It all started years ago when i got a Nokia 6600. It was a dope phone and it really raised the bar for me in regards to my expectations for a smart phone. It was one of the first “good” symbian devices. In regards to today’s standards - it isn’t that great. But back then it rocked the house. I remember telling my friends “OMG. check it out. you can take movies!” and running around making movies. After the 6600, I picked up a Nokia 7610. This device was basically the same, although a bunch faster and a bundle of better looks. it was quite stylish. Then came the N70. Then came the E61. Then the E50. Then the N73. And then the E61i. Each iteration was much much better and faster. It was a fun to go through those. You could have called me a Nokia fan boy.

Then came the iPhone. It basically broke my conception of how smart phones should work. The full browser, the full email client, and simple applications made me realize that i would rather have a good phone that does a lot of stuff well - than a good platform that does a lot of stuff mediocre. It took a minute for me to realize that (so much that I gave my first iPhone to Hiromi, thinking that I didn’t like it).

Awhile back, Nokia WOM emailed me and asked if i wanted to test drive a N95 8gb for free. I of course accepted the challenge. There was no catch, requirements, etc. They wanted me to blog about it and let people know what i thought - but they certainly didn’t require this. It also wasn’t mine forever, just a test drive. I was stoked. This is the device that dreams were made of. It was all that was good in the world. It had real GPS, ran symbian, had decent media, ngage, etc, etc, etc. It was basically the culmination of all i thought i needed in a mobile device.

I wondered how it would compare to the iphone i had been using for almost a year.

It didn’t. I used it for an hour and couldn’t deal with it. it was hard to use. hard to make calls. hard to take pictures. hard to listen to music. hard to figure out where I was with GPS (honestly, that was the clencher. All I wanted was to update a webpage with my location using GPS. I got it going by hacking my iphone easier than using the N95). It made me remember why I liked the iphone. It made me bummed that the “best” phone in the world kinda sucked.

So, I gave the phone to my buddy Craig at work. He loves it. It was a great upgrade to his POS dying Sony Ericsson. He planned to use it until the new iPhone comes out.

I guess Nokia is going to have to rethink how their phones work. I was their super fan. I read all the blogs, proselytized their phones, hung out with their engineers, and loved their products. However, I am unwilling to give up the experience that I have with the iPhone. The ease of use, the full browser, the big screen and the platform that isn’t insane.

I am excited to see where this innovation (or lack there of) takes us. I imagine that Nokia will bounce back, but certainly not any pre-iPhone devices. Stay tuned for sure.

I am really thankful for Nokia giving me this experience. Even though it wasn’t the phone for me, it was fun to play with and think about why it wasn’t my thing. It is still a dope phone even if it isn’t beating the iPhone.