Monday, 29 October 2007

Kiss my sweet ass

Rob Campbell over in Singapore is warming up for some trouble making. I know this because he asked me on Facebook what I thought of the Nokia N95 and I told him straight. I was hoping to do an in depth review of this model, because its a complex bit of kit and even the iPhone is not yet performing perfectly in the smart phone category, as I've noticed from a few people's twitters, including my friend Steve Portigal who is quite the champion of user operability.

Anyway now that Rob has forced my hand (Charles shakes fist in an inappropriate and very suggestive manner) I'd better just crack on with it and describe my N95 experience thus far.

But before that I want to compare it with the smart phone called the i-mobile 902 I owned in Thailand, 2006 which did 70% of the functions the N95 had, but with a much more sophisticated digital camera and which I blogged about over here, along with examples of the photography. That phone cost me about 280 Euros which if you remember that 1 Dollar converted to 76 Euro cents when it was launched and now will get you 56 Euro cents gives you an indication of what we planners call a 'trend'. I digress I believe an N95 can cost up to 700 Euros, which a year later is at least twice as much as the i-mobile I bought in Thailand - Economics lesson over ;)

So the bottom line is that the N95 is a bit of a slug, either the processing power isn't sufficient or the services that sit on it are too cumbersome. It's not fast enough in layman's language and furthermore my experience with the example I'm packing is that it's prone to shutting down or occasionally needs a reset by removing the battery. But what worries me most is that Scoble twittered today some problems he is experiencing. That's not good because I think Nokia gave him the phone to test-run and he's an A list blogger.

But let me tell you why I think Nokia brands really shine compared to Sony Ericsson. My first experience of Nokia apart from the double chocolate chip user interface was the experience of dropping one to the floor. You know what I'm saying?


Allow me to share a little. Here is my friend Lauren's phone.

You question the veracity of the shot?

Lauren, we got a deal for that shot. Not a brand book deal. A human to human deal. You get my drift.

Then there is my backup phone.

This is the phone I use when my battery has run out on my swish N95. It looks a bit beaten up doesn't it?

Here's a closer look.

It's a bit blurred as indeed I was when I took the shot (a cheeky red or two) but you can see the screw exposed on that corner still held in place by the molding. My God they build those Nokia phones sturdier than a Rob Campbell mercurial point of view dancing from one Fred Astaire light footed soliloquy to another Falstaffian bluff or other.

Yes the N95 is a flawed, and possibly a precocious genius, but time will tell who is going to own the Smart Phone segment and I can say that I've had a look at the N96 which is quite impressive although I can't say anything about it quite yet. Good on Rob for being a sport and buying a competitive phone to really put it through its paces and I'm looking forward to his write up on the N95 although I don't expect anything vastly different from what I've been saying. Perhaps a little more vitriolic though :)


  1. Good to see they are toughening up their phones. The last Nokia I owned felt flimsy as anything.

  2. I think its the more standard models that stand up to the punishment Rob. I have seen the testing procedures that they put these phones through and it is quite extraordinary but I hope Nokia continue to make robust assembly mission critical. Drop me a mail when you get some time. We should talk mate.

  3. Too true - you can have all the functionality in the world but if your phone doesn't bounce then you're in trouble.

    I was holding a friend's iPhone the other day - but even as a devoted Apple user my abiding thought was not of its beauty but that I better not drop this.

    "a flawed and possibly a precocious genius" - talkign about yourself again I see.

  4. One of the things I like about Nintendo is that everything they make is so well built. I once literally dropped a gameboy from five feet up and it didnt even have a scratch on it.

    I will do Charles, I dont believe I have your email address though...

  5. Nice one Doddsy. email is in the about me section Rob.

  6. Sheesh not even a photo credit. I'm swinging the noose over the beam above...

  7. Sorry Charlie. I'm on the case. I did write this one up after a few cheeky reds.

  8. I love this post ... well I love it upto the point that I realise I have bought a complete lemon.

    OK, it's not that bad - but having been an SE user for so long, it's a very different system to get used to.

    I remember when Nokia were intuitive, however it seems that in the intervening years, Nokia has become Microsoft and SE have become Apple.

    Nothing makes sense - but then I'm an idiot who buys technology regardless of need or function so I should just shut the fuck up and take your advice in future!

  9. You've hit the nail on the head Rob. If there's one thing I am struggling to cope with its the user interface. Technology teething pains I can cope with but usability is just a pain.

  10. charlie! thanks for giving my poor little phone a bit of extra life. and you're right! not only did she bounce, but she keeps working without a face and the buttons held together with tape!

    there really needs to be a re-think about longevity, and sustainability using intuitive design - rather than just pizazz or bling (surely there can be both!).