I Need a New Phone

My third Nokia N900 lost the ability to recognize a SIM card recently.  And the usual home repair tactics (bending the SIM, adding padding between the SIM slot and battery) had no effect.  I tried a cold reflash to no avail.

So I went back to my previously-trusty Nokia E71x only to find that the infrequent odd behavior it had been exhibiting (mainly going unresponsive when I needed it most) has now become the norm.  The little thing spends most of its time now in a coma and requires measures just short of serious abuse to awaken.  Factory reset didn’t help there, either.  It’s also not a mobile computer.  

I’ve been blessed with Nokia N8 and E7 devices thanks to Nokia’s Developer Champion (formerly Forum Nokia) program, but those ended up in the hands of my two young sons and good luck getting either back.  Despite adult reviews to the contrary, my teenagers love the things (their friends are actually jealous).

So I need a new phone.  Fast.

As I wrote yesterday I am (almost completely) enthralled with the MeeGo-ready Nokia N9.  Not the drama developing around it, for sure, but the device itself.

But it’s not out yet, and even if/when it’s made available I don’t expect to see it in the US any time soon.  Nokia apparently has a similar handset in the wings meant for Windows Phone 7, and it’s clear now that the two products will be launched in mutually-exclusive markets.  Even if the N9 makes it to the US, I won’t be able to afford it thanks to a severe reduction in salary since falling out of the Nokia nest and I doubt I’ll see this subsidized (although there are rumors of an AT&T offering at some point).

I’m tempted to turn to the AT&T store to grab something there.  In fact I even went so far recently as to purchase an HTC device, but the server choked on my order.  There’s some karmic irony in that, no doubt.

There are still some legacy Nokia phones gathering dust in my house.  My oldest son has an N93 that was never used since Nokia inexplicably chose to support T-Mobile bands but not AT&T’s.  I also have an E70, which I believe Nokia should resurrect with some modernization.  I think we have an old candy bar or two lurking somewhere as well.

I really, really miss using my N900 though.  Regardless of its faults, toting a mobile computer with cell radio capability worked best for me.  Hmmm… maybe what I really need is one of those N950 developer devices


23 responses to “I Need a New Phone

  1. Good luck deciding.

    How about this, which is what I’m seriously considering.

    Trade in one of your older Nokia’s through flipswap and get either a MIR for $150 for buying an N8 or $200 for an E7.

    Then, using JoikuSpot, you can still enjoy the mobile computing power of the N900, while using the N8 as a camera and 3G hotspot exclusively. Oh, and to make phone calls!

    • Yeah, that’s an option– if I get a better-paying job.

      • A $250 N8 is a steal, by any measure!

        I’m looking for a Nokia I can trade in, since I figure get N8 now – wait a while after N9 is released and comes down to a reasonable price $400-ish, then purchase.

        I see that happening in 16-20 months. I’m not sure my N900 will last a year and a half, so it’s basically my only option!

      • I don’t care what anyone says: I really like the N8. It has some UI quirks but I think the complaints are largely overblown, and part of the latest anti-Nokia bandwagon mentality.

        My big problems with the N8 have been with the first one going dead (replaced) and the second having battery issues (I’ve had to stick it in the freezer twice to restore battery functionality). I really wish the battery had not been sealed…

        And, unfortunately, coming up with $250 cash is difficult these days.

  2. If only you knew someone on the MeeGo Developer Device team. If only you had some pull in the MeeGo or Maemo communities. Sigh. Oh well.

    • Yeah, yeah. But I’m not going to even try using my personal desire as a request justification… 😉

      If I ended up with an N950, it would be for reinvigorating our local MeeGo network group. But it might take even more than that…

  3. I’m surprised by the dropout rate of N900s – I’ve had one from the first day it was available and (apart from a few scratches) it’s as good as the day I bought it. And I don’t carry it in a case, and I’m hardly careful with it..

    ..What have you been doing with it? 😉

    • My first N900 did experience accidental roughness: it was charging, and my moving chair hooked the cord. The rough yank contributed to the usb connector coming loose. But even that should not have happened: a properly installed connector would have survived even that incident (it now looks like early surface-mount connectors were not properly tinned and/or soldered). The second N900 suffered the same thing very quickly but with no roughness at all… in fact I was EXTREMELY cautious.

      Some people have been as fortunate as you, but far too many have not.

      • Meh, I dunno – a colleague of mine had one where the connector broke, but he used to pull it out a funny way, so I’m not surprised really.

        As a new phone recommendation, I’d go for the cheapest Android phone you can find that can run CyanogenMod. In the UK it’s the ZTE Blade (~£100). Then just stick CyanogenMod on there and enjoy community updates until the phone dies, rinse and repeat.

  4. Oops! that was E71x, not E61x. Where are all the proofreaders? Anyway, fixed.

  5. Maybe You shall lay your hands on another N900 😉 Few months ago in Poland i bought one in perfect condition (even the screen was covered by screen protector from the 1st day of use), never flashed nor overclocked (1st user was not geeky at all) with all accessories, papers etc for ~150$. Yea, maybe not half-free, but still worth that excellent device. I know it won’t be poplar thing to say, but i would never ever change it for N9 – modded by me to have 3044 mAh battery + high-load on the field battery swap, and with all those software tweaks coming from open source community, it’s still overkill as mobile computer.

  6. I am actually on a little similar situation. They day I managed to have some extra money, I bought my N800. My phone was an 1100… Only recently I borrowed a Sony Ericsson W380 to pair with the N800 for 3G connections.

    Right now I am temporarily working in the US, what means the phone doesn’t work (only for taking pictures!) but also that I will have some money available. I was naively and wishfully thinking it could happen that I might buy an N9 shortly after my first payment. But now that it looks like it will be even more delayed, and it might even never be sold in the whole of America for all we know, I am seriously considering to get something else right away. Maybe and N8, or C6-01.

  7. It’s pretty sad that there will not be released a keyboard handset device with MeeGo anytime soon :/ It makes me wanna stick with my N900.

  8. Mateusz Kaczowka

    Do people really have that much problems with their N8’s currently in the family we have 2 mine and mine brothers and either of them had any problems aside from couple hard resets(maybe 2 on mine so far so nothing to worry about). Although it could be faster its very reliable phone and after it breaks I’m sure to buy a NOKIA phone next 😀 maybe the n9 if I’m lucky 🙂

  9. But we’re talking about N900 😉

  10. Do like me and get a Galaxy S 2 (I had an n900 before) 🙂 A really good replacement to an N900.

  11. Well, I didn’t apply for it but I’ll be getting an N950 once my Nokia developer Launchpad account is confirmed. I can’t wait!

  12. I am talking about T-mobiles advances with HSPA data protocol and its perfect match – Nokias N900. There is some evidence that Nokias new flagship device N900 was designed specifically to accommodate T-mobiles advanced network capabilities but the companies havent made any announcements yet.

  13. Personally, I’m starting to wonder if not to use CordiaTAB (http://cordiatab.com/) with mini PCIe HSPA module installed as Phone. Yea, 7” seems little to big to carry as “phone”, but… but…

    And, unlike previous comment, it’s not “intelligent” spam 😉

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