As I posted earlier this week, a lot is going on in the mobile industry lately, and people looking to buy new phones are now met with a much wider selection of top notch phones from which to choose. The market is filled with highly advanced and a feature filled phones such as the Nokia N86, Samsung Omnia line, Sony Ericcson Satio (Idou), the new Android devices by HTC, and much much more. With the tens of new and exciting mobile devices being announced every day, there really are two names that stick out from the rest. I have been asked by tens of people now, what I think is a better purchase, the N97 or the new iPhone 3GS.
A lot going on in the mobile industry in the last few days and Israel is in the hot spot (no pun intended). Let’s start with the fact that all 3 cellular providers; Orange, Cellcom, and Pelephone recently announced that they will be launching the iPhone 3Gs over the next few months. The word on the street, and when I say street, I mean Twittersphere of course, is that at least two of the three providers bought 100 thousand iPhones from Apple. Now you have to understand that fact in the context that these providers max out at 150 thousand mobile devices sold annually! So out of the 150 thousand phones they will sell in 2009, 100 thousand will be iPhones?!
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a blogger’s event hosted by Orange the other day. They invited a group of bloggers and twitters (their definition, not mine) to hear about the way Orange operates, in terms of choosing phones, marketing them, testing them, and selling them. It was a very interesting crowd, mostly people I communicate with on Twitter and have met at a few events before. When we arrived, we were greeted by the top executives of Orange, which at least for me, showed that they meant business.
One of the companies struggling most in this hard economy is Motorola. Now, I am sure the economy has some part in their hardships but I am pretty convinced Motorola itself is not exactly innocent. I cannot remember the last handset coming out of Motorola that even remotely excited me, since of course, the Razr (you know you loved it the first time you saw it too). So now the people over there at Motorola have to be thinking how to get back in the game. What does Motorola have to do to become relevant again?
Before we discuss the latest and greatest cellular developments, I just wanted to say that this is the first post on the new hosting, it took long enough, but it is finally live, so congrats.
There have been various things going on in the tech world and specifically the cellular market, but I think everyone agrees that one of the biggest and most important pieces of news is the N97. I know I wrote a lot about it already, but a lot more is known to us now, so I think another N97 post is in order.
Mobile-review had some time with the N97 and although the commercial device is not available yet, so the final version of the software cannot be analyzed, the amount of time they spent with the device is more than the rest of us are getting, so it is pretty exciting.
I read the whole review and what I came away with is that the N97 is first of all a very impressive device. It is not as thick as I originally thought, the screen is pretty outstanding, the widgets are a cool idea, and the battery life is phenomenal.
On the flip side of things, and I guess the flip side is what matters because these are the aspects that will prevent me from buying it (yea right, as if I could afford it), there are more than a few things that bother me about the device. Let’s start with the design. I would have liked it if the entire thing was not made out plastic, a little metal would have made things a lot more impressive and serious.
Not sure I am feeling this 35 degree angle thing, did not work for the Tilt, not sure it will work for this. Then there is the whole resistive screen issue, which to be honest, I do not fully understand yet, but it is supposedly a big downside for the N97. From the video below (might as well put your volume down, unless of course you speak Russian), you can see that the interface, which by the way sorry to say, just cannot be compared to Apple’s (I wanted to see if I could write a review without the I word) is a little quirky, but again, this is not the commercial version, so that might change.
I am not getting why the N97 cannot be charged via USB, why would Nokia do that? Am I missing something? As for the widgets, it is a cool idea, but if I wanted widgets, wouldn’t I want them fully customizable? If I were so inclined to have home screen widgets, I would turn to Cellogic to design em, and use Flyscreen.
Two more things I do not like about this phone is of course, the price, but more importantly, Nokia’s marketing strategy really bothers me. The 5800 just came out! I have heard of competition between cellular superpowers, where one outdoes the other and makes consumers forget about the first one’s phone that was recently released (did you get that?). What I have NOT heard of is a company stealing its own thunder. This is something Apple would never do. Why would anyone in their right mind go out and buy a 5800 now, knowing its big brother is right around the corner? Nokia would say they are targeting different audiences with the two phones and to that I say, B.S. Are you telling me there are 5800 people out there that do NOT want a full QWERTY, 5 mp camera, or home screen widgets? Cmon.
I, for one, was very excited about the 5800, but now that the N97 has a bigger screen, a better OS, and a full QWERTY, I would not consider getting the Tube anymore. Correct me if I’m wrong, did Nokia just convince me not to get a Nokia phone? Now, that’s good marketing.
As more details emerge about this cellular giant, I found myself wanting to keep adding to the last post, so instead I figured I would just post again about the N97.
The N97 will be the first high-end device powered by the latest touchscreen Symbian S60 OS and will include goodies missing from other high end devices, such as a 3.5mm headphones jack (cough cough, G1), full QWERTY (cough cough iPhone and HD), stereo bluetooth (cough cough iPhone, OK I think you get the coughing thing), an FM radio, Nokia Maps enabled by touch, a digital compass (similar to the G1 I am guessing), an accelerometer, and a proximity sensor so the screen turns of during calls.
Usually, when a new phone is announced, my first instinct is to try and determine what it is missing. WiFI, 3G, good camera?
The N97, as far as I can tell, is not missing anything. Who said there is no such thing as a perfect phone?
I think it is safe to say that until someone invents some sort of new technology for cellphones, the N97 will remain on top.
Gizmodo just posted an article stating that Nokia has unveiled the Nokia N97. What is interesting about this piece of information is that it is nowhere else besides Gizmodo (unless you count all the ridiculous results of a Google Search, which produces tens of fake pictures and descriptions of a future N97 that is not nearly as nice or impressive as the actual device). GSMArena has no such device and no other sites are reporting this scoop. Not sure what to make of that, but an N97 was an expected device that seems to have exceeded all expectations.
The device has a tilting screen similar to the Tytn2 or the AT&T Tilt, a smart idea that has not been adapted by any other device since.
The display is a 3.5″ 640×360 resistive touchscreen and the device has a full QWERTY keyboard, something missing in phones like the iPhone and the HD. The phone has the standard WiFi, 3.5G, 5mp camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and dual LED flash, a-GPS, and supports up to a whopping 48GB of storage with 32GB on board.
Not much else is known about the phone besides a strong battery life of up to 1.5 days of continuous playback and all sorts of other location-based and social networking goodies that are pretty unclear right now.
Now the big question is, was this Nokia’s big announcement or is there yet another one? Something bigger than an N97? I am doubtful, but if they are revealing this today, what’s with the countdown timer to tomorrow?
Update: After doing a little research, turns out this is Nokia’s big announcement and they are not going to be introducing any other big handsets. Not sure why people kept talking about it all happening on Wednesday, seems like a mix-up in timing (might have to do with different regions and time zones), but in any case, I think this announcement will satisfy anybody and everybody. Oh, and more thing, all the sites now have the N97 up, including GSMArena, but I was first. Nice!