It was on April 27, 2005 that Nokia introduced the Nseries brand of devices to the world. It has been 3 years since that day and we have indeed come a long way with they becoming an integral part of our lives. The first three devices that came out were the N90, N91 and the N70. A camera focused device, a music focused device and a mass market phone. Till today people swear by the N90’s camera and it was quite something for three years ago, it was when we finally forgot crappy 3gp video recording. The N91 on the other hand still is the best music phone Nokia ever made and it is only after 3 three years that a N96 is threatening to take away that mantel. The N70 was a device that truly took Nseries to the masses and till date it is one of the most successful phones ever made.
The next wave saw the N92, a DVB-H phone, come out; it was another matter that the technology never went mainstream. We also saw the N80 which was the first Nokia with a 3 megapixel camera and impressive features such as WiFi and a high res screen. But the battery killed it, once word got out many people skipped it. Till date we have seen 22 Nseries ‘multimedia computers’ roll out of Nokia factories – N70, N71, N72, N73, N75, N76, N77, N78, N80, N81, N82, N90, N91, N92, N93, N93i, N95, N95 8GB, N96, N770, N800, N810. Thats quite a number.
This post looks at Nseries as a whole and we try and reflect on each Nseries device.
There was a also a time when Nokia started using the term ‘multimedia computer’ for its phones and this wasn’t taken well by a number of people, however with time that has changed with devices becoming even more powerful and people realising their true worth. Traditionally the ‘9′ series has been reserved for something that hasn’t been done before. The N90 was a revolutionary camera phone, N91 music, N92 TV, N93 video, N95 GPS and the N96 well err. In the ‘8’ series came the jacks of all trades, while the ‘7’ brought up phones with technology that had filtered down to them from the 9 and 8 over a period of time. These were usually the phones that would do well in the mass market. At first Nseries came out in waves of three each with a device for each segment however with Nokia running out of numbers that has changed.
The Nseries product line up is today not restricted to phones only, it covers Internet Tablets as well. The N770 was the first, it never really took off and only the uber geeks had it. The N800 on the other was still more sucessful and the N810 is trying to further penetrate the market. The tablets still haven’t gone mainstream though and one would rarely come across a person in the street holding one.
Here’s a rundown of each device we have seen so far:
N70 – Hugely popular, took Nseries to the masses.
N71 – First Nseries flip phone, didn’t really do well was bulky too.
N72 – Based on the N70 minus 3G, did well specially with the female population.
N73 – This device took the Nseries way forward, great combination of features and price.
N75 – Was basically for the US markets, pretty much a non starter elsewhere.
N76 – A fashion phone targetted at the female population. People called it a Razr clone, suffered from battery and chrome issues.
N77 – A DVB-H based phone made to bring affordability to mobile TV, since the technology is still not popular, no one saw it.
N78 – Recently announced in Barcelona, pipedto be the N73 sucessor and dominate the markets.
N80 – Nokia’s first jack of all trades, I waited ages for it then gave it a pass.
N81 – Possible N91 sucessor and gaming phone. Is popular with the youth.
N82 – A true beauty. Nokia should be proud. One of the best devices there is.
N90 – First Nokia with a Carl Zeiss lens, revolutionised mobile photography, not mainstream though.
N91 – Nokia’s best music phone, Period.
N92 – First to bring DVB-H, had an interesting transforming form factor.
N93 – A device full of great specs made a lot of people drool, bulk never let it take off.
N93i – A remodelled N93, much slimmer, looked good.
N95 – The King. Never before did and N9x device sell that much. Did justice to its tagline – Its what computers have become.
N95 8GB – The current flagship, my phone of choice.
N96 – The upcoming flasgship, packs in everything the N95 has then adds DVB-H. Future uncertain.
N770 – For the geeks only, I never saw an advertisment.
N800 – Matured well, still not hugely popular – touchscrren only.
N810 – An upgrade to the N800, brough GPS and a keyboard, it is doing reasonably for a tablet.
They say the first impression is the last impression. When the N91 came out it had a few firmware niggles and that cased it to hang and reboot a few times. The problem with branding is that each device casts an impression of the entire range and it people started thinking that Nseries has problems and that they should stay clear of it. We the S60 and Nokia enthusiasts stuck through firmware updates and the world improved, however for a lot of people who didn’t know about about firmwares that notion seemed to have stuck. The N73 was stable when it came out and went on to become very popular, that helped in bringing the confidence back, the N95 also worked wonders and it is the N82 that truly represents a mature Nseries.
Here’s what Nokia had to say when they announced Nseries.
“The Nokia Nseries branded range of next generation multimedia devices is packed with the latest technologies such as 3G, Carl Zeiss Optics, megapixel cameras, multi-gigabyte memory, VHS resolution video and WLAN, the Nokia Nseries offers new fusions of digital media and mobility to the hands of mobile users. Consumers can now use a single device to do everything from snapping print-quality images, reading email, listening to music, browsing their favorite websites, watching mobile TV and much more. The Nokia Nseries multimedia range is styled to meet the expectations of the most demanding customers with stainless steel finishes and black pearl and smooth silver color pallets.”
Happy Birthday Nseries!