Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

The N800- Maybe I Just Don’t Get It?

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N800 and some burritos!I’ve been bringing the N800 with me wherever I go for the past week or so now, but I still can’t get a grasp on it. I’ve tried pretty hard to search around for some resources on how to expand its functionality and just learn how to use the device a bit more efficiently overall, but it’s just not working. Perhaps it’s just my lifestyle or maybe I just expect a device to have every feature under the sun or none at all?

Read ahead for some more thoughts on where this device fits with the rest of the Nseries as well as my recent personal experience trying to sell one, believe it or not.

A customer came in to my store today asking about one of the Archos 604 we had on display. He was shopping for something for a friend of his who is currently in the hospital with terminal lung cancer that would allow him to utilize the hospitals wifi to browse the web and fight boredom. We talked about the iPod Touch, laptop options, Archos’ products, and ultimately, the N800.

I couldn’t think of a more perfect device for his friend. Even an N800 newb like me knows that the one incredibly (and incredible easy) application to use and enjoy is the web browser. I showed him how easily it handles various websites and how gorgeous the display looks, highlighting some of its other features, and he seemed to be very interested. Music wasn’t necessarily a priority, but I told him about the expandable memory card slots and how open it is to expansion being open source. Since we didn’t have any available to ship to him out of the warehouse, he asked if my store would be able to sell him the one I was showing to him! I explained the situation to him and printed out the product page from NokiaUSA.com.

The problem with this (outside of his friend’s terrible circumstance) is that I can’t see a place for this device outside of situations like this. If the device worked a bit better with normal functionality and simple tasks, I’d see a much larger place for it on the market. The fact is though that those things don’t work very well at all. Something as simple as sending a file to my N95 over Bluetooth failed every time I tried, even after numerous resets of both devices. I eventually found a workaround to move the file to a remote device in the file manager, but this seems completely redundant for such a quick task. Also, as several other bloggers have pointed out in the past, contacts management is terrible. I haven’t read volumes of information about this device, but I shouldn’t have to just to figure out how to sync the device with my PC. I’ve given this device more time and patience than the average consumer would even consider and I still haven’t gotten into all its bells and whistles. Maybe I just need to learn a bit more of Linux?

Conclusion: It’s a luxury device.

From what I can tell, the N800 seems to be something fit for an extreme Nokia fan (one with a greater income than myself) to use when browsing the net on a phone won’t suffice, but the computer is too far away from the couch. It’s for somebody who can afford a device to use for play only, without placing any priority on discovering every possible thing it can do, but rather just enjoy the things it does well out of the box. If I had the money, I would definitely pick one up for myself or my girlfriend for us to use when the other is occupying the computer, but I’m not in a position to throw down $400 for another device right now, and I have a feeling most other people aren’t able to either. It has some great features that makes is a joy to use (when they work) but it seems like such a niche device that I don’t see it taking off outside of the large group of Nokia enthusiasts and bloggers who have been given the opportunity to try it out for themselves.

That said, I’m excited to hear about the new tablet that’s in the works. Adding built-in GPS is a huge step, and if it’s priced correctly, it could hit the mainstream market with ease. Even the N800 in its current state could be a hit seller if it had GPS already integrated for the same price, but another $200 for the navigation kit just ruins the deal.

I still have a couple more things I want to try out on this before I have to send the N800 back, so you can expect to read at least one more entry about it before it gets shipped off. Ideally, I’d like to test a tethered HSDPA connection with my new N95-3 that should be here next week on Tuesday or Wednesday, but I also have to work out getting service through AT&T, which has been a headache so far.

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Written by Jonathan

September 28, 2007 at 5:39 am

Posted in s60 Suggestions

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