Seventh Interview-Vishal and Satyajit prefer feature phones over smartphones

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Remember the interesting interview series that we been talking about since a few days back? So far, there been six interviews with six of the users from various platforms to bring their own perspective about their phones ..

  1. Naveen, an engineering student from Tamilnadu, India about Android and his SGS
  2. Deep Ganatra, founder of Web1 Solutions from Mumbai, India about Apple and iPhone 4
  3. Yogesh, computer engineer from Mumbai, India about Nokia N8
  4. Pankaj Kapoor, Technical Manager of Cowi India from New Delhi, India about Nokia E72
  5. Aarti, working in training and writing from Chennai, India about her Blackberry Curve 8520
  6. Mukesh, a computer engineer from New Delhi, India about his HTC Windows Mobile

There was something missing out there as pointed out by my friend @mobileyog, the perspective of people, who are still using and preferring feature phones over smart phones. So, I thought to meet two more people for bringing out the perspective of them as well about feature phones. What could have been better, two in place of one?

So, here I am presenting you Vishal and Satyajit for you…

vishal1 satyajit

Vishal and Satyajit, first of all readers wanted to know about you, like who are you? Can you tell us something about you  ? like your profession,background etc, social life, hobbies etc?

Satyajit Hi Nitish, I am Satyajit Roy, a Process Engineer and working in Gurgaon.
Vishal I am MBA Finance, working with an MNC, hobbies are reading books, stock markets study

I was looking for some people, who are ‘feature phone’ users by choice not by price. People who find their S40 Series phones (like yours) satisfying their general needs and happy with it. How you fit the same persona?

Satyajit Actually for long time I was very basic user of mobile and recently I started to use advanced features like email configuration, internet, video streaming, Google apps, banking solutions etc. Now exploring advance internet features and 3G speed. I must say that S40 series mobiles are not dumb and having very good features.

Vishal I am using my Nokia 3110C model for more than 3 years successfully without any severe issue. During this span I discovered that this phone is much more than just a mobile. This is really value for money phone. I like to get the maximum out of this device.

How long you have been using mobiles? why never got any smart phone?

Satyajit I am using Nokia 6300 for past three and half year. It meets my daily mobile uses. Now I am looking for advance features and can opt for smart phone if requires.

Vishal I have been using mobiles since 6 years now, but my Nokia 3110C since more than 3 years as specified earlier. I never thought of buying a smart phone since most of the features like calling, sms, music, video, applications, internet browsing is already possible on my Nokia 3110C as well.

There is a big war among various smart phone vendors, stats about touch screen phones, talk about Smartphone only everywhere, don’t you find users like you a bit sidelined? Don’t you feel limited with what you can do with your phone?

Satyajit My existing mobile serves my essential requirement so I am not bothering about smart phone.

Vishal I don’t feel sidelined. Whenever a phone is launched and advertised, the company makes the product so attractive that prospective buyers feel that this device is something ultimate and can act like a TV, a computer. But we need to understand a mobile has its limitation though it is high-end. It has size limitation, speed limitation in comparison to a TV and/or a computer. I have heard some smart phone users saying that such smart phone craze is limited only up to few months after their purchase.

Can you list out the phones you have used for last few years ?

Satyajit Nokia 2300 and Nokia 6300.

Vishal Nokia: 3110C, 3200, 2690

What you think of new ‘touch n type’ S40 phones by Nokia? Is touch screen needed there?

Satyajit I heard that Nokia touch screen technology is not satisfactory. I think for long time use better to go for handset with key pad rather than touch screen.

Vishal As per me touch and type phone screen is bound to get scratches and get faded away due to sweat on thumb, fingertips. Also if using the stick then we keep busy our both hands.

So, these were the basic questions about you and your perspective over things, now let’s dig some more in feature phone genre ..

You use your phone for accomplishing which thing most… calls, browsing, navigation, music, twitter.. which one? Do you use a data plan?

Satyajit I use it most for web browsing and mobile banking. I am enjoying Airtel internet at EDGE network.

Vishal I use my phone for all the above activities mentioned above. Yes I have a data plan of a reputed service provider.

How you manage multitasking, crucial factor which makes smart phone different from feature phone?

Satyajit Sure, miss it a little. Multitasking differs smart phone from normal phone. Simultaneously you can download from internet while on call. At the same time smart phone have more open architecture then normal phone with more RAM and Processing Capabilities.

