The difference is in the caps

Something I noticed about the Nokia N86 versus the Samsung Omnia HD: Nokia’s handset has all of its connectors exposed, while the Samsung unit has caps for all of them.

While I can’t speak for Samsung units across all time, I can make statements about Nokia’s Nseries phones.  Except for the microSD slot, all the hardware “extras,” including the 3.5mm jack and the USB slot, are exposed.  This leads to dust and pocket lint getting inside, and well, it looks like of messy.

On the other hand, the Omnia HD’s 3.5mm jack and USB slot are both protected under a flap.

The really odd part is that my Nokia 6650, from AT&T, has everything under a flap—why does an expensive Nseries phone have exposed connectors while a $60 on-contract phone has things protected?

What’s wrong with Nokia?

Today Nokia “announced” its newest Nseries, the N86.  It has all the usual Nseries goodies including a 3.5mm jack, WLAN, GPS, and comes with some extras like an OLED screen and an 8MP camera—the first from Nokia.

But something is wrong with this picture.

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Nokia leaks, not announces, its N86 8MP

In an interesting move, Nokia has decided—at least for now—not to actually announce its 8MP camera phone everyone has been waiting for, instead choosing to officially unveil two new Eseries devices and two numbered sets.

Instead, Nokia leaked its N86 handset, which comes with an 8MP camera and apparently a Xenon flash at the back.

From the style of the device, we’re obviously looking at a slider with a non-touch version of S60.  The device looks very similar to the N85 but with just a hint of the N97.

What’s odd is that evidently the phone will be the “N86 8MP,” which seems like a needless marketing gimmick considering this is not the first 8MP phone and isn’t really that impressive anymore after Sony Ericsson showcased a future 12 MP unit yesterday.

Personally, this is about what I expected from Nokia.  I would have preferred their first 8MP phone to knock it out of the park, but since the N97 is the “flagship,” there are certain features that simply can’t be afforded to this new N86, a touchscreen being just one of them.

I love Nokia, but I think I’m passing on this phone.

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Nokia unveils its own app store based in Ovi

Nokia’s Download application has gotten a bit long in the tooth for some, so it’s a good thing today at MWC they announced their Ovi Store, which will facilitate both S60 and S40 applications.  The pricing seems to be set at whatever the developers of the programs want, so we could see anything from free to, as the picture suggests, 5 Euros or even higher.  Would you be willing to pay that much for a single application?  Time will tell.  Still, it’s great that everything will finally be combined into one location.

My predictions for MWC 2009

On a personal note, I wish it was still referred to as 3GSM.  Sounds a lot cooler than MWC.  Especially when you learn what “MWC” stands for–“Mobile World Congress.”  Sounds like white people in suits.  Sounds like no fun.

Anyway, last year’s “MWC’ was pretty good.  Not great, but good.  It saw the intro of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1, which in my opinion stole the show, even though it is only a mediocre device, spec-wise, and ended up being released like a bajillion years later.  It also saw the announcement of Nokia’s N96, which is a disgrace to the Nseries brand.  But, hey.

This year looks like it’s going to be amazing.  Knock your socks off awesome.

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But just as I say that…

…Something else comes along to blow away my ideas.

I was set on the N85 just a few hours ago, but information has surfaced that makes me wonder otherwise.

One of the great cell phone resources I have is a Russian site called Mobile-Review.  The owner has inside information into a lot of companies and loves to drop hints about upcoming devices in his reviews.  Well, in his review of the N85 (and the N79 that was also announced today), he said that there will be about 7 new S60 devices from Nokia presented in February (at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona), and that two of them will essentially turn the market on its head.

Several things are known about Nokia now: They’re working on an 8MP phone.  Several companies including Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung have announced 8 MP phones, and each are pretty impressive, so it’s only a matter of time before Nokia shows them how it’s done.

Two: They’re working on a touchscreen flagship.  Their current touch phone they are about to unveil—the XpressMusic/Media 5800 “Tube” (which was showcased in The Dark Knight)—is a mid-end phone for the masses, though it has high-end specs like WLAN, GPS, etc.  There is a second touch phone in the works that will be “flagship” status, which means, in other words, armed to the teeth.  The 5800’s screen resolution is already known to be 640×360, and apparently the flagship touch device is to be even denser.  It’s speculated further that the touch flagship and the 8MP phone are actually one in the same, and I tend to agree.

A rendering of the 5800 Tube, based on live spypics.

A rendering of the 5800 "Tube," based on live spypics.

Three: On the business side, there is a device floating around called the “E77,” which apparently has a touchscreen and a side-sliding keyboard.  It’s supposed to be far superior to even the third-generation iPhone that will likely make an appearance next summer.

The touch flagship and this “E77” are the likely candidates for being unveiled in February and subsequently released in the summer sometime (or before).

As much as I like the N85, I did just get the N82, which I LOVE, and don’t really want to part with it anytime soon.  And I’d much rather wait even upwards of a year to get my hands on an 8MP touchscreen Nokia flagship rather than get a phone that is only marginally better than what I have.  The N85, as awesome as it sounds, would realistically only be an incremental upgrade, whereas this device to be unveiled in February would be more than deserving of my money.

So, there we go.  Waiting it shall be.

Realistically, what I expect the touchscreen flagship to have is a 5-8 MP autofocus CZ camera with face detection and dual-LED flash, video recording at either the standard 640×480 or possibly bumped up to 720×480, WLAN, Bluetooth, screen resolution of at least 640×360 but possibly increased to even 960×540 (apparently some S60 Touch phones will exceed the densest Windows Mobile screens), AM-OLED screen, FM radio/FM transmitter, 3.5 mm jack, microUSB with charging, and all the other bells and whistles common on a high-end Nokia.

You all are going to shoot me, but…

…I’m seriously thinking about selling my N82 in about two to three months. Nope, guess not.  See above post.

*Dodges the tomatoes

Through a site called ImportGSM.com, I can sell back any phone for “fair market value,” and since my N82 is NEW, for all intents and purposes, I expect I could recoup almost all of my money.

You can either choose to receive a check in the mail, or a coupon on a new phone.

Well, you can guess which I want.

That’s right: Today Nokia announced the Nokia N85, which is probably the most revolutionary phone they’ve announced since the N95 two-plus years ago.

The N85 is being billed as the N95 replacement/true successor, rather than the N96. The N96 is more than 1.5 times as much money, and is simply too bulky and unoriginal for “average” people to purchase.

The N85, on the other hand, combines many brand-new technologies. It has an FM transmitter, which allows you to broadcast music on an FM band and pick it up in your car or on a stereo. VERY cool. It is also the first Nokia phone to have triband HSDPA, which means GLOBAL roaming in both the US and Europe on 3G frequencies. Awesome. It also has an AM-OLED screen, which is a brand-new technology that doesn’t require a backlight. Backlights are the main battery drains on a phone (except for making calls), and the AM-OLED display removes this, thus boosting the battery life tremendously. That, and it has a 1200 mAh battery—the largest in an Nseries phone. It also has S60 FP2, which has pretty transitions and other eye candy. The N85’s D-pad also doubles as a scroll wheel, similar to an iPod.  Not to mention, it’s both smaller and thinner than the N82.

It’s also set for immediate release—well, close to immediate. October, I think.

I am amazed by the phone. I love my N82 to pieces, but this phone brings something new to the table, and I’m very interested. If I were unable to trade in phones and recoup money, I would never consider it, but the prospect of slashing possibly $400 off the initial $650 price tag is very appealing to me. If I wait a little longer, that price is surely to drop.

Dunno. I’m tempted. I admit it’s an odd move even for me, but this phone is something special.