However, once Nokia got their act together I was smitten and my first "personal" mobile was a Nokia. I have stuck with them pretty much since and have rarely been disappointed. My wife got the first i-Phone and for once I was secretly jealous. The Safari browser was simply magic and it was very slick to use. However, it's camera was a mere 2-meg. It had no video capability and you were tied to I-Tunes and their AAC file formats. Bluetooth was a no-no and the bottom line for me was that mobile internet speed was no better than my Nokia, in spite of the better software.
I have been using a N95 8gb for 18 months and it has done the job but I have had to give grudging respect to Apple's icon. I have been waiting for Nokia's N97 for over a year. I was expecting it to answer all of my mobile problems and put the i-Phone in it's place. I have waited and waited. The delay in production has been inordinate and I expected that it was because Nokia wanted to ensure they fired the silver bullet. Finally we heard that it would be out in "June." In the meantime, Apple slid in with their 3GS and low and behold it appeared on 19th June. I was first in the queue and I was very impressed. HSPDA means that it works at home broadband speed. The camera on the16gb version has been improved albeit to a miserly 3-me g, although the quality of the 2-meg camera was always impressive. They have added video capability and some new tricks which keep it a leading top-end mobile contender, especially with the thousands of third party applications available from their App Store. I wasn't deterred, the N97 was coming.
Yesterday, I was first into Vodaphone and spent 30 minutes with my dreamboat. Oh how disappointed I was. The touchscreen softare is positively cumbersome. I think it has something to do with being "touch resistant." Whatever it is, it's still a mile away from Apple's Safari software. The slideout Qwerty keyboard has a lovely action and there's a quality feel to the rubber keys, but that's where the quality ends. The case itself is what I call, "hard black plastic," the sort that cracks when dropped. The front screen feels plasticky, whereas the i-Phone's had always been glass. To top it off, the chrome surround on the N97 is silver-coloured plastic and you know it will scratch to blazes.
I was hugely disapppointed and looking for crumbs of comfort from the salesman. I said how cheap it felt and he looked like he knew he was losing a sale. Then he offered the fatal explanation; they had cut costs on the outside to focus on the inside. At this point my in-built bullshit alarm went off and I said goodbye and headed for the Apple shop.
I spent five hours sorting my 3GS 16g i-Phone out yesterday and have been loading content all day. I have to say that I have been very impressed with what it can do and that respect continues to grow , almost by the hour. I-tunes is far simpler than it was and I have been able to take dat from all of my other PC programmes effortlessly. I am already past the point of maximium expectations from the N97 and there is still some way to go. For me, the battle at the top-end has been decisive. Nokia will need something special to rebound from this but if the leadtime for the N97 is anything to go by, it will take another two years at very least, in which time it's hard to concieve that Apple won't have made major advances with the i-Phone.