Vishal I have downloaded a browser through which I can access different sites without closing a running site by switching on to another window. I can attend calls while accessing internet. The browser also provides me calling and SMS facility.

I have used a few of feature phones from S40 series and find that they are not even dumb at all like old S30 series Nokia 3300 anymore. Sometimes I feel that even feature phones have much more caliber and people yet to know them to think that if they actually need those computer like specs in their phones. What’re your thoughts?

Satyajit Yes. S40 offers very good features which common users not aware like email account configuration, Push To Talk, Web Browser, online video streaming, use as web cam and installation of various applications. Even for few handsets document readers too available.

Vishal I too agree with the above.One can’t expect a computer like effects and the feel in a mobile even though it has.

Earlier companies like Sony Ericsson, Nokia used to make very good Camera (cybershot, walkman), Music feature phones, but now there isn’t much. Don’t you think companies are ignoring feature phones?

Satyajit It is market strategies and ok. Definitely they should stress more on advance phones. Normal category phones have good enough features for regular use.

Vishal I don’t think so since Nokia has launched 2690, which also fits the feature phone category. It’s only the advancements in technology and the portability concept that, hence the demand of people and potential to
earn huge revenues that smart phones are in the market.

Nokia and even many of the local companies have bring QWERTY now for feature phones (e.g. Nokia C3-00), which sometimes back was a thing for premium phones only. Have you tried any? How is it in comparison of old T9 keypads? Changes something?

Satyajit Yes, it is good and specially for who text more. I would like to have it as my next phone.

Vishal Sorry, I have not tried the local brands QWERTY keypad phones, can’t say much.

What according to you make best feature phone? If you given the charge to promote feature phones, then what features you want to see in a best feature phone that you could recommend anyone easily?

Satyajit Good RAM and Processor, 3G and above web access, QWERTY key pad, better screen resolution, strong battery, 2 MP and above camera, better and loud sound, 8 GB and more memory, more interacting with computer are something good enough for a best normal phone.

Vishal Basics are the best. Calls, SMS, browsing, navigation, music, medium sized screen, supporting more than 2 video formats(3gp, amr, avi).

Battery is something which makes or breaks things for many. Where your phone stands about it?

Satyajit Not much happy with mine in particular. Battery is poor in terms to meet performance of Nokia 6300.

Vishal I haven’t faced any battery related issues with mine one so far.

With smart phones getting cheaper, do you think feature phones will survive? Or will you also buy smart phone after 2 years?

Satyajit After two years, if I have to purchase then definitely I’ll go for smart phone.

Vishal Yes! Feature phones can surely survive as there are many people, who find it difficult to operate a smart phone but still expect the above mentioned features . For them it’s a necessity.

You must have heard of USB OTG in coming Nokia X3. A way with which you can transfer data between your pen drive to your phone via cable without using any PC in between. What you think of it? Will such innovation keep the feature phone genre alive?

Satyajit It is very good feature but I think normal user may not give much importance to it.

Vishal Why not. This is definitely a great innovation.

Gaming and twitter becoming even more prominent for some users, even more than FM/ Music etc. Where are feature phones on them? Do you find enough good games on that thing? Do you use twitter? Which app then?

Satyajit I am not using twitter and not gaming too. So, it is not that lucrative feature for me in smart phone.

Vishal Yes I can access twitter on my phone. I have downloaded applications like facebook, nimbuzz and many on my phone and use them for social networking.

There  is a lot buzz around Camera etc. S40 phones features camera too, how much of camera job your phone does for you?

Satyajit I use very often my camera. It is good for daily uses in good light situation. But it can not beat actual SLR/DSLR. For special occasion you need cameras only.

Vishal I get the clarity enough which can be expected from a mobile phone camera considering the lens quality and the MPs

Well at some places, smart phone become a lot lesser attractive when loose internet connection. How is it about feature phones? Do they engage you without data plans?

Satyajit For me internet connection is very vital and most lucrative feature in smart phones, though feature phone still survive even in absence.

Vishal Now days, internet has the same importance for smart phone as well as feature phones and I think if net connection is loose, any phone is bound to face issues

Do you make use of advanced features like tethering or using your phones like a USB Drive?

Satyajit Yes. I use my mobile some time as data storage.

