It was time to renew my cell phone contract this month, and I the first phone that caught my attention was Sony-Ericsson’s new W890i. It’s really flat (10mm), has a 320*240 pixel screen, great network support and all the usual features. But what really made me want one was the design. Boy does it look good. Unfortunately it’s not yet been released, and while I was waiting for it to become available I met the Nokia E51.
I’m not a big Nokia fan. I’ve blogged here about how my 6230i utterly failed during my last trip abroad, and I find the menus to be a somewhat confusing. But the longer I thought about it the more I felt the W890i was wrong for me. It’s a Walkman phone, but I would probably never use it as a music player. The 3.2 megapixel camera isn’t going to replace my regular digicam any day soon, and the only tweaking it allows is to install Java applications.
The E51 however is a smartphone that runs the Symbian operating system. It would allow me to install a wealth of 3rd party applications, and best of all, it has wifi. I use my cell phone regularly to check my email, and mostly in places with wireless networks I can tap into. It’s also very sturdy, because like the W890i it’s partly made of steel. And it too is very flat and fits in your pocket very easily. Feature-wise it’s perfect for me.
My only gripe about the E51 is it’s looks. I’ve never cared much for Nokia when it comes to their product design (the N800 internet tablet being a notable exception), but this one is particularly bad imho. What the hell was nokia’s design department thinking? The Sony phone has clear lines and shapes and a great brushed finish. Nokia’s offering however has all sorts of smooth curves that make no sense to me. I ended up opting for the black version simply because that’s the most sedated colour scheme available, and doesn’t make it stand out.
I’ve been playing with the E51 for a few days now, and I’ve already used it to sync with my Google Calendar, watch YouTube clips, place Skype calls over wifi, and look up places through Google Maps. I’m pretty sure I made the right decision. I’ll just keep it in my pocket as much as I can to avoid being mocked.