I’m So Not Getting an iPhone

The impending release of Apple’s iPhone is good time for me to explain how the device led me to purchase another mobile—my first Nokia, the lovely N95.

When Apple announced the iPhone in January, I used the Samsung BlackJack, gotten mainly for the 3G Internet. But in the six weeks leading up to the iPhone announcement, I found that 3G wasn’t doing much for me. The reason, I think, was the Windows Mobile 5 software. There wasn’t much compelling there. In February, I ditched the BlackJack, returning to the boxy and thick Sony Ericsson S710a. I was thinking an iPhone might just be in my future, and the S710a was good prepartion, because of the size. 

The iPhone meant mentally preparing for compromises, such as limited battery life and slower EDGE data. But the phone’s promise and beauty appealed.

In late April, my sister came for a visit, before returning to her missionary work in Guatemala. While here, I convinced her (finally) to buy a new digital camera. Her vintage-1999 HP digicam just didn’t cut it, and she really needed to take more and better pictures. My sister and brother-in-law are largely self-funded, and the mission needs contributions to survive. A few photos here and there and some regular blogging could show her supporters the value of their contributions and maybe generate more. She bought a Canon PowerShot G7. I liked the camera so much, I considered buying one.

I may like the Canon 20D and spectacular Canon 135mm prime lens, but the setup is too much trouble to carry around too much of the time. I needed a more pocketable camera and seriously thought about switching to the PowerShot G7, or something like it. Then I heard about the Nokia N95, which has a 5-megapixel camera. I recognized up front that the camera would never be as good as the 20D or even G7. But it looked to be good enough as a camera I could always carry.

The N95 packs so many other extras: GPS, mapping, Wi-Fi, and software for blogging and posting to Flickr. The N95 really impresses. The mobile turns out to be just a tad smaller and lighter than the S710a I carried. I had already accepted EDGE, because of the iPhone, so no US 3G is no problem. While all those features might sap battery life, like the phone, the N95 battery is replacable, unlike iPhone. After finishing my little evaluation, I chucked out plans for iPhone and bought the N95 (through a friend who traded two of my Canon lenses) from Cellular Concepts.

Nokia’s mobile delivers better than I expected. I’m delighted by the features, particularly the S60 software and digital camera. I’ve got no complaints. Already, I’m doing more photo shooting because of the N95—like this candid photo of my daughter five days ago.

Time to get a Nokia for my daughter. We looked to eBay, since the pink N73 isn’t sold in the United States. The phone was prepared for the Hong Kong market. Most of the included written materials are in Chinese—as are some Web links on the phone—and the manual is Chinese and English.

I would like her to use the 3.2-megapixel camera to post to her Weblog. This morning, she took the phone—instead of a digicam—to the National Zoo. She videoed some animals. My N95 was meant for Asia Pacific, probably Australia. The phone wasn’t available in the United States at time of purchase, although it is now.

Seriously, this is one great phone, and the “There’s a thing in your pocket” ad campaign and contest is exceptional. Yeah, Nokia.

Update: I bought one, on launch day the following month.