Nokia: This is How it Starts

9 12 2008

There  is a picture of an unknown Nokia touch screen device floating around the Web.  The picture is actually taken from a Nokia presentation given in Nokia’s Capital Markets Day 2008, so you know it’s not fake. The phone looks pretty awesome, and I am hoping Nokia is really taking its gloves off and getting in the ring with Apple. The N97 is nice, there is no doubt, and the addition of a full QWERTY is a blessed one, but in terms of hardware, it does not compare with the iPhone. Very few phones do.

However, this new phone, pictured below, does compete, and in my opinion, blows the iPhone out of the water. It also looks like it offers some pretty cool features. Sorry there is no more information available yet, but knowing Nokia and the way they work, there will be an announcement soon. I hope.

-Hillel

nokia-new-interface-1

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More Details About the N97

2 12 2008

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As more details emerge about this cellular giant, I found myself wanting to keep adding to the last post, so instead I figured I would just post again about the N97.

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The N97 will be the first high-end device powered by the latest touchscreen Symbian S60 OS and will include goodies missing from other high end devices, such as a 3.5mm headphones jack (cough cough, G1), full QWERTY (cough cough iPhone and HD), stereo bluetooth (cough cough iPhone, OK I think you get the coughing thing), an FM radio, Nokia Maps enabled by touch, a digital compass (similar to the G1 I am guessing), an accelerometer,  and a proximity sensor so the screen turns of during calls.

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Usually, when a new phone is announced, my first instinct is to try and determine what it is missing. WiFI, 3G, good camera?

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The N97, as far as I can tell, is not missing anything. Who said there is no such thing as a perfect phone?

That's the iPhone 3G on the Left

That is the iPhone 3G on the Left

I think it is safe to say that until someone invents some sort of new technology for cellphones, the N97 will remain on top.

-Hillel

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Nokia’s Making Headlines With the N97

2 12 2008

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Gizmodo just posted an article stating that Nokia has unveiled the Nokia N97. What is interesting about this piece of information is that it is nowhere else besides Gizmodo (unless you count all the ridiculous results of a Google Search, which produces tens of fake pictures and descriptions of a future N97 that is not nearly as nice or impressive as the actual device). GSMArena has no such device and no other sites are reporting this scoop. Not sure what to make of that, but an N97 was an expected device that seems to have exceeded all expectations.

The device has a tilting screen similar to the Tytn2 or the AT&T Tilt, a smart idea that has not been adapted by any other device since.

n97_shot_1_800

The display is a 3.5″ 640×360 resistive touchscreen and the device has a full QWERTY keyboard, something missing in phones like the iPhone and the HD. The phone has the standard WiFi, 3.5G, 5mp camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and dual LED flash, a-GPS, and supports up to a whopping 48GB of storage with 32GB on board.

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Not much else is known about the phone besides a strong battery life of up to 1.5 days of continuous playback and all sorts of other location-based and social networking goodies that are pretty unclear right now.

Now the big question is, was this Nokia’s big announcement or is there yet another one? Something bigger than an N97? I am doubtful, but if they are revealing this today, what’s with the countdown timer to tomorrow?

-Hillel

Update: After doing a little research, turns out this is Nokia’s big announcement and they are not going to be introducing any other big handsets. Not sure why people kept talking about it all happening on Wednesday, seems like a mix-up in timing (might have to do with different regions and time zones), but in any case, I think this announcement will satisfy anybody and everybody. Oh, and more thing, all the sites now have the N97 up, including GSMArena, but I was first. Nice!

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Wednesday Will Determine Nokia’s Future

1 12 2008

A mysterious little countdown timer just appeared on Nokia’s website. 14.5 hours is the time that appears as I am writing this. That is 14.5 hours until Nokia announces their new and highly anticipated device that will either take away all of Apple’s glory or turn Nokia into another Palm.

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Nokia executives are very proud of the fact that there is no indication on the Web anywhere what this device will be or what it will offer. I, on the other hand, do not like surprises and I also do not think total secrecy contributes anything to the marketing aspect of this announcement. No leaks, no hype! Am I wrong?

