Quick Nokia 7650 Thoughts

Well, I finally got it! Woohoo! Here's the thoughts I came up with during the day (it's pretty long. Sorry you RSSers):

Wow. This thing is big. In comparision to my Alcatel, it's like a boat anchor. Look down, it's the size of your Microsoft ergonomic mouse. But I guess it's no worse than my Palm, so I don't think it'll be a burden, but it's definitely like going back in time from a size perspective.

The control button is a bit slimy and a bit smaller than my trackpoint on my Dell laptop. I'm used to the rough texture of the dell trackpoint. Actually, it sorta hurts to use, maybe I'm weird or pressing too hard. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to have a directional pad instead (maybe that's why the 3650 has the pad?).

Wow, the screen is tiny! When I'm using it, it's fine (light and clear), but it seems about a quarter the size of a Palm screen even though the resolution is better. It's bright and color and nice to use. The UI is super intuitive - I've used the emulator, but until it's on a phone, you don't realize really why things are done the way they're done.

Except one thing - how the hell do I turn the volume up?!?! (Later I asked the guy who sold it to me and he showed me what I was missing... click the trackball to the right/left not up and down! Doh!)

I'm kinda disappointed what comes in the box (Phone, plug, manual) after seeing all the crap online that Microsoft and Sony puts in their phone boxes (headphones, etc.)

The PC Suite seems okay to use and the CD comes with the manual in all the languages you can imagine (there's at least 30 or so). That's good because the physical manuals I got are in Spanish and I really want to fully grok the phone, so having everything in English is a real boon.

The PC Suite is just about synching, really. It has 5 options: Backup/Restore (to back up your phone entirely), Control Panel (which has options for the type of connection, and phone), Data Import (a one-time import from your other Nokia or Palm), Synchronise (this is the option to synchronize to Outlook or other PIM), Image Transfer (where you can copy images from your phone), and Settings Wizard (where you can check the phone settings from your PC).

The PC Suite uses Outlook or other PIMs and just communicates the contacts, calendar and to do to the phone (and it has a one-way import from Palm, funny enough). The program shoved at least 3 more icons into my Windows tray, which is a little annoying, but connecting to the phone via Infrared wasn't a big deal at all. I'm using it on my work machine and so it connected to Outlook and downloaded my contacts and calendar info without problems either.

The only problem with the infrared is installing the games. After you install the PC link software, .sis apps become associated, so you can just double click them to install (like Palm .prcs. However, the process is sloooow. First for some reason, it takes a while to process the .sis file (I'm not sure what the hell it's doing, check the signature?) then it says it's ready to transfer to the phone and that takes forever via Infrared and requires at least 4 clicks. Why? Once I get a Bluetooth adapter for my PC, it'll be interesting to see if that improves.

I've already installed almost a meg of sample games (the average size is 200kb) that came on the CD, I can see the 4 megs on this phone disappearing very quickly.

The PC software is a bit weird, because you expect it to be a bit more user friendly (like the phone) and do a bit more - like have its own PIM. The images option shows you the file names on the phone as if it were an attached hard drive, but you can drag and drop the images! It took me a while to realize I had to right-click and choose "transfer to PC" in order to grab the images. Doh!

The images are pretty cruddy once they arrive to your phone, since they're highly-compressed jpegs. I don't know if this is an option that I can change...

The guy who sold me the phone actually uses the same one, so he knew exactly how to set it up with GPRS with MMS and WAP. Nokia has a site for him to use which has all the settings for all the providers in all the countries (or so I imagine). So all he had to do was choose options from drop downs, and an MMS message was sent with all the setup for the phone automatically. Very interesting.

I bought a 20 meg "bono" for the GPRS system which means that the price per byte is less than if I didn't buy it up front. GPRS confuses me right now... I'm still getting charged normally for voice calls, so it looks like they're charging one way (the bono) for data and another way for voice. Which is nice, because can you imagine how data-heavy voice is? Without the bono, it'd cost .70E to send a photo (an MMS message) but with the bono it's on .24E. Wow. Since I was thinking about using MMS to post to my web, it's going to cost real cash to do that. I'll have to compare the cost with using a WAP page to post.

