I always enjoy attending Nokia events. With a brand valued at $36 billion, as a consumer, I am keen to learn what new products and services Nokia have in store for us in the year 2009. Nokia has always been more than just a phone to me. It represents a constant advance of the technology frontier and new concepts, opening the door of possibilities to the end users. Granted, not all new ideas become instant hits at the first launch. Nokia always finds ways to improve. That’s why I like the brand.
Arrived at ZIRCA formerly known as Ministry of Sound 15 minutes before the start of the media registration, by the Singapore River I took half an hour break and finished reading the book sent by McGraw-Hill. As their book review blogger, I try to publish one book summary a month. Some asked how I find time and energy to do all the things that I do – at least from what you read in here. I guess if we actively manage our time, there are a lot we can accomplish.
When I entered the venue, I recognized some familiar faces from the local blogosphere as well as one overseas blogger from our friendly neighboring country. Then I learned that “Showcase Nokia 2009” is a regional event and Nokia flew in the media teams – traditional and new – from around the region. There was one from Vietnam too!
At around 7pm, Chris Carr, VP Sales of Nokia took the stage (event photos below). The anticipation was high; cameras were ready; the video camera from the local news station was in position.
The first new phone that took the stage was the e75. For those who want the best email experience and are into office productivity applications, this e-series baby is no stranger. It looks slim and stylish and I took a picture of it as featured on top of this post. I have tried out the QWERTY keyboard and I love the feel of it. It is not ordinary rubber, yet there is this anti-slip feel to it. The red color model is very striking. e75 is planned to hit the store in Q1 this year.
Next was the e55. Up to 28 days standby time, imagine spending a month in Timbuktu without the need to charge the phone! e55 comes with a somewhat slightly extended keypad and it is dubbed the smallest Nokia messaging device. In this small island that the residents are so in love with email and messaging, this could do well. 9.9mm is a pretty slim phone. Scheduled to release on Q2.
Remember the days of the good old “banana” phone that the film Matrix has made famous? Nokia 6720 Classic (Q2) and 6710 Navigator (Q3) are interesting additions to the family. OK, they are not quite like that good old phone that Neo used to step in and out of the Matrix. They do have the ergonomic design that curve slightly to our faces. With the Nokia 6710 and 6720 Classic, you can pre-plan your trip at your computer via the OVI Map (I tried that last night and it works), get plugged into your phone and be awed by the high resolution aerial images, 3D landmarks, terrain maps, weather service, traffic warning, and for those who tend to get lost on foot or inside a vehicle like me, a compass is provided (that I haven’t tried). I really shouldn’t mention that Navigator may even have the knowledge of where the speed cameras are. Beware! Agent Smith is around the corner!
The highlight of the evening is perhaps the new Nokia N86 8MP (Q2). The press related information was embargoed until yesterday. I previously had a N80. This N86 is a pure beauty. For those who are into taking good photos with your phone, check this out. Wide-angle 8MP Carl Zeiss Tessar optics with variable aperture to cater for low light condition, N86 comes with a premium authentic design: scratch resistant glass front face surrounded by prestige metal details. It looks good on day one. It may still look good when you take it to Timbuktu and back.
I met Damien from Helsinki in the event. He is the man behind the new OVI Mail initiative. OVI Mail is an interesting new service targeted at those countries that may not have a high Internet penetration. In Singapore, email is part of our daily lives. But that may not be the case elsewhere – like the remote towns of Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and etc. So what Nokia has done is to integrate OVI Mail into the new series of low-cost phones. I was at the counter and Damien proudly handed me one of the new phone and said, “Try it and see how easy it is to create your mailbox!” I tried it on the spot and the registration is very straightforward. No guessing of what my ovi.com email address is. With email integration and support to a dozen native languages, these devices could be a life changing experience to many. Imagine the first experience of email ever, on a wireless phone. I have travelled to remote towns in the region that do not have a decent Internet connection. It is easy to take whatever we have around us for granted.
I reckon some of you may be interested to see how the new Nokia 2009 lineups look like. I am a simple guy so what I have done is to dump all the press images into OVI. Enjoy! As always, thanks to Nokia and Text100 teams for the invite. Supriya and Felicia, good to see you in the event. You both look fabulous!
External Link: OVI by Nokia