Nokia E7 first hands-on

Wow. That's the feeling that hits when you pick up the Nokia E7 for the first time. That 4-inch "Clear Black" display really pops as you'd expect from AMOLED and the full QWERTY slider is packed into an incredibly svelte and attractive form factor. Impressions coming up shortly. Until then, check out the E7 next to its N8 cousin and iPhone 4 foe.

Update: Follow the break for some quick thoughts on this bad boy. %Gallery-102120%%Gallery-102151%

  • The screen is simply gorgeous -- ClearBlack may be a gimmicky trademark, but CBD's black levels are no joke. We're definitely talking Super AMOLED degrees of awesome, which means that Samsung's stranglehold on badass mobile displays was pretty short-lived -- unless Nokia is sourcing CBD from Sammy, of course. At this point, we don't know and the Nokia reps we've spoken to have been unable or unwilling to tell us.

  • The keyboard is the best we can remember using on any Nokia. Finally: a straight-up great Nokia keyboard without any fatal flaws like an off-center spacebar or a slider that doesn't slide far enough -- it just works. It's rubbery with a ton of clickiness, and in our quick tests, we were able to belt out verbiage without error.

  • The slide mechanism is... well, weird. Simply pressing up from the bottom of the display doesn't do any good -- we fiddled with it for a minute before realizing that we could get it to go by prying up on the top side with our fingernails. Turns out that the "proper" technique is two firm thumbs on the bottom, which worked for us, though it takes a little getting used to (and you need to make sure your fingers holding the phone up top aren't in the way).

  • Jury's still out on performance. Apparently, the swiping problems on the home screen -- which we also experienced on the C6-01 and C7 -- are being passed off by Nokia as a feature that prevents you from accidentally swiping. Sounds like PR spin to us, but we'll have to wait and see how the retail devices work.

Additional reporting by Chris Ziegler