My Phone Role-play

Yesterday I (temporary) switched my iPhone for a Nokia E72. I want to share the reason why and give you some first impressions on the change.

Let me first tell you my phone behavior over the last few years. Until the arrival of the first iPhone I never wanted to use a 'smart' phone, because they were all too big, bulky and hard to use. I chose to have a simple phone to make a phone calls. The first generation iPhone changed this, because it was simple, had a great screen and it's not a phone, it's a lifestyle device. It is not about making phone calls, it was about a fun experience. I use the iPhone mainly for instant web access, reading my RSS feeds, interacting with my social networks, occasionally as a camera and gaming device and a little bit for email and phone calls. I use it in it's most simple form and I'm very happy with the 'lack' of features.

Now I'm gonna do without this all for a while. Like actors that take odd jobs to get into their roles this is something similar. We are working on a simple mobile web application that targets the business user. The dominant phone in the target markets have keyboards and limited screen real estate. For the project we defined the Nokia E72 as the reference phone for the application.

Of course the application needs to be tested, but there is more. I value that it's important to really understand the capabilities and thus I'm going thru this experience. My first impressions are wide in variation. When I first unwrapped the phone I was impressed by the technical build of the phone, it's really nicely build. The form factor is nice, a little thinner than the iPhone and the screen looks good. Due to the keyboard, that takes some time to get used to, I do miss screen real estate. In the past when phones where just phones I liked Nokia, because their ease of use. Unfortunately they have lost this, probably as a result of adding a zillion features.

I'm impressed by the features and they go far beyond my needs and imagination. You can adjust the ringing volume based on how you position the phone on your desk, it has a flash light and I wouldn't be surprised if I can run a server farm on Hyper-V on the phone. I now study the manual, because I guess the target group for the phone needs them all, so I need to master them.

When turning on the phone I at first couldn't figure out how to make phone calls, because a green/red phone button is missing, instead their are symbols used that don't represent a phone. A little trial and error got me over this. The configuration of my email accounts was simply done with a setup wizard, however the huge number of confirmations and button presses irritated me for a while. After setup the email interface is great, easy to use and has more than sufficient functionality for me. The next challenge was to get on the web, by immediately getting disappointed by constant questions which connection to use, no proper zooming and a lot of confirmations on anything I do. Next to deal with was Twitter. Mobile web was a bit disappointing so I started to search for a Twitter client in the Ovi store. The choice was limited and the installation process very confusing, even asking in which memory to store the application. I chose all the defaults on all the questions and got it working. It might have been the application, but I was not impressed. I guess I'm spoiled by the excellent choice for the iPhone.

My initial conclusions are that it's a great phone for making calls and dealing with email and your calendar, but don't depend on the phone for keeping up with news and your social networks. I will continue to use the phone and update you in case I really start to enjoy the phone.

4 comments

The phone failed the moment you didn't immediately know how to make a phone call.

But maybe that's just the IxD'er in me.

Jeffry,

You are absolutely right... The same that it took me more than 140 clicks before I could tweet 140 characters.. ;-)

As far as I know the iPhone also does not have a green/red phone button...

I find it interesting that others are leaving their iPhones behind. Chris Brogan wrote an article of why he dumped his iPhone for the Droid. I think one main reason was that AT&T in North America does not have the level of coverage as Verizon. Chris was tired of calls being dropped. I have the BlackBerry Storm (Verizon), and what I miss is the lack of social apps such as TweetDeck and 12seconds TV, etc. Also I find myself waiting for apps to catch up to the BB community, such as MapMyRun did finally. I have a personal phone but I hoping to upgrade it to either an iPhone if Verizon signs a contract, or maybe the Droid (Verizon).

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