Archive for July 3, 2010

Rant: Nokia has become crap. (IMO)

Rant: Nokia has become crap. (IMO)

OK here’s a bit of a rant for you.

EDIT: Amusing – I’m not the only disenchanted person: See

A customer recently gave me a Nokia N95 because the screen had broken and he had replaced it.

So, a week later the new screen arrives and is fitted. I figure I’ll test this phone out to see if it’s a worthy replacement for my now ancient LG U8380.

Most things about it are OK, but as the reviews on the ‘net say, this phone has some shortcomings.

Battery life is the biggest shortcoming. In a few hours of playing with it, it was flat. 30 mins on GPS, the rest on more mundane stuff. Running Nokia’s power management viewer software I could see it idles at about double the power usage of the E51 for much of the time.

The next thing I was interested in was whether the LED flash could be used as a torch as it can on most other phones on the market. No was the resounding answer. Due to their design choice, the LED can only operate for 4 seconds at a time roughly speaking, and Nokia has gone to great lengths to ensure this can’t be fiddled with. How hard would it have been to add a 1c resistor and enable use as a torch at 3/4 power??

OK, while doing this I’m considering ‘is this phone worthy of being my primary incoming phone’ – a role currently assigned to the ever-reliable but reboot once every few days E51. Some time during this fiddling, I get a hard freeze – just like the review sites warned about. Only way to fix that is to take the back off and pull the battery out. So, the answer is no. I can’t trust this phone to always receive calls.

OK so on to the GPS. Nokia released free maps and navigation for most of their recent phones. The N95 is too old to qualify, despite it having a built in GPS and version 3 of the maps *actually working* on early versions of their new Maps software. So, I can only assume they decided to say “F*ck you” to anyone who paid over $1,000 a few years ago for their fancy phone and demand more money for a lesser program. So, it’s identical to the E51 then, bar the bigger screen and built in GPS.

Next stop: Ergonomics. Is this phone worthy to be a daily texter? Nope. It is a slider phone, you slide the screen up to access the keypad. But, the ridges against the side are about 3mm high, so you can’t come at it from an angle comfortably if you have average sized fingers.

On to the software. I already had PC Suite loaded so figured I’d just sync up and see what happens. Worked OK, so I figured I’d make sure it was up to date. I finally let it do the upgrade it’s been whinging every other day for the last six months or more. Annddd…. there goes the music management icon. Replaced with Ovi Music. Nokia’s attempt to get into the DRM crap music market, and to remind you wherever possible that they think they’re as worthy as iTunes. (Not that iTunes is worthy.) But, it wouldn’t work with my E51. “Sorry, your phone’s in the wrong mode.” Well, hell, it never mattered before – I could on the old program just say random transfer and a few minutes later have a phone 90% full of music. .. and I can’t easily change modes on the phone because ‘another application is using the card.’ Which application? So, a huge step backward there – back to using Windows Media Player and a card reader it looks like… (I’ll research this later.)

So, I figure OK we’ll try system restore back to the day before I entered this mess. No such luck. Restore completes “sorry can’t find the language file.” So OK I’ll go find an old version. Huh? TOUGH LUCK. There are none. Google shows how worthless it can be – full of hundreds of CRAP FAKE responses about “download nokia pc suite” here but when you go the sites they’re just link farms. Piratebay has some ancient versions, and the current version, but nothing in between. Nokia has no mirrors accessible. So, I’m stuck with this OVI crap until I find the E51 CD somewhere in the office.

And to top if off, it goes and adds an add-in to my Firefox, f*cking up every extension on the system. Once I tracked down this new sync addon and disabled it – well whaddayaknow, I get my extensions back and working. So F*ck you Nokia for adding that piece of crap.

So, in short, it’s not a worthy replacement for the old LG despite being all-singing all-dancing. The old E51 still does that perfectly well, in a smaller form factor. (Well, except for the camera which is one thing that is exceptional on the N95) I’ll eventually replace one of them with a decent Andriod-based phone. (I carry two phones since Telstra has the best coverage but the worst rates known to man, but TPG has the best rates known to man but coverage one step down from Telstra.)

On the other hand, my old man swears by his Maemo phone, but I just don’t trust Nokia any more. I’m probably relatively unique in my expectations, but I don’t apologise for that.