LONDON, England – Following a stunning performance on stage at this morning’s keynote address, Anssi Vanjoki was clearly in flying form. We caught up with him this afternoon for a quick chat about the new devices from the new Symbian family. “Very proud and very excited” was how Anssi described how he feels today. With three new devices joining the new Nokia N8 to form a super solid lineup, it’s no surprise either. Walking around Nokia World there’s a very strong vibe from everyone attending. And the talk is loud and clear – Nokia is very much in the game.
Anssi points to his age when asked what his favourite device is from today’s announcements. The Nokia E7’s 4-inch screen making life easier for the 54-year-old’s eyesight – though we spotted him with an orange N8 when we first met.
Getting hold of the new devices you can see instantly how solid every one of them feels. With the new Symbian on board, too, they perform every bit as good as they look. Anssi highlights the build quality and specifically the “quality and mechanical accuracy of the parts” as giving the company every reason to be proud today.
But that hasn’t come easy. “Experience” is Anssi’s first response when asked how the leap in quality and capability came about. But, perhaps more tellingly, Anssi also points out what he says in Finland is known as “Siberia teaches”. Anssi picks up the story, “for the last two years it has been pretty much Siberia, pretty much everyone has been against us. And there’s been a reason. But, we’ve improved, we get better and here is today is the delivery”.
All four devices offer something different for their intended audience. Although they share many of the same values, such as build quality, design and materials, not to mention all being part of the same new Symbian family, Anssi tells us specifically who he sees the devices being aimed at.
Anssi describes the Nokia N8 as “a feature-packed product and from every technical specification, it’s superior”. As such, he sees the N8 as a device for technical leaders and one they won’t have a problem buying once they’ve tried it for themselves, particularly when “they see the sophistication of Symbian^3 and the technology that’s packed inside”.
Anssi’s favourite, the Nokia E7, is a device for producers. “When we’re living our digital lives all the time, we’re producers, whether we’re writing emails, glancing through powerpoint presentations or editing them”. For Anssi, the whopping 4-inch display and four row QWERTY keyboard aren’t just for display (or his eyesight), they’re there for business.
This new range of devices has plenty of hints to the future, but the devices are grounded in Nokia’s past. And possibly none more so than the new Nokia C7. Anssi describes it as being “classic Nokia” and containing every single element of a classic success product from Nokia. Good from every perspective he describes it simply as “a phone for the masses”.
Phones don’t often become art, but thanks to Nokia’s ClearBlack Display technology, Anssi thinks the C6 is just that when the device is switched off. As a device, he cites the diminutive size and luscious materials as being a clear winner with girls. As Anssi says, it’ll do good “in smaller hands than mine”. We’ve met him, and can confirm he does indeed have big hands.
Our time with Anssi was short, but we didn’t leave before asking him if he agreed that Nokia was indeed back in the game. Affirmative, was the intoned reply, but that’s not all. Anssi believes Nokia will be ahead of the game and it isn’t going to take much to get there. “When we introduce some more products on Symbian, keep improving the software and then when we stun the world with our MeeGo products. That’s all that it takes.” Easy to believe when you’ve had your hands on the new devices.
Check out the full interview below, in glorious audio splendor: