Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do any Nokia Insiders Read This Blog?

My current cell phone is a Nokia 9300, a clamshell (i.e. mini-laptop) design running the Symbian OS. It's a nice device, reminiscent of my beloved Psions, but I have a substantial list of ways in which it could be improved.

Apparently Nokia read the list; their newer E90 has the larger screen I've been wanting, a variety of other improvements, and built-in GPS, which I would have put on my list if it had occurred to me. It's quad band, so I don't have to wait for a U.S. version to come out.

Or perhaps I do. The phone can connect to the internet using the same GPRS EDGE technology as my present phone. But it can also connect via a much faster technology, covered by several related multi-initial terms (HSDPA, WCDMA, UMTS). Unfortunately, so far as I can tell, that connection uses a frequency not supported by any U.S. carrier.

If I were sure that was not going to change, I would buy the phone, probably after waiting a week or two to see if I can get a better deal on it than currently available--it's apparently in short supply at the moment. Even without the 3G connection it's a very attractive device. If, on the other hand, they are going to bring out a U.S. version next month, I would prefer to wait.

So far as I can tell, Nokia doesn't provide much in the way of advance notice on such things. Do any Nokia insiders read this blog? I can be reached at ddfr@daviddfriedman.com.
This Post is Now Obsolete

Nokia has just released the U.S. version of the E90, supporting UMTS on 1900 MHz.

The Information Above is False

I just received my "US Version" E90. Contrary to what I was quite explicitly told by Nokia, it does not support UMTS on 1900 MHz--like the European version, is uses 2100 MHz, which is not supported by any US provider. Hence the "US Version" is precisely as compatible--and incompatible--with US cell phone providers as the European version.

Yes I am annoyed.


At 4:00 PM, October 27, 2007, Anonymous chris said...

i would like to see this list you have made!

Nokia released the 9500 commi in 2004 and the the 9300 then the 9300i later in 2005-2006. While the unit was smaller, both in size and screen, they also omitted all the media capabilities that made the 9500 IMO a much better unit despite the size difference, which really is not the big of difference.

Maybe you can post an attachment? It would interesting to see what was added comparing your list to my e90.

At 4:17 PM, October 27, 2007, Blogger David Friedman said...

Chris asks about the comparison.

1. 9300 screen is 640x200. That's adequate for reading a book, better than most phones, but makes web browsing a pain. The E90 is 800x350+ (don't remember the exact height).

The increase in physical dimensions of the screen is less. The E90 screen, as best I can calculate, is about 1.5 the height of the 9300, and slightly wider than the 9300.

2. Speed. The 9300 does things slowly, the E90 is supposed to be much faster.

3. Keyboard. The 9300 keyboard really only works with thumbs. I'm hoping the slightly larger E90 keyboard, like the old Psion keyboards, will permit typing with several fingers of each hand.

4. Connection. The EDGE connection for the 9300 is slow. It's supposed to be a bit faster than a modem, but doesn't feel it. The UMTS connection of the E90 ought to be much faster, in those areas where AT&T provides support for it.

5. Frequencies. The 9300 is triband. I had to wait a long time for a US version to come out--and, of course, that won't work all that well if I'm travelling abroad. The E90 is quadband.

6. WiFi. The 9300 doesn't have it. The 9300i does, but was never released in the U.S. frequencies. The E90 does.

Other goodies that hadn't occurred to me:

The E90 has built-in GPS and some sort of free mapping software to go with it. I believe it has voice dialing. It has a lighted keyboard.

I haven't yet seen one, but it turns out that someone in my area has one and I'm trying to arrange to get together with him for lunch to look at it.

To be fair, it probably doesn't satisfy my whole wish list. If I had been designing it, I would probably have made it about 20% longer and wider, if possible a little thinner, thus giving a really usable keyboard and an easier to read screen. But it's close.
Late Breaking News

Sometime in the past week or so Nokia released the American version, with 3G on a frequency that AT&T supports. So the query in this blog post is now obsolete.

At 7:57 AM, August 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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