November 20, 2005 | Category:

On New Phones

I’ve had a new phone for a month or so now (if you had my number, it hasn’t changed since my first mobile) and think I know it well enough to discuss it a little bit here. I’m only going to a touch on a couple of little things I like about the Nokia 6680 compared to my previous mobiles, as Russell Beattie has comprehensively covered the best of the software which ranges from instant messaging tools, to various emulators, to… well, pretty much anything.

First off, the UI is nice. This is the first phone I’ve had where it’s clear that at some point a designer has been asked to intervene in the software development. That’s certainly an improvement over my first phone, a Trium monstrosity, and even the Motorola phones I’ve had which, while reasonably intelligent, are a bit ugly. For extra prettiness, I have also installed the Mac OS X theme which has better chrome and icons for all the basic features (and many of the esoteric ones).

Secondly, the screen is quite impressive. My last phone (excluding the cheap temporary Siemens effort I had after destroying said phone) had a good colour screen for when I got it. It was bright and warm, and was very functional. This screen puts it to shame, with great colour depth and a much higher number of pixels. It makes everything (games, videos etc) more enjoyable because of the sheer improvement in clarity.

Talking of games, it’s bizarre to be able to play real games on a mobile, rather than the cheap games I’ve had bundled with previous phones (Snake, box pushing etc). It has a Doom port, SNES emulators, Game Boy Colour emulators and more. Also, because it’s a Nokia phone (my first), I can play all those nasty ports that I’ve looked down on because my Motorola wasn’t supported.

Although this is probably true of all new phones, the ability to connect to other things is impressive in its simplicity; no messing around with settings, no slow net connections, everything just works. The accompanying software (Nokia PC Suite) is excellent, making synching via bluetooth painless. So long as I sit within 20 metres of my computer at some point during the day, everything gets backed up. It’s also an eye opener to see a phone that can do so much (again, compared to my previous phones). We’re at a stage where even if the mobile devices can’t do something (generally pretty rare for what I want done), they can easily connect to another device that can do it. A brave new world.

I’m sure I’m missing out more, but I think a lot of the other software points are covered in the article I linked to at the start. There’s also some relatively decent freeware for the 6680, which covers pretty much everything you’ll need.