NOTE: I posted the article below about 10 minutes too soon. After completing the Nokia firmware upgrade as instructed, using their software on a Windows laptop, my lovely N95 morphed into an expensive brick. It won’t start.
It’s surprising how upset I am about this. I’ve held off for years on getting a serious cell phone because I don’t really want or need a phone, I need a moblogging tool. I hate talking on the phone, it’s a low priority for me.
Last Sunday, when I decided to take the plunge and get the N95, I was so excited. And believe me, right now I really needed something positive to be excited about. I’ve been vastly overworked and very stressed.
I really WANT to be moblogging. I’m so ready for it. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages. But the tools weren’t where I needed them to be. They still aren’t. I can’t be bothered with carrying 3 or 4 different pieces of gear and lugging a laptop about. I was willing to pay top dollar for a serious integrated moblogging tool.
Yeah, I know the iPhone 3G *might* be coming out soon. But no word whether it would have a Bluetooth keyboard option, and I really really really really hate iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard.
And, yeah, I know the Nokia N96 *might* be coming out soon too — but after this experience I’d only want to go with a Nokia again if I could get it from a local retail store where I could exchange it fast if it bricks out again. Right now, their only store are in NYC and Chicago.
I’m not ashamed to tell you this experienced has reduced me to tears on this lovely spring day…
I got so close, everything was working right, I just needed the firmware upgrade to support the Share on Ovi software that’s supposed to be so cool for moblogging… and then, a brick, and an unhelpful Nokia rep saying to send it back and maybe they’ll fix it for free. Seriously, they wouldn’t guarantee that they’d fix it for free.
So I’m leaving my original post up for the historical record, in case it helps other people get past bumps on their Nokia N95. But at this point, I’d say beware of those firmware upgrades. If you get an N95, before you put time into using it, upgrade the firmware FIRST. If it survives that, then proceed.
…And now that my energy is so drained, I have to put more time and energy into returning the phone and associated gear, canceling the Bluetooth headset I ordered this morning, shipping everything back to Amazon, and canceling my phone contract.
This sucks. I think I’m going to take a wine break before dealing with the techno-funeral arrangements.
I’ve had my Nokia N95, my first real moblogging tool, for a few days now. It’s a very sweet tool, although I’ve hit several bumps getting it set up and learning to use it.
Here are the bumps I hit and how I’ve dealt with them, in case anyone else hits them too.
- GPS didn’t work at first. Turns out that the first time you get a GPS position on the phone you need to be connected to a data network. I don’t know why. After I got my data plan, I was able to get a fix easily.
- iSync didn’t work immediately. I don’t know why, but I had to reinstall iSync a couple of times, and remove and add the phone as a bluetooth device a couple of times, before it worked. But since then, syncing has worked fine.
- Bluetooth keyboard software installation. I got Nokia’s SU-8W wireless keyboard, since I’m really going to need to type on this thing and I detest the iPhone touchscreen keyboard. The software for the Nokia keyboard came on a memory card too large for the slot on the phone. So I had to download that software separately. When I installed it, I was puzzled not to find it in “Applications,” but it was in the “Office” folder. No worries.
- Software updates. As a Mac user, this is my major complaint with the N95 so far. My phone came with very outdated firmware, and Nokia’s software update application is Windows only. Although I have an Intel-based Macbook Pro and I could install Windows, I don’t have Windows install discs and I don’t want to install it anyway. Fortunately, Tom Vilot has an old Windows laptop. I installed the updater software on that. We were stumped when the application wouldn’t see my phone, but eventually Tom figured out that the phone needs to be set to USB mode before the software will see it. It’s upgrading right now, we’ll see how that goes.
- Not much choice in providers yet. In the US, our dinosaur cell carriers are protecting their turf. So far, only T-Mobile and AT&T are supporting unlocked phones. So I ended up going with AT&T — the same provider I would have gone with had I gotten an iPhone. However, unlike the iPhone, the N95 is 3G compatible — which makes the difference for me, since coverage for AT&T’s regular network is crappy at my house. But with the 3G plan, my voice calls come through fine. (I got the unlimited data plan, of course.)
Here’s the good stuff:
- Sound quality on the phone is surprisingly good.
- The 5 megapixel still/video camera is easy to use, great quality images, lots of functions and even allows some in-camera editing of videos
- The wireless keyboard is simple and easy to use, and makes navigating easier.
- The voice recorder works easily and is good quality
- Multimedia messaging is a breeze and a lot of fun
- The Symbian mobile OS seems pretty stable and supports third-party applications. I’ve installed the OperaMini browser and really like that.
So, I won’t pretend I haven’t experienced frustration at some points with this new tool. I was expecting that, though. And I think that now I’ve gotten most of the major hardware/software bumps out of the way, and now I can focus on learning how to use it more for moblogging. Stay tuned…