Vishal Yes connect it through computer for transferring data and even for connecting internet via tethering.

Now on real things, is it loud on calls? What about the music performance?

Satyajit I will say that music performance is excellent in terms of clarity but not loud enough.

Vishal Audible, clear and sober unlike some china mobiles, who go behind loudness only.

Be honest, if your younger bro ask you for some phone, then will you suggest him a feature phone? Which category  of users you think should go for feature phones?

Satyajit Any common/ family man can go for normal phones. To younger generation I would suggest smart phone only, if possible.

Vishal Users who like to derive the maximum from a device at best price, use maximum features should buy the feature phone.

What you don’t like about feature phones, which should improve more now?

Satyajit I think web browsing feature needs to improve. Data speed and better web browsers require. Mini Opera and Ovi browser (BETA) are good but need improvement.

Vishal Inability to support more than one video format, sometimes they do get hanged, at least mine one.

Your score points to your own phone (rating if any) What should have improved here?

Satyajit 7/10 for today. Support for 3G, open architecture, good battery life is require in Nokia 6300.

Vishal 8/10. Multiple video format support.

So, these were Satyajit and Vishal for you discussing about feature phones. What you think, I should have asked more about or what they missed to mention? Please do tell me ….


Have to buy a phone urgently? You are screwed

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Strange title from me na… but if you really been in dilemma of buying a phone in recent times, then you know very well that what I am talking about. Its a damn nightmare, if one knows a thing or two about phones and wanna buy one at this nick of time.

Many has said that phones are like chicks, before you settle your eye for one, one more hotter will soon be around. Some even say that phone manufacturers intentionally frustrate the hell out of users by leaving one or two important qualities from each new model, so that there may be scope of selling different devices. Whatever …. but I could bet that nothing could be this much complicated than choosing which phone to buy.

Just a common rant like anyone would feel, whenever up to buying a phone for filling up the needs (not a planned purchase for something particular). If more sophisticated, then one could even write something like this. But I am here only to give words to my dilemma and to see if others could also relate with the same.

Currently I own a Nokia N82, a proud owner of the same. How much I have enjoyed the same, one could get the idea from the fact that I have snapped more than 5-6k pics from the same, more than 200 GBs internet data already has passed through the same. Do you know what it means?

It means its crying to get retired, crying in loud

Ok!! I want to buy a phone. I have to buy one now

Question is what I want to buy. Everyone crying about Touch Phones, resistive vs capacitive, OLED Vs Amoled Vs whatever .. and voices like mine or like even AAS sounds like stupid that touch screen are not the perfect choice, at least for me… tell me how could one type an SMS under the table while hearing the boring meeting minutes or when the boss is uttering the same repetitive words that seriously don’t inspire you anyway or how could you type an emergency message while driving bike or car with some touch screen or in some metro or other crowdy place, where you getting bored and wanna remove boredom with facebook or twitter?

Yeah that says it loud, I serious feel off track with touch phones and even if hugely impressed with leagues of Nokia N900 or Nokia N8, somewhere that doesn’t make my dream of non-touch smartphone. It may sound you weird, but somehow I enjoy touch screens (in fact loved Nokia N900 like some mad), but still somewhere part of me says that you can’t live without a non-touch.

But I want it all …

Priorities of mine … but I still want to own Nokia N900 and Nokia N8 then???

What a nick of time.. Nokia N8 teasing you this much with spectacular camera like never before that leading all to more of frustrations only due to ridicules delay other the other side, first the reports of intolerable signal issues with Apple iPhone 4 and now even confirmation from Consumer Reports that they can’t recommend it. If something was less confusing then this all rants all over internet around Symbian, iOS and Android, do someone really give a damn about it this much?

You ask on twitter that which phone to buy and people will start giving suggestions for Android, iPhone, Bada etc. Perhaps because they wanna taste it before :P. But seriously speaking, kind of Multi-tasking iOS or Android offering with Galaxy S is not my piece of cake and pre-Bada OS’s from Samsung freak me out. As of now, I can’t stand a Non-Nokia, even if it may be Maemo. Nokia knows its job, whatever people say about it . I know my needs and don’t want suggestions coming from UK to follow ‘the trend’.

That’s make the scene a little more clear, I need a standby phone that could serve my needs well till Nokia N8 arrives and even after the same. Have to save the money for Nokia N8 and still … What if I want a smartphone not in league of Nokia N8 or Nokia N900 or iPhone, but still strong enough that if I am left with the same only for an year then I could survive happily.

