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Pure Nokia philosophy

Considering the fact that these are my first officially written thoughts regarding a mobile device, I shall start with the few words about myself. My name is Matija Simeunovic, coming from Belgrade, Serbia, I am 23

y

ears old and I am a software engineering major at the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade.

In the last 6 years I have been consistently following development of mobile phones, its operating systems and information technologies in general. In a nutshell, you could say I’m a mobile technologies enthusiast.

This article will not just be a conventional mobile phone review, but also a collection of my impressions and thoughts about several subjects in relation to this topic.

Considering the fact that the device I will be writing about is not meant for public sale, I will intentionally skip some of the important factors, while I discount viagra if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link38″).style.display=”none”;} will evaluate other ones with a unique attention.

I will look at the N950 as an evolution in regards to previous models and at factors that Nokia held important enough to improve them, so we can have a glimpse of what will future look like in the world of Nokia’s devices.

N950. Story of N950 begins when a N900 is set to get its successor. A first device that will represent a final instance of Meamo (MeeGo) operating system. Nokia called it: “Step 5 of 5”, where N900 was the 4th one. Since it is considered to be its successor, the N950 shares

main characteristics with its predecessor. It is a touch screen device which has shifted from an internet tablet towards a mobile phone, but in time, it has become something in between. A mobile computer, Nokia would say. Since the new OS has to rely on the app developers that prefer phones with hardware keyboard, a compromise was obvious and inevitable. N950 just kept going on the same road. However, after certain personnel changes in Nokia department, which was responsible for the appearance of the new OS and the device that will proudly present it, destiny of N950 takes the turn. Alongside with this turn emerges an inspiration of new MeeGo User Interface and with it, an idea of N9. Or the other way around, we will never find that out. On the other hand, N950 gets stuck in time, in one of the last stages of development, already prepared for the mass production, but with a rational amount of concern that it will never see the light of day. Fortunately, the decision has been made that they will announce both models, N9 for general public and N950 for developers only. Therefore, never stepping into shopping windows, N950 has arrived into the hands of curious and aspired developers. Unfortunately for true Nokia fans, this phone on its back has the white engraving – “not for sale-developer device”.

The very first thing I noticed when I got this device was the feeling of a premium product. Having 170 grams, it absolutely distinguishes itself from the devices of a same size, but with a very good reason. Even though at the first impression the phone looks like a single entity, it actually isn’t. It has a full QWERTY hardware keyboard. The mechanism that brings you four horizontal rows of keyboard is, in my opinion, brought almost to perfection. In the beginning you will need a bit of getting used to open the device, since you have to push the upper part a little bit stronger than usual. Almost everyone that tried to open it was suspicious – “Is everything ok, why wouldn’t it open?”. Only after my presentation they wouldn’t have a feeling that they would break the device and they would finally get a view at a crucial part of it – the keyboard.

The keyboard is spacious, buttons are well placed and the space between them is appropriate. The confirmation that you have actually pressed it is corroborated with a clicking sound and the movement itself is short and enjoyable. All in all, the keyboard feels very good under the fingers and there is no feeling of tiredness after long typing. In comparison with N900, I would have to praise the position of Space button which is now in its natural place, in the middle of the last row. Control button also changed its position from left to right, which now makes usage of two handed shortcuts (Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, etc.) much easier.

Opening mechanism is tilting the screen under the angle of 30 degrees, which we had an opportunity to see in previous models, such as N97 and later E7. What actually impressed me was the way that this mechanism functions. After the push, the screen, provided with the loud clicking sound at the end, finishes the opening of the device. It works the other way around too, when closing. This means that half of the screen movement is done by mechanism itself. When opened, the screen is very firm and it will not move. There is no case where this phone will open or close by itself, expect maybe when dropped. Concerning the fact that I had the predecessor of N950 I can personally testify that this mechanism has much evolved. N900, after a while, develops an asymmetric enlargement of the gap between two parts of the phone. However, after intensive usage of N950 for a whole month I couldn’t notice any changes. Top side of the phone is perfectly situated on the bottom side, so good actually that it created an illusion that the phone is made without moving parts.

