The Nokia N97: Is it just me, or is this thing the Gigantor of cellular devices?

I really get excited about cell phone tech. I live by my cell phone, my entire life is programmed into it so there are a lot of features that I use and need and the biggest one is probably scheduling software and task management that is easy to use and is not buggy. This isn’t much to ask for, at least that’s what I think, but you’d be surprised at how few phones provide these features.

Back in the day, I had a Nokia 3650. The first smart phone made by the company. I loved the hell out of my Nokia phones, not only for their features, but because I could drive over them with a pick up truck and they would keep going. It was the first cell phone that I owned that sported the following features: bluetooth, web browsing, MP3 playback, customizable ring tones, a camera that didn’t completely suck, reminder software and downloadable add-ons. I carried this phone until I could no longer buy replacement batteries for it. I also cannot tell you how many times I dropped this phone on concrete and it kept on ticking.

The problem with it, and with all Nokia phones at the time, was that they had their proprietary battery. Aftermarket batteries were a problem because they weren’t safe and Nokia’s replacements were often so expensive that it wasn’t worth it to buy a new battery. It was cheaper to buy a new phone. This is how I ended up with a razr as my next phone after I left my beloved 3650 behind.

I still have fond memories of that phone and to this day, could still navigate through its menus. I also got tons of compliments on what a cool looking phone it was. God I miss that phone.

Fast forward to today. In order to get those same features on a phone, and have them not completely suck or be tedious to use, I own an iPhone. Yeah, I am drinking the Apple kool-aid, but I keep waiting for Nokia to put out something that will woo me back into its arms. The minute that they put out something that truly beats the iPhone at being a smart phone I’ll happily switch.

However, to date, Nokia has failed me.

Now they come to market with this: The Nokia N97.

The thing looks cool. I like that there is a touch screen and a qwerty keyboard, but this thing is absolutely huge. I could get past that if I hadn’t seen so many similar phones of similar size that look cheap because they are cheap. Nokia hasn’t really innovated here. There is nothing clever or fantastic about this phone. It does nothing that the iPhone doesn’t already do with style and elegance.

Nokia, seriously, consider trying to do something new and neat. Stop trying to be an also ran. That’s what everyone is doing right now, playing catch up with the iPhone because Apple dropped something on the market that revolutionized cell phone tech and changed the way the entire world thought about what cell phones could do and no one was prepared for it. Even the towering monstrosity of a company that is RIM is trying to play catch up with the Blackberry Storm, and is failing miserably.

I really believe that Nokia could do it, if they would get their heads around the idea that cell phones are no longer simply cell phones.