It’s been a long known fact that all Nokia phones no matter what OS they run have one thing that makes them superior to any other brand; their build quality, and in all honesty that’s what really matter, who cares if your phone has a 23GhZ processor if it breaks the first time you toss it onto your bed (Yes HTC I’m looking at you).
Of all the Nokia phones I’ve owned the sturdy 2100 is the clear winner, that thing was a beast; not only was it impossible to break but one night I forgot it outside on the balcony in the pouring rain and all the buttons stopped working (of course I was too afraid to tell my dad), so I simply popped off the covers and put it on top of the radiator over night… Next day it was as good as new.
Now of course as technology has advanced screens have grown in size, phones have become slimmer and a million new pieces of gadgetry have been crammed in… All the more things to go wrong. What truly surprises me is that not a lot does go wrong when it comes to modern Nokias, sure the body work gets messed up (will get to that later) but the main components of the phone seem to keep on truckin’.
I’m the last person in the world to whom the words ‘gentle’ or ‘careful’ can be applied, especially when it comes to emptying my pockets after a 6 hour lab, I’ve literally thrown my phones across the room; now alot of people do that but the difference is that with a Nokia you don’t run after it to make sure it’s alright, you either wait for it to bounce back to you or you pick it up in the morning on your way out. There is no need for excessive care that takes out the delights of what a phone should be, which in my opinion is ‘to make your life easier’; not to have you constantly worrying about what’s going to happen. With Nokias what’s going to happen to the phone in your pocket is an after-thought (if at all) rather than dictating your actions for fear of it’s safety.
So we’ve established that dropping your phone probably won’t mess up your camera, or ruin your speaker; but what about the casing of modern Nokia phones? My past 3 Nokia phones have all faired nicely against the everyday test (which is basically living with me) but interestingly each one of them had it’s own critical design flaw. (starting in reverse order)
- N73- Amazing build overall (even-though it was just plastic) but the main problem was the joystick key in the middle, which would start to get screwy after a couple of months (not just in mine, more than 5 friends had the same problem).
- X5800- Sadly possibly one of the lesser quality Nokia phones as the plastic casing material felt ridiculously cheap, and the Slider/Housing for the stylus was horrible; after just 3 days the stylus started falling out on its own. Plus the pins that kept the batter casing in place were also extremely flimsy.
- N8-00- (I don’t know why I bother with the ‘-00’ even though the N8 successor obviously isn’t going to be ‘-01’ ,but not the point right now) The casing on the N8 is a work of beauty, the Adonized Aluminum is truly a stroke of genius it absorbs more hits and damage than anything you could imagine, sadly the N8’s fatal flaw: the black plastic casing on the end-caps. I know the normal end-caps are there for increased reception-which is fine, sure they get a bit scratched but that’s only normal; however the black casing on both ends is just some REALLY thin and fragile, I mean this stuff just falls right off (I lost the part around the headphone jack when it fell from my pocket at the gym onto a carpeted floor- less than 2 feet! And I just noticed the part around the power button – FAIL). Also notice the hairline crack on the mini-HDMI port, if you head over to the Nokia forums you’ll see that loads of people (myself included) had that crack after just opening the port once. Another major problem I’m facing with the design of the N8 is the micro-USB port which doesn’t connect to my PC/Charger unless it’s set JUST right, meaning even the tiniest wiggle will cause it to disconnect; which of course makes it extremely difficult so synch or charge (not sure if this is only me or if it’s a common problem.)
Well that’s my take on Nokias build quality, let us know what you think about your recent Nokia devices, how do they stand everyday usage? do they have a “crucial Design Flaw”? What’s your all time ‘Best-Design Nokia”? (feel free to post links to photos of your phones, or even just tell us about a crazy Nokia survival story)
Side Note 1: I’m particularly interested in people with the E7, how’s that Hinge on the keyboard holding up?
Side Note 2: Regardless of all the N8s flaws I’m still hopelessly in love with it as a design (I think the camera bump on the back just gives it extra character)