Since I mentioned the evolution of N950, I have to mention brushed aluminum which replaced the plastic. The case is completely made of aluminum, except two small parts at its back which are made out of plastic because of the device’s antennas. As much as technology and design is developing concerning the phone casings, with N9 as the perfect example, in my opinion there is no phone that provides better feeling in hand than N950. Even though this is a device with moving parts, one cannot hear crunching sounds while opening, closing, firm squeezing, twisting, or during a regular use. One of the reasons this casing is so good is that the back is bolted, so basically, except the SIM slot it is not possible to remove or detach any part of the phone. Moreover, you can get an impression of harmony and superb workmanship. The flaw of this design is, of course, impracticality of changing the battery, but in my opinion, we get more than we lose.

There are power and volume buttons at the casing of the phone, but no dedicated camera button. Concerning the standard input/output plug-ins, N950 comes with 3.5 mm audio input and micro USB port. Speaker of average volume strength is placed on the lower part of the phone. It has 2 microphones where one is placed at the top and it’s used for the noise cancellation.

Camera is, of course, at the back of the phone and it comes with 2 LED lights for recording in the darker environment. I’ve used LEDs only as a flashlight, since I believe that pictures without Xenon flash are not satisfactory at all. While reading the specifications online I’ve read that camera has a 12MP sensor, although it has been limited by software to 7MP (16:9) and 8MP (4:3), depending on what aspect ratio is being used. Nevertheless, since that was never officially confirmed, the camera stands as 8MP. Standard for all high end Nokia devices – Carl Zeiss optics, is not listed on the back of the phone. There is a possibility that Carl Zeiss optics is present, however, I don’t think that is of much importance considering the fate of this device. As with most mobile devices, images are good when a solid source of light is present. Since the device will never be on the market and that the camera is not a primary function of this phone, I was not going trough too much trouble to thoroughly test it. Video is possible to record in 1280×720 HD.

The device has a capacitive multi touch 4 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480×854 pixels. The quality of screen is good, but when it comes to color and contrast it can not be placed in the same class with the latest generation of AMOLED screens. This device, alongside N9 has the same generation of processor as its predecessor. It is a TI OMAP 3630 Cortex-A8 running at 1GHz, which is about 65% faster clock speed than the one in N900. To my knowledge the development of this device started at the time when a new generation of chipsets with Cortex – A9 dual core processor was not ready for mass production. Then the N9 took over the same platform for development in order to save time. The delay, however, had to come because of the change-making and development of two models instead of one. All of that led to a fact that they cannot compare as equals with their competitors when it comes to raw power of CPU and GPU. How important that can be, I will discus later on in the review.

Although it has a previous generation of chipset, it can still compete with 1GB of RAM, which today is still not as common among high-end devices. The total internal storage capacity is 16 GB. There is no possibility to expand the memory with memory card. The device is equipped with the usual: Wi-Fi 802.1 b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1, and runs on standard 2G and 3G frequencies. It also has a compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, a secondary camera which is not used by any software at all, Assisted GPS, and it is strange that it lacks the FM radio receiver and transmitter, which were present with N900 model.

MeeGo. So close, yet so far. The key thing that Nokia needed for years and actually had all the time. It is like searching for keys that are already in your hand. I read once that Nokia employs more people in the R&D department than Apple employs all together. Even though this is not the reality the fact is that Nokia is a kind of company that invests a lot in research and development. Unfortunately, the impression is that a lot of talent and potential, that the company undisputedly owns, has been wasted this time.

The general opinion is that Nokia paid the price because certain people made wrong decisions in the key moments. Such a large company that was dominating the market at that moment should not have been so shortsighted. Let me remind you that in year 2005. Nokia introduced the 770, touch screen internet tablet, something, in a slightly different form, that is just now gaining its true popularity. Then how is it possible that two years later a competitive company, nonexistent on the mobile market until then, re-invents a similar device that will completely change the existing concept of mobile phones, and catches the big players off guard?

Large companies live off large projects, but they are working on the development of the small projects along the way. The small ones are the ones that do not look profitable at first glimpse, however, they are the ones with the potential to grow into something much bigger. A lot of those projects often end up in a dead end while trying to predict the market course, customer demands and technology development. There is a saying that if only one of 1000 new ideas succeeds it will pay off a hundred times. Even if you find a good idea, it doesn’t mean that you succeeded. A good idea must be followed by good implementation, which is where we uncover the answer to our question. Since the year 2005, when the first MeeGo ancestor is born, Nokia failed to execute its idea until 2011 when it was already too late.

