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My Opinion of Nokia S60 N97 mini and Maemo N900 Review from an iPhone Perspective:

The article, Nokia S60 N97 mini and Maemo N900 Review from an iPhone Perspective — Smartphone Round Robin on tipb.com was one of the more level overviews I've read. Unlike many sites that are vehemently in one camp or another or simply plagued with myopia, this review gives a very high-level overview of the different products and the marketing points, and is very honest about its bias coming from an Apple iPhone background.

The preferences and observations mentioned in the article I find interesting because of this background; in a few cases I found myself commenting to myself on the strangeness of the preference since my own tastes were reversed. For instance, the comment on the resistive vs. capacitive touchscreen issue, the author indicates:

Having gotten used to glass, capacitive screens over the last couple years of iPhone use, however, I’ve come to regard using a resistive device as a chore. Instead of light flicks and swipes with the finger, Nokia devices require firm presses and drags with the finger nail. Sure, resistive screens are more pixel-precise, but they’re far less immediate than capacitive ones, and that lack of immediacy results — for me — in a lack of connection to my device. The iPhone’s screen feels like it knows what you want it to do and just does it. Nokia’s screens feel like they do what you force them to.

My own experience using the HTC Magic and Apple iPhone is that the screens are overly sensitive, often causing me to select something I hadn't intended to. I do not know for sure if my own preference comes from my general preference for a hardware keyboard so that a slightly slower response from the screen doesn't slow down my typing, or that the screen itself on modern Nokia phones are significantly more responsive than the last time I used a touchscreen on a Palm Tungsten T3.

There are a few parts of the article which I do feel are misleading or misinformed.

But with the ability to manage your device to that degree comes with it the equal and opposite reality of a device that needs to be managed to that degree.

There are plenty (probably the majority) of Nokia users that do very minimal if any customization of their phones. Which leads well into the next criticism:

These are the dichotomies that face Nokia and its platforms — globally popular yet locally unknown, past its prime yet not ready for primetime, targeted at emerging markets yet embraced by high-order geeks. And given the strength of other options, I’m not sure it’s one most consumers will be willing to investigate.

A few paragraphs of talking about the fact that Nokia has both Symbian and Maemo phones (not to mention the occasional Nokia S40) conclude with this awkward attempt at summing-up. Although I don't disagree that the two platforms introduces some additional pressures on a company; Nokia has reasonably stated that they're targeting each at different audiences, with Symbian targetted at mid-range smartphones and Maemo at the higher-end and more advanced mobile Internet devices.

The articles closing advice does seem sound, however. If you don't know which one you want--if you don't understand the differences--the Apple iPhone might be the best fit for you. You'll look cool, and people will like you. If you want a solid phone, the Nokia N97 is probably your best bet, and if you want unbridled mobile computing freedom, then the Nokia N900 is probably your best bet.