It looks like I have to pay extra for email. I'm not sure what's up with that.

What I've learned is that smartphones are more like PDAs than you think. At first it's like a regular mobile phone because you have to insert your SIM card, import your contacts, get the WAP and GPRS set up. But then once I got back to my desk, I started using it like my Palm, setting up the desktop software, synchronizing, installing sample games, etc. Since it's as big as a PDA (it's sitting by my computer right now and it seems positively huge) this makes sense to me and it's great because unlike my Palm, I will be lugging this whereever I go.

I'm going to really be upset when I finally see the P800's screen, I'm sure. The P800 is as wide as the Nokia's screens are tall.

The games are cool. Very nicely colored - they look totally professional with anti-aliasing, etc. Seriously - they're not outstanding games or anything, but there's this game where you move a ball through a maze and the ball is nice and softly round with a shadow. Perfect. It really shows what can be done with the phone.

Lugging this phone with my to the bathroom is going to be a pain - I'm afraid of it pulling down my pants as I pee (well, not that bad). It's still a little too special of a phone to just leave around.

The phone is FAST. Pulling up my contacts is an eye-blink maneuver. Much faster than my old phone or even my Palm.

Apps that are going to be needed, ASAP. Some sort of outline reader.

There was a problem with the GPRS - but it wasn't the phone, Telefonica is having computer problems this morning so it's not set up yet. The phone store is across the street from my office, so I went back over to see what the problem was. While waiting for my salesperson to finish up with another customer, I whipped out the Nokia and started playing some games. Full color arcade games in my hand! WOW! The experience was the same as if I pulled out my Gameboy. Seriously. I was so absorbed I didn't notice that the guy was done and the customer behind me had to point out that it was my turn. DOH! This mobile game stuff is going TO ROCK THE EARTH.

It still looks big though - maybe I need a couple days for my eyes to adjust.

Thank god I can finally ditch my Palm. I bought the PalmVx in 1999 for $500. This phone cost $150 less and does more. Cool.

I forget what a freak I am sometimes. The guy who sold me the phone had the same exact phone and was eager to show it off to me - including a T-Mobile video app he got from somewhere (I didn't realize that the 7650 could do video!). I was all excited and started talking about Symbian and programming, etc. He looked at me like I had three heads. Okay. Next subject.

The games that came on the phone are called Snake EX and MixPix (which is basically a slide puzzle where an image is cut up and you have to move the pieces around to put it back together). There are 3 games on the phone: Bounce (move the ball around a side-scrolling maze), Card Deck (5 or 6 very complex solitaire type games), and Triple Pop (a circular Tetris with colored balls). My salesman had no idea that these were on the CD (they were well hidden), so I would assume that most people won't either. Why the card game isn't there by default, I don't know. But I have to admit I'm completely lost on how to play any of them, even after reading the help.

The only other .sis Symbian program that was on the CD was an iSync upgrade. So I installed that and now it looks like I can sync to the internet!!! Yeah, baby! I'll have to explore that some more. I'd love to be able to use my server as a central repository for to-dos, calendar etc.

Unlike my micro-phone before, this feels really good to talk into. You don't have to cup it in your hand at all, it feels like a real phone. Really solid. Hmmm, maybe that's on purpose? I'm remembering that I read this before somewhere and now I understand what they're saying.

Problem: ear-oil mucks up the display. This is normal for many phones, but on a full-color LCD, you can really tell.

Now that I can adjust the volume, it's LOUD if you want it to be, nice.

Incoming calls are scaring the shit out of me. While it's sitting idle, the screen dims and it is sorta dark. Then suddenly it lights up and starts playing nicely polyphonic tones to tell me I have a call and I have to press the option button that says "Answer" because there's no other keys shown. AAAAhhh! Weird!

I changed the nice analog clock on the top left of the home page (the standby mode) because I wasn't paying attention to the other one.

I want a dock. I want this thing to sit up. I guess that's what the more PDA-like P800 is all about.


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