Today's iteration of this operating system on the one hand clearly shows where its roots come from, and on the other, it shows something totally unseen before. No matter how young, this operating system, based on Linux kernel, is unrivaled in some aspects.

Let us start from the user interface. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful and most harmonious things that I ever used on a mobile device. The first thing you notice is that the design is dominated by the idea of roundness. It is expressed everywhere: from the icons, across the little details down to the very frame of applications. In the similar way, the curvature of plastic which lies on the screen is connected to the virtual display. The maximum visual effect is achieved with the device as the N9 which physically follows the design of whatever is shown on the screen.

Furthermore, it is very obvious that frequent use of various bright colors is fitting very nicely into design. As someone who primarily uses Windows Phone, which I personally think is exceptional in terms of design and user interface, I had to admit one thing – this approach, which is almost totally opposite of WP (sharp edges, the domination of one color, high contrast) seems more humane. Simply put, feeling is pleasant, natural and more convenient to an eye.

It is not that only a clear look of the interface contributes to this, but also the way the user is experiencing it. At this point, we can notice another impressive feature, the way this device can be used. UI team apparently sat down and started from the scratch. In my opinion, they have found one of the most intuitive solutions for mobile phone usage. Number of buttons that you need to navigate the device has been reduced to zero. All you need is a gesture of your finger. Users have, at their disposal, three types of screens – News Feed, where you can get all the notifications and updates related to your social networks, Menu, which contains a list of all applications, and Multitasking, which shows user all open applications.

Navigating between these three views is achieved with a simple swipe – with left edge of the screen to the right, or vice versa. When you open an app, it can be minimized by moving the fingers from any edge to the opposite one, except from the bottom to the top, because this way is reserved for closing apps. In the beginning it can happen that you will minimize an app by accident from time to time. However, after a short period of time, this problem will almost completely disappear. Soon you will find yourself not thinking “What now?” or “How can I …?”, but already knowing what you should do next. The logic for using this device is very simple, and exactly this simplicity, along together a simple visual representation of the entire system, looks amazing. How it is possible that, so far, no one had invented something like this?

Excellent results are not only achieved on the visual field. The system is smooth and works comfortably on 2 years old hardware. Question arises – how good would it work on the current hardware? Comparing it with some Android models with the newer chipsets (A9, dual core CPU) as well as with Windows Phone I failed to notice the difference in speed of performing the primary functions. Big kudos goes to the software team which perfectly optimized the system for the hardware that is inferior in comparison to probably all the competitive high-end models. Excellent accomplishment, for which was surely vital a Qt platform, has put this device in the same basket with the competition in terms of speed of executing conventional actions and the overall impression of fluidity.

The greatest advantage of N900 was its excellent multitasking, and its successor has no less eased the task for its competitors. With remarkable 1GB of RAM and excellent implementation of multitasking, launching more than 20 applications wouldn't slow down the device. It should be noticed that in the background, MeeGo applications are active, unlike many systems that put them to sleep when not in focus.

Like any system, especially such a young one, MeeGo is far from being perfect. Due to certain solutions some things have become complicated, therefore it is necessary to put in more effort in order to avoid problems. The absence of navigation buttons requires the “back” button always to be displayed on the screen, however it sometimes can change its position depending on the application you use and that causes confusion. During my use of the device the current version of the software was PR1.1, and now it is version PR1.2.

Despite the enormous effort of the software team, some of the imperfections simply can not be solved in a short period of time because the operating system is quite new. I do not mean anything huge, just the normal maturation over time. The time this system unfortunately does not have. MeeGo’s main defect is the small number of available applications, although core applications are an excellent replacement. Mr. Elop would say – the lack of ecosystem, and I would agree. Unfortunately Prince Charming came too late this time, all the princesses are already married. I get the sad feeling, watching something so special with such a big potential, and so much effort behind it, not getting its last chapter that it surely deserves. I personally feel like I'm reading a very interesting book in which just after the main plot is revealed all pages became empty. There is still hope, although a small one, that the development of this system will continue. We can unfortunately conclude that it is leaving us even though it just arrived.

Conclusion. The entire operating system and devices that run it in every way clearly show the origin of Nokia. From the opening mechanism of N950 through the design of N9 and MeeGo user interface, everything indicates the same philosophy. The same one that spawned unbreakability of 3310, crazy design of 3650, innovations in N95, and a bunch of other products that marked the periods in which they were announced.

