As I mentioned earlier in the week – I really dig the N91. It’s pretty hefty, but without heft. What I mean is that is looks like a larger phone, but still maintains a relatively sleek form factor and is quite easy to pocket in jeans or shorts. I’ve been pushing the device pretty hard and so far I am very pleased with what I’ve discovered.
My main gripe is that S60 is a tad more complex than I would like – at least compared to Palm OS which is my reference for smartphone / PDA / Handheld usage. On top of the complexity, quite a few applications are not yet available for the 3rd edition on which the N91 runs… A few key menus are hidden well within the system and you should definitely spend some time reading or at least scanning through the manual. I’m not really a big manual reader, but I found it actually revealed a few tricks which I wanted to know like the connections manager – which lets you define both WLAN and cellular data connect points as well as define when you want to use them – though what would be killer is a profile that lets you configure this like a location manager. I don’t need to change my sound settings much and would really prefer to see something that lets my data access be configured by where I might happen to be. There’s no reason to use cellular data when I have wifi at home for example. The way I do it now involves a manual select as apps connect which is not horrible but could easily be skipped if I had chosen “home” once.
Push email via IMAP rocks. Of course you are left to reply through T9, rather than a full keyboard, but it works very well – even just using the built-in client. I gave Profimail a try and while it seems like a very robust application, I can’t justify the 30 bucks after a very limited trial. It has many more features than the built-in messaging does and is really more like a pocket version of a desktop client (but in a good way). If you set the email app to check on an interval, it will do so politely and reliably as you ask. Messages or headers flow in as you would expect. You can leave the application running as well which enables a real-time experience if you feel more compelled towards OCD email reading. 😉
On the IM front, Agile Messenger rocks through all your clients simultaneously. I run Yahoo, AIM, MSN and GTalk with no issue all at the same time.
Opera Mini is a must have application if you plan to spend anytime in a browser. Again the built-in tool works well, but once you compare the display, speed and capabilities of Opera Mini there’s no going back. My issue here is that there does not seem to be any way to set Opera to be the default browser. Instead I find myself in both if I click a link a text message or email… seems like a careless omission, or a rather inane UI issue if the pref is hidden that well. I’ve been reading my RSS through Newsgator Mobile which works amazingly well on either GPRS or WLAN.
Nokia’s Podcasting application is a great addition and I’ve been jamming to Dubwise and Groovetek Chillout throughout my experiences this weekend. Switching to wifi lets the download speed through which makes life simple as it should be… I’ve also just discovered Nokia’s Internet Radio application which let’s you stream shoutcast stations – Groove Salad… check!
I’ve captured a bunch of photos and even shot a fair bit of video all of which I am quite pleased. I’d love for Shozu to release their photoblog software on s60 3rd Edition so I could upload to Flickr as I go rather than dropping back to Lifeblog, which is nice, but as a Mac user, I won’t be syncing to a desktop anytime soon… It certainly let’s me upload to Flickr as I want which is great. I like the UI as well actually on the phone, but don’t feel myself gravitating towards it much.
Having a 4GB drive in your pocket connected to a reliable camera is amazing. I was shooting some video of my daughter Hannah on Saturday afternoon when she decided to break into song and realized that as long as my battery kept running, I could easily shoot for an hour! I know the intended purpose here was to be a great music device and I think the N91 is very strong in this category, but it’s not going to replace my iPod – mainly because it does not sync to iTunes and even then it would probably replace the Nano rather than my larger 60GB version… Nokia does make software to connect to iTunes on Mac, but it never worked for me.
Overall, the N91 is an extremely solid device. In one smooth operator, you get robust multimedia capabilities, awesome connectivity, all the communications you can handle and essentially no storage issues to worry about.
Now, if the N91 was was only supported by iSync, it’d be nothing but smooth sailing…
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