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printed November 28, 2014
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Nokia Nseries Launch

Intro N91 1 N91 2 N90 1 N90 2 N70 Wrap-Up Comments  18  

While I was generally impressed with the Nseries, it is hardly without fault. These phones are not small, nor are they light. In fact, the N90 and N91 probably push the upper limits of what most people are willing to carry. And not everyone will like the style of them - especially the N91, I suspect. And then there's price... Nokia expects the unsubsidized price of the N90 to be around $900 USD. That's one expensive phone.

I also think the new model numbering scheme is just trouble waiting to happen. Their plan is to introduce additional models in the N70, N80, and N90 ranges. Of course, that's only 30 possibilities. What happens when they run out? I asked, and was told that their plan is to simply start re-using numbers. So in 2007, there might be a totally new "N90". The really troubling part is that the new N90 won't necessarily be a successor the current N90. It could be a totally different kind of phone with a different focus. I foresee mass confusion if they proceed with this plan. Hopefully they will change course before this actually comes to pass.

But all in all, I was impressed with the Nseries. They take a pretty big leap forward in technology, especially for Nokia, which has been known to take a wait-and-see approach with new technology in the past. The Nseries proves that Nokia is serious about 3G, serious about music, and serious about photos.

It's also nice to see the thought that Nokia has put into these new features. While some of the competition has rushed to put hard drives, multi-megapixel cameras, and crazy twisting displays in their phones seemingly just for the sake of it, Nokia has taken a more practical approach. The N90 could have featured a 3-megapixel camera, but instead Nokia chose to focus on quality by using Carl Zeiss optics. The N91 could have had built-in stereo speakers, but instead Nokia took time to think about how people actually want to use a music phone. And the N90 has one of the first twisting displays I've seen with a truly complete set of controls for the camera mode.

It will be fascinating to see what's next for the Nseries.

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