For years, mobile phone users have been forced to have to choose between business features and media features. An example: if you want a business

Why Can't a Business Device Have a Superb Camera?

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For years, mobile phone users have been forced to have to choose between business features and media features. An example: if you want a business smartphone, buy the E7; if you want multimedia, get the N8.

Pardon me, but in the real world, its the same guy who dons a suit to work from morning to evening who changes into a t-shirt to hang out with his friends in a diner in the evenings.

Why can we not have the best of business and multimedia combined in a single device? Afterall, we keep talking of convergence. Well, converge already!

Year after year, when I go phone hunting, I have to contend with these labels. But why can an E7 not have a camera with autofocus and Xenon flash?

Why can Blackberry devices not have superb cameras too? Why must we be forced to choose between business and multimedia needs? We need both, guys.

QWERTY versus Multimedia?
Bar a few exceptions, why is it that once a smartphone has a hardware QWERTY keyboard, the onboard camera must drop a notch in terms of quality?

I remember the Nokia E90’s superb camera back in the day. That was a business smartphone with spunk. Right now, I am using the E7, and the camera is just killing me. Not that it is bad. It is that it is so left-in-the-dust by the autofocus camera on the N8. The lack of autofocus (and Xenon) is killing me.

EDoF? Autofocus Please!
I understand the argument for EDoF, and I have helped explain it in the past. But for crying out loud, is any manufacturer out there considering that many CEOs are also photography enthusiasts who will value a proper autofocus camera on their business smartphone?

Leave EDoF on lower end smartphones, sirs. People willing to spend on premium devices can do with autofocus.

Scrap the Dichotomy
For Nokia, that means in your second coming (the age of WindowsPhone), please, please, please, scrap those two departments (N-series and E-series), and just give us superb all-round phones.

While we are at it, you guys at RIM need to sit up and put some camera love into your BlackBerry devices. Put some spunk in your game, sirs.

Sony Ericsson seems to have gotten the message. Their smartphones (even those with hardware keyboards) usually pack a good camera with autofocus. I remember the Xperia Mini Pro with fondness.

Samsung dances around it a bit (imagine the Galaxy S camera without a flash at all; excuse me! But thankfully rectified with the Galaxy S II). And while I’ve still got steam to blow, what’s up with those plastic cases for your premium phones/ Say what? Please, put some class in the cases please! If I’m going to spend that much on your top devices, I dont want plastic.

HTC… did you say HTC? With tinny-sounding speakers, and sub-par camera performance, HTC has a long way to go with multi-media. Next!

Apple have only one range of products and are wisely not playing the dichotomy card. Perhaps this is one of the unique selling points of the iPhone (besides its other obvious qualities) – when you buy an iPhone, you buy a device that serves well for both work and play?

To almost every manufactuer out there, here’s my advice – scrap the dichotomy between business and multimedia devices.

PS: If there’s any genius out there who can surgically extract the camera in the N8 and integrate it into an E7, I’m willing to pay. Holla!

15 comments

  1. Yomi are spot on. I bought a nokia E5-00 last month. The camera is a bit average during the day but at night (when we party) it’s horrible, the flash makes the photo worse. For the settings, by some stroke of genius the put in everything we don’t need and left us with what we don’t require. There is no night mode in the phone. Until we protest in front of their office, they won’t stop.

  2. You hit the nail on the head bro. I thought I was the only one fed up with such unnecessary dichotomy.We should have full value for our money not bits and pieces.The samsung galaxy S II processor I read from the net gets heated up could that be true?.

  3. ‘But for crying out loud, is any manufacturer out there considering that many CEOs are also photography enthusiasts

    Oga, if you are a CEO,. you have NO business being a photography enthusiast WHILE in that CEO rõle o!

    When you discard that expensive business suit for an overflowing three-piece BABANGIDA – for that frolic beside the pool, you can then pick up the multimediacentric smartToy! 🙂

    While playing CEO, use a serious-mined phone (which must lack a Carl Zeiss, auto-focus, Argon-flash!). A multimedia phone will just distract the CEO from SERIOUS BUSINESS!

    Seriously, there is no end to our wants!

    I can legitimately also complain that a particular businessphone lacks stereophonic ‘surround sound’, an HDMI output, or should incorporate an altimeter or gyroscope!

    This argument is analogous to someone complaining that a particular CrossOver Utility Vehicle lacks an Electronic Stability System, or ELECTRONIC BRAKEforce DISTRIBUTION – while Emeka out there cherishes cruise/traction control more!

    My conclusion? Look for a phone that has the functions MOST critical to you. If you can not find any, buy two or three that collectively meet your requirements, and select as occasion demands.

    Is there a dress that fits ALL occasions?

    Hmm..

  4. Point blank! I keep wondering why nokia keeps doing fixed focus cameras self? Wats the need for it? When autofocus is better…are they tryin to save cost or wat?

  5. ‘buy two or three that collectively meet your requirements, and select as occasion demands’

    Eyebeekay, that means a huge part of your money going into mobile phone purchase, when you can spend a considerable amount on one.

    When an occasion arises for the two or three phones to function simulteanously, you back your bag full with them all, when you can throw one into your pocket or hold in hand.

    It really would be a good idea to have a phone backed with the best of business and multimedia functions.

