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I love the new iPhone 3G S

Oh boy, I dig the new iPhone 3G S! This is what the iPhone should have been last year and possibly even when it first launched. I think Apple has actually produced an iPhone I could see myself owning, happily.


I have been excited when Apple launched its previous two iPhone models and was disappointed when I took a look at each device’s specs. It is probably because I expected more from Apple than what it actually produced. I still believe Apple’s OS and UI on the iPhone are the best I’ve seen (the Palm Pre or Android phones may change that perception when I have a chance to play with those devices). What I haven’t been impressed with is the hardware side. Apple has produced the awesome Mac range and Mac OS X which just keeps getting better with each new iteration. I expected something equally amazing from the iPhone and it just hasn’t met my internal (and quite possibly, impossible) expectations.

The iPhone 3G S looks fantastic. The camera is only a 3 megapixel camera but Simon Dingle has pointed out that even with 2 megapixels, people are taking awesome photos with the iPhone. A number of people have also, correctly, pointed out that megapixels are not the important thing, it is more about the optics and the sensor on the device. I can imagine that this camera will be perfectly adequate for casual photos at the very least. The addition of video capture and editing as well as the way the iPhone 3G S focuses make the iPhone even more exciting. It is worth watching the guided tour, there is a lot more about the iPhone 3G S to love.

There isn’t much about the new iPhone 3G S that is revolutionary and not available in other high-end devices but Apple does it so well. I love the interface for the digital compass and voice memos, to name two features. It looks beautiful and the retro look appeals to me. Even the slightly gimmicky voice control UI looks cool. No question about it, the iPhone 3G S is a sexy, useful, smart phone/iPod/Internet device!


One reason in particular not to get the iPhone 3G S comes to mind. My time with other touchscreen devices (including my wife’s iPod Touch) has reinforced how much I prefer having a physical keyboard on my devices. As nice as the onscreen keyboard is, I want the option of a physical QWERTY keyboard. I might be showing my age a little there and the fact that I am just not hip/cool/insert-descriptor-here but I want to type with actual buttons. And no, the Blackberry Storm doesn’t really appeal to me. Besides, I have something else coming my way which I am just as excited about, possibly more so.

I see that the iPhone 3G S is coming to SA next month. If you have been thinking about an iPhone for yourself, take a good look at this baby. It could be sunshine and happiness in your pocket.

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Awesome new Nokia N97 videos

I just watched this new ad and it is brilliant. Watch for the variation of the welcome screen at the beginning of the video – love it!

(via @LeoMckay)

Update: I just came across these two videos which are pretty cool too. The one focuses on the N97’s Facebook application functionality and the other on the N97’s kinetic or “flick” scrolling:


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How your Nokia N97 is built and prepared to ship to you

I just noticed this video showing how your Nokia N97 is assembled and prepared to be shipped to you. This is a rare look at Nokia’s assembly line and worth watching. I linked to this video from the Nokia Conversations blog which posted this background to the video:

Carita, from the Nokia Conversations team, was invited to the Nokia factory in Salo, in southwest Finland, where she was able to watch the Nokia N97 be assembled.

In the video (see below), you can follow Carita’s progress as she follows the Nokia N97 from the assembly table, through packaging, to crating, inspection, batch testing, and onto pallets on the truck.

We think this is probably the first time Nokia has shown any device being manufactured in its factory. We hope you enjoy it!

According to the Nokia Conversations blog, N97s are shipping to 75 countries (including South Africa, I believe) as I type this. They are only likely to arrive in SA stores in a month or two but they are on the move.

I found out about this story from JP Sipponen (he is the man leading the Nokia Nseries team) via his Twitter stream. Be sure to follow him, he had some great insights for me into his team’s development process in a recent interview he was kind enough to grant me in Dubai and which I hope to share soon here on this blog.

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Search for N: and the winners are …

Ok, the Search for N competition has now closed and we are just tallying all the entries have our winners! The response has been phenomenal. Here are some stats about the entries:

  • I received 28 entries at 13:00 (SA time) alone;
  • about 32 entries in the next 60 seconds; and
  • about 12 entries in the next 60 seconds.

I received over 120 entries altogether but it is the first 3 unique and complete winners who count. I say “unique” because it is very much a case of “1 winner, 1 Nokia N97” in this competition.

