N95 Nostalgia Blinds Users to the Facts

I colleague commented to me recently that Windows XP was the best OS Microsoft ever made. An interesting concept, however, I strongly disagree, Windows 7 is substantially better than XP and additionally I felt that Windows 7 brought great new features where as Windows XP feature wise was practically the same as Windows 2000. You could even argue that outside of the business domain there was no real productivity leap for the home user since Windows 95. Windows 7 instead made the task bar easier to use, the snap to left and right are features I use all the time. I would argue that Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 7 in many respects, but in the same way that Windows XP is not a step change from Windows 2000, I would class Windows 7 and its new features as the first genuine universal productivity improvements for a long time making Windows 7 the best Microsoft OS so far. I feel that nostalgia can often blind people to how much a new product has improved or to all the flaws that irritated them on a daily basis.

I was reading a Techradar article I was interested in how much nostalgia impacts opinion. The N95 was the worse phone I ever owned. Specification wise it was superior to the Sony W900 that I had before it, but in every important aspect it was worse.

The Number One Flaw

The N95 Slide in two directions...It would slide open in both directions one for landscape and the other for portrait. The landscape mode was of no use to me, however, the fact that it would open in either direction I would find myself unlocking it as I attempted to put it in my pocket. This meant that when I had to pocket it I was forced to do so slowly, if I forgot I would need to take it back out, lock it and put it back in... This is one of the most frequent actions performed and therefore highly annoying that it was worse than any previous phone.

The second aspect was when removing it from my pocket I would frequently catch the phone and slide it open in landscape mode, switching it back to portrait mode would take a few seconds. It is very annoying waiting for your new powerful phone to take its time while you wait to read a text!

The Basics are Worse

The T9 text was significantly worse than Sony's. While Sony displayed a drop down list of all the words including words larger than the ones you had typed Nokia hid all of the options, and the manual did not even tell you how to use T9, I had to ask a friend how to access T9 alternative words!

The quality of phone calls was lower, the Sony phone was very long and I assume it had a huge aerial as a result, the Nokia would drop a lot more calls and the sound was no where near as good.

The New Features Were Not Ready

WIFI was a great addition to a phone given how slow over the air internet was, but navigating circa 2007 websites with an N95 was so painful it was not worth it. I tried a few times, but as typing was rubbish, navigation was poor it simply seemed a waste of time.

The camera was an improvement, but in good light the Sony could still take an acceptable photo, and the video camera was not limited to 30 seconds like the Sony phone.

The GPS was interesting, but I found if you wanted to use it as a sat nav it needed an extended aerial, and a cheap sat nav was substantially better.

With all the basics worse, and the new features not adding much, I was very disappointed with the N95. I had given my W900 to my brother-in-law, and when I got a new phone after the N95 I gave this to my brother-in-law as well. A few months later he told me he preferred the W900 to the N95...so at least I know I am not the only one.

While blogs and tech journalist praised the N95, it was a deeply flawed phone. It also demonstrates how important it is to get the basics as good as possible, delays performing basic common tasks are so frustrating that it can turn a tech marvel into a painful experience.

The same flaws permeate Windows 8. Microsoft substantially improved the boot time, which is a universally loved feature, only to open to a tile interface rather than the desktop, slowing access to the most common features. It should be obvious that doing such a thing will only irritate people.


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