Mobility | VoIP

Unbound Spiral: Lust to Love in 24 hours

May 7, 2007 07:59 PM

I was asked yesterday how I would answer the question "What's your most cherished possession?" My friend was thinking a painting, a classic car, or some keepsake. I answered immediately; my mobile phone and I got shock - horror. Then my answer may have been influenced by a brand new Nokia N95 waiting for me on Friday; the very phone I have  been lusting after ever since I first saw the specs, (soon after I bought an N80 last June)



From Lust:
Where did the lust come from? I'm not quite sure. It certainly was a view of a dual slider, and larger screen. I also wanted to try the latest geekery in GPS devices. Most importantly I wanted the camera. Five Mega pixels and auto focus built in. In the last two years I've used an N70 not bad for photos but the n90 was 2mpx and auto focus. That was the best. The N80 never really achieved the clarity despite its 3mpx. And I knew it. My daughters N73 with 3mpx and autofocus just does a much better job. So lust traces to high expectations for the camera.

Practicalities
:
My next phone had to have everything the N80 had and more. I no longer recommend new cellphones to anyone without Wi-Fi. Plus with T-Mobiles new VoIP plan (coming in June) this feature becomes even more compelling. It maybe the current free rates - I just can't do without my Truphone account. Plus there is something telling when all my family calls (where no notes or sharing are required) go via the handset rather than a Skype headset. I simply like the freedom.

Back to Lust - What I learned from my N80
The N80 has been my constant travel companion. It's my "always on" connection with unlimited GPRS and WiFi in the home and office. I run the Nokia mail programs, Gmail Mobile, Google Maps, AgileMessenger, Truphone, GizmoVoIP and Nokia Podcasting. While also trying out Fring, Nimbuzz, Shozu I won't be quite so quick to install these on the N95.

Where the N80 fell down was on the screen size. It is a magnificent screen in detail, the type size is a little too small for web browsing (and my bi-focal eyesight). It also constantly got the thumbs down from others that picked it up for "thickness" and "weight". I'd have to agree, I too wished it was more like the N73, which is so light, bigger screen and packs so much. I always did like the N80 key pad. It was great for texting.

I never used it much for music. Putting music on it was more for ring tones and alarms. I did experiment with movies but found the player not advanced enough to skip commercials for programs transferred from myTIVO. Memory also slowed me down. I only ever got to a 1gb memory card. Was plenty for daily use but limited it competing versus my Video iPod.

Love and the N95:

It dropped into my hand slimmer and much much lighter than the N80.Despite that it doesn't feel more flimsy or cheaper. It is actually more tactile in the hand. The slider a nicer pop movement. While a little broader the bigger screen makes everything so much easier to read. While the N80 locks on close the N95 lock and unlock features are just better thought out. They become an easy motion. There has been a huge amount of design thought put into the N95. It will stand on its end and speakers in each side!

Did I mention my thumbs. The keys on the N95 have a little more definition than the N80. I find it easier to text from. I'm also thrilled that it has a standard USB style plug. I can ditch that nokia cable now and just use my harddrive cable backup. Great! Plus we finally have a proper socket not only for earphone but also TV/Video out. Something I'll have to try.

Then we have that dual sliding feature. That means web browsing videos and gaming can have a horizontal wide screen rather than vertical. and rotating content become pretty easy. As I use it more this will become more important. I've already found You Tube videos via the new Podcasing App. First appearance make it pretty slick.



Not enough reason. Well I now know exactly how many yards it is to the local bars and restaurants (there is no reason not to walk). The GPS features will have to wait. I think I will just buy the plan so I can use it in the car to provide directions. Still even without the driving element it is pretty effective at providing a directory of local sites.,

Stepping up to the N95 from an N80 is pretty straight forward. Use the Nokia transfer function set both phones to bluetooth and soon you are synchonized. I really wish I wasn't abandoning "old" mobiles so quickly; it is part of the pace of change. However at least in India there is a ready resale market which makes it all easier. I added in my favorite programs. Truphone, AgileMessenger, Gmail, and Gmap (although I'm not sure I am going to need this one).

So is it really Love?
I'm not sure yet. It is definitely a  cherished possession and as an all in one type of mobile one I can't really live without. Where are the problems?

Number One:
Battery Life. With WiFi connection at home via Truphone I'm getting just over half a day and I've turned off UMTS seeking. I know I already want a double sized battery and popped back plate for this phone. I won't be alone. If you are a talker and want all the WiFi be prepared to charge frequently.

Number Two: Lack of storage capacity. I stuck a 2gb microSD in it. That's the largest currently. I'd like that number to be 10 or 20 times that. Then I'm pretty sure my iPod would be history. The lack of memory does seem a little short sighted to me. Still with WiFi and products like ORB I may find I really don't need it as I can just stream it. I can see I have some testing to do.

Minor... :
When you synch phones and get a new one it would be so nice if the predictive text dictionary would be transferred. Each new phone needs training in this regard and I think this is true when you do a software update too. I've also never figured out how to edit out words that get into your dictionary that keep appearing and that you don't want.

Love Tests to come
Taking pictures and videos - I'm not sure it if exist but I want a N95 tripod attachment that fits in the headphone socket. Then finally I'll have a phone with a self-timer that is really userful.

Playing with the GPS. Is it true I can no longer get lost and always find my way? 

I should note. The phone was provided by Andy Abramson courtesy of the Nokia Blogger program for me to try out. I'm definitely a Nokia fan. I bought an N80 as soon as they were available and I've never used a Treo or Blackberry although I recently tested a Nokia E61 (don't like the keyboard!) and I think I have tried living with almost all the N-Series Phones. Example bought an N73 for my daughter who still gets envious comments from her friends six months later.




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Posted by: sujay at May 8, 2007 2:12 AM

I'm jealous. I sure wish I wasn't experiencing so many power problems with my N95. It's a device I want to love. I love everything about it except that it only has 45 minutes of life once I unplug from AC charger. That renders mine useless so far.

Posted by: Ken Camp [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 8, 2007 10:55 AM

Reading this and a few other reviews makes me glad to have held onto my N80 for now. The battery is bad enough on that. I don't think I could deal with having to charge up even more often than I do now. I think Nokia is training us to forget the good old days as far as battery life goes.

Posted by: N80ie User at May 8, 2007 11:05 AM

I love my N95 too... and the battery life isn't too bad. I turned down screen brightness, turned off bluetooth, have a boring screen saver, set wifi to ask me when I need it and a few other energy saving tips and I've getting 24-30 hours off it off easily. If i turn off 3G I can get two days battery life. Just remember when you get it out of the box all the power draining bits are set to max... turn them down and the battery life is ok.

Posted by: Anna at May 24, 2007 1:05 AM