2004 Holiday Pre-Preview
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The most important new device being shown by Nokia was probably their new communicator device - the 9300. Running Nokia's Series 80 platform, the 9300 is a close cousin of the 9500, announced back in February. The main difference is that the 9300 sheds crucial millimeters and grams, by also shedding the camera and wi-fi.
I was pleasantly surprised by the feel of both the keyboard and the device overall. The larger 9500 has a keyboard that's too big for thumb-typing, but too small for normal touch-typing. The 9300 remedies that flaw with a keyboard just small enough that it works for thumb typing. In my short test, I found it to be a very capable keyboard. The large key spacing does mean a lot of thumb movement, but at least no one can call it cramped. In fact, I would say it's the largest usable thumb-keyboard you can get.
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The 9300 also has a nice thin and light feel to it when open, and the fact that it opens a full 180 degrees is a big plus.
Quick rant: I'm a bit miffed at Nokia's decision to put both a camera and wi-fi in the 9500, but leave both out of the 9300. These devices are both targeted at business users, and there are two types of business users: those that spend most of their time in the office, and those that work mainly in the field. I'd think the field workers would have the most use for a camera, but probably care less about wi-fi. Whereas I'm guessing that wi-fi would be much more useful to the office-bound crowd, and not only would the camera not be useful, but it might not be allowed at all. So I don't really understand Nokia's all-or-nothing strategy on these two crucial features.
Live reports posted daily from the 3GSM World Congress event in Cannes, France. The first hands-on reports of the Nokia 9500, Panasonic X700, Motorola MPx, the new Danger Hiptop, and more.
Live reports from CES 2004 in Las Vegas. Hot info from Wildsed, Audiovox, Siemens, Samsung, and more!
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