The big switch: I'm done with the Nokia N82 and on to the SE W890i

Noah Kravitz
 from Oakland, CA
Published: May 2, 2008

Well, that didn't take long.

My big switch away from the iPhone to the Nokia N82 as my daily cell?  I think I'm over it.  In part I have to blame the post-CTIA deluge of new devices that have come into the PhoneDog office over the past few weeks.  With so many new phones to try out, how can I limit myself to just one (I'm happily married, so being polygamous with gadgets is my vice)?

More than that, though, the N82's lack of style and fun got to me.  Having a top-notch camera with me all the time is cool, but it's not really enough to make up for the fun I wasn't having with the device.  Sure it's got WiFi and a Web browser and a media player and N-Gage support ... but the body feels kind of cheap and the buttons are small and I keep forgetting to actually close applications, and instead leave them running in the background when I go back to the home screen (a S60 hurdle that I can't seem to get over). 

And I'm realizing that when it comes to high-end phones, I really want one of three things (preferably all of them): A QWERTY keyboard, a touchscreen, a big dose of WOW! factor.  N82 doesn't really have any of them.  The 5MP camera with flash and VGA video recording approximates WOW! factor, but I guess I overestimated what it would mean to have that in my pocket all the time.  The chunky candybar body doesn't do much for me in terms of wow, and neither does the creaky plastic softkey that annoys me every time I press it.  Call me shallow, but it's the truth.

So I popped my SIM card out of the N82 and inserted it into the 9.9mm thin, all-metal profile of the Sony Ericsson W890i.  On paper I wouldn't have given the 890 a second thought - small(ish) display, no QWERTY, no WiFi or American 3G, not even autofocus or a flash on the 3.2mp camera.  But on paper and in the hand are two very different things, as I learned when I took the 890 out of its box for the first time.  It's so slim and so nice to hold I immediately set to making it do what I needed it to do in order to warrant a spot in my pocket.

A few bookmarks and a download of GMail Mobile later and the W890i is my new companion.  It's only tri-band GSM with EDGE so I don't get the signal strength or speed that the Quad-Band/WiFi N82 afforded, but that's alright.  The W890 is so much more fun to look at and use, thanks not only to its sexy body but also to SE's attractive, colorful menu system.

And so far I haven't missed the fancier camera of the Nokia.  Ask me again about that one once I've missed out on a great night shot ...