Am I the only one or are there people out there too who agonise over the choice of phone to purchase? In or around April every year, I go mobile phone shopping. Yes; every year. But the problem is that each time, it is almost a painful process to narrow down the available choices to arrive at that single device that meets my needs the best.
I won’t waste your precious time by dancing around issues. Here is how it is currently going for me. My brief:
I need an up-to-date smartphone (preferably released in the last 15 months) with a good hardware QWERTY, a large landscape display, an above-average web browser, has good multi-tasking abilities and that handles Gmail without issues. I do not care what mobile OS platform it runs, and if necesarrilly, I can do with a non-smartphone as long as it meets all the other criteria.
See; my requirements are not high and mighty; are they? You are probably already ticking off a number of phones in your head; aren’t you? I can help you with a quick list too, and in order to make this as short as possible, I’ll add why each of them does not make my list. Here:
- Nokia N97 – Low RAM hampering multi-tasking; using Gmail terribly slows down the messaging app; I’m not a fan of S60 5th Edition
- Nokia N97 mini – using Gmail terribly slows down the messaging app; not a fan of S60 5th Edition
- Nokia E75 – I’ve used this one before, and using Gmail terribly slows down the messaging app
- Motorola Milestone/Droid – Not seen this in the Nigerian market yet; QWERTY not so good but I’d be willing to buy anyway
- LG GW620 – Not seen this in the Nigerian market yet either
- Sony Ericsson X2 – same 528MHz processor as on the X1 makes this a sluggish device
- Samsung B7610 – low RAM issues hamper multi-tasking
- Nokia N900 – my preferred candidate actually (the web browser and keyboard rock), but some users also report the same Gmail issues that I have experienced on Symbian devices
There! All my nominees have one issue or the other.
**If the Gmail issue sounds strange to you, here is a link to one of my articles on the subject: Smartphone blues: S60 and Gmail.
And from another source, this time a Nokia N900 Review of Email:
If I login using the Gmail account, the app becomes too slow. I will often get a “not responding” warning and force quit the application. I think it is trying to download all my emails since a couple of years ago, but I could be wrong.
I faced this same issue on the E90 and the E75. I will not risk spending on a device like the N900 only to be bitten again. Symbian/Maemo devices are therefore ruled out for me unless I can find a fix for this. I have read that the issue may be due to the presence of Gmail folders with a huge amount of mail. Perhaps if I do some archiving to split up my mails into more manageable bits…
I’ll try that and see if I can borrow someone’s Symbian or Maemo device for a quick test.
The good news is that I have never faced the Gmail slowdown issue on any WindowsMobile or Android device, so they are my best options for now. I also have an S40-based Nokia 3600 and Gmail works fine on it without issues.
I would love to consider a BlackBerry, but the web browsers are not as capable as I would love to have them, and the screens are not so large. Still, I am toying with the idea.
This is my dilema. Did I miss out any phones that meet my criteria above? Do you have any phones to suggest?
Oh, and please, don’t suggest third party applications to resolve one or more of the above-listed issues. If a manufacturer expects me to pay the kind of money that I am willing to pay for my mobile computer, the least they can do is ensure that basic functionality works out of the box.
Its not like I’m going to die if I don’t buy a Nokia N97, N900 or a Samsung B7610 😉 Comments!
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.