Help, I’m shunning Nokia

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I was at a wedding at the weekend. One of my best friends was getting married to a delightful girl.

My role? Usher. Unlike your standard everything-at-a-hotel sort of wedding, this one featured four different venues — a church, a country house (for photos), a restaurant (reception) and a river boat on the Thames — so the usher duties were substantially larger.

The problem? Well, I’m having issues with Nokia — and this has only really become apparent in the last few days, particularly over this wedding weekend.

I’m reacting quite badly to the contrast between a Nokia device — any one you’d care to name vs an Apple iPhone.

At the wedding, I handed the iPhone to the groom’s mother — one of the only people I’ve met in a long time who *does not* have a mobile phone. She doesn’t own one. She’s familiar with dialing on a handset, but that’s it.

A brilliant test subject then? I gave her a 30 second tour of the iPhone. That was it. That was all it took for her to start flicking through photos, working the iPod functions, making calls and typing in text. She was using it comfortably within 60 seconds. The contrast between the iPhone user interface and the Nokia interface is just shocking.

I should point out it’s not Nokia, per se, that’s the issue. Every other mobile manufacturer has a problem. We’ve all known that the interfaces have been fundamentally rubbish. But without an alternative, well, we’ve put up with it. I’ve put up with it.

My rebellion began last week. I really don’t feel good about Nokia any more.

Subconsciously, I’ve found that I’ve moved Nokia down in my mind to the same level as my washing machine. A utility.

So bad is my anti-Nokia feeling, my, ‘where the hell have you been?’ feeling, I stopped using the camera on the N95 and the E61i. Normally I’d be using the devices like no tomorrow during a wedding.

But no.

My subconscious is doing something strange. I’m not feeling it with Nokia any more. From nowhere I’ve all of a sudden become really, really, really annoyed by the stupid delay on the N95 when it takes pictures. I am openly cursing the interface when I’m writing a text message and all of a sudden hit the wrong button and cancel it by mistake. I’m filled with a strange isolated anger when I slide the N95 into multimedia mode (“it’s what computers have become”) and the little menu animations jar and the whole thing takes 1-2 seconds to open. Last week I was delighted with the device. This week… I don’t know what’s come over me.

So bad was my feeling, when I came across a fantastic offer on a Canon EOS40D camera on Friday, I bought it and went on to spend the wedding day shooting really brilliant 10.1 megapixel SLR images.

The N95 stayed in my pocket. Goodness me.

I’m even thinking about a Blackberry.

Good Mobile Messaging is routinely rebooting itself, like a frustrated Windows 95 user, every time I press the message icon on my Nokia E61i. That’s not a Nokia issue per se but I’m associating it with the brand and now looking for substitutes or alternatives…

What IS going on with me? Dear me.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “Help, I’m shunning Nokia”


whatever you’re feeling for nokia right now has nothing to do with your new 40d.
if you needed to do some ironing would you use a washing machine?
if you want to do photography you have to use a camera! a real one! like your 40d! not a phone!

you’re about to discover a whole new world. enjoy it!

oh, and if you need to send an sms try not to press menu->format->ok on the 40d…

You’re not alone . . . You have actually summed up quite comprehensively how I’ve felt over the last few weeks. I know just even the mention the iPhone is going to enrage some readers, but I do think that the iPhone is having quite a profound effect on the market. It’s shifting expectations wildly, to the point where almost all other gadgets feel clunky and poorly finished in comparison.

Have faith though Ewan, think back to Nokia’s (published) reaction to the iPhone announcement, if memory serves me correctly, they were the only manufacturer that said that Apple’s entry into the phone market was a good thing, as if would force them to rethink things. I believe Nokia have what it takes to hold their own against Apple – but they may take a year or two to get back up to speed. Exciting times!

While not attemptin to blindly defend, it should be noted that the slowness in menu and photo capture that you mention has been addressed in future devices. The N76, E90, N81, and new N95 versions (both 8GB and US 3G) have 40MB+ of free RAM to the user, which I can attest contributes greatly to the speed of, well, everything.

The UI can’t be argued, but I have to ask, is Nokia’s S60 really intended for the same market the iPhone’s UI is?

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