What Nokia Needs to Fix – Right Away!

I have been using Nokias for years. I have used a significant number of Nokias over the years.nokia As such, I have been a loyal user to this manufacturer, and this also means that I am in the know about the trends with Nokia.

But I am fast getting tired of what seems like Nokia’s inability or unwillingness to change with the times. Okay, they do change a bit, but they are not innovating fast enough. I am very particular about Nokia’s high-end offerings (mostly smartphones), so be sure to read my piece within that context.

1. Give us adequate RAM
What is the point of touting multi-tasking on a device when the user is just going to run into an “out of memory” error soon along the line?

I am not talking about some 4 year old phone, but recent releases like the 5800 XpressMusic and the embarassing flop, the N96.

2. Fix S60 UI Sluggishness
S60 has been known to be sluggish for years. Competing platforms are often snappier. And is there a sworn oath by Nokia executives to the effect that they must not authorise adequate processors for their devices?

For example, the N97 is already outdated before its release with a 3-year old processor. Compare the upcoming Samsung OmniaHD with that and you get the idea: a powerful, power-saving 600 MHz processor on an S60 device! Previews already refer to the snappy interface on the OmniaHD.

While Nokia sleeps and trundles on, it is very clear that the very first snappy Symbian S60 device in years will be the Samsung OmniaHD. Anyone wanna bet otherwise?

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3. What is Nokia doing with Web?
I find it a contradiction that the Finnish boys have been marketing the mobile web on their devices since Adam, yet have one of the most sluggish web browsers in the smartphone world. Yes; S60 Web, with all its other capabilities, is sluggish and can be frustratingly slow at times. This may or may not be a fsallout of the underpowered processors that most Nokia smartphones are equipped with.

But whatever it is, having to be slowed down by my mobile web browser when I have a speedy 3.5G or WLAN connection is not endearing.

4. Nokia is stretching its resources in too many directions.
Yes; this has its advantages, as Nokia is able to sell different flavours of what is essentially one device to different people. But it does not look like it is helping Nokia channel the right proportions of resources into development and innovation.

5. Please fix “Download”
Download is the application on Nokia’s smartphones that is supposed to serve as an application store. I use the word “supposed” because, “Download” just doesn’t work. Plus, it is very user-unfriendly.

Nokia had years to improve this, but never did. Then Apple came along and worked wonders with its app store. Okay, Nokia, we will forgive you if you copy Apple again on this one. Just make it work.

6. S60 5th Edition UI is inconsistent
If you are going to copy, please copy right. Nokia’s S60 5th edition is a slight improvement on its older sibling, but having played with it a bit, i find certain inconsistencies in the interface.

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At one level, you tap once to move to move to the next level of the menu. At others, you have to double-tap. Excuse me, but such inconsistencies can be disorienting to users.

I would have thought Nokia would adopt the now dead UIQ’s method. Tap to enter. Tap and hold to pop up an options menu. Works well.

7. Finally, Nokia seems to be going retro these days with internal memory.
Older smartphones had as much as 150mb internal disk, and many of Nokia’s new offerings provide much less. Think 5800 (80mb) or the E75 (50mb for a 2009 smartphone!), and the just announced E52 (60mb!).

What are the guys at Nokia thinking?

The majority of nokia’s smartphones are outdated before their release. Take the N97. This and other Nokia devices are already outgunned by many other competing devices from different manufaturers even before their releases (underpowered processors, outdated user interfaces, 3-year old camera specifications, meagre RAM and internal memory). No way!

It feels good to finally have my say on this. Samsung, LG, Apple and HTC are parading a nice array of mouth-watering devices, and I am beginning to feel like I am stuck in the stone age with Nokia’s latest efforts.

Sony Ericsson used to be my second port of call after Nokia, but they are clearly running on 4-year old steam pretty much the same as Nokia is.

This year, I will be shopping around a bit, and I have pencilled down the following devices from different manufacturers and platforms:

1. Palm Pre, running WebOS
2. Samsung i7500, running Android
3. Apple iPhone 3G, running Mac OS X
4. HTC Touch Pro, running WinMo
5. Whatever else catches my fancy 😉

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Who knows what manufacturer and OS platform I’ll be using as my primary device this time next year?

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

5 thoughts on “What Nokia Needs to Fix – Right Away!

  • May 7, 2009 at 4:01 am
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    @Yomi, about what choice of phone you are liklely to be using this time next year, we’ll watch and see. But seriously most s60 devices are the same with different looks and model numbers. There’s nothing exciting about s60 these days.

  • May 7, 2009 at 11:02 am
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    I strongly believe the creative guys behind the Nokia N series have all left en bloc to Samsung. :mrgreen:
    What else could be the reason for repackaged and rebranded smartphones with stale features. Very disappointed with Nokia generally, and I hope they don’t go down like Motorola.

  • May 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm
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    Brym, let me have the priviledge of saying upfront that Nokia is on a downward slide, and while they may not end up like Motorola (those guys should just stick with supplying the military and leave consumer phones well enough), Nokia will lose significant market share.

    Someday soon, Nokia won’t be the leader in terms of market share any longer. They have already lost the position of leader in terms of innovation and product development. The former is just a matter of time.

    No-one stays on top forever.

  • May 10, 2009 at 9:56 pm
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    Yomi, u were reading my lips.dis article is just right on time. Nokia is getting everything wrong.I am an addicted S60 user but now am starting to think in d direction of other mobile OS coz of Nokia’s tardiness in innovating.

    In a report in d January 2009 edition of PC WORLD magazine, S60 3rd edition came last in a rating of five mobile operating systems (Android, iphone,blackberry, symbian, windows mobile). I do hope that it (Nokia) is taking notice of this.

    So from ur experience with d various mobile OS platforms, which of them is ur favourite ?

  • May 11, 2009 at 6:23 am
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    Azeez, like you, Symbian has been my comfort zone for years, from the now defunct UIQ and s80, to the very basic s60. But I have used a few excellent WinMo devices. I find WinMo more powerful and comprehensive – over and above S60 – but its dated UI is just… 👿

    Still HTC is taking impressive strides in placing their own sleeker UI over the classic WinMo cake. The yet-to-see-the-market WinMo 6.5 also looks interesting, but only the Lord knows when we’ll be seeing that on devices.

    From videos and user reviews that I have read, Android sounds exciting, and I am leaning in that direction the most now. The OS still has some maturing to do. But I will pick up an Android device this year, if only to have a feel of the OS.

    I have used a Palm device, the 700p. Though capable in some ways, its OS, UI and certain aspects of its specifications too were dated. Will the Palm Pre (running the new Web OS) be a turn-around for the US-manufacturer?

    The iPhone seems to have finally come of age in terms of features, but its got only one form factor for now. Perhaps Apple can do a QWERTY iPhone? :mrgreen:

    Yes; I’m choosy… and fussy… But then it is my hard-earned money I’ll be spending.

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