Unbound Spiral: Positioning and the N95

June 3, 2007 10:47 PM

N95's everywhere. Not everyone with the same view. Although underneath most  agree the techno in the N95 is mind-blowing. Still to get the most out of this phone you cannot make a snap judgment. Both Robert and David (below - like me) are going to be playing for awhile. Then I also had my son and wife laughing and making fun of me trying to use the GPS. So there is 1) positioning the phone (Scobe, Beckemeyer, et al) and 2)finding a position with the phone.

Positioning the N95
The better iPhone: Nokia N95? « Scobleizer

"But rather, I’m in love with the Nokia N95. The camera on this phone is unbelieveable.......Translation: it’s going to be lots of fun to compare this to the iPhone. We all know the iPhone will sell just cause it’s cool, but this phone will match up pretty darn well."
Mr Blog Entry - 06/03/2007: Straight talk on the Nokia N95
"I don't think anyone can beat the Nokia 6610. The original 6610, IMHO, is the best mobile phone ever produced. It is no longer made, apparently, but the 6610i is still available (I believe). I put together some simple criteria in the following comparison table, and as you can see, when it comes to the basics, the 6610 beats the N95 at any price:"
Finding your Position - GPS and the N95

Reading the comments on Robert's post I wasn't surprised to see the N95 GPS get a little flack. I'm getting used to my family laughing each time I bring it out and try to get a current location. When I do it and start walking with it it can take forever (5-10 minutes or not connect at all) Even when I'm holding it upside down in my hand - open pointed at the sun! (Heard the GPS antenna is more exposed that way.) Makes one look nuts!

When the GPS is locked in it is awesome. I downloaded the Sport Tracker and have been able to watch my speed in min/mile (slow!) find my altitude etc. Whether this is really useful I'm not sure. It takes too long to lock in. I have no sense that I can just run out the door in the morning with the N95 tied to my arm playing music and tracking my pace and distance. I think I would be half way through the workout before it ever logged on.  There's no voice commands  or prompts that I'm about to have a heart attack either. I think I should have voice commands particularly when I put it in the car and have bluetooth on too.

I've been tempted to buy a 3 month voice activated package and see it the GPS really works when in the car. However for that I need a Velcro mount of some description for the dashboard. I also need a charger for the car (dam battery life) and in the car I'd need to see the screen so backlight will just kill it when always on!). So I'll have to go buy these things.

I've done a little in car testing and again once locked in it seems to track ok. However, if you find yourself in a position where you want to turn it on and there is no GPRS connection for the maps it is a failure case. You just stay lost. When i wanted it just the other day that was the position I was in. 15 minutes later the batter was dead too. Celestial Navigation won!

So is GPS in the N95 a toy or tool? I'm not sure. I tried to demo it to a new user on their N95 the other day. We ran outside to get a signal and 15 minutes later after also walking around (Do two N95's in close proximity screw up the ability of one to locate us?) we gave up. I left with the recommendation they leave it running out on their patio to magically see the map and location where they live ..... much later. So someplace inside there is GPS. It does take a lot of patience to activate and use it.

My observation on GPS. I've been curious for years but never bought a GPS gadget. I don't have GPS in the car although 18 months ago I tried out a Nokia GPS device with my N90 at the time. It worked really well. My conclusion then was.. why would I ever want to buy a car with it installed.  It going to be in my phone --- sooner or later.

The N95 is a bleeding edge phone. It is probably Nokia's 959 (Porsche's late 80's $1m sports car sold at a loss - technology showcase).

So... how can they improve the GPS. (make it connect) bring it onto the front screen. It should be working all the time. It is too hidden and takes too long to load. We may want to turn it on or off. But put it on the front. Maps, location etc. are just like the time. My kids don't have watches. They throw them away. They use the mobile. I only use Gmaps to find where I am going today. In fact I met somebody who said that was the best thing about their mobile. They used it for Gmaps; not for calls.

It would be folly to underestimate the impact that GPS will have on mobiles. Just look at what Google is doing with Maps. Soon the two will intersect. Nokia is already leading the way in WiFi phones. Now what say we think just two years out. What if the new T-Series (Terra) all had GPS as standard? With carriers breathing down the necks of manufacturers to create new value streams - where we are now --- GPS integration seems like a great bet. How it will play out no one really knows. Still they didn't know how camera phones would work either. MMS remains a flop but camera's are here to stay on phones, they are just too useful. GPS will be the same.


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Comments (2)

Hi Suart, I also said some good things about the N95. :)

Posted by: David Beckemeyer at June 4, 2007 8:41 AM

Hi David,
Indeed your enthusiasm for the N95 easily matched Scoble's. I just liked the pragmatic contrast and the fact is... it won't be for everyone!

Posted by: Stuart [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2007 4:10 PM