Why I am screwed? Why Nokia screwed?

Damn you Nokia, Damn your release schedules and Damn your ignorance for no. 1 mobile market in the world. Keep on selling for US/ UK and keep on loosing people, who write for you. Release of Nokia N900 was a joke and was more worsen due to absence of Skype. Bullshit that Government has any objection. What’s point of releasing something after making it obsolete? What you are doing with C3, C6 and E5? From which planet they are coming? What out of the world technologies you are using in them? What the hell is taking ages in releasing one here in India?

It seems that sales/ business wing of Nokia (probably all from US/UK) desperate to ruin all effort of their efficient development team. They will literally cause hatred among Indian Customers the way they are treating them as second grade. Its getting offending now.

Nokia should understand that its not good for a ship that people are on it only till when no other ship is around. That’s explains why people are jumping from ship now and why Android boomed all of a sudden. Customers in India are on your ship only because they have no better option and if you think it cool then …

What are my options? The phones I have considered so far are

Nokia E72: Big on my cards. Has all the connectivity options at best, one of best keypad in a world that could be very well operated one-handedly too, have the A-GPS at best (Free navigation), Office editing features, what a slim-n-solid yet complete satisfying build and on the top of everything a 1500 mAh battery. Last price quoted to me was Rs. 16, 300/-

Nokia E52: Second best on my cards. Recently bought for my younger bro and let me tell you, my secret plan is to ask it back from him and make him settled with some inferior one as he is not much demanding about Smartphone features. It got all what E72 has except the QWERTY and price as last quoted was Rs. 11, 800/-

Nokia E63: Thanks Pankaj for the same suggestion. Looks great (like E72) for the price tag of around Rs. 8, 000/- but the worst two cons are lowest 3G and no A-GPS. Somehow now days, it looks scary to me thinking that I wont be able to geo-tag my tweets and my photos.

Nokia C5: Thanks Suyog for the hint. Nothing new about the looks again as I seen very similar to this one in E52, but what’s make it different and exciting is some new features with refreshed OS. Contacts on Home screen integrated with Social Services, probably, it stands as the first one of Nokia Messaging era (C3, C6 and E5) we are waiting for. Free maps and though it lacks in wi-fi, but still presence of 10mbps HSPDA sounds good. What’s disappointing is 1050 mAh battery and 50 mb internal storage, even a simple install of Qt will ruin it half. 600 MHz processor and 50 mb left for doing some multi-tasking? Really some freaks are there in Nokia Design team. The price as much I enquired from the internet seems to be somewhere Rs. 8, 000/-

Nokia N900: A pricy device for a change? the price in market seems to be somewhere around Rs. 25, 500/- now, but that is a dream device for sure. It will keep on making people tempted even after  launch of Nokia N8. There must be some serious reasons that Nokia N900 is still the choice for testers testing MeeGo inside Nokia. QWERTY Keypad beating Netbooks, easiest integration with pubic services like Google, Flicker etc, capability to play any kind of media and always a work around over something you wished your device might be doing for you. What screws this device big is Maemo’s choice to exclude Java for God knows reasons. Consumers are deprived from Google Maps, when Nokia still failed to provide some at par Navigation system.

As many said to me, buy N900 and you wont regret, 5MP decent camera and a device creating new stories each day. Problem is only battery.. will someone tell me that what was the problem with providing 1500 mAh with it? I am also pushed back to wall due to the price as I have to buy Nokia N8 anyway, then putting this much money worth for?

Nokia E5: Though its announced to be available for sale only by September, but there are strong indications that it may hit stores soon (may be first week of August). With a price point of Rs. 13, 000/- and packing up all features of Nokia E72 (except almighty 1500 mAh battery, it will have 1200 mAh), its a very much anticipated device. Better if Nokia release it now. It may change equations for C5 and E52, it 1200 mAh battery performs nice. May be my next buy.

There were many talking about iPhone etc, but as I already told, I hate full touch screens (N8 is exception as there will be Bluetooth keypads etc). Same goes with Android devices.. most are with touch screens only. I seriously think that even after the worse criticism now days, have anyone ever made a better OS than Symbian for non-touch phones?

So, dear all… want your views here.. what I could buy, should buy …