Random Thoughts on Storms and Tubes

Job hunting has kept me pretty busy as of late, but I have already decided that since my last job only gave me a CDMA option for my company phone (so I could not buy a phone and insert the company SIM), as soon as I finally find my next job, one of my first purchases is going to be a phone. Now the big question is, which one?


The Beautiful HD: Hard to Say Goodbye

Well, let me start with what I was considering as of three days ago, and I will conclude with the phones I have narrowed it down to. Remember, I am talking here about my favorite phones, forget for a second the fact that I would never really buy half these phones due to their exorbitant prices. So here are the phones I was considering (in totally random order):

  • HTC Touch HD: OK I know it is $800 or $1300 if you buy it is Israel, but a man can still dream, no?
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: Seems like a pretty sweet phone and with a name like Nokia backing it, how can you go wrong, right?
  • Blackberry Storm: You gotta love RIM’s attempt at the touchscreen market.
  • iPhone: Honestly? With its lack of MMS, video camera, and A2DP, this was not an option for me, until I used my new iPod Touch. With that interface and App store, I am willing to use email to send pictures, bring along an additional camera for taking video, and even use wired headsets to listen to my music. Yes, it is THAT good.

The Tube: A Strong Contender

So, these were my options as of a few days ago, but as we all know, a few days in the cellular industry is like a lifetime to normal people.

So here is what I am thinking today:

  • HTC Touch HD: With the $800 price tag combined with the fact that it runs Windows, this is just not the phone for me. Yes, it is no doubt the nicest phone on earth, but the headache of installing apps over Windows (compared to the experience I have had with the iPod Touch of course), the lack of a camera flash, along with the normal bugs associated with anything Microsoft, even a 4″ screen would not get me to buy it.
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Tube: I am not saying a definate NO to this yet, I know I like the price, but Mobile Burn’s review of this toy, did not excite me. I call it a toy because that it what it looks and feels like compared to other handsets.
  • Blackberry Storm: Well, contrary to the Tube, this one is a definate no go for me. Engadget’s review of the Storm left me very dissapointed, especially the whole press down the screen thing. If I wanted to press down on the screen and not just touch it, I would buy a standard Blackberry, not a touch screen one. Is it just me or does that just make simple sense?
  • iPhone: Well, I would have to say that at the risk of being boring and unoriginal, this is currently my best option. I just cannot get over how great of a job Apple did with the interface, the App store, and the all around feel of the iPhone. The battery life with push mail activated scares me a bit, but we all gotta make sacrifices sometimes, right?
A Thumbs Down for ME

Blackberry Storm: A Thumbs Down for Me

Bottom line? I am going to have to choose between Apple’s iPhone and Nokia’s Tube. Watch the below video of the Tube, and tell me what you think.



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G1,iPhone, Tube, Omnia, and Apple Updates

A lot of cool things developing today in the cellular world. Just thought I would mention a few of them.

Let’s start with a great and comprehensive article on Techradar.com that compares the iPhone, G1, and Tube. It really puts all aspects of these three handsets to the test. You can read it here, but for all you lazy people who just want to know the conclusion, it was a tie between the iPhone and G1.

He sums it all up by saying:

“Well, which one do we like the most? The iPhone is complete in most areas, the Nokia Tube has some nice touches and decent features, especially in the media and camera section, yet the G1’s Android interface is super-smashing-great.

It’s surprising, but it’s a tie between the G1 and the iPhone at three wins each, and that’s with the G1 not even being nearly at full potential just yet.

The Nokia Tube is good in most areas, but doesn’t quite cut the mustard, especially when it comes to the S60 interface.

So well done to the iPhone and the G1… if you get either of these in your stocking, you should feel pretty smug with yourself”.

Another piece of exciting news is that Cnet has a full review of one of my favorites, the Omnia, you can read it here. There conclusion is, to sum it up in my own words, they did not love it! Oh well.

The last piece of exciting news is that HTC now offers a full emulator of how the G1 is going to look and perform. You can access it here, but don’t forget to press the Emulator option and not just the 3D image of the G1.

That’s all folks! Nothing else to report now, besides of course that I spent some time in the new Israel Apple store and had a great afternoon looking at things I will probably never be able to afford. It just seemed more fun then spending the afternoon in the flea market!

Just to end off on a positive note, check out this hands-on video of the Nokia Tube…



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Nokia’s Going Down The Tubes

Nobody was surprised today when Nokia officially announced the release of the Tube or the 5800 XpressMusic handset. It is an OK looking handset, I guess. I think, like many other recent announcements, it would have been huge news prior to the launch of the iPhone. I am sure Nokia is kicking themselves now that they did not release this earlier. There is no avoiding the iPhone comparison, and from the short reviews that are out there, it looks like the Tube is just another touchscreen that will stay in the shadow of the iPhone.

It is true the specs on the Tube are not too shabby. It boasts a 3.2 inch display, 3.2 megapixel autofocus Carl Zeiss camera w/ dual-LED flash, a secondary front camera for video calling, stereo Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 b/g, and integrated GPS. Those are not bad specs, but do they compare to those of the Omnia for example? Would this phone be generating so much hype without the Nokia branding on top? Not so sure!

Even with its decent specs, CrunchGear spent a few minutes with the phone and was not impressed. What was most unimpressive was the crowded UI and the Web browser. As I have said many times, in today’s market, with pretty much all the big players making amazingly impressive touchscreen devices, what separates the men from the boys is the user experience. Seems that Nokia has their work cut out for them if they want to maintain their market share for much longer.


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Nokia’s Jumping in The Ring, Apple’s Taking off The Gloves

In the never ending war between cellphone manufacturers, a lot has transpired over the last 24 hours. It looks like Nokia is going to be announcing their own iPhone Killer (I cannot tell you how much I hate that term, but it definitely says something about how revolutionary the iPhone really is). As I recall, the Tube (the name of the new Nokia, which leads me to my regular question: who comes up with these names?) was introduced (unofficially of course) before the release of the iPhone, so as opposed to the Omnia and others like it, it was not a response to the iPhone.

The Tube looks like a pretty nice phone, nothing we have never seen before, but as I have said many times, when it is being released by the market leader, Nokia, it does not matter what we have seen in the past from “small” players like Samsung or HTC.

In any case, Apple has no intention on sitting back and letting Nokia take over its touch screen market dominance. They have just begun to sell the first ever version of the unlocked iPhone in Hong Kong for $695. Worried, Apple? Maybe next time you should allow your users to replace their batteries or send an MMS!

What is left to be seen is, will the S60 full Touch UI compete with the iPhone’s interface? Because we all know that the user experience is what is going to be the deal maker or breaker for Nokia. Check out the first demo of the Tube’s UI in the video below.



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