Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lessons learnt over 10 years from Nokia N81 + Nokia N900 + Samsung Wave II + HTC Incredible S

I always loved to discover and get along with latest technologies. In particular with the computing devices such as Laptops, Tablets and Mobiles.

The love for mobiles stared to grow way back when I was in college. I was seeing many Symbian Smart-phones around and always wanted to have one. But as the financial front was not that strong, I held myself. After final year, I started to look for a job and got one in Mumbai. Finally I stared to earn on my own. By this time Nokia’s N series was at its top.

And just because of this reason, I dared to go for a Nokia N-81. It was really nice decision as I always wanted a smart-phone with good music playback capabilities. It was worth a shot. That phone lasted for about 2 years and I felt like utilizing it worth for every penny.

Then I started my hunt for another smart-phone. Nokia N series was obvious choice. I almost decided to for Nokia N97. It was speculated as most powerful Symbian phone at that time. But thank god and thanks to Internet. I came to know about Nokia N900. It was based on altogether a new OS. MeeGo 5.

I googled a lot and learnt more about this os. It looked very promising and I decided to go for it. News was like, “Nokia is going to invest into this OS big-time and all the following smart phones from the Finnish phone maker will be based this OS.” I was really excited and asked my friend to get it for me from US.

I still remember 1st Jan 2010. He arrived from US and I went to receive him at Airport. Then returned to my flat carrying that mighty beast. What a day it was. Indeed a Happy New Year had started for me. I was fully into that phone for almost 2-3 months. It was very pleasant experience. I was really enjoying cool features as TV out, TV remote via internet, FM transmitter and many more. Sometime later, I learnt that Nokia has not yet planned to release this phone in India. I was amazed, but then thought they will do it soon. Then as 4-5 months passed I started to feel that the apps for this phone are very less. No one was talking about this phone around. Again, I turned back to internet and discovered the MeeGo Community page. Gosh, I was relieved to found some cool stuff out there. People in that community always looked promising and helpful.

Then the news came that “Nokia and Intel are going to tie up for a NEW OS. Maemo. It was going to be mix of Nokia’s MeeGo os and Intel’s other OS ( Cant recollect the name now J )” . It was fascinating news for me as I learnt for the first time that day I can switch onto that OS also. WOW !! That was cool.

Months passed and I kept every track of News about this OS. The project finally started and the first device rumored was going to be Nokia N9. “Ok”.. I said. What about Nokia N900 ?? It seemed that, Nokia N900 could also be capable of running that OS but was not officially. Hmmm.. that was quite a setback. I kept looking for a build which I could install on my phone. Finally one day I got a Beta build which could be installed on N900.

Well, I took a day off on that day and downloaded that build. And managed to install that build according to given instructions. Bingo ….And ..then restarted the phone. I got a screen with dual boot options. Wow.. J I felt on could 9.
I booted to Maemo and was L .. Yep.. It was beta build and I knew that. But still I had my hopes and they were not fulfilled L After spending 4-5 hours in Maemo I returned back to MeeGo.

Now was the time when people started talking about a new OS. Android. A new OS platform which also based on Linux and now acquired by Google.
Hmmm… I went to YouTube and searched for the videos of devices running that OS. Well, to be frank, I didn’t quite liked that OS UI. So left quite lucky in the world of N900. It was the time when I got a GPRS connection and stared browsing on phone.

Then came the shocker. Adobe Flash plug-in.. I learnt that the new version of flash was not supported by native browser of N900. what ?
If you remember advertise of Nokia N900, it was projected as the smartphone with computer capabilities. And now.. without Flash player, the online world started to look so dull and dark. I was not able to see YouTube videos on this phone L Was not able to browse the web with fun as like on desktop. This was time when I switched OFF N900 and switched ON older N81.As it had Flash lite support.

But, still I had hopes. I always felt, sometime later the people from Nokia will come up with some promising solution. But no.. they didn’t.
N900 was left to die by Nokia. News then came that “Nokia is not interested in pursuing the Maemo project. Intel was now alone.” It was bad L Even though the community had some hacks about getting flash player installed on N900, it didn’t looked that easy and worth trying.

Again, after some months, I revisited YouTube as Android was making news. It seemed as a promising OS with lots of customizations and tweaks. Then I googled if there is any way of installing Android on N900. To my surprise, yes there was a way and a nice attempt made by NTDroid team.

I once again applied for a sick leave at office and took a day off. Then, followed steps to port Android on N900. J It looked quite promising but yet, after installation of android the PHONE capabilities (like placing and receiving calls, sending and receiving SMS) were under development. Hence, it was not the choice for a day to day use.

Meanwhile, I switched my job and located to Chennai. Here in my new company 
I spotted few Android devices. I was really impressed by handling those devices and the feel was awesome.
But still, I had a feeling that there will be another powerful OS somewhere. Once again, I went back and with the help of internet, landed onto a NEW platform. “Bada”.

Yes, the OS platform from Samsung. Then again was the time I went to YouTube. The look and feel seemed quite better than Android. The only question was, will this OS live or same thing like MeeGo will happen? Will it ever have as many applications as Android has ??.
I was confused and in that confusion, made my mind to go for Samsung Wave II. The specs of this phone seemed too good. I took chance and got that device.
Again, for few days, I was quite lost into world of Bada. Those days were fun. 

Now was a time for one more setback. 3G was launched in India and it was a faster internet service. Obviously I decided to switch onto it. But the shocker was.. Samsung Wave II .. It supported only speeds upto 3.2MBps. L
God.. How I missed this ? I was asking myself. This was the day when I again took my N900  and got 3G working. J But.. still no flash player solution was available. What to do ?..

Android .. Is it really worth a shot ?.. A real study and introspection was needed . Finally… I made my mind.. “Yes.. Go for it… J

The hunt for a nice Android device now got started. The primary contenders were HTC Incredible S, Samsung Galaxy  S, Motorola Milestone and much hyped Samsung Galaxy SII (It was yet to be released. Rumored date was after 2 months L)
So, what to do now ?.. Galaxy S or Incredible S or Moto Milestone?.. After reading user reviews and many more expert reviews I decided to place my money on HTC Incredible S.

All I can say is…. till this time this device hasn’t let me down. I rooted the phone just after a month and the openness of Android is amazing. With lots of custom ROMS around, I am enjoying my ride with Google’s latest Android version 4.0 (Ice-cream Sandwich) enabled Incredible S. J


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