I have been using Nokias for years. I have used a significant number of Nokias over the years. 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For example, the N97 is already outdated before its release with a 3-year old processor.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?
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.
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 😉
Who knows what manufacturer and OS platform I’ll be using as my primary device this time next year?