Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nokias from the eyes of a WM user

A Rant/Personal reflection:

Here in the states, I spend most of my mobile time on CDMA devices. However, I recently took a trip overseas for a week so I brought along some GSM counterparts to use with local SIM cards.

While I have access to some older Windows Mobile GSM phones, I opted to take some more modern Nokia Symbian devices courtesy of my connection with Its been a while since I used GSM, and I always felt they had better devices due to the larger market demand. So, this was exciting to me.

I'm familiar enough with Symbian to use it comfortably, however I really did miss some of the integration that Windows Mobile offers. Let's set the record straight: Symbian is a great and surprisingly powerful platform, and I've always been impressed playing with it... but I'm not exactly running to convert from Windows Mobile.
However, one thing I must admit- Nokia builds EXCELLENT hardware.

The devices I brought with me, an N95 and E71, are both superb examples of Nokia's smartphone design experience, giving you just enough power to replace a PDA while not forgetting to be a phone first. Touch screen would have enhanced form factors like the N95, but I didn't really miss it. Key navigation was easy to perform one-handed without looking, even after using it for just a couple of hours. I consider this further proof that touchscreens aren't always better (makes me more interested to see how Nokia's touch devices will fare).

The N95 is already considered older hardware, yet it sports TV out, GPS, a real 3.5mm headphone jack, dedicated media keys, and a Carl Zeis lens 5 MegaPixel Camera!

I actually found myself taking most of the pictures on my trip with the N95 since it was easily accessible from my hip as opposed to taking out my Canon shooter each time. The pictures are indiscernible from those taken by a "real" camera, with the exception of low-light situations (the flash isn't really bright enough for a normal camera).

On the plane, I found I was able to watch an mp4 encoded video at 700kpbs that my HTC Titan was too weak to play smoothly through normal headphones, and even use a splitter if my wife wanted to watch. I also found that the 3D game support left behind from the days of the N-Gage made some pretty compelling arguments to call it a gaming platform. Suddenly my WM handsets, with their inadequate gaming keys, driver-related poor video performance, and proprietary headset jacks didn't seem so great.

I'm still a fan of Windows Mobile.
But all I'm saying is that if Nokia didn't completely ignore the CDMA market with S60 devices, I would be OK with one.