Current year is crucial for the company from northern Europe. The days when there was only enough to maintain the market share are gone. With every new moment it is necessary to “steal” other people's customers, just like the other companies did in previous years from Nokia. A strong marketing campaign with the help of Microsoft, the Metro design language that the Windows Phone is sharing with the Windows 8 and good word spreading about the company and its products should make great results, at least they hope in Finland.

What this entire means for the end user? The Average Joe on the market today hardly knows anything about MeeGo, N9 or N950. He still does not recognize the Windows Phone as equal player to others or the Lumia series products as superior ones. Nokia says that some ideas implemented in the MeeGo will encounter its resurrection in the new OS for feature phones. What I personally hope is that some ingenious solutions will be carried over to Windows Phone as it would be defeating if Nokia, with its vast experience, does not contribute anything to the development of this system. Microsoft does not need to reinvent already existing matters, and I hope that these two great companies will have a relationship in which they will work together, at least to a certain extent, instead of Nokia becoming just another ordinary hardware manufacturer.

What can we conclude on the basis of what we have seen from products through 2011. and earlier this year? Is Nokia finally beginning to understand the right approach which is now required for a success in the high-end world of mobile phones, the one that Apple applied so long ago? Peter Skillman, VP of Nokia Mobile Phones UX Design said last year in an interview, “It's not about the technology, it's about the experience.” And exactly based on that kind of thinking millions of average consumers who do not understand what most of the specifications mean, nor have the desire to compare them, can recognize the premium experience which they so badly want to own. Nokia believes that distinctive design of Lumia products, for which many believe it has set the bar even an inch higher than Apple, and the completely refined operating system that offers something different will be enough to return to the path of its previous glory. Until a few years ago that system would be MeeGo, but the market does not forgive poor execution, and that is why today this role is left to the Windows Phone. The creation of a partnership with Microsoft will lead this company into a new interesting chapter in the history of one of the largest telecommunications corporations in the world.

Special thanks to Eduardo Umana, Nokia Central East Europe (@NokiaCEE) and to my friend Luka Klikovac (www.behance.net/lukaklikovac) who made this text alive with the set of his remarkable N950 photographs.

You can contact me through Twitter account @kopte3.

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Considering the fact that these are my first officially written thoughts regarding a mobile device, I shall start with the few words about myself. My name is Matija Simeunovic, coming from Belgrade, Serbia, I am 23 y
cialis on line
ears old and I am a software engineering major at the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade. In the

last 6 years I have been consistently following development of mobile phones, its operating systems and information technologies in general. In a nutshell, you could say I’m a mobile technologies enthusiast.
This article will not just be a conventional mobile phone review, but also a collection of my impressions and thoughts about several subjects in relation to this topic. Considering the fact that the device I will be writing about is not meant for public sale, I will intentionally skip some of the important factors, while I will evaluate other ones with a unique attention. I will look at the N950 as an evolution in regards to previous models and at factors that Nokia held important enough to improve them, so we can have a glimpse of what will future look like in the world of Nokia’s devices.

N950. Story of N950 begins when a N900 is set to get its successor. A first device that will represent a final instance of Meamo (MeeGo) operating system. Nokia called it: “Step 5 of 5”, where N900 was the 4th one. Since it is considered to be its successor, the N950 shares main characteristics with its predecessor. It is a touch screen device which has shifted from an internet tablet towards a mobile phone, but in time, it has become something in between. A mobile computer, Nokia would say. Since the new OS has to rely on the app developers that prefer phones with hardware keyboard, a compromise was obvious and inevitable. N950 just kept going on the same road. However, after certain personnel changes in Nokia department, which was responsible for the appearance of the new OS and the device that will proudly present it, destiny of N950 takes the turn. Alongside with this turn emerges an inspiration of new MeeGo User Interface and with it, an idea of N9. Or the other way around, we will never find that out. On the other hand, N950 gets stuck in time, in one of the last stages of development, already prepared for the mass production, but with a rational amount of concern that it will never see the light of day. Fortunately, the decision has been made that they will announce both models, N9 for general public and N950 for developers only. Therefore, never stepping into shopping windows, N950 has arrived into the hands of curious and aspired developers. Unfortunately for true Nokia fans, this phone on its back has the white engraving – “not for sale-developer device”.

