I saw the latest press release from Nokia the other day, announcing their new additions of ‘smart’ phones or, as I prefer to call them, cyberphones . . .
They're adding to their N-Series, which, frankly, needed the reinforcements. I'll be interested in seeing how these units perform, but so far, my recommendation for the true cybernaut is the Nokia 7710 model, which made its debut in late 1994.
I had already spent a long time looking for a mobile unit that would reliably combine the best features of a laptop and handset when the 7710 appeared on the scene late last year. With its wide screen, ample memory, PC connectivity and handwriting recognition features, all that needed to be confirmed to me was its performance in the real world. I have not been disappointed.
Among other things, I can utilize the 7710 to easily write this column and submit it. I can make and store videos and still images, save and replay tunes, keep an appointment schedule up to date and cybercruise to my heart's content, easily and quickly. Again, navigation is very simple, thanks to the accompanying stylus; it can be set for varying sensitivities, so once you orient it to your style of writing, you get a most reliable performance from it.
Given its size, the 7710 can be slightly unwieldy as a phone, but a good Bluetooth headset - the Motorola HS805 is a great choice - solves that issue. If there is any drawback to the 7710's phone properties, I'd point to the Caller ID function, due to the mere inconvenience of having to remove the 7710 from its belt-case in order to view the screen. Given the proclivity of wireless headsets during the past year, the tendency for others to stop and stare at Bluetooth users in action has diminished. So, if you're the self-conscious sort, that's one less concern to consider.
The N-Series mobile phones look to be more oriented to those who want a phone first and cyberspace luxuries occasionally. There is surely a growing market for such products. However, if someone else's luxury is your necessity, you should be using a 7710.
Perhaps these units aren't as trendy as, say, a Blackberry or a Treo, but unless you really want to enter your thumbs in the next Olympic games or squint at detailed images on a smaller screen, the 7710 is a better deal. Over the years, I've noticed that rollout models in audio and video equipment are ‘overbuilt, ’ ie- loaded with more quality features than the price might warrant in order to ensure their success in the marketplace. After just under a year of personal usage, I now think the 7710 falls into that category.
As such, I find it interesting that each model in the new N-Series seems to contain some of the properties of the 7710, but not all of them. That would concur with the second stage of rollout model marketing, which is sub-dividing the model and then sorting the feature menus of those models to accommodate varying price ranges. Thus, the consumer must revert back to a choice of unit, depending upon his priorities. This is profitable for the manufacturer, of course, because it allows for the seepage of product obsolescence, ie- outdating, which in turn means the consumer and his wallet will be back in the marketplace sooner rather than later, which equates to the potential for more profits.
As quickly as hi-tech products advance in sophistication, such a marketing plan becomes more of a logical approach than a cynical one. However, there are exceptions to the rule, and it's my contention that the Nokia 7710 is one of them. The company overbuilt it, I've got it, and it's made me a happy Cyberiter. The 7710 has made the beach, the bar - or anywhere else for that matter - truly become my office. Besides its being more innocuous, there are no Wi-Fi restraints and I don't have to pack and unpack a shoulderbag everywhere I go.
If the 7710 isn't the next level of practical cybernautics, then the next level is yet to exist. However, I'm glad to report that it has indeed been here since late 2004. Thank you, Nokia.
J Square Humboldt is the featured columnist at the Longer Life website, which is dedicated to providing information, strategies, analysis and commentary devoted to improving the quality of living. His page can be found at http://longerlifegroup.com/cyberiter.html and his observations are published three times per week.