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)!

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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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