The very first thing I noticed when I got this device was the feeling of a premium product. Having 170 grams, it absolutely distinguishes itself from the devices of a same size, but with a very good reason. Even though at the first impression the phone looks like a single entity, it actually isn’t. It has a full QWERTY hardware keyboard. The mechanism that brings you four horizontal rows of keyboard is, in my opinion, brought almost to perfection. In the beginning you will need a bit of getting used to open the device, since you have to push the upper part a little bit stronger than usual. Almost everyone that tried to open it was suspicious – “Is everything ok, why wouldn’t it open?”. Only after my presentation they wouldn’t have a feeling that they would break the device and they would finally get a view at a crucial part of it – the keyboard.

The keyboard is spacious, buttons are well placed and the space between them is appropriate. The confirmation that you have actually pressed it is corroborated with a clicking sound and the movement itself is short and enjoyable. All in all, the keyboard feels very good under the fingers and there is no feeling of tiredness after long typing. In comparison with N900, I would have to praise the position of Space button which is now in its natural place, in the middle of the last row. Control button also changed its position from left to right, which now makes usage of two handed shortcuts (Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, etc.) much easier.
Opening mechanism is tilting the screen under the angle of 30 degrees, which we had an opportunity to see in previous models, such as N97 and later E7. What actually impressed me was the way that this mechanism functions. After the push, the screen, provided with the loud clicking sound at the end, finishes the opening of the device. It works the other way around too, when closing. This means that half of the screen movement is done by mechanism itself. When opened, the screen is very firm and it will not move. There is no case where this phone will open or close by itself, expect maybe when dropped. Concerning the fact that I had the predecessor of N950 I can personally testify that this mechanism has much evolved. N900, after a while, develops an asymmetric enlargement of the gap between two parts of the phone. However, after intensive usage of N950 for a whole month I couldn’t notice any changes. Top side of the phone is perfectly situated on the bottom side, so good actually that it created an illusion that the phone is made without moving parts.

Since I mentioned the evolution of N950, I have to mention brushed aluminum which replaced the plastic. The case is completely made of aluminum, except two small parts at its back which are made out of plastic because of the device’s antennas. As much as technology and design is developing concerning the phone casings, with N9 as the perfect example, in my opinion there is no phone that provides better feeling in hand than N950. Even though this is a device with moving parts, one cannot hear crunching sounds while opening, closing, firm squeezing, twisting, or during a regular use. One of the reasons this casing is so good is that the back is bolted, so basically, except the SIM slot it is not possible to remove or detach any part of the phone. Moreover, you can get an impression of harmony and superb workmanship. The flaw of this design is, of course, impracticality of changing the battery, but in my opinion, we get more than we lose.
There are power and volume buttons at the casing of the phone, but no dedicated camera button. Concerning the standard input/output plug-ins, N950 comes with 3.5 mm audio input and micro USB port. Speaker of average volume strength is placed on the lower part of the phone. It has 2 microphones where one is placed at the top and it’s used for the noise cancellation.

Camera is, of course, at the back of the phone and it comes with 2 LED lights for recording in the darker environment. I’ve used LEDs only as a flashlight, since I believe that pictures without Xenon flash are not satisfactory at all. While reading the specifications online I’ve read that camera has a 12MP sensor, although it has been limited by software to 7MP (16:9) and 8MP (4:3), depending on what aspect ratio is being used. Nevertheless, since that was never officially confirmed, the camera stands as 8MP. Standard for all high end Nokia devices – Carl Zeiss optics, is not listed on the back of the phone. There is a possibility that Carl Zeiss optics is present, however, I don’t think that is of much importance considering the fate of this device. As with most mobile devices, images are good when a solid source of light is present. Since the device will never be on the market and that the camera is not a primary function of this phone, I was not going trough too much trouble to thoroughly test it. Video is possible to record in 1280×720 HD.
The device has a capacitive multi touch 4 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480×854 pixels. The quality of screen is good, but when it comes to color and contrast it can not be placed in the same class with the latest generation of AMOLED screens. This device, alongside N9 has the same generation of processor as its predecessor. It is a TI OMAP 3630 Cortex-A8 running at 1GHz, which is about 65% faster clock speed than the one in N900. To my knowledge the development of this device started at the time when a new generation of chipsets with Cortex – A9 dual core processor was not ready for mass production. Then the N9 took over the same platform for development in order to save time. The delay, however, had to come because of the change-making and development of two models instead of one. All of that led to a fact that they cannot compare as equals with their competitors when it comes to raw power of CPU and GPU. How important that can be, I will discus later on in the review.

