Strange as it may sound, I’m starting to like the N95. It’s taken me the best part of a week, but the whole ‘everything bar the kitchen sink’ aspect of it is quite compelling. What’s less compelling is the execution. There are some remarkably awful bits of user interface, and the consistency and coherency one expects of a UI in the second half of the first decade of the twenty-first century is – notably – lacking. Take the following situation:
I just got cut off in the middle of a call, ‘Connection error.’ OK, fine. Redial, then. Umm… how do I do that?
On first try, it’s eleven clicks. Seriously. Main menu→up→right→Log→Recent Calls→down→down→Dialled Numbers→Last number→Call→Voice Call.
A wild guess got me down to four; Green→last number→Call→Voice call. That’s not too bad, but still…
What’s really interesting is thinking about how many of these problems go away if you have a touchscreen, and only a touchscreen. Which, of course, is how the iPhone works. While I hadn’t previously considered mobile phone UI to be sufficiently broken to allow room for the iPhone, I’ve only previously had simple phones. This one isn’t, and it really isn’t.
The hardcore gadget freak in me is quite entertained by the mental gymnastics involved. The Mac-using video producer/writer/blogger/getting stuff done guy in me is jaw-agape, knock-me-over-with-a-feather appalled that Nokia consider this shit shippable, let alone a flagship product.