Essentials For My Next Mobile Device

Following up from an earlier post on multitasking I thought about how a perfect phone for me would look like. Admitting that I am difficult to please and that there is no single best phone for everyone, here's what I need in my next phone:

Taking the Nokia N95 as a baseline it has many of the things I need:

  • A multitasking operating system so the device can really be 'the world in my hand' as Nokia once said.
  • A good camera
  • Lots of memory for programs to execute
  • Lots of flash memory
  • A big but not too big screen, it must fit in the pocket
  • Wi-Fi
  • A VoIP client
  • GPS & a good navigation software I can also use offline because I travel a lot and data roaming costs are sometimes prohibitive
  • A reliable alarm clock
  • An e-mail client with partial e-mail  download
  • There must be an Opera Mini version for my future device. Absolutely essential!
  • SMS and video calling should be perfectly polished and implemented
  • Robustness: It should survive falling to the floor every now and then

O.k. that's what I already have, let's see what I'd like to have in addition:

An easy to use App Store, one who's whole mission is to aggregate the most popular applications at a central place and that gives gives developers a chance to make money. What I don't want is an App Store who is designed to lock me into the preferences of a single company that decides for me which applications I am allowed to use and which not.

When I buy a device, it's mine and I want to do with it what I want without anyone telling me otherwise. In practice that means that I can download applications also from other web sites, receive them via e-mail or side-load them via a memory card. That's how I do it on my PC and I see no reason why it should be different on my mobile device.

Ah yes, I want a memory card so I can load stuff onto my device the way I want. In no way do I want to be limited to a single PC program to exchange content with my device. After all, it's my device and I want to load anything onto it I want.

Privacy is very important to me so I want a device that is designed to give me as much privacy as possible. Some hints: Anonymous interaction with the application store to download applications that are free. A way to buy applications from the app store anonymously. Synchronization of my calendar and address book but not on a single server on the net controlled by a big company but at home so I am in control and nobody by accident or design can reign over my data.

I want a nice graphical user interface and I want a touchscreen, and one that works. You know, a touch screen your fingers glide over nicely, without too much resistance and applications that understand two finger input to zoom in, zoom out, rotate, etc. I am still sort of keen on a physical keyboard but o.k. that's negotiable.

And finally, the device should be slim and lightweight.

A real challenge I admit and no device on the market currently fulfills all points. But as I said I am hard to please and a device which misses even only a single one raises serious doubts in me if it is the next device for me. How long will I have to wait before something shows up that is a worthy successor to the N95?

6 thoughts on “Essentials For My Next Mobile Device”

  1. I would recommend the Google Nexus One. Ticks 99% of your boxes. Doesn’t do VT though..I have used it and it is a world apart from a clunky N95!

  2. Interesting, these sound like an ornitorrincus for me! Religion, football and personal preferences should not be discussed. But anyhow, my preferences are much different, these all in one are not confortable! An ok device for me would should not be too small (so I can read and type confortably), 1MP camera is ok, basic MP3 and browser capabilities. Applications I leave for an netbook device, navigation for Tomtom, a camera for a decent Nikon or Canon, music for an iPod an so on. Guess I am sort of old fashioned, but these all in one are none good enough.

  3. What about a compass? let’s be prepared for those augmented reality apps around there.

  4. I recently went through pretty much the same steps when I was looking for a new phone. I got myself a Symbian device, because I was dissatisfied with the SynCE OpenSync plugin and with the lacking VoIP client in my HTC Hermes. The problem was that third party VoIP apps for Windows Mobile (of which there are plenty) had no access to the earspeaker. Making VoIP calls on WM only possible through a headset. But I now know, that third party apps can route to the earphone speaker in newer WM phones. But you should check before getting one.
    I dropped Android, because of the lacking pc sync. I believe Maemo (N900) also still has this problem. I think Moblin has great potential, but is just not there yet. I did play around with VoIP SIP on Android (Sipdroid) back in September last year and also found it badly lacking. But Android is moving so fast, this might already be much better. And PC-Syncing should also come soon.
    So this leaves you with Symbian and WM. Both of which currently are not much better than the N95. Maybe you should look into some current HTC WinMo devices. SynCE is not all that bad. Especially if you use Mandrake or Ubuntu. I would suggest this device:

    Price in Germany is ok so far (name is T-Mobile MDA Compact V) and the ongoing strong support from the xda-developers community makes it a very interesting device IMHO.

    If I had known beforehand, that the earspeaker issue is solved in current WinMo phones (though I would double check that one) I would have gotten that one. Even though I am a desktop Linux user. And an open source advocate. Windows Mobile is just so much more advanced compared to Symbian. Windows Mobile is a mobile computer os. You WILL see the difference.

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