Friday, April 29, 2011

End of week - some thoughts about the Nokia E7

Today was a busy, busy day at work, pondering big things with colleagues, trying to get some sense out of things happening. But it was good, learning things together.

Here are some hasty shapshots from today. Not much time for that, or energy.

And then: devices. I'm still learning the Nokia E7. And no, I haven't used it for taking photographs much, and none of the photographs has been any good.

Also, I'm finding some irritating things, such as the fact of accidentally activating some function by touching the touch screen. Always, always remember to lock the phone!

A colleague has used the E7 for a couple of months, and said that it is not a good phone. Lots of hassle with it.

And indeed, I have noticed that there are usability issues, some minor, some potentially major. For example, the Nokia Ovi service seems to be occasionally flaky, needed several attempts to connect. And it is often slow.

And because things are complex and not easy-to-use, they stay unused. As an example, I haven't used the map service much, after the first experiments. It just is a little bit too hard to use.

There is a general feeling of being-not-ready, of rough edges, of not being simple to use. Very different from Apple who polishes until their devices are something to be proud of. Or so it seems - I have never really used an iPhone or an iPad, only seen them being used, and heard a lot of testimonials of their virtue. (But I sort of know the feeling, being an MacBook Pro and iMac user.)

Finally, regarding the Nokia E7, there is the fact that Nokia is kicking Symbian out. Nokia is moving symbian experts away from the company (to Accenture) in preparation for the Windows phones to be developed with Microsoft.

The E7 phone is thus one of the last of its kind, a dead end. It could have been great, there are some things which are good. But the rest, not so.


Cedric said...

Phones can be problematic no matter which phone we're talking about. In my family we have Android, iPhone and WP7. My wife was first to get an iPhone and she loves it though it's not as intuitive as people say and my wife still has the occasional issue with it (having to sync to iTunes is also a drawback for a device that is supposed to be "mobile"). I wanted to like it but found it impossible to navigate. My brain just doesn't work that way I guess. And so I went with Android. This too has it's issues (poor battery life being one) but for me widgets are easier and quicker to use and Google truly understand "mobile". Plus, all apps work the same, by that I mean the "back" button, the "menu" button and the "search" button are always in the same place for all apps. My old brains needs that sort of consistency.
Recently my son got himself a WP7 phone. Not having used it much myself I can only say this; aesthetically speaking it is absolutely beautiful. The GUI makes the iPhone look old and the Android look tired. The obvious drawback for now is the lack of apps but having said that my son says he has all the ones he wants. Did I mention it looks beautiful?
One thing for sure is that smartphones are here to stay because they are so useful (I'm looking forward to the day where they can replace my wallet) and I hope to see all three big names succeed because that will only push innovation further.

The Tinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Tinman said...

Interesting that you purchased the E7 over the N8, given the latter's acclaimed picture-taking prowess. Perhaps you wanted a slide-out keyboard. Anyway, I agree with much of what Cedric says. All phones will have pros and cons; it's really all about preference.

I really do hope that Nokia and Microsoft have great success. I've owned a couple high-end Nokia phones in the past (paid a premium being from the US) and loved everything about them except for Symbian.

I have a Zune, which is quite similar to WP7's UI, but the OS is still much too new for me to invest in. However, if anything could ever get me away from Android, it would be a Nokia phone running a matured Windows Phone UI.

Juha Haataja said...

@Cedric and Tinman: Thanks for the info about phones.

The E7 is the first touch phone for me. This is intended for business use, and the alternative was Nokia E5, which I'm starting to think might have been a smarter choice.

In our family we have so far always bought the cheapest phone (Nokia or Samsung) which is available, and they have worked very well as phones, having great battery life as well. Not to speak how nice the price is; the Samsung E1080 cost 17.90 euros including postage.

Juha Haataja said...

And about the E7 camera... It is indeed really bad, nothing like on the E8. Nominally it is 8 mpix, but it for sure doesn't show in the results, they look like 1 mpix. And it seems that the closest focusing distance is 50 cm - this limits the usefulness of the camera quite a lot.