It looks like the Nokia N8’s impressive 12MP camera was NOT enough to swoon me over to fork hard earned cash in exchange for the device. After continued use of the N97 I have further solidified my stance on the need for a hardware keyboard. Some may be able to do without it, but I certainly cannot. This is why I am placing the Nokia E7 in my consumeristic crosshairs and if reviews indicate enough positives I will pull the trigger.

There are a couple features that stand out for me on the E7. First is the ‘sweet spot’ 4″ screen which is definitely an upgrade over the current 3.5″ screen of the N97 which is also the size of the N8’s. Not only is the screen larger but much like the other post-N8 phones (C6-01 and C7) offer Nokia’s ClearBlack (CBD) display, which is essentially an AMOLED with a polarized filter on top. Sounds a bit gimmicky but its supposed to give blacker blacks and better performance outdoors. While the N8’s display is very nice and sharp, it lacks CBD and that my friends is unacceptable.

image by dailymobile

Hardware-wise the only difference between the N8 and the E7 is a 16GB of on board storage and an FM transmitter and of course the keyboard C6-01 and C7 they all share the same ARM 11 680 MHz processor with 3D HW acceleration. I figure that the minus 16GB is acceptable since I am currently only using 4GB of the 32GB that the N97 has available. That however might change with the advent of 720p recording capabilities.

An FM transmitter is a good feature but I find that given the saturated radio waves in my location, this feature will be useless and if it is anything like the transmitter on the N97, the relatively weak signal becomes overpowered by the numerous radio stations on air. It is easier to use the headphone jack and plug that into my car stereo’s AUX port using a male-to-male adapter cable.

As far as the color choice goes, I’m going with the Silver shell. I’ve read in other reviews that if you chip or scratch the the coating off the N8, the aluminum base will show. I am assuming the same goes for the E7 and as such I can guarantee that my E7 will incur scratches and probably a bit heavier damage like dents here and there. To date my N97 has been dropped about 47 times. I always update my twitter feed each time I do so. The slams against walls that the device incurs while its floating around in my cargo pockets do not get counted.

There you have it. While the N8 has the currently the best camera on a mobile device, its not going to work for me since I connect to my server(s) via SSH using PuTTy and a keyboard is essential for a command-line interface. Now all that is left to do is wait for the release and some reviews!

Update: 12/25/2010 Merry Christmas!'s comparison table

Thanks to the folks at FoneArena we can quickly view the differences between the E7 and N8. It also looks like user reviews of the device will have to wait longer due to the delay of the E7. Nokia stated in a press release that it will be delaying the E7 until early 2011 due to a “minor durability issue.” This just means that I’ll have to endure the N97’s shortcomings that much longer. On the bright side, it gives me time to save up some cash for the E7.

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