3 Months and 17 Days in to My Love Affair…

with my Nokia 7610!
On Dec. 10th, 2004, I received my Nokia 7610 from Sandy and Kristin in a little white padded mailer bag at the scoop out of a high-end hotel in Beverly Hills. That afternoon I had a new sim chip inserted and took my first picture with the cameraphone. The next morning I made my first post to Wasabi from the phone.
The first time the phone actually rang, I looked at it in horror – what!?!? Why is my fabulous new camera / email / internet / PDA device ringing?!?! Ugh.
In the intervening 3 months and 17 days, I have taken 1913 photos with the phone, a few videos, made numerous posts to Wasabi, emailed photos to this blog via Flickr, have sent and received email, surfed the ‘net in traffic, texted like no tomorrow, and actually made a few phone calls.
I have done side by side feature comparisons with Sidekick, Blackberry, and Treo owners, with all conceding that the Nokia 7610 trumps all. Until I met Marc from Buzznet at the Gawker Party at SXSWi and he had a new Nokia 6630. Ok, so his phone has a 1.3 megapixel camera rather than the 7610’s 1 megapixel, but the 7610 still has the far superior design (aka way cuter!) and has a mirror on the back! But he also had to borrow my flash a number of times over the course of the party, as he had left his at the hotel and the 6630’s on-board flash was not enough.
My recap is… This smart phone rocks. Ok, bad slang aside, it really is a wonderful phone that is a mini-PC, digital camera, and PDA all rolled into one internet connected device that is well designed both physically and in terms of its interface.

User Interface : When I hand the phone to most folks, they are able to figure out all the major functions within 2 – 5 mins all on their own without directions or a manual. That is good design. My dad’s new Cingular Motorola is a mess of sub-menus, as are most of the internet enabled Sprint phones. My brother’s new Blackberry is nice, but it has no camera and it is too wide for my little hands.
Particulars : The screen is big with very good resolution. The reception is good to very good. I have not really had a problem with the 8 megs of on board memory or the 64 meg memory chip, although it would be nice to have more storage on both accounts. I have been able to take photos while on the phone or surfing the internet, but the phone will stop taking photos when I have more than 3 applications open at any time.
The first day I spent 10 or so minutes to learn the curved keypad by touch and not by sight. I can now text or blog without looking. (Much to Julie Wanda’s distress on the way to Vegas…)
The Nokia 7610 came with a wide variety of applications from a Web Browser and Opera, to a print function, to Kodak print services, to Messaging, Contacts, Log, Real Player (for MP3s), Gallery, Calendar, Games, Video Editor, as well as GPS (Positioning), Bluetooth, and MP3 recording, of which I have not done, yet. I hve been reluctant to do much recording of voice/mp3 and video due to the 64 meg memory chip. If I had a larger chip and a new data cable (see below), I would probably use these more often, esp. for interviews or getting quotes.
LifeBlog : This is a great application for both the phone and for the PC, as it organizes all your photos, videos and text messages (wish organized email, too) in chronological order. On the phone, you can use Lifeblog to post to a TypePad weblog (hopefully other blogging clients soon), email / MMS / or bluetooth your photos to others. One of my favorite features is the “View Details” option where one can add meta data such as name and location to each LifeBlog saved item.
One can rotate your photos and do a few other simple editing bits with LifeBlog, but one can purchase a photo editor, Photo Rite, for the camera. Which I did in the first week, but have used very rarely as the Camera and LifeBlog applications do 98% of what I need to post to a blog or email a photo from the camera.
Wish List or Bug Report :
1) I wish that Nokia had a sync for Email & Address books other than Microsoft or Lotus. I want to sync my email and address book, but the Nokia Sync Manager won’t recognize Mozilla or Thunderbird. Bugger.
2) I wish the cable connection at the bottom of the phone for the data cable and headset was not so difficult to plug in. I broke several of the gold connector bits on the data cable trying to get it into the phone one evening about a month ago, and am now regulated to using bluetooth to transfer all my LifeBlog items to my PC. I am afraid to use my headset now due to the fact that I think it is going to break as well.
3) My biggest wish of all is that I could blog directly to any Movable Type blog installation with LifeBlog with all of the features and with out a hack or 3rd party software.
Overall, I would recommend the Nokia 7610 without reservation to most of my friends and business compatriots, as well as to all photographers and bloggers. While the upcoming Nokia 6630 and 6682 may appear to be more feature rich, why did Nokia make them look like silver bricks when the 7610 is so stylish and functional? Also, why is Cingular (formerally AT&T Wireless) not supporting and selling these fabulous phones?
Thank you to Nokia, the LifeBlog team, Charlie, Sandy and Kristin.

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