Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

I’m skipping the N96…

with one comment

Nokia N96…and if you own one of the newer N95 variants, you should too. Here’s what you’ll be gaining for another $800.

  • Symbian S60v3 Feature Pack 2
  • A sexy black N81-like housing (though a fingerprint magnet)
  • DVB-H (which probably won’t work in your country)
  • A second LED for your 5mp camera
  • 16GB internal flash memory (with USB 2.0 transfer speeds, allegedly), microSD card slot
  • Hidden kickstand for watching video
  • Gaming keys added to the multimedia half of the slider

Now, here’s what you’ll be missing…

  • A decent battery that last more than 6 hours. The N96 has a 950mAh battery.
  • US 3G (if you have a NAM version of the N95 series)
  • Your $800.

Though short, I shouldnt’t have to put together a cons list of a flagship device in the first place, and the list of advantages should be much longer. The successor of the N95 should not only improve from the previous flagships features, but it should also learn from its mistakes. Everyone who waiting for the original N95 was very concerned about how well the battery would hold up since it added several new battery hungry features while having a smaller battery than other devices with a lesser feature set. Though the point is still arguable, the general consensus was that the battery in the original N95 was just okay if you were using it in the US (since you can’t drain the battery by using its Euro 3G). People complained about it enough that Nokia released new versions of the phone six months later with a much larger battery (which is still only mediocre for those using the N95-3 on networks that support HSDPA) and some other nice minor feature upgrades.

Does Nokia think we’re stupid? Show me the production manager that allowed the N96 to clear its initial concept phase with that tiny battery. For the market this phone was designed, how was 950mAh even CLOSE to a good idea for a device with quadband GSM and 850/2100 UMTS, GPS, WLAN, and DVB-H? On top of that, am I really supposed to believe that an upgraded version won’t be on its way with support for other network frequencies for other countries and and a larger battery? If for some reason they don’t, Nokia will be shooting themselves in the foot, and still might be since it will take so long to see those variants if they ever manifest.

Nokia can keep it. With the upgraded RAM on my N95-3, I don’t see too many advantages to Feature Pack 2 at all . I’m sure they’re there, I just don’t think it plays too heavily on helping me decide if I should spend another $800. DVB-H is cool…if it worked in the US. Having used the N82, I’m sure everyone will agree that it’s much better than any number of LED’s. The 16gb of internal memory plus microSD slot is nifty, but I’m just now reaching full on my 4gb microSD card. I don’t know what I’d do with 16gb onboard + a theoretical 32gb microSD card. I do like the kickstand, but all I need is a nice napkin on a table to prop my N95-3 as it is. Gaming keys don’t do a whole lot for me since I don’t game too much and probably won’t get into it when Ngage kicks off for real in the near future.

The only two things that are remotely interesting to me is the housing (since the N81 is a solid, sexy beast) and the software advantages for the camera. That being said, I shouldn’t be excited about a faster camera on a new device when the N95-3 is still awaiting a firmware update to add demand paging to fix this problem in the first place.

I’d love to trial this device, but I’ll never buy it. I’d consider it if the battery could hold up, but if I have to wait another year for a version of this device that can hold its own, I’m sure there will bigger and better things on the market from other manufacturers by then.

Thumbs Down


Written by Jonathan

February 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Posted in Rants

One Response

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  1. […] This is pretty nice also, but I can only wonder how this will affect battery life, particularly on an FP2 device with a crippled battery (*ahem*N96*ahem*)… […]

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