Although it has a previous generation of chipset, it can still compete with 1GB of RAM, which today is still not as common among high-end devices. The total internal storage capacity is 16 GB. There is no possibility to expand the memory with memory card. The device is equipped with the usual: Wi-Fi 802.1 b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1, and runs on standard 2G and 3G frequencies. It also has a compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, a secondary camera which is not used by any software at all, Assisted GPS, and it is strange that it lacks the FM radio receiver and transmitter, which were present with N900 model.
MeeGo. So close, yet so far. The key thing that Nokia needed for years and actually had all the time. It is like searching for keys that are already in your hand. I read once that Nokia employs more people in the R&D department than Apple employs all together. Even though this is not the reality the fact is that Nokia is a kind of company that invests a lot in research and development. Unfortunately, the impression is that a lot of talent and potential, that the company undisputedly owns, has been wasted this time.
The general opinion is that Nokia paid the price because certain people made wrong decisions in the key moments. Such a large company that was dominating the market at that moment should not have been so shortsighted. Let me remind you that in year 2005. Nokia introduced the 770, touch screen internet tablet, something, in a slightly different form, that is just now gaining its true popularity. Then how is it possible that two years later a competitive company, nonexistent on the mobile market until then, re-invents a similar device that will completely change the existing concept of mobile phones, and catches the big players off guard?

Large companies live off large projects, but they are working on the development of the small projects along the way. The small ones are the ones that do not look profitable at first glimpse, however, they are the ones with the potential to grow into something much bigger. A lot of those projects often end up in a dead end while trying to predict the market course, customer demands and technology development. There is a saying that if only one of 1000 new ideas succeeds it will pay off a hundred times. Even if you find a good idea, it doesn’t mean that you succeeded. A good idea must be followed by good implementation, which is where we uncover the answer to our question. Since the year 2005, when the first MeeGo ancestor is born, Nokia failed to execute its idea until 2011 when it was already too late.
Today's iteration of this operating system on the one hand clearly shows where its roots come from, and on the other, it shows something totally unseen before. No matter how young, this operating system, based on Linux kernel, is unrivaled in some aspects.

Let us start from the user interface. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful and most harmonious things that I ever used on a mobile device. The first thing you notice is that the design is dominated by the idea of roundness. It is expressed everywhere: from the icons, across the little details down to the very frame of applications. In the similar way, the curvature of plastic which lies on the screen is connected to the virtual display. The maximum visual effect is achieved with the device as the N9 which physically follows the design of whatever is shown on the screen.

Furthermore, it is very obvious that frequent use of various bright colors is fitting very nicely into design. As someone who primarily uses Windows Phone, which I personally think is exceptional in terms of design and user interface, I had to admit one thing – this approach, which is almost totally opposite of WP (sharp edges, the domination of one color, high contrast) seems more humane. Simply put, feeling is pleasant, natural and more convenient to an eye.

It is not that only a clear look of the interface contributes to this, but also the way the user is experiencing it. At this point, we can notice another impressive feature, the way this device can be used. UI team apparently sat down and started from the scratch. In my opinion, they have found one of the most intuitive solutions for mobile phone usage. Number of buttons that you need to navigate the device has been reduced to zero. All you need is a gesture of your finger. Users have, at their disposal, three types of screens – News Feed, where you can get all the notifications and updates related to your social networks, Menu, which contains a list of all applications, and Multitasking, which shows user all open applications.

Navigating between these three views is achieved with a simple swipe – with left edge of the screen to the right, or vice versa. When you open an app, it can be minimized by moving the fingers from any edge to the opposite one, except from the bottom to the top, because this way is reserved for closing apps. In the beginning it can happen that you will minimize an app by accident from time to time. However, after a short period of time, this problem will almost completely disappear. Soon you will find yourself not thinking “What now?” or “How can I …?”, but already knowing what you should do next. The logic for using this device is very simple, and exactly this simplicity, along together a simple visual representation of the entire system, looks amazing. How it is possible that, so far, no one had invented something like this?

