Why Nokia? Hardware, Maps, Community, says Andy Hagon

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In an age when most people you see in the Western world are carrying iPhones or Android devices of various price points, a common question asked of Andy Hagon (living in New York) is "Why Nokia?". In other words people see him with an 808 PureView, N9 or Lumia 920 and question his sanity. Linked below is his eloquent defense, rather mirroring one my own editorials back at the start of 2011...

From Andy's article:

So, with all this choice, and with the utter domination of Apple’s iPhone and the plethora of 'cheap and cheerful' to top-end Android phones, why Nokia? Why buy a brand name that seemed to be fizzling out like a soggy firecracker? Why not join the hordes of consumers who were snapping up iPhones as soon as they are launched, or Androids that are available on every single network, from Virgin Mobile to Verizon? Why support a brand that had the audacity to release the infamous N97, a phone that was both outrageously expensive and outrageously awful (even for 2008 standards?) 

Well. It comes down to a few personal decisions that have little to do with the N97, or the fact that iPhones and Samsungs are too ubiquitous to be unique.

Firstly, say what you want about Nokia’s software history with its glitches, grinds, reboots, freezes, and on-and-off support. We’ve all had our fair share of problems with that, whether it was an E72 that ‘just froze’, or an N8 that ‘just rebooted itself’ or an N9 that just refused to open an app without a manual restart. We may have loved (or indeed still love) the S40, Symbian^3/Anna/Belle, Maemo, and MeeGo-Harmattan operating systems that Espoo have churned out over the years. But they have never really been seen as arguably more reliable than their competitors, not by tech reviewers, bloggers, or even by their very owners. But that’s OK. Why? Because of my next reason.

Hardware. Nokia are the masters of designing, creating and redefining what a good smartphone should look like, and their designs have been crafted with materials that not only stand the test of time, but actual crazy tests of endurance too! Sure, the iPhone set a new precedent with an all-glass front and very few buttons. Samsung might have learned that simply copying the idea can be expensive. But it was Nokia that took the idea further, deciding to incorporate a hardware qwerty keyboard in the doomed N97, the slightly less doomed N97 mini and the excellent Linux-powered N900. The physical architecture of these and later models proves that Nokia can build one hell of a phone. The first Symbian^3 devices took this even further. The C7 and E7 have often been referred to as Nokia’s best industrial design (at launch), and the N8 has been dropped, thrown and even booted across a soccer field, and still managed to take the best photos on any phone in the world (at the time).

Andy goes on to talk in detail about Nokia's camera expertise, Nokia Maps and the sheer sense of community that has always persisted in the (Symbian &) Nokia world, all of which I'd echo wholeheartedly. 

The interesting thing is that when someone asks me the same question, I can easily trot out a dozen reasons, some of which are Symbian-specific, some of which are Nokia hardware-specific, whereas if I'm spotted with a Samsung phone (as does happen with the Galaxy Nexus) and asked "Why Samsung?", I'd struggle to find much to say ("It's a Nexus and runs pure Android... That's 1. Err.... it's got a nice big screen." And so on...) Very definitely not as much emotional attachment as with my favourite Nokias of the last decade.

Comments welcome!

Source / Credit: Nokia Innovation