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March 5, 2009

Insight and analysis round-up (Bonus: Nokia 5800 Shanghai-ed)

ESPOO, Finland – It’s been a funny week of chips, cows, and fish being mixed in with mobile phones. I do not know what’s going on, but the interest in those stories suggests that maybe we need to dig up more of them (don’t forget to vote in our fish vs cow poll, though).

Right. Back to reality.

In this past week or two I found a few articles evaluating actions Nokia has taken (or not), a review of battery life on smartphones, a review on the Nokia N86 8MP, and a gag application for the Nokia 5800. I also have a comment on recent issues with the Nokia 5800.

Yeah, that’s a lot. So read on.

Doing the juice
The folks over at Dell’s Digital Nomads are insane about issues related to mobile computing, use of gadgets while on the road, and other topics related to non-boring desk-use of computers and mobile phones. A recent post that caught my eye was a comparison of battery life in various smartphones. While it might seem to be a simple overview of manufacturer claims and reviews by others, the two main points are quite interesting. First, manufacturers test and report their battery life differently. Second, the predominant measure is talk and standby time. The writer points out correctly when it comes to smartphones this might not be the best measure of use.

Indeed, I find that partly, smartphones run down batteries so fast (I usually walk with an extra) because we use them for so much more than talk. We fidget, check them constantly for updates, browse, take notes on them and so on – basically, while there is no “average” day for a smartphone use, by definition, these gadgets are heavily used.

Okay. There is only so much energy one can pack into a small space. But batteries are a big weakness for smartphones, and as we all start streaming our locations, perform status updates throughout the day, and follow our friend’s streams, that battery will be run down in no time.

Hmm. What to do?

Materials and quality
Mobile Industry Review wrote up their impressions of the Nokia N86 8MP. They thought the device was solid with respect to materials and engineering. But they were disappointed with the complexity of the software.

I have yet to really use the N86 8MP, and I have only really handled a prototype. Whereas the mechanics and feel of the device is pretty solid, I could not experience the software due to the stage of development it was at. I wonder if there will be some improvements relative to what the MIR saw. I do know that early prototype software can be a dog. Development usually happens right up to sales date, so there are usually amazing improvements in the last months before sale.

Let’s see.

What Nokia does or should do
I found two lists that basically urge Nokia on to improvement. The first list, from All About Symbian, lists seven reason why the Ovi Store is a good thing. From choice, to distribution reach, to numbers of devices, it seems that the Ovi Store has many things going for it (except maybe that it’s not available yet to prove these points).

The other list urges Nokia to heed ten things to compete against the iPhone (whoa, it’s been a while since we mentioned Apple). The list is interesting, and I have a bunch of things to say about it. But, I’d like you guys to read it and comment on it from your own perspectives.

Dial like it’s 1899
Just a quick laugh. Here’s an article talking about an app that provides a rotary dialer for a Nokia 5800. Very funny.

Speaking of the Nokia 5800…
There have been some stories about audio performance issues with the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Turned out it was a hardware problem affecting a limited number of units and the matter has been fixed. If, for some reason, someone is still experiencing this issue, they should contact their local Nokia Care to see if a repair is required (no queries here, we don’t provide device support here). It goes without saying that customer satisfaction and product quality are really important to Nokia and we take all quality and customer satisfaction-related issues seriously.

BONUS The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic goes on sale in Shanghai
Not to be left out from the fun that was had in London, the folks at the Nokia flagship store in Shanghai put on a party as well. They were kind enough to send us some video to see what it was like (below). Enjoy.*

*Heh. We didn’t edit the video, but appreciate the effort the Shanghai folks put into it.

Photo from Ctd 2005