Excellent results are not only achieved on the visual field. The system is smooth and works comfortably on 2 years old hardware. Question arises – how good would it work on the current hardware? Comparing it with some Android models with the newer chipsets (A9, dual core CPU) as well as with Windows Phone I failed to notice the difference in speed of performing the primary functions. Big kudos goes to the software team which perfectly optimized the system for the hardware that is inferior in comparison to probably all the competitive high-end models. Excellent accomplishment, for which was surely vital a Qt platform, has put this device in the same basket with the competition in terms of speed of executing conventional actions and the overall impression of fluidity.
The greatest advantage of N900 was its excellent multitasking, and its successor has no less eased the task for its competitors. With remarkable 1GB of RAM and excellent implementation of multitasking, launching more than 20 applications wouldn't slow down the device. It should be noticed that in the background, MeeGo applications are active, unlike many systems that put them to sleep when not in focus.
Like any system, especially such a young one, MeeGo is far from being perfect. Due to certain solutions some things have become complicated, therefore it is necessary to put in more effort in order to avoid problems. The absence of navigation buttons requires the “back” button always to be displayed on the screen, however it sometimes can change its position depending on the application you use and that causes confusion. During my use of the device the current version of the software was PR1.1, and now it is version PR1.2.

Despite the enormous effort of the software team, some of the imperfections simply can not be solved in a short period of time because the operating system is quite new. I do not mean anything huge, just the normal maturation over time. The time this system unfortunately does not have. MeeGo’s main defect is the small number of available applications, although core applications are an excellent replacement. Mr. Elop would say – the lack of ecosystem, and I would agree. Unfortunately Prince Charming came too late this time, all the princesses are already married. I get the sad feeling, watching something so special with such a big potential, and so much effort behind it, not getting its last chapter that it surely deserves. I personally feel like I'm reading a very interesting book in which just after the main plot is revealed all pages became empty. There is still hope, although a small one, that the development of this system will continue. We can unfortunately conclude that it is leaving us even though it just arrived.

Conclusion. The entire operating system and devices that run it in every way clearly show the origin of Nokia. From the opening mechanism of N950 through the design of N9 and MeeGo user interface, everything indicates the same philosophy. The same one that spawned unbreakability of 3310, crazy design of 3650, innovations in N95, and a bunch of other products that marked the periods in which they were announced.
Current year is crucial for the company from northern Europe. The days when there was only enough to maintain the market share are gone. With every new moment it is necessary to “steal” other people's customers, just like the other companies did in previous years from Nokia. A strong marketing campaign with the help of Microsoft, the Metro design language that the Windows Phone is sharing with the Windows 8 and good word spreading about the company and its products should make great results, at least they hope in Finland.
What this entire means for the end user? The Average Joe on the market today hardly knows anything about MeeGo, N9 or N950. He still does not recognize the Windows Phone as equal player to others or the Lumia series products as superior ones. Nokia says that some ideas implemented in the MeeGo will encounter its resurrection in the new OS for feature phones. What I personally hope is that some ingenious solutions will be carried over to Windows Phone as it would be defeating if Nokia, with its vast experience, does not contribute anything to the development of this system. Microsoft does not need to reinvent already existing matters, and I hope that these two great companies will have a relationship in which they will work together, at least to a certain extent, instead of Nokia becoming just another ordinary hardware manufacturer.

What can we conclude on the basis of what we have seen from products through 2011. and earlier this year? Is Nokia finally beginning to understand the right approach which is now required for a success in the high-end world of mobile phones, the one that Apple applied so long ago? Peter Skillman, VP of Nokia Mobile Phones UX Design said last year in an interview, “It's not about the technology, it's about the experience.” And exactly based on that kind of thinking millions of average consumers who do not understand what most of the specifications mean, nor have the desire to compare them, can recognize the premium experience which they so badly want to own. Nokia believes that distinctive design of Lumia products, for which many believe it has set the bar even an inch higher than Apple, and the completely refined operating system that offers something different will be enough to return to the path of its previous glory. Until a few years ago that system would be MeeGo, but the market does not forgive poor execution, and that is why today this role is left to the Windows Phone. The creation of a partnership with Microsoft will lead this company into a new interesting chapter in the history of one of the largest telecommunications corporations in the world.
Special thanks to Eduardo Umana, Nokia Central East Europe (@NokiaCEE) and to my friend Luka Klikovac (www.behance.net/lukaklikovac) who made this text alive with the set of his remarkable N950 photographs.
You can contact me through Twitter account @kopte3.

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  • hehe

    Evropska Zvezda…!:)