With the recent announcements of the N91 and the 770, Nokia have shown that they’re not kidding around. They’re not in this to sell phones, they’re in this to sell mobile digital devices. It’s tempting to say “mini-PCs”, but we’re probably not quite there yet.
I’d been impressed when I read the N91 specs, but I’d missed one crucial bit of information, along with all the other amazing features like the 4GB hard drive and two megapixel camera, it has 802.11g WiFi support.
I currently have a Nokia 6630, and it’s a pretty good little phone. I use it for calls, SMS photos and emailing said photos to Flickr occassionally. The rest of it all works (calendar, reminders, todo list etc.) but there’s nothing really compelling about it, and it always feels really awkward using it, and syncing is a dog, so I just don’t use it. Just sometimes I’ll transfer some MP3s or OGG files across and use it like an MP3 player (using the totally great OggPlay), but I only have the 64MB card it bundled with, so I’m always having to delete them before I can put more on. It’s a pain in the neck, and I’m not willing to fork out for a bigger one given that Nokia keep switching formats their phones use. When I buy a peripheral, it should be transferable.
But anyway, back to the mini-PCs (oops! ;). I hadn’t even considered getting an N91 when they come out, but was tempted to get a 770 and downgrade my phone to something a lot more basic with fewer features – the problem with the 770 of course would be the hard drive. There isn’t one. It’s flash memory all the way. Which of course, is lame (but I’m guessing necessary to keep the costs down). I was hoping to use it around the house, and taking it with me, and effectively using it as a PDA (and who knows, maybe using Skype on it for VoIP – take that, carriers! Biff! Pow! Zzzap!) and device from which I could access my main PC wherever I was.
But it turns out that with 802.11g, the N91 should be good for this as well, and now we’re talking about having a 4GB hard drive in it as well. The tradeoff, of course (because there always is), is the smaller screen, and again the loss of things like calendars, todo lists etc. which I just don’t use on phones (this is something gained by hard experience by the way – I have actually tried!). But I’m living without those features at the moment, so it seems like the N91 would be a better choice.
Obviously I’ll be affected by the price points for these devices (neither has been announced yet), but do you think that would be the right way to go? On the surface it seems reasonable to me.