Chapter 27 – Nseries Dyslexia

Almost immediately after my turn as a rockstar blogger across the United States I bought my first-ever Nseries device, not the N97 but an N79. Somebody on the tour had one, and I quickly became enamoured with this unassuming phone that consistently exceeded low expectations, much more than the flagship device that disappointed more often than not.

The N79 was a lot like Sony Ericsson’s T610 in that it had no groundbreaking features of its own, but instead wrapped up the innovations of the day in an attractive and affordable package. Though small enough to fit into a pants pocket the N79 had a 5 megapixel camera with lens protection, plus a front-facing camera for videoconferencing. 3G and WiFi radios were at the ready to serve your data needs. Navigating through the old school S60 UI was made easier (or at least different) by the innovative Navi™ wheel. What I liked best was the return of Nokia’s Xpress-On covers — updated for the 21st century with some clever technology that made the background colour of the screen match the back cover of the phone. Had I kept my N79 longer I would have a fairly large collection of Xpress-On covers by now.

But I didn’t. You see, regressing from a qwerty keypad to a T9 number pad was made considerably more difficult by the N79’s awful buttons. They were flat, offered almost no feedback and felt extremely cheap. Hammering out text messages, a breeze on my Eseries phones, was now a painful chore.

Still, I was definitely won over by what Nseries had to offer — in particular Nokia’s gaming platform of the day, called N-Gage. A favourite title was Mile High Pinball, my first modern-day gaming addiction since Bejeweled on my Treo almost a decade prior. Imagine a pinball table that extended infinitely and you get the general idea.

Though the days of N-Gage were numbered, Nseries devices were getting better and better. My N79 got to tag along with me on a points-burning mission around the world in November of 2009; sadly, it spent most of that trip in my suitcase, sidelined by the Nseries that would take its place as soon as I got home…