Nokia n91

nokia n91As a nice little side benefit from my trip to Vancouver a few weeks ago, I got another fancy phone as a hand-me-down from Roland (who has moved on to the n93): a Nokia n91. I've spent 2 weeks with this phone now and overall I *love* it!

I ran into a couple "gotchas" while getting it all set up - I think mostly from being so hip and bleeding edge it hurts. Namely, this phone is not natively supported by apple's isync (which I can't really live without these days), however, these instructions worked beautifully (complete with little n91 image :). The other tricky bit was I initially installed ShoZu on the hard drive - which the music syncing tool does not like at all - however, installing on the phone's memory cured that.

That brings me to what I love most about this phone: it has a 4gb hard drive! Why is that so cool? Well, combine that fact with the built-in music player (and matching iTunes syncing app) and my phone is effectively a little iPod. Oh, this phone also has wifi... ok, so that's *two* things I love most. Here's a quick bullet point review:

The Good:

  • 4gb hard drive : I don't need to lug my iPod as much anymore - phone, camera and music all in one. Plus there is a music control keypad.
  • Wifi!! Can't say enough good things about having wifi on my phone - it means I'm willing to use ShoZu again (since I don't have to worry about data transfer fees). Another neat thing I also use my phone as a little wifi finder (Connect -> Conn. Mgr -> Availabl. WLAN). Oh, really it's cool.
  • Standard output jacks - RCA headphone jack and standard mini usb. Thanks, nokia.
  • Keypad locking switch - I didn't realize how much I'd love this when I first got it... but the standard series 60 keypad combinations to lock/unlock your keypad are a pain... especially on a phone where you have to slide open the keypad.
  • Not unique to the n91... but I really like having a half decent camera in my phone... especially since I can use shozu again. *Almost* makes my flickr pro account worth the money.

Complaints ('cause it wouldn't be blogging if I didn't complain):

  • Nokia's "Music Manager" application for os x is clunky. Wouldn't it be possible to actually build this as an iTunes plugin? I thought that was one of the big things with Tiger - the whole iSync services framework... how come nobody is using this?!
  • Some apps aren't available/supported. The one I'm really missing is Clicker. But, I'd love to see support for plazer and BluePhoneElite.
  • The keypad (hidden under the music controls) has *really* small buttons. I don't actually mind them - but if you use them for a while (if you *ahem* send a lot of text messages) they've actually made my fingers sore.

Overall, I love this phone. The size and weight are good - considering the feature set.... and it's pretty close to my ideal "all in one" device. Thanks Roland (and nokia)!

James Walker

James Walker (a.k.a. walkah) is an independent developer and hacker. He is a long time Drupal developer, but these days spends more time in Python, Ruby and Javascript.

You can follow him on twitter or github.

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