Lately, I keep seeing how the competition releases amazing phones to the market before Nokia. I am not saying ”better” phones, ”more advanced” devices would be the correct term: devices that offer a better experience. Take as an example the following devices: The HTC HD2 with an amazing interface, processor, screen and overall features. The just announced Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 with a huge touchscreen, amazing processor and 8MP Camera. The Motorola Droid (Milestone) with equally amazing features and clean Android OS.
Nokia is really lagging behind. Symbian needs a serious, radical redesign before comparing it to the advanced Android OS or iPhone OS. On the other hand, Maemo could be the answer. But still, the N900 is not the definite smartphone that is above all other smartphones. Here is our list of possible things Nokia should/could do in the future to reach the top again and take its place as the best smartphone manufacturer. The list is not complete, this are just a couple of ideas, you can add more ideas on the comments. Lets make our list, shall we!
1. Nokia, we need bigger screens:
Symbian S60 3rd Ed really needs support for higher resolutions and bigger screens. Keys are not a thing of the past, but smartphones with tiny screens (anything below 2.8) and really deficient QVGA resolution are. Before augmenting the screen size, Nokia needs to add support for higher resolution screens. The 320×240 is expanded at its maximum at 2.8” (N96, N95 8GB) to the point you can see pixels, and the ideal size for 320×240 (2.4inches) is just too small for a smartphone. What about a 3.0” screen with 480×640, maybe a N95-like form factor but with a semi-qwerty keypad?
In touchscreen devices, Maemo and Symbian^1, Nokia needs to improve their touchscreen technology as well. Responsive screens are really tedious to use, just give your N97 to anybody and see how they swipe their fingers across the screen without getting a response. Capacitive screens are the standard now, and, a big 4.0” AM-OLED touchscreen would be a pleasure to interact with.
2. Uniformity in frequency bands
Nokia uses different models to approach different countries. Usually two: Euro/Asia and NAM (North American Model). What about if they make quad-band 3G phones? And what if, Nokia didn’t suddenly change from one set of bands to another. The best Nokia device right now, the N900, has a huge problem for Nokia users in the USA, Canada, Brazil and all South America. Nokia changed from the standard 850/1900mHZ to 2100/1700mHZ only supported by the spotty T-Mobile 3G Network in the USA. Absolutely no support for Canada and all South America, not to mention, Nokia customers in the US are already with AT&T because of previous configuration of their devices.
3. Symbian needs an extreme make-over
Symbian is already behind all other mobile OSs. Every other mobile OS in the market is more intuitive and offers a better experience: Palm WebOS, Android, and iPhone are strong ones. Symbian really needs to redesign its interface not only to be up-to-date, but to really exceed in performance, user friendliness and effectiveness over its rivals.
4. Ovi Maps
Nokia bought Navteq some months ago. Still, in Nokia GPS enabled devices, the user has a limited time to trial the voice guided navigation. Why not make it free? The one year Ovi Maps license is too expensive. The average user is assuming that by buying a phone advertised as having GPS, the ”GPS will work,” and ”GPS” for the non-technical audience means *voice guided navigation* rather than the sole fact the phone has a GPS chip. I have felt, and can imagine the frustration of millions of users when they are informed by a pop-up warning that they need to buy an expensive license. Nokia, please sell the complete packet, GPS and voice guided navigation included.
5. Build strong app base for Symbian and Maemo
If the iPhone has one good thing is the 100.000 apps in the AppStore. The hardware/software expectancies of the iPhone can be addressed by Apple by just adding a few things here and there. On the other hand, a solid base of apps for a platform can’t be built in the right time. In other words, Apple can add multitasking to the iPhone within a couple of weeks; Nokia, wouldn’t be able to get a base of apps for their platforms in less than a year. Some way or another, Nokia needs to improve the quality of apps offered through the Ovi Store. Maemo will also need a very strong base of quality apps to be a competitive platform.
”Opening Android AppMarket is ten times more exiting than opening Ovi Store.”
6. Launch the definite best device in the market
To this date, Nokia doesn’t hold the position as the maker of the best smartphone. Preferences between platforms might vary, but the specifications and offerings of, say, the Motorola Milestone are more appealing than the N900 and of course the N97. Nokia really needs to make that phone that just doesn’t have an equal or anything comparable. Here is what it could be like:
A big 4.0” inch OLED capacitive touchscreen with multitouch embedded on a strong quality-built metal frame. The device could have a 12 or 8 Megapixel camera, record HD and output HD. Maemo is a must. Free Ovi Maps and Comes With Music. Uniformity in bands so the whole world can use it. Of course plenty of RAM, HDD and processor. This, is a Nokia I would not compare to other phones.