Well, I managed to resist the pull of the iPhone and all its lovely shiny apps and instead purchased a new mobile from Nokia last week (turns out the desire for a small phone and to remain contract-free was stronger). After much deliberation (months of, actually) I decided to go with the, rather lovely, Nokia E55.
I think the reason it took me so long to select a new phone was that I couldn’t decide what was most important for me in a phone. Having the same one as everyone else (well, most of my colleagues at least!) and easy compatibility with my laptop (a Mac), or size and ease of use. I like having a small phone, and I’m already carrying around one brick-like device (my company-issued Blackberry Bold) and I really didn’t fancy another. I loved how I could pop my Nokia 6500 classic in my pocket and it barely makes a bump, so was on the lookout for another slim mobile.
I really just want a mobile that works well as phone. Sounds obvious, but I’m sure that many who have tried some smartphones over the years (iPhone being a good example) find that the basic phone functions don’t always work well. Never mind all the bells and whistles, what I really want is a phone that makes and takes calls without crashing, and is simple to send texts from (and I guess street maps are handy too!).
Another thing that I was keen on was a Qwerty keyboard, for swift texting, and potentially emailing. I couldn’t face typing out an email on a regular mobile phone’s keyboard (texting is painful enough), or a touch-screen either (can’t really touch type). However a full-size Qwerty means a larger phone, so a condensed Qwerty (which I’ve used before on my old Blackberry Pearl) was ideal. I had almost given up and just purchased myself another Pearl, when I discovered the E55 on Nokia’s website.
The E55 is not only (allegedly) the slimmest smartphone out there, but it also has a condensed Qwerty keyboard, built-in Ovi maps (which is now free, and pre-installed on some new Nokias, including the E55), and the built-in email and chat. It also has a handy feature where you can switch between business and personal modes (separating your work from your play). And most importantly, being a Nokia, it looks rather nice too!
I’ve been using mine for a week now, and I must say I rather like it. Although it was a bit painful to transfer over my contacts from my old phone (despite that being a Nokia also) it’s been quite easy to use otherwise. I’m typing texts at the speed of light, and it’s great to have maps on my mobile again (I hadn’t realised quite how much I relied on that until I didn’t have it anymore). I like that I can access email from my phone, but they’re not there all the time, in my face (unless I want them to be). The battery life is fantastic (I didn’t have to charge it until day 6) and the camera is better than my old one (though that wasn’t hard) at 3.2 MPix. The only thing I don’t like is that when adding a recipient to a text the list of ‘recently used’ contacts doesn’t exist on this phone, but that’s a small bug perhaps (or perhaps not, as I remember finding this feature annoying when I first encountered it on my 6500 classic).
I’m not claiming that the E55 is the best smartphone out there, but for me I’ve found the perfect phone (for now, that is).