Monday, March 12, 2007

S60 E-phones = ugly phones?

We had to purchase a couple of mobile phones recently. We want to use them for business purposes. For that reason, I had checked out what our Hungarian mobile operators offered and what's available in Nokia stores nearby. First, we specified the criterion that an ideal business phone must fulfill (not in order):
- VPN,
- Easy to handle (keys, menus, etc.),
- Good battery life,
- Has memory card,
- Pre-installed apps.

As a mobile geek and big fan of S60 phones, I have made the drastical step of excluding non-S60 phones. Even more, I wanted to deal only with S60 3rd Edition phones. And that limited the list to E- and N-series phones.

As I wrote, we were originally thinking of business phones, that is, devices from the E-series. Well, I checked them out and found that although each supports most of the features we were looking for, there were NONE that fulfilled each criteria. Okay, that's a natural thing, but what was even more interesting (and sad, indeed) that we found basically ALL of them bad-looking, ugly. Which phones am I talking about? Let me list them along with our arguments:
- E50: conservative shape, relatively big display (at least compared to the keyboard size), but small keys and more importantly small fonts on the display. It was very difficult to find out what is on the display.
- E60: this phone has an even more conservative shape. A bit bigger than E50 and both the display and the size of the keys were okay. However, it was not fancy _in any way_ and the keys were so close to each other that it would have been easy to press more than one button at a time. I did not like it at all, at least.
- E61: very big. It's said that the display and the qwerty-style keyboard is big enough and it's easy to use it. However, the size of this phone is so big (even though it's thin), that it wouldn't have fit into my pocket or belt-bag. And I don't want to talk to a phone of half a brick size.
- E70: fold form phone, which I do not really like even though I used it during development. Perhaps that's the reason why I don't like it? :) Also note that, for some reason, it's not available here in Hungary. I was told that there were issues with the software stability, which I couldn't verify. I don't believe rumours, but there must be some reason for not being available in the country.

So, there were 4 E-series phones, which I (and one of my colleagues) disliked. And it was not neccessarily due to the features they do/don't support (2 of 4 did not have camera, for example), but to their shape, form! You know, I wouldn't like to use a phone that I don't like to hold in my hands, even if it supports each and every feature on Earth.

Who told Nokia phone designers that business users don't prefer better looking phones? I think the shape and layout of these phones is overly simple, so simple that it scares some possible users from them. Like us, who finally decided to purchase a few N73. It also has most of the features we wanted to use and you know what? We've changed our mind and re-prioritized the features that we thought it was essential. Now we have a good phone, which we can use for almost everything. Business purposes included.

Migrated from Forum Nokia Blogs.


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