I think it’s safe to say that this will be my next phone. I mean just look at it. It looks gorgeous!
Now let me go back some time to explain why I think this is such a great phone. In February 2010 Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, its first ‘real’ smartphone operating system to compete with the likes of iOS and Android. And it was a leapfrog step from the ancient Windows Mobile. It was elegant, fluid and even more devoted to simplicity in UI Design than Apple. It was a miracle. The integral parts of the OS’s design are plain squares, the use of beautiful typography and super smooth meaningful animations - everything comes from and goes somewhere. If you haven’t already you should watch the beauty in action.
In February 2011, so exactly one year later, Nokia decided to completely restart its smartphone strategy: Switching from Nokia’s own Symbian Series to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 for all its smartphones. This of course wasn’t an easy decision and many people where unhappy with it. But it was a fact that Nokia was loosing in smartphones and had a hard time to come up with something to fight back. I kind of liked the idea of Microsoft and Nokia working together from the get go, though I can’t say I wasn’t a little bit sceptic too. Here’s what I tweeted then.
Coming back to today my skepticism is gone. WP7 has recently received a major software update - called ‘Mango’ or 7.5 - which gets rid of almost all shortcomings that WP7 had. And on Wednesday Nokia remedied the second problem of the platform: A lack of really exciting hardware. Up until now all WP7 devices were kind of boring, or just not very interesting in any special way. But this: This is the full package. I also feel that Nokia still has a very strong brand presence - at least here in Europe. When I think of Nokia phones I associate things like good build-quality and beautiful Industrial Design. Now that it’s here I also have this feeling that I always wanted Nokia to succeed in the smartphone game. Maybe it’s because they are a European company, or at least that is part of it. Mostly though Nokia is just a brand I kind of like (congrats marketing people, you’ve done a good job putting that into my subconsciousness).
I could go on for some time I guess, talking about the phone’s design origin - the Nokia N9 - or about its WP7 sister model Lumia 710. I’ll leave that and some more background information to the great guys and galls of The Verge in the ‘Further Reading’ section.
One more thing: I just happened to stumble over a booth Nokia has at Berlin’s main train station where I could play with it. It feels extremely well made and solid. The design is even better when you’re actually holding it. It’s supposed to be available in Germany on November 15th for 499 € off contract. For the Lumia 710 it will be 320 €.