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Patiently Waiting to be Excited

| December 30, 2010 | 13 Replies

After a few months off the grid, I thought it best to offer a short post to show Jay, Andre and the rest of the MNB gang that I’m still around…

With my next upgrade coming up in the first few months of 2011, I’ve been pondering my options for my next handset. I’m keen to stick with a Nokia handset, and was hoping that by the time 18 months had passed after buying my N900 that something that truly excites me would come along. I’ll share some of my thinking with you…

The Nokia N8 is an amazing piece of hardware. It’s been out a while now, and there’s still nothing that really rivals it for the hardware inside. To be honest though, it’s been let down by a couple of things. Partly it saturated the headlines for Nokia sites for months, and made it difficult to hear about anything else – though that’s a personal frustration. More of an issue is the well known fact that Symbian didn’t get the updates it really needs to push it forward yet. We all know it’s coming – major updates including a new browser in the not too distant future, and the Symbian^4 UI overhaul by the end of 2011. But it’s not here yet, and I must admit I’m wondering whether the latter changes will be enough to push it back into popularity with the media, while still maintaining the familiarity that has maintained its position as the best selling mobile OS so far…

The Nokia E7 has a key feature the N8 lacks – the hardware keyboard. In many ways it looks like the phone the N97 should have been. However, I’ve not seen anywhere near as much hype about this as other devices, and I do wonder whether it’ll be released just in time for the next round of new hardware announcements from Nokia, and as such find itself falling into the land of neglect that a lot of Nokia devices end up in, with a selection of bugs and little hope of more than one major firmware update.

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Of course, I could just keep my N900. Nothing on the market even now rivals it for the sheer openness and potential. Hardware and software gets better, and app stores get larger, but theoretically the N900 has the potential and the processing power to achieve just about anything. I was really crossing my fingers for seeing more MeeGo offerings from Nokia by now.

Personally, I have no issue with Nokia taking their time between announcing new devices. Delaying the N8 was certainly a good move, allowing them to release a more polished device (even if it does still have a few old-style Symbianisms in the UI in obvious places that could have been cleaned up…). Mobile phone contracts here in the UK tend to be 18 or 24 months these days, so if Nokia popped out a new amazing handset every 2 months like they used to it would almost be frustrating to see the new shiny on the market with no real way to afford it. I can see the merits in spreading out the releases of devices for a particular audience for this reason alone.

However, it’s about 14 months since I purchased my N900, and almost 11 months since MeeGo was announced. While they might have developer roadmaps and resources buried away for those that look, I would have liked to have seen something by now for me to look forward to in Q2 2011. I’ve even considered looking to Android as an alternative for my next phone, and if 12 month contracts were still easy to come by I would be very tempted.

As an aside, I do wonder whether the talk about Nokia working on Android tablets and WM7 phones has anything to do with this long lag time that seems to be existing between the market knowing a better product is on the way (MeeGo, Symbian’s updated UI…) and it actually happening? To be honest, promising a new OS is almost as bad as when they used to announced phones half a year in advance – it just leaves the market waiting, and everyone forgets Nokia exists by the time a release comes. Maybe by pushing out a few devices between that are running Android or WM7 they will actually keep their brand in the mind’s eye of the people so that when they do have one of their own products ready they can announce it, release it, and get the customers they need to maintain their successes.

But then again, there are plenty of events coming up that will give Nokia a chance to announce new shiny devices and progress. Perhaps I should wait until after CES before drawing any conclusions or choosing a new phone.

Anyway, enjoy the holiday season, and have yourselves a good 2011 filled with shiny devices and technology!

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Category: Android, MeeGo, Nokia, Rant, Symbian

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