I realize that one of the bigger sustainability problems of our age is all the waste generated by planned obselescence and the need to have the next big thing every couple of years. At the same time, it seems plausible that for whatever my trade is, a functional smartphone is increasingly a necessary tool.
As such, the increasing number of bugs and problems with my Nokia E71 (purchased in summer 2009) are driving me to think about new options. The phone no longer receives text messages while on, but rather in one big clump when rebooted. The battery now cannot even handle an evening out, even when it has been charging all day at work, and yet replacing it would cost a fair bit of what a new phone would. The web browsers (both Nokia’s and Opera Mobile) are inadequate for many everyday tasks. The machine won’t stay connected to my email server, even when it has constant access to the cell network, and it doesn’t tell you when the connection goes down. Also, it has been abruptly and randomly crashing.
The smartphone market changes fast. When I looked at it previously (once and again), I concluded that a Nokia phone aimed at the business market was the best match for my needs. Foremost among those are a good keyboard and integration with Google. It’s great that the Nokia seamlessly syncs up my contacts and calendar with GMail and Google Calendar, though it seems ironic that it uses Microsoft’s ‘Mail for Exchange’ app to do so. Other important features are decent battery life, GPS, access to useful apps like Google Maps, and good build quality. I don’t care at all about media player or camera capabilities, as I have better machines to do those things and I don’t have a problem carrying them with me.
What would people recommend? One of the BlackBerries? An Android phone? Much as I appreciate the familiar layout of Nokia’s operating systems, I don’t think I will be giving them another go. This will probably be my first ever cell phone not made by the Finnish giant.
I won’t be getting it very soon, however. Things are still a bit up in the air with the job search, and some of the lower-paying opportunities might not be smartphone compatible. Once I have some certainty, however, I will be back on the pocket computer market.