Top 5 Nokia achievements of 2009
I am a pretty positive person and in the spirit of the new year I wanted to follow up on the 5 blunders of Nokia in 2009 with a post about the achievements I think Nokia made in 2009. I am sure Nokia has a huge list of their own for achievements they have made throughout the world, but this list is from my perspective as a Nokia user in the United States. Without further ado, here is my list of top 5 achievements from Nokia in 2009:
- Nokia N900
- Nokia N97 mini
- 3rd party application support – Gravity
- Nokia Messaging for Email
- Ovi Maps 3.0
Nokia’s Maemo-based Internet Tablets have been pretty niche products that were fun to use and tweak, but never appealed to the mass market. To kickoff their latest Maemo 5 platform and N900 device they gave out 300 N900 units to developers at the Maemo Summit and then passed a few more long term evaluation units (3 months rather than the typical 2 weeks to 30 days) out to press and bloggers. This strategy allowed them to receive a ton of feedback and then update the firmware to address some of the issues before the public availability of the device in late November. While the N900 is not yet a perfect product, it is WAY ahead of what the previous Internet Tablets provided and has the BEST web browser found on any smartphone today. I also find the VoIP and messaging integration to be awesome, which is pretty amazing on a device where the phone is really a secondary feature. I enjoyed my eval time with the N900 so much that I purchased my own device and created the Definitive N900 Guide that I will keep updating and addint to as I continue to use my N900. The fact that it supports the blazing speeds on T-Mobile HSPA+ network has me even happier with the device since I have been a T-Mobile customer for almost 9 years now.
I know many people hated the Nokia N97, but I actually found the device to be quite capable and decent. Granted, the 2.0 firmware is what should have shipped on the device and much of the initial bad press coverage was Nokia’s fault for releasing it with poor memory management. However, I personally find the N97 mini to be an excellent device that is now down to a single fault for power users. The RAM is still too low, but at least the memory management is much better so even when I have several apps running I rarely see a low memory warning. The hardware is much improved over the N97 with a solid feeling form factor, metal back cover and hard plastic edges, keyboard with more travel and more pronounced keys, and latest firmware that supports kinetic scrolling and better standby screen management. The N97 mini reminds me of an Eseries device with the build quality while giving me the flexibility of a touchscreen, beautiful display, and decent camera of a Nseries device. I would love to have seen this with T-Mobile USA support, but at least a North American 3G version was released at about the same time as the Euro version.
I know this isn’t a Nokia created application, but it only runs on Nokia Symbian devices so I am including it in my 2009 achievement list. I have never seen a Symbian application like Gravity before and it shows how usable 3rd party applications can be on Nokia devices. Nokia should seriously consider making a deal with Jan Ole to include Gravity on all Eseries and Nseries devices in the future as it is the BEST Twitter and BEST S60 application I have ever used. It not only supports Twitter, but Facebook, Google Reader, and more. I understand the developer created the application with limited resources too.
I just posted my Nokia Messaging reference guide and am still not sold on the branding of Nokia Messaging, but this year I found Nokia Messaging for Email to be one of the most important applications and services on my S60 devices. The default email client on Nokia S60 devices has always frustrated me and I always sought out a 3rd party client, like Profimail, to meet my email needs. Nokia Messaging for Email has performed quite well for me in 2009 on various devices and gives me a much more visually appealing email client that works well with my multiple Gmail accounts. We have seen continuous improvements in the client and service and I have no other pressing issue that I need in the client for it to be fully functional for me.
Nokia spent a lot of money in 2008 buying up services and then we saw some appear as Ovi branded services in 2009. IMHO, the best Ovi service is Ovi Maps and the 3.0 update provided some great improvements to a fairly solid product. I used Ovi Maps a few times in the past while in foreign countries with a S60 device that had no SIM card in it because I didn’t want to pay for data. The great thing about Ovi Maps is that you can pre-download maps for the region you are traveling in and get free basic GPS-supported maps. There are fees for voice-guided navigation and other advanced features, but so far I have been able to get by just fine with the free maps. I particularly like that you can preplan your routes and save destinations to your Ovi account and then access that destination quickly on your S60 device. I now NEED Nokia to update the Ovi Maps version on my N900 and then I will be very happy with the service.
I am interested in hearing what achievements you can think of for Nokia in 2009 as well so please leave a comment with some thoughts. I was thinking of including the Ovi Store, Nokia Conversations website, and Nokia’s environmental contributions and programs.