback on the Nokia C7 device. I wan to to be on a bullet lists as it will make it easier to be ponder.

What’s in?

  • The C7 feels better to hold compare to N8. Maybe because of the plastic top and bottom cover of N8 and awkward menu key placement in front compare to C7 that we get call/end/menu keys placed gorgeously on front. And also because of the slim, longer bottom screen dashboard and solid form factor design of the C7 that makes it more nice to hold.
  • Symbian^3 was an upgrade experience from S^1 users. And it is definitely a big big blow out for first time Symbian users. But of course, the UI update is still a must to-do list of Nokia as soon as possible.
  • The HD video is superb on C7. It also delivers great still images but I think the Full Focus is not meant for C7 and E7.
  • The commons…like on top. I was surprised that other big features of C7 are still unknown for other smartphone competitors yet a standard offerings from C7.
  • Having FM Transmitter is a blessing. Thanks Nokia!

What’s not?

  • High end ties devices should be given the freedom to have an Auto Focus camera support. I’m not saying that Full Focus is failure..indeed it is a innovative feature that helps C7 deliver magnificent still and video shots. But I wish they should introduce the Full Focus to lower ties devices.
  • Side control keys are not sexy. Just a little polish will do. (N8 has the best camera, lock and volume control key)
  • C7 needs a ‘proper’ or decent Social Network app. Nokia really needs to work full time to give new features prior on its official social networking app.
  • Time to eliminate loud mono speaker on high ends
  • Sorry to repeat…but I superbly need an Auto Focus camera module.

The Nokia C7 is undoubtedly worth for your money. It’s beautiful, full of smarty features, and it’s new on the market. I guess that differences between on Nokia N8 are not that big considerations. Unless you want to have a real camera + smartphone then N8 is the choice. Camera performance on N8 is a fact and a reason to ditch your pocket point and shoot cameras. And if you just want to stay on the border of C7, I will say that new users will feel the exclusivity of having a C7 for their phone. It’s a great phone overall!

So which do you thin is the right one for you???