Last Thursday, my new cell phone arrived. It’s the O2 Xda Orbit, a branded version of the HTC Artemis P3300, filled with useful features like GPS and Wireless LAN. As a Nokia fan, it was really hard to resist the N95, but I’m more than happy with my choice.
So what differences are there between the N95 and the Xda Orbit? Well, technically, the N95 is superior. It has a much better camera (5MP auto-focus versus 2MP fixed-focus) and full 30 fps mpeg4 recording capability. But it has an ugly sliding mechanism what I really hate. Phones aren’t supposed to have any mechanical element in my opinion. There were a lot of things that disturbed me on my old N70 and I don’t think they are fixed on the N95. The N70 was buggy as hell when released and crashed regularly. Now Windows Mobile 5 seemed to have the same problem, but O2 just started offering Windows Mobile 6 for the Xda Orbit, which doesn’t only look better as it turned out.
Let me tell you about my major problems with Nokia cell phones. First, there is the multilingual problem. I need German, English and Chinese, but there simply is no Nokia that supports this. They offer a Chinese version with English or a German version with English, but none with all three. The reason is simple: cell phones in China are a lot cheaper and if the software would support other languages than Chinese, they’d be exported from there and sold below the European market price, which is way higher. Technically, it wouldn’t be a problem to add support for Chinese, but they didn’t. Next is the response time of Symbian, it is way too slow in my opinion. S40 phones don’t have that problem of course, but they lack functionality in Outlook synchronization. Another problem was the ability to send emails. It’s not very user friendly and on my N70, attachments didn’t work.
So what is better now with my O2 Xda Orbit? Well, with Windows Mobile 6, communications are all managed by Outlook Mobile, which can be synched in a 5 minute interval via O2 Wap Flatrate for free with my Exchange Server. Email support is almost as good as on my desktop! The GPS is used by TomTom Navigator 6, which works perfectly in Berlin for navigation. It even has a bike and pedestrian mode which I will test soon. Wireless LAN is perfect for surfing with Opera Mobile, speeding things up a lot or calling people over Skype or Fring via Voip. Fring even supports SIP, allowing me to take my landline number around wherever I go. Now here is the best part: With Ce-Star 2.8b3, I am now able to write Chinese on my phone screen and it get’s perfectly recognized! I never had any Chinese support on any of my phones before, but I have to say it is great!
Let’s see what my Dad will say about my phone when I’m visiting them in august. I think he’ll probably just take mine and tell me to buy a new one…