(Disclaimer: Nokia sent me a shiny new Nokia N8*)
It’s no surprise to most of you that I love testing new gadgets. So when Nokia asked me if I’d like to play with their new N8 phone and Ovi software I jumped at the chance. Up until the iPhone came out in 2007, I’d been a faithful Nokia owner for 14 years. I’m still very nostalgic for my Nokia 8210 which I saw as a totally game changing phone. It was a fantastic innovation, when other phones were still bricks or horrific flip tops the 8210 was a tiny piece of class.
However my last phone from them was the Nokia N73 and it was an utter piece of crap. The phone itself was ok, the camera was decent but the software….. every time I took a call it ‘blue screened’ and turned rebooted itself – not ideal in a phone! So when the iPhone came out in 2007, I broke my contract to buy it and I’ve never used a Nokia again.
Fast forward 3 years and I have a new shiny Nokia in my hands. The phone itself is lovely piece of hardware not huge, pretty thin and very solid, it has a 12 mega pixel camera and video and it’s got a nice bright touchscreen like the iPhone. It’s still using pretty much the same software as Nokia has done for years and if you are familiar with it, it’s easy to use. I was a bit rusty, eventually it all came back to me (after a bit of swearing!).
The phone came with an international Sim Card, which didn’t seem work in the UK – well at least I couldn’t get it to work! So to use the software I hooked it up to my home wifi, so I’ve not been able to test it on phone calls, or texts or use it as a Sat Nav though which is a massive shame.
But onto Ovi – it’s the name of all the interactive software on the phone – Social Media, Sat Nav, there is also an Ovi Store where you can buy games and other applications for the phone. However some of the games have prices that are much more than the same game sold on the Apple App store, for example Angry Birds on Ovi is £3.00 and on the Apple App Store it’s 59p. I know the prices are set by the developers for converting them to Symbian but seriously that much difference?
However the actual part they wanted me to try was the Sat Nav voice software. You can make the Sat Nav voice commands in your own voice, or have your children do it and it’s lots of fun. Easy to use and there are other voices – Pirates, Singing, etc you can download from Ovi for free. But because of the Sim issues I’ve not been able to test the actual Sat Nav itself outside the house and away from the wifi.
Things I liked about it and had forgotten I’d missed about Nokia’s:
Being able to back it up via Bluetooth automatically as you sit near your laptop – Apple are you listening? Cables and connecting software are so 1996!
The ability to have changeable home screens so you can set it to work or personal – nice if you have to use your personal phone for work.
Having your diary on your home screen – handy if like me your phone runs your life.
The Camera and Video couldn’t be faulted – excellent quality and an inbuilt flash.
Things I disliked:
The software…..it’s still the same old, same old. Ridiculous hierarchy’s for changing the settings on your phone for example. To turn on Wifi you go through 4 screens, to change the pin number ‘Security’ is now 5 layers in. I had a vague idea of where to look but I think it would really frustrate less techie people. I’m going to be very interested to see how my Dad who’s getting it copes with it.
So other than my gripes about the software, all in all it’s a nice solid phone if you want an upmarket touch screen phone that’s not Apple related and your used to the Nokia software, but it’s not going to replace my iPhone anytime soon