I’ve been using Nokia for about 6 years now. In fact, Nokia 5230 was my first full touch screen phone, and my first smartphone which I bought after the Nokia 5230 broke down was a Nokia Lumia 800.
After I crashed the screen of the Lumia 800 to the ground, I bought another Nokia, a Lumia 900. And recently, I bought myself a phablet: Lumia 1320.
After about several years of using Nokia, I always get that stare when I flaunt the Nokia phones I’m using. People find it strange that somebody is still using Nokia in this age. Come on, it’s 2016! Why are you still using Nokia? So they said.
For me, using a Nokia is like making a statement. Buying Samsung, or Lenovo, or Apple, is just too common and mainstream. When all the people are going to an obvious choice like a herd of sheep, you might want to take a step back and reanalyze the choices that you have.
First of all, Nokia might not be relevant now, but you still can’t deny the quality of its products, especially the hardware. The reason being why Nokia is not as popular as other smartphones is because Nokia phones utilize Windows software as their operating system, which in the populace’s opinion is not easy on the eye. The tiles –based interface for them is not as great as icons used in Apple OS and Android. However, some people love the tiles over icons, to each his own. Windows OS also makes it very hard to customize your phone, which might come off as unappealing to the users.
However, the real win relies in the durability and longevity of the phones. One of the signs that Nokia really thinks carefully about the hardware is when you can balance the Nokia on a flat surface. Smartphones now are designed solely for the user’s experience, which is not a bad thing at all. But when you can stand your phone on its bottom, it’s a sign of the designers going for the extra mile. My Lumia 900 can stand on its own, which means something about the design is so perfectly calculated to give the balance to the phone. Samsung can brag all they want about the designs of their phone, but can their phone stand? That’s an interesting question that can open up a whole debate about phone designs and the ingenuity of the design.
See? It can stand on its own!
Apple started off their lap in the competition with a box design, and Samsung phones mostly look similar. Nokia was the braver one in terms of design variety - the leaf phone, the soap, the Nokia N-gage and many more other designs that worth recognition. If the shift is going towards Apple's and Samsung's favour, we the consumers have played our part in killing diversity of phone designs.
Secondly, when Nokia becomes the loser in the marathon, you could rely on one obvious consequence – the price drop. For this though, you’ve got to be patient. My Lumia 900 was bought below the market price with an RM600 rebate for stock clearance. Once Microsoft took over Nokia, many more of the phones were subjected to stock clearance to make way for new Microsoft phones, and that is how I got my Lumia 1320 below market price as well, with an RM300 rebate. Just like the idiom, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. You don’t want to buy Nokia, it’s totally fine, but you’ll help in reducing the price indirectly, and that is where I come into the picture.
Third, the loyalty. I know Samsung and Apple are the frontrunners for the smartphone race, but there is something so human about Nokia that is always attractive to me. The tagline ‘Connecting People’ perhaps come into play when Nokia is designing its phones that you could feel something so genuine in the phone. Maybe it’s another Goliath vs David tale of underdog vs the giants, or that Nokia did no evil compared to Apple, or even Samsung yet still manages to fail miserably, but I just feel that Nokia should remain in the competition. It would break my heart to see the once mighty Nokia go and being sold off like Motorola. If you think about it, if Nokia left the smartphone market, we would lose a very classy and strong phone maker, and leaving the smartphone race to the likes of Samsung and Apple, which would also means diversity would be killed.
Unlike Apple, with the late Steve Jobs’ arrogance and the suicide-inducing condition of the Apple factory in China, and Samsung’s employees getting cancer, or even Android’s Google shady policies about privacy, Nokia remains as a company that is consistent in its welfare and treatment to the workers and to the users as well, which in hindsight perhaps is the downfall of Nokia. Being the nice person means Nokia took less risky approach in its ventures, and if you’re not willing to tackle the big risks in the smartphone market, you’re going to have to go home.
If I’m writing this a few months earlier, I would have to say Nokia offline GPS navigation is the best so far and is a big plus when you’re considering Nokia, but since HERE Drive and Maps will no longer be supported in Nokia phones, Nokia really is in the losing end now.
I’m a realist person, and though I’m very keen to see Nokia to turn this around and that circumstances work in their favour, if nothing groundbreaking is being done by Nokia to win the market again, then it’s a goodbye. However, Nokia was a very resilient company, surviving the competition of the fittest by shapeshifting from one form to another. It was not even a telecommunication company back in the olden days, to start with. Nevertheless, judging from the current trend, I’m expecting Nokia to go completely vanished a few years from now, and while waiting for that time to welcome the smartphone overlords, Samsung and Apple, I’m going to stay loyal to an old friend.