You guys should know by now I'm a big advocate of integrated QWERTY keyboards. I just never got into Graffiti and the like, and typing up articles on my Revo while everybody else was scratching around with a stylus pretty much convinced me. So when it's clear that the new Nokia 9300 Communicator is taking a lot of its design cues from the old Psion hardware, it's certainly enough to make me stop and take notice.
They announced the 9500 in like February, and it looks good, too, but sort of clunky. The 9300 is a slimmer version, and with the exception of the removal of Wi-Fi - I think that's a mistake - a lot of the trimmed features won't be missed. I'm all about integrated cameras in phones, but for the more business-oriented customer that Nokia will be targeting with this, I think it makes sense to drop it.
But most importantly, this phone looks nice. Nokia has had a bad tendency of making phones that look like sophomore design-student projects instead of simple, graceful tools. Like some guy in a suit is going to want to whip out his pink and white bubble-phone and call into the home office. I'm not against risky design - I like a lot of designs some of you fools think are hideous - but I think something as simple and as goes-with-anything as the 9300 design should be noted and commended.
Anyway, beyond that, the screen is still solid, carrying over the 640 by 200 pixel screen from the older 9210i model (still 65k colors, but I can look over that), as well as tri-band GSM with GPRS and EDGE capability. Oh, and Bluetooth, our stalwart friend (and cause of many a'brain gouge).
So what's wrong with the 9300? Well, ignoring the missing Wi-Fi, which anyone not on an EDGE network will really miss, the main wrinkler is price. Last I heard Nokia was going to try to pawn this one off on us for around $850, which is about $500 too much considering the market it's going to be dropped into, filled with the Treo 650, BlackBerry 7200i, and even things like the SideKick II. At that price, the Series 80 OS is going to need some serious advantages to convince American business users that the 9300 is the messenger for them. (Thanks, David!)
Read - Nokia 9300 [MobileGazette]
Nokia Communicator Archives [Gizmodo]