Nokia N82 disappointments

Nokia N82

I remember back when I had a Nokia 8210 how it seemed so much more intuitive than the competition. The menu structure was logic and the software seemed very consistent.

Since then I have had a number of phones from Sony Ericsson as well as a couple with various versions of Windows Mobile. Late last year it was time to change phone again and this time I had noticed the very promising Nokia N82 which had more or less everything I would want from a phone:

  • All modern bands – including HSDPA
  • 5 MP camera
  • Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Ability to synchronise with the Exchange server at work
  • Support for Mac OS X

In the media the phone was said “to have it all”. I was sold. The phone arrived a week before Christmas but since then the gloria over this particular model has waned due to the following shortcomings (which, I assume, are not specific to N82 but should apply to any N-series phone using Symbian Series 60) :

  • Incoming mail alerts or number of unread emails are not show on the standby display. Apparently, this is an E-series feature. So much for “has it all”.
  • The phone can’t even multitask! Come on Nokia, this is 2008! Instead, I have to wait until the phone has synced IMAP accounts before I can read even messages already on the phone.
  • It is not possible to create “access point groups” so that the phone could automatically decide between WiFi and mobile connections for applications. Again, this is an E-series feature (why?). The result is a constant fiddling back and forth in the various applications.
  • The address book stays on the most recently displayed person even if it was hours since I used the phone. I could accept (even like) it if it did it for a minute or so since you might want to call another number for the same person if you don’t get a response on the first number. Most of the time, though, I will want to call a different person when I pick up the phone again and then I have to start by pressing “back”. Totally unnecessary and poorly designed Nokia.
  • All meeting requests default to zero minutes. I would prefer it if I could set a specific default time so I don’t have to enter the end time.
  • Having GPS in the phone is great but it feels a little bit cheap to ask for extra for the navigation (especially since Google Maps has a mobile application available for free).
  • The GUI is inconsistent about how applications are exited. Usually one presses the right button until one exits the application but sometime one has to press the left button and select “exit”.
  • The calculator can’t do math. 2+3*4 equals 14 but the phone (like all cheap calculators) has no knowledge of operator precedence.

The unwillingness of Nokia to fulfil the combined needs of those who want to use their phone as an important business tool as well as for pleasure means that my next phone most likely won’t be a Nokia.

Steve, please bring out an iPhone with 3G for the Swedish market!