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A Mobile Device That Fits Me?

I've been thinking about maybe getting a mobile Internet device for some time, but I was never really satisfied with the options available.

I have a Nokia 7710 phone currently, which is a quite nice Symbian-based smartphone, but it's not widely available unfortunately and Nokia isn't developing a newer version of it - not even a further device with the "Series 90" GUI it developed for this wide-touchscreen based device.

I always wanted to have ideally one single device to use for phoning, for listening to some of my (Ogg Vorbis) music files, as well as for checking some Internet sites or email and even for writing some text and carrying my calendar with me - so basically a phone, music player and PDA all in one (yes, I tend to like all-in-one solutions for some reason).

The 7710 is as nice as any other Nokia phone to use for calling your friends and works well with a Bluetooth headset, which I learned to love. It plays ogg files well with a small plugin available from Symbian, and with the stereo headset delivered with the phone, the sound is pretty decent. The web browser sucks though, there's an ssh client available (putty) but it's not well-integrated and crashes the whole phone on every connection instability, I couldn't find a way to get my web calendar (iCalendar format) into the device's calendar, and the phone doesn't have 3G support, which would give me faster internet connection speeds in all highly populated areas around here.

Now that this device gets older and its Internet capabilities aren't really optimal, I'm still looking for a device that does better at least for the non-phone parts (I start to see that nobody seems to want to provide me with the ultimate all-in-one device I'd like to have).

The Nokia N800 has been looking interesting for some time, it lacks the (GSM or 3G) phone side, but can utilize a phone or WLAN for its Internet connection, it looked still not completely to what I need though its Linux base as well as open software and community at maemo.org sounded compelling. Still, Opera is not the browser I want on a good device and the multimedia player doesn't support Ogg Vorbis. From what I saw, Vorbis support is again available through a plugin of some sort, and nowadays there's even a Mozilla-based browser in the form of MicroB (in addition to a MiniMo port), which makes the device sound pretty compelling for someone like me. :)
All in all, the available software collection for the N800 is astoundingly good, even including things like Apache that would sound cool for my mobile web development purposes, if PHP might be available as well (haven't looked for that yet). I haven't convinced me yet to buy such a device though, to a certain part because ¤400 for a 320MHz device that is aging already for technology terms seems a bit much to me.

Somehow, the OpenMoko phone sounds interesting for being a smartphone, but it doesn't seem right up to competing with the N800 on Internet terms - and if I buy a new new, it better should have 3G (UMTS) support, as that technology is spreading rapidly around here. Still, an open, Linux-based phone sounds like something to at least watch for the future.

But today, Nokia unveiled the N810 with a slide keyboard, GPS support, a 400MHz processor, smaller size compared to the N800 - and with the Mozilla-based MicroB as the main browser!

The mobile device that fits me surely has come nearer with that move. The new N810 won't be in stores before mid-November, so I still have some time to think about if it will really what what I'm looking for closely enough that I'll get one, but it surely is the most compelling mobile internet device out there so far. Good job, Nokia! ;-)

(And no, I'm not even thinking about giving in to His Steveness' Jobs-saver, the iClone or whatever it was called :P )

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on October 17th, 2007 22:32 | Tags: mobile, Mozilla | 3 comments | TrackBack




RE: A Mobile Device that Fits Me?
Have you considered the Nokia N95 8GB or the Nokia N81/N82? I'm not sure if they can handle the music type you have, or if they can load the Mozilla based Web Browser, but they certainly seem to be the closest things to All-in-One as there is on the market.
2007-10-17 23:40

Jon Pritchard

from UK

I too have been pondering the same problem. And also, like you I tend to lean towards all-in-one devices, that are reasonably good in all fields.

As the previous poster has said, the Nokia N95 8GB (No confirmation of shipping in Europe yet to my knowledge) might be the way to go. Integrating a competent web browser with enough RAM to actually be usable, under the S60 platform. It does not support ogg vorbis out of the box, but S60 phones are so common that I'm sure someone must have implemented it, a 5 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, EDGE/HDSPA support (I think that 2.5G if not 3G), 8GB of internal flash memory and GPS. Costing around (£500).

I was looking into the Nokia N800 as well, much for the same reasons as you but the N95 on price especially if the N810 reaches the UK at almost double the currect cost of the N800, seems to win out. However as you know the vibrant community and Linux basis of the Nokia internet tablets is a big boon. It does support PHP from my reading on planet.maemo.org. I'm not sure as to the state of PIM functionality on the N800. I would seriously consider both the N95 8GB (If you're looking for an all-in-one but less open platform) and the N810 which has more possibilities in terms of the applications under development, future OS' and simply better web browsing.

Let us know what you decide.
2007-10-18 11:37


N95 8GB
I'd go for the Nokia N95 8GB. I have one and it's fantastic. 2 processors, 128 MB of RAM, great web-browser, 3.5G, stereo speakers, ogg-support possible with 3rd-party application, 8GB built-in flash storage, WiFi, USB mass-storage support, built-in GPS, FM-radio...
2007-10-19 01:57

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