  6. I think Yomi has some points there. There are people that want every other feature that the smartphone technology can offer in their best quality, but there should be a select few models in this category. But praising Apple that has the habit of deliberately skimping on features for a planned incremental future upgrading beats me.

    @Emeka: Buying a NOKIA E5-00 at the price of Nokia E5-00 and expecting it to snap like a Nokia N8 or like Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is asking too much. It would only be right to compare E5 to similarly equipped or priced camera phones. Phone manufacturers deliberately make phones of different specifications to cater for different segments of the market or budget.

    @Eyebeekay: You made very good points but some of your points will appear to suggest that Yomi is nagging but I guess that was because of the reactions that followed the right up. I understand that what Yomi was saying is a segment of high-end smartphones that have the best of both world of multimedia and business features. But I also believe that he went overboard by suggesting that phone manufacturers should stop differentiating entirely between business and multimedia smartphones.

    For instance, there are some multimedia enthusiasts that wouldn’t want (to pay for) business features integrated in their smartphone because they simply do not need them and vice versa. And of course there are the “core” convergent people that want the best of everything on their phones like Yomi and arumob and are ready to foot the bill.

    I think majority of people fall within the group that want a little bit of everything probably not in the stellar qualities but good and functional.

  7. Izi >> It really would be a good idea to have a phone backed with theb est of business and multimedia functions.

    Sure – it would be.

    But, why stop only at multimedia (superb camera)? Where does it end?
    What about Superb speakers, fm transmitter ??

    Even the most expensive SUV can NOT have EVERY AUTOMOTIVE marvel. It may lack something as simple as a headlight wiper (essential when driving in muddy areas during torrential rainfall, but unnecessary on a highway)

    By the way, I am totally uninterested in photography, but totally passionate about mellifluous music! I suspect I am not alone

    We simply can not have a device that does all. there are too many variables, and those variables often conflict.

    A superb camera (with autofocus) may impact thinness of the device – for instance. The kind of camera on the Nokia n8 can NOT fit in a Samsung Galaxy S II.

    A powerful speaker may impact battery life. There are usually COST and DESIGN factors in arriving at the features to incorporate in most things – phones inclusive…

  8. @Eyebeekay: Thanks. You appear to have touched on some other important issues and summing things up nicely before even seeing my last comment.

    Considering the present state of battery technology, a smartphone with the best of camera with the best flash in the market, speakers, combined with the best screen resolution and the best of the other regular features that is common in today’s smartphones might not be able to function satisfactorily as a mobile device.

    Uncle Yomi recently declared that a phone that won’t let him use it when not plugged to a power source is simply not worth it.

    Certainly there has to be some kind of tradeoff in smartphones feature implementation to preserve mobility because a horde of features in a smartphone in both hardware and software could render the best smartphone (on paper) immobile in practice.

  9. Yomi is very right here! Have you tried to take a photo of a document without macromode? Or autofocus? It is not just for the photography prowess, but a good business phone in the likes of the E-series or E7 ought to have auto-focus. Auto-focus will allow one take close-ups, business cards or scan documents. Those auto-focus pics could hardly be classified as all-fun to me. they are more of BUSINESS function!

  10. Bravo, Nice Article.

    I seriously support the fact that high end smartphones must worth the pay and should not have differentiations like for business or multimedia neither should they come with some cheap packaging.

    It is also important to state that asking for a scrap of business or multimedia differentiation is totally different from asking for an Ultimate device; which is not possible.

    When I shed 80k to 120k for a Smartphone, I want to maximize my benefits.

    The other thing I will like to say is that most manufacturers use Email/office for Business and Multimedia playback/camera for Multimedia devices, come on, why wont a CEO want to take great pics of grand children, and I like the usage of camera that Afewgoodmen also pointed out.

    In conclusion.
    A Smartphone I see that will merge the two sections is Nokia Windows Phone 7.
    2012 will tell……

  11. One reason I am holding on to my Samsung Omnia Pro is the excellent Camera. This is still Samsung’s best QWERTY device because of the full multimedia features.
    Shame, I still cant see a QWERTY business smartphone with a better camera and multimedia features two years after it was released.

  12. {
    @Bosun99uk »» come on, why wont a CEO want to take great pics of grand children
    }

    mul·ti·me·di-a:: (of art, education, etc.) Using more than one medium of expression or communication .
    sound, sight, smell, taste and touch.

    Why Can’t a Business Device Have Superb stereophonic speakers?

    Why Can’t a Business Device Have 16Gig RAM -so that I can multitask to my heart’s desire?

    Why Can’t a Business Device have a sunlight-legible screen?

    Why Can’t a Business Device have a more battery-efficient processor?

    Why Can’t a Business Device be crush,-proof?

    Why Can’t a Business Device6 bla bla bla…

    My argument is that it may be difficult to have a device that has just the correct mix of what EVERYbody wants.even if your buy it for $10k,000.

    Forget the ‘multimedia / non-multimedia’ classification.

    There may be laws of Physics that will make such a device simply Impossible to implement.

    You want an ultrathin device, with great battery life? Contradictory!

    Really big resplendent screen with good battery life? How?

    UltraLightWeight device with qwerty lkeyboard? Tough!

    You simply canNOT have the best of Earth-1 and Earth-2.. 😉

  13. @Eyebeekay

    You have described a the Ultimate Smartphone.

    But all I require is a Business Device with good currently available multimedia functions.

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