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Bloggers Meet at Bangalore with Axel Meyer and N97

I am a hardcore Nokian, but I was not all that excited when Nokia launched the N97 and that was due to the shortcoming in its hardware and other features. But design wise, this is one Nokia phone I fell in love with at first sight. I religiously followed all of N97’s photo releases, press releases, updates, videos and reviews. An Invite for a bloggers meet-up with the N Series Design Head Mr Axel Meyer was all wanted to motivate me to drive all the way the Oberoi Hotels in Bangalore.

Axel-MeyerNokia India organized this event exclusive for the bloggers community. Axel Meyer is the Group Design Head of the Multimedia Design Team in Nokia Design and a member of the Multimedia Design Management Board. He is responsible for the overall design of the Nokia N Series product line. Axel Meyer addressed the bloggers community and took us through his Journey along the roadmap to the design of Nokia’s N97. According to him, he has a very qualified and talented team and their aim is to develop a device that can help humans connect in a more natural way. He explained how his team went about to various cities around the world and gather user data. These data were not just text and numbers, but also photos, videos and audios. Over the period of time Nokia has learnt to develop solutions and products which are more relevant to the people. Though people are from different locations, background and culture, Nokia has succeeded in developing products that are so people centric. From ergonomics to user experience, every single data collected, has contributed to the development of the new Nokia N97.

He presented us his thoughts for about 30 minutes and also played a the making of N97 and promotional video clips. Later he jumped off the stage to face the bloggers and their questions. I was amazed at the sheer number of questions that were mounted on the bloggers’ mind and ready to explode any moment there. He was drilled with questions from early Nokia mobile models to current ones. He handled the queries skillfully and gave answers that made a lot of sense. I myself had about a trillion questions zipping across my mind and I also managed to ask a few.

Me: How do you study Ergonomics and convert the study results to tangible products?

Axel: (Not in exact words) As he said earlier, they get on to the field and interact with people, form expert groups, make prototypes, conduct studies and gather every single data that’s possible. The number equates to the behavioural patterns and these patterns are taken into account while designing a product.

Me: N97 was announced quite a long time before and its launched in the market now. Why does it take such long gap between the announcement and the launch?

Axel: (Not in exact words) Nokia delivers products that are robust, reliable and practical. To make such a device available to the public will definitely take a lot of time and most part of it includes studies and tests.

Me: Why resistive touch screen and not capacitive?

Axel: (Not in exact words) Resistive offers more quality experience like the handwriting recognition. Its more reactive thats what people want.

Me: (unanswered questions…)

  • Why was the virtual keypad taken off?
  • Why widgets?
  • Nokia 95 had hidden accelerometer that was not announced or activated when it was launched. It was activated only after a while as an patch update. Why did Nokia opt to do that? Is there something hidden like that within N97?
  • My N95 8Gb is 2 years old and already it looks like an hag married 60 times in 60 years, though I took good care of it. If I buy a Nokia N97 today, will it look the same after 2 years from now? Whats the improvement you have done to retain the cosmetic appeal?
  • Why are Nokia mobiles’ vital spare parts like the screen, panel very expensive? Now that N97 has a touch screen and also movable parts like the tilt shift slider. These parts are susceptible to mechanical breakdown due to accidents or wear and tear. Will they be expensive too? Mind the fact that the consumer has already shelled out a fortune to own the mobile.
  • In countries like India, the mobile attracts a lot of dust and moisture. Low end Nokia mobile like the 1100 are proven to a fighter under such conditions. But high end phones are a lot fragile. When I pay more, why dont I get that protection?

These are a fraction of the many questions that’s I was loaded with, but then the presenter cut me off due to shortage of time and they jumped on to the one2one sessions. Not even by mistake, the words Apple or iPhone came off his mouth, though bloggers tend to ask questions and compared iPhone to Nokia. By then I was also immersed in fiddling with the actual device. In many reviews and videos, I have noticed people talk about the solid click and feel when the device slides. So this was the day when I got to experience the feel. Its so unlike the slide mehcanism in any of the phones available now. Its not about the orientation of the slide, its all about the way it slides out and sits in place with a solid click nullifying any thoughts of fragility. The tactile response in the touchscreen was another great thing, probably introduced in 5800. The phone is a great device and its definitely a flagship model and a milestone in Nokia’s design road-map.

I just cant wait to write a complete review of this power-horse once I get my hands on it.

I should thank all the organizers for coming up with such a brilliant event for the blogger community. Thanks for accommodating me, though I confirmed my availability in the last minute. Its a pity that my camera charger didn’t stand up for me. I couldn’t do a proper photo coverage of the event. I had to rely on my good old N95 to shoot the videos and pictures. Do excuse the mediocre quality of photos and video.

Videos of the entire presentation Session

Few other Bloggers’ covering the event:

Mobonoid

Nokiapp

Zomgitscj

Adityasphones

Vinu Thomas

Varun – Fonearena

Flickr Photo streams from other Bloggers:

Brajeswar’s

Vinu Thomas’

Clinton Jeff’s

2 responses

  1. cgiridhar

    Thanks for the links Varun…

    June 11, 2009 at 5:46 AM

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