I had the pleasure to test some of the Nokia Nseries phones: the N80i (Internet Edition), the N73, the N91 and the N93. This post as a resume of my experiences the last weeks using the phones on various occasions, trying out different functionalities on all of them.
Nokia announced in 2005 a new sub-brand called Nokia Nseries. It is a product family consisting mobile, multimedia computers. These devices support digital media services from the area of music, video, photography, games and Internet. They all connect to internet using high-speed wireless technologies being ideal for people who spend lot of time on the Internet.
What makes Nokia Nseries different from many other devices is the fact they all are multi-functional. Every device brings quite advanced features like high-resolution camera sensors, powerful music codec’s, FM radio and 3D graphic support for games. To differentiate products within the product family, devices can carry unique experiences like digital TV reception to device, optical zoom for camera, or hard disk drive to store large number of songs on device.
I am not going to focus on the technical specifications and capabilities of the phones, there have been a lot of other sites and blogs doing that before, instead I’m going to focus how I use the phones and which functionalities I particularly like about the Nseries phones. In general, believe me, the overal capabilities and quality of the phones is just remarkable and impressive; Nokia is without a doubt the undisputed leader of the next generation of phones to come; in any case I haven’t seen anyone coming closer lately.
The basic Nokia functionalities I use daily on all 4 devices are:
- Web Browsing
- RSS Feed Reader
- Podcasting tool
- Camera for Pictures and/or Video
- Music Player
- FM Radio
The Symbian OS on all S60 phones is now regularly updated and can be easily downloaded and installed OTA directly to your phone or using a USB connection to your PC. A lot of additional and functional software is available too. I have been playing around with various 3rd party mobile apps, tools and software without problems.
I haven’t been going into details on the office tools available like Quick Office but I have been playing beaming PDF documents to the phones and use them as on-the-spot mini presentations to show something quickly while on the road, always handy I must say… There’s definitely a lot more to check and tryout in this area but I’ll focus on this later.
Richard just published an article I wrote on the N80 (Internet Edition) and Nokia’s Gizmo Project: Phone-to-Phone VoIP. You can read about my latest experiences making international internet calls with the Nokia N80i at Read/WriteWeb.
Since my holidays in August, I use the N91 as my all-in-one multimedia machine carrying my favourite music everywhere and plug it into whatever sound system available; I was sceptical at first (I was one of those iPod die-hards!) but the N91 has become much more than just an iPod replacement for me. Some might found the phone heavy and big (it is!) but for me as of now, it is my favourite phone – I like when them toys are solid I can do anything I want to do with it and I can easily do it. You can read more about my N91 holiday experiences here.
For the Nokia music and podcasting fans, check out the Nokia Podcasting blog with lots of useful tips and fresh info on the podcasting application for your mobile phone.
Mobile Magazine elected the Nokia N73 Phone of the Year in France. The phone has a lot of the same capabilities as the other phones in this post but it is lighter, thinner and has a big TFT screen (256K colours, 240 x 320 pixels, 36 x 48 mm) and a 3.2-mega-pixel camera. The quality of the pictures is quite impressive for a camera phone, even if you’re used taking pictures with a 5-mega-pixel Canon digital camera. I like this phone a lot, it’s has a very easy and simple way to flip the phone to take one-click pictures.
If you want to see the quality of the pictures I shot the last weeks, check here at my Flickr account – Flickr recently added a new feature to select pictures by device but unfortunately I could not select or organise my pictures yet taken by device, would have been great to have that possibility for this post
So this brings us last but not the least to the N93, the all-in-one video camera and viewer. I like the interface of this phone a lot too – the 4-ways to flip and use the phone – it’s heavy and big but the keypad and its keys are very easy to use, after all it’s a video camera. Only the side navigation joystick is a bit too small for my fingers to use easily the extra functions. The quality of the video is exceptional and unique for a camera phone – try to plug and watch your video footage on your TV monitor. Check for yourself the quality of this daylight short here below taken yesterday in Barcelona.
Some minor points I want to mention:
- low battery life of the N80 (couldn’t figure out why yet?)
- flash or quality of the evening and night pictures is not really acceptable enough
- the ticker noise the N93 camera makes when zooming in or out
But hey, these are still phones, aren’t they?
Nokia released some interesting statistics recently on how people really use new services on their S60 phones. On the predictable success of new tech objects, I’d like to close here and quote Steve Jobs in a Newsweek article from last year ‘Good for the Soul‘:
The way you can tell that you’re onto something interesting is if everybody who knows about the project wants one themselves, if they can’t wait to go out and open up their own wallets to buy one. That was clearly the case with the iPod. Everybody on the team wanted one.
During the weeks I tested and carried the phones, anyone who saw one of the Nokia Nseries phones I used, wanted one, that’s a very good sign…
Enabling Next Generation Mobile Products & Services
Rudy De Waele is CEO & co-founder of Nyota Media - the world's first growth agency for innovative African entrepreneurs, start-ups and international companies that use technology to improve the lives of Africans.
He is a Mobile Strategist, Business Angel and Appreneur with over 18 years of experience in Internet technology, specialising in mobile innovation and start ups since 1999.
Rudy has curated ground-breaking presentations in Mobile Trends 2020 (2010), Mobile Trends 2020 Africa (2011), and most recently Mobile Opportunities in Africa - Engaging the next Billion (2012).
He has consulted for Telefonica, Vodafone, MTN, Orange, Telcel, Millicom, Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Admob (acquired by Google), Louis Vuitton, Philippe Starck, Young & Rubicam, Cheil Worldwide.
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