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June 8, 2009

N97 transformed me into Mr Proactive

LONDON, England – I feel somewhat like a werewolf trapped outdoors on a full moon, only the transformation I’m currently undergoing is fully consensual and I’m not howling.

Back in December I posed the question “N97. Will it change me?” sparking a heap of comments and debate from many of you on the topic of anticipation versus reality when it comes to new devices, and how we often think and hope that our mobile behavior might alter (for the better) with a new product. And how it often does change our behavior, but not necessarily how we think it might. Especially a flagship product of the stature and near unparalleled expectancy of the N97.

I was lucky enough to get hold of an early N97 last Friday, and in less than 72 hours my new device has indeed triggered a rapid metamorphosis in my mobile behavior. One I may not (and hope not) to recover from.

Now I’m aware I’m still enjoying the honeymoon period with the N97, nonetheless my mobile behavior is very different to that of how I used my N95 8GB or E71 which I’d been using only for a couple of months before making the switch to the new N97.

The biggest change I’ve undergone is my approach to messaging – I’m now doing copious amounts of it (SMS, MMS, Email, Twitter, and on, and on…), with the most significant being that I’m sending full-blown emails proactively (typically I would react to incoming mail and use my device to reply in a few short words “from my Nokia phone”). I’ve already composed more new emails on the N97 than I did on the E71 in two months. Or N95 8GB ever. Why? Well, from what I can tell, the combo of killer keyboard, large screen, fast set-up and great fast access over-the-air have been the main inspiration and encouragement. I’m typing faster and sending stuff with less hassle than I’ve experienced before, adding attachments with ease and ultimately not thinking about it or the hurdles I’d previously associated with email on the move. It certainly feels like progressions on a personal scale.

The next most noticeable change in my mobile behavior is that I’m using all of my favourite apps far more than before – I’m Twittering more regularly via Gravity, using Maps more casually and in more frequent proactive communication with my four most contacted friends sat in my custom Contact Bar. Again, I’ve asked myself why, and I’m convinced it’s the new homescreen (read our Stepping behind the Nokia homescreen story) – the combination of the fact that this is my first touchscreen phone, and that I’m able to rapidly dip in and out of each of the icons and widgets I’ve positioned on there has transformed me into a more proactive mobile user. Or at least that’s what I believe, and I think I’ll continue to be going forward. Time will tell once the honeymoon is over, but I’m really enjoying this new experience and can’t imagine wanting to go back.

There are other idiosyncratic alterations in my mobile behavior triggered by the N97, but I’ll save those for another time (and once our initial courtship and the fuzzy feeling has subsided).

In the meantime, let us know what you think to all this, and what you’re expectations are for the N97 and if you think they’ll be met. Do you think it’ll make you more proactive (or less)? As ever scribble down your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Photo from Kevin Lawver