Archive for November 2nd, 2005

The shape of things to come

Oh, my God.

Nokia just released three AMAZING handsets, based on the updated Symbian S60 UI with the new zoom-capable web browser. ALL new Nokia handsets now have big cameras, really high-res displays, WiFi, second video camera for video calls, 3G, good video playback support, and they are quad band. The next big thing on phones (in a year or so), it will be hard/flash drives in the order of 2 to 8 GBs. No matter how many osnews readers say that they want “just a phone”, all phone companies are strive to offer amazing features. Apparently, they sell, otherwise, companies wouldn’t spend R&D creating them.

I am so getting the Nokia N80. Definitely. Hopefully it has support for bluetooth v2.0 and a profile for the A2DP.

The Nokia N80

I am so buying this phone. I can’t wait! However, I am having a few problems with it still:

1. I would prefer a mini-joystick instead the current pad navigation. I think all Sony Ericsson phones are easier to navigate with with their mini-joystick. They require less phyisical finger movement too and they give a better feedback to the user.

2. The 2.1″ screen does not hold more text information than the 176×208 or QVGA screens, even if the resolution is higher. You see, Nokia is double-pixeling the text on these small but high resolution screens, and in reality you don’t get much more text than on a 176×208 screen. On the other hand, QVGA 2.8″ screens can hold MORE text information in them, even if their pixel count is smaller than the N80’s. I would have prefered to see either a 2.8″ 352×416 (with text resized to be smaller) or a real 2.8″ 240×320, than the current 2.1″ 352×416. There is definitely quite a bit of empty space around the LCD that could be used to fit a bigger screen that would mean “more visible text at a single screen”. Having as much information as possible in a single screen is paramount.

3. There is no Bluetooth v2.0 with EDR or an A2DP profile.

4. I would like to see DivX and h.264 video support on their media player. Especially, h.264, just rocks in terms of the quality/filesize ratio.

5. Some of the applications coming with the S60 3rd Edition were designed by a certified idiot with no sense of usability. Look at the screenshot of the email client for example. There is a LOT of empty space unused, while it could be easily desinged to fit more text information (2 additional lines). Also have a look at the mp3 player. Why in the love of God do they use that huge icon, instead of making that icon a bit smaller and fit more text information about the song’s filename?? Why is Nokia playing the Apple game of “looks” instead of actually making the damn thing MORE USABLE?

6. The N80 has an admitted mediocre battery life. Compared to ALL other newly announced ‘S60 3rd Edition’ phones (E60, E61, E70, 3250, N71 and N92), the N80 has the worse battery life according to their press releases.

7. There is no cover to protect the 3MP camera.

For me, these are real problems. But I am STILL getting one, because despite these deficiences, it is still the best overall buy today for a powerful, cool and still, a small-ish smartphone. And it comes with the cool new web browser!

Nokia unveiled a new web browser based on KHTML. Except the innovative *zoomable* interface, the browser also supports pop-up blocking, visual history, find-as-you-type, integrated RSS support, DHTML with AJAX support and Netscape-style plug-ins for Flash Lite, SVG-tiny and audio. The new web browser is available to all new Nokia phones using the ‘S60 3rd Edition’ version of Symbian. Check the Flash demo to see the zoomable interface: