Post-N900 “AFTERMATH”: Where Can We Go From Here?

Since my Nokia N900, I have been on a mission, a mission which has probably been going on for the last year or so to find a handset that at least equals the joy and functionality that my trusty N900 brought me.

The mission has seen me try the follow-up Nokia N9, the E7 and now looking at the N8 or maybe even the 808 pureview…. hell I’ve even been to the dark side (android/IOS) to see what all the fuss was about.  The problem is none of these other devices have left me fully 100% satisfied and in one way or another there has always been something ‘missing’.

You might ask why I bother and why not just be patient or even just get another N900…. well my N900 is around 3yrs old now and while it is still in great condition, its a little sluggish now compared with the most up to date tech and also the lack of choice when it comes to new applications has left me hankering for something new.

On to my findings:

The Nokia N9 is an amazing phone – a masterpiece of modern design and hardware… and then there’s the software, the oh-so-fluid and beautiful swipe UI MeeGo Harmattan – this phone could be the one to replace my N900 (I still think/hope), but then beyond the beauty and the awesome software I look at it deep in the eyes and find myself shouting:  ‘where’s your keyboard?? how do I play my music from your amply decked 64gb drive through my car radio without the rigmarole of yet another  external  attachment??  how do I control things via IR (Actually I never really used this on my N900 anyway but just sayin) ??   Where are your customisable home screens ??   Then I calm down, look deep into her eyes and fall in love all over again accepting her flaws blinded by her beauty.

I’ve also really got quite attached to my E7 over the past few months – and its proving to be a very capable device.  My main gripes here though which I really can’t live with are that the camera is the free-focus kind which means you can’t do any macro shots and also the image quality is sub standard when compared with the N900’s lower spec’d 5 mp shooter… now let’s get this straight a phone which was released in 2009 has a better camera than a phone released at a similar price point/audience in 2011 what the hell’s going on?!?!  The fact is that the N900’s Carl Zeiss 5mp camera is far superior to the E7’s free focus 8mp jobby (even given the benefit of time) and that is something I cannot accept – why-oh-why-oh-why Nokia???   Then there is the distinct lack of an SD slot with the E7 and considering it has 16gb of internal storage vs 32gb on the N900 (+sd card slot expandable to further 32gb), that leaves me with more dilemnas.   The non-replaceable battery of the E7 is no biggy for me being that there are videos out there showing you how to do it with tools if required.  Finally the lack of an FM transmitter baffles me… the N8 and C7 both running on the same symbian OS, both with the same ARM processor have this very function so why not on the E7 I ask???   In it’s defence, the E7 is a truly outstanding design with probably the best keyboard I’ve used, and good 4′ screen – but the lack of these various features that I have grown to rely on in day-to-day activities on a phone almost a year and a half younger than the N900 leaves me tearing my hair out with absolute frustration at what could have been.

After seemingly going around in circles and tearing my hair out in frustration, I then have this euphoric moment of realisation that my needs are really very simple.  I was waiting for the next N900, the upgraded one, the one that would take the N900 in all its glory and say ‘I’m the N900 only with slightly better specs’.  That is all I ever wanted the evolved N900, not some pretend upgrade that looks great but loses some of the main functionality that I’d grown to love.  Not some look-alike with half the function… a good old textbook replacement.   It’s not like I’ve been impatient – I’ve been waiting for 3ys for gawdsake and I’ve tried many other systems in the process (IOS, Android, Symbian, MeeGo).

The closest I have come to perfection since the aftermath is with the N9 – I am willing to accept a few cutbacks in hardware to compromise on it’s sophisticated design.. if the N950 had been released I would have got one in a shot.  This is my dream: – a device like the N9 with a modular keyboard.

If you have any suggestions for me I’m all ears – in the meantime –

Thanks for reading,

Timmo (still searching)