Maybe buttons aren’t so bad after all…

You may have recalled a certain blogger boldly proclaiming that: “There’s no going back from touch.” Well as it turns out, there apparently is — as illustrated yesterday when yours truly took delivery of a decidedly non-touch Nokia N86.

Nokia had kindly lent me an N86 on a trip I took around the world last November, and I was fairly amazed with the quality of photos and videos it yielded — so much so that I didn’t once reach for a dedicated point and shoot camera.

Upon my return I had to send the N86 back, which wasn’t so bad as I shortly had an N97 to call my own. Make no mistake, it’s an extremely capable device — but using a touch screen outdoors in Canadian winter conditions has proven to be quite a challenge.

And for someone who’s been using QWERTY handsets exclusively for the last five years, this is the really weird thing: Somewhere along the line over the last six months or so I’ve gotten fairly proficient with T9, and the thought of having no other means of text entry is no longer such a big deal. Nokia’s new Custom Dictionary should make things even easier!

[So, how to get out of this without sounding like a complete hypocrite…]

I guess I’m grateful for the ability to use the same mobile OS with any number of form factors — candy bar, slider, flip phone, touchscreen, and any combination therein. This is actually one of the key things that continues to excite me about mobile phones, that the hardware is continuously evolving. Of course, the N86 isn’t the most cutting-edge design, uh… obviously.

[Man, this is going to be harder than I thought…]

7 comments:

  1. If they’d evolved the hardware on the N86 at all besides the camera, I would’ve definitely got one. the 240×320 screen res is such a letdown on an otherwise fantastic device IMO.

    I still think the ideal form factor would be a dual-slide portrait touchscreen phone. It’s too hard to use a touchscreen without looking at it all the time, so you’d have the best of both worlds. Surprised Nokia hasn’t made one to be honest.

  2. If they’d evolved the hardware on the N86 at all besides the camera, I would’ve definitely got one. the 240×320 screen res is such a letdown on an otherwise fantastic device IMO.

    I still think the ideal form factor would be a dual-slide portrait touchscreen phone. It’s too hard to use a touchscreen without looking at it all the time, so you’d have the best of both worlds. Surprised Nokia hasn’t made one to be honest.

  3. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like Nokia’s interested in making any more non-touch high-end handsets:

    Looks like I’ll be moving down-market for my next phone — or to another manufacturer…

  4. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like Nokia’s interested in making any more non-touch high-end handsets:

    Looks like I’ll be moving down-market for my next phone — or to another manufacturer…

  5. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like Nokia’s interested in making any more non-touch high-end handsets:

    Looks like I’ll be moving down-market for my next phone — or to another manufacturer…

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