For those of you who are wondering, the clues and their answers are as follows:

  1. Clue 1: You use this sense to use the amazing new Nokia N97 – Answer: “touch” or “touch screen”
  2. Clue 2: Use these little applications to customise your N97’s home screen – Answer: “widgets”
  3. Clue 3: Without these six you couldn’t read this question … – Answer: “QWERTY”
  4. Clue 4: With this much space onboard, you’d be hard pressed to find enough content to fill your Nokia N97 – Answer: “32GB”
  5. Clue 5: Everything you need for your Nokia N97 is available right here – Answer: “Ovi” or “Ovi Store”


The response to this competition has been amazing. I have been using an N97 the last few days and just returned from the N97 launch event in Dubai and I am even more excited about the device. I can’t talk much about the specifics of the event just yet but I am already incredibly envious of the winners of this amazing phone. I may have received an N97 early to try out but I still have to give it back and you lucky people get to keep it and use it.

We are just collating the entries and checking the answers. We will announce the winners in a couple hours so hold tight and keep checking back here. I will post the winners who entered through this blog in this post later today.

The winners of a Nokia N97 who entered through my blog are the following lucky people:

  • Brendon Govender
  • Saul Kropman
  • Richard Oakley

Congrats to the three of you. I will be in touch shortly!

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I found N: first impressions of a Nokia N97

I received a pre-release Nokia N97 from Nokia SA yesterday to take a look at and test for a couple weeks. The version I received is not the same version that will be shipped but it is probably pretty close. In a sense this is a release candidate so there is still a chance the software may be a little buggy and the phone isn’t really supported by 3rd party providers. I’ve noticed a couple quirks which will probably be resolved by the time the phones ship (I understand that the devices will start shipping internationally in a matter of weeks although Nokia can’t confirm any details at this point).

I have set up the N97 to use it as my primary phone and so far I have not been disappointed in any significant way. The touchscreen is even more responsive than the 5800 Xpress. The keyboard is fantastic and it hasn’t taken me too long to get used to typing on it at all (I’ve been using the phone for about 2-3 hours by the time I write this). One little thing that works well on the N97 that didn’t really work on the 5800 is that effect you see on the iPhone when you flick/scroll the screen and the screen scrolls, slowing to a stop. That works quite nicely on the N97 too.

The touch UI combined with a physical keyboard make the N97 a very flexible and useful device. I tend to do most of my typing with the keyboard but the on-screen keyboard comes in handy in situations where it may not be convenient to pop open the physical keyboard (although I am not sure when that would happen). The device is pretty compact, with and without the keyboard extended. Gamers will like it, it feels pretty similar to what I imagine a modern gaming handset feels like (not a gamer myself so I am guessing a bit). A lot was made of the hinge and this form factor in the “making of” video which I recommend you watch.

I’ve prepared a video introduction to the N97 where I share a couple preliminary thoughts about the phone. The bottom line is that I love it already! I am looking forward to spending time with it as my primary device for the next few weeks. I am also incredibly envious of the 10 people who are going to win one of these devices in the Search for N competition!

While you’re at it, check out my post where I talked a bit about my expectations of the N97. I also recommend you check out the “N97 Fondle video” which I embedded in this post. It demonstrates more of the phone’s functionality quite nicely. I suspect this device is going to meet or even exceed those expectations, particularly when the final versions ship and the device is better supported by software like Nokia’s Multimedia Transfer software (which will bridge the gap between the N97 and iTunes to allow me to move media across easily).

I’ve started testing out the N97’s media capabilities and shot this quick video this morning in my garden:

I compared my E71 and the N97 in a series of photos so you can get an idea how big the N97 is. It does come across as a bit of a beast but when you actually have it, it doesn’t look that big at all.


All in all, this is a very promising start to my time with the N97. If you haven’t already started collecting answers to the Search for N competition clues, you may want to get up to speed. You don’t want to miss your chance to win this beauty!

Feel free to participate in a discussion about the N97 and keep an eye on my updates as I go on FriendFeed:

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Giving birth to the Nokia N97

If you have been reading my posts recently you’ll know that I am just a teensy bit excited about the upcoming Nokia N97. Ok, that is probably a bit of an understatement. I am very very very excited about the N97. I’ve told you what promise it holds for me and here is a great video about how the N97 was created and what some of the thinking was about its design:

Very excited! Yay!