I have to say though, that the 5800 XpressMusic left me wondering how Nokia became the market leader in the first place. When first reading about the device, I found myself asking “This is how Nokia intends to compete with the iPhone? Nokia? This?” Well, I guess my suspicions were right on and they had more up their sleeve the whole time.

nokia-5800-xpressmusic-2

I really do not know what they will be announcing, but my wild imagination says it will be a device with a touch screen display similar to the HTC Touch HD, an interface similar to but better than the iPhone’s. It will offer all the functionality missing in the iPhone, such as copy and paste, MMS, video camera, Flash and Java, a 5 or 8 mp camera, stereo bluetooth, and it will be no thicker than 12 mm. I say if there is anyone out there that can pull this off, it is Nokia.

If the above described device is really announced by Nokia in 14 hours from now, all my contemplation about which handset to buy will have finally come to an end.

-Hillel

nokia-communicator-s60v5-cellpassion

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Nokia’s Going Down The Tubes

2 10 2008

Nobody was surprised today when Nokia officially announced the release of the Tube or the 5800 XpressMusic handset. It is an OK looking handset, I guess. I think, like many other recent announcements, it would have been huge news prior to the launch of the iPhone. I am sure Nokia is kicking themselves now that they did not release this earlier. There is no avoiding the iPhone comparison, and from the short reviews that are out there, it looks like the Tube is just another touchscreen that will stay in the shadow of the iPhone.

It is true the specs on the Tube are not too shabby. It boasts a 3.2 inch display, 3.2 megapixel autofocus Carl Zeiss camera w/ dual-LED flash, a secondary front camera for video calling, stereo Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 b/g, and integrated GPS. Those are not bad specs, but do they compare to those of the Omnia for example? Would this phone be generating so much hype without the Nokia branding on top? Not so sure!

Even with its decent specs, CrunchGear spent a few minutes with the phone and was not impressed. What was most unimpressive was the crowded UI and the Web browser. As I have said many times, in today’s market, with pretty much all the big players making amazingly impressive touchscreen devices, what separates the men from the boys is the user experience. Seems that Nokia has their work cut out for them if they want to maintain their market share for much longer.

-Hillel

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Nokia’s Jumping in The Ring, Apple’s Taking off The Gloves

28 09 2008

In the never ending war between cellphone manufacturers, a lot has transpired over the last 24 hours. It looks like Nokia is going to be announcing their own iPhone Killer (I cannot tell you how much I hate that term, but it definitely says something about how revolutionary the iPhone really is). As I recall, the Tube (the name of the new Nokia, which leads me to my regular question: who comes up with these names?) was introduced (unofficially of course) before the release of the iPhone, so as opposed to the Omnia and others like it, it was not a response to the iPhone.

The Tube looks like a pretty nice phone, nothing we have never seen before, but as I have said many times, when it is being released by the market leader, Nokia, it does not matter what we have seen in the past from “small” players like Samsung or HTC.

In any case, Apple has no intention on sitting back and letting Nokia take over its touch screen market dominance. They have just begun to sell the first ever version of the unlocked iPhone in Hong Kong for $695. Worried, Apple? Maybe next time you should allow your users to replace their batteries or send an MMS!

What is left to be seen is, will the S60 full Touch UI compete with the iPhone’s interface? Because we all know that the user experience is what is going to be the deal maker or breaker for Nokia. Check out the first demo of the Tube’s UI in the video below.

-Hillel


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Nokia Outdoes Itself with the E72 & E75

21 09 2008

There is a new video that was just leaked of the not-yet-announced Nokia E72 and E75 handsets. I have two things to say about that.

  1. That would never happen with Apple’s products. I am not sure if this is a good thing on Nokia’s part or a bad thing, but Apple somehow manages to keep the leaked information about their new products to a minimum, until they are officially announced. Judging by the amount of hype surrounding Apple releases, Apple is doing something right.
  2. These phones both look pretty amazing, but nothing we have never seen before outside of Nokia. Then again, Nokia is a big enough player that when they release a new concept phone, it does not matter who has done it before, theirs is bound to be all that much better.

 You can watch the video here (watch it fast, Nokia has taken it off of Youtube 5 times, after it was posted by 5 different users. They are really not interested in people seeing this video.)

-Hillel

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