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Nokia N95 PlumThis past weekend, I have taken my N95 out of the box and used it as my only mobile device for work, ministry, and travel. At the time start writing this, I am finding reasons where this is still a solid mobile.

Day 1: Setup and Traveling To
The N95 was not supposed to be in this position. It was to have been retired and given to someone else. The battery still solid, the functionality still way above average – especially when using apps like SkyeQKey to get around the UI niggles. I had it’s replacement in tow until water damage killed that moment.

So, the N95 stepped to the plate. Armored with the 8GB microSDHC from my N97 and refreshed Contacts, I set off to western VA with a relic, a classic, and a question if it would hold up.

This first night, others are in the room sleeping, the N95 is showing the value of AT&T’s 3G network in the mountains of western VA. My traveling partner has a Windows Mobile 6.5 device using the T-Mobile network and has no signal. I am streaming Mobbler and using my Bluetooth Nokia headphones.

I downloaded JoikuSpot Light, but it doesn’t seem to want to work. So the iPad gets to play offline (for now, for even the entire weekend). This has already meant than emails get pushed even further down my attention span. But, I forgot how well T9 could work to knock out a reply – Nokia Messaging works still (nice).

At this point, I am impressed. Am reading feeds via Google Reader, using Twitter by it’s mobile site, and Flash – yea, as old as this device is, some Flash videos can be played. I am impressed, wondering if this can hold up the rest of the weekend. And if so, am I under-utilizing mobile, even as a proponent and user of mobile in the style that I have adopted?

Day 2: Presentations and Meetings
Its just working nicely. The morning was simple, just checking of email and reinstalling JoikuSpot (which now works to the iPad and my bro’s laptop, except for POP mail access for either of us).

Of course working before hand doesn’t mean that it will work for the demo time. Ah well.

Battery life was better than expected. I was even able to take a nap while letting the N95 allow my brother to get some work done for a class that he is preparing to teach.

Best part of the day was how the N95 fit the analogy: “…you know that space on your mobile between the screen and the keyboard? That’s the place where MMM looks for Jesus. We look for that intersection of faith and mobile tech…” And it seemed like everyone got it, even if they might not have totally gotten the rest of what I said.

At this point, time to get ready for traveling back. I’ve at least got some new music – recorded the orchestra that played Saturday morning. Just a few pieces, but really nice to see and hear quality music high school students.

Day 3: Traveling From and Reflections
Having had the weekend and a day with this relic from 2006, it is really impressive how easily I was able to use it and not miss much of a beat. I’d be close to arguing that if I were to stay with a two device solution (iPad and mobile) that the N95 might be better than the N97.

Battery life was probably the best thing, I didn’t think about it (there are reasons my N97 makes me think about it). I relished the quick and easy way that SkyeQKey enabled me to SMS or call people just as fast as I could remember how to spell their first or last name. Bonus even for the software also being able to pull up bookmarks to get me to a webpage quickly. Things like that are pieces of living with mobile devices that seems lost with some of the advancements of some of these newer devices.

That said, I missed the larger screen. And many times went to touching the screen expecting actions. I missed the rotation (had to click through a few menu buttons to get there per app), and my older gesture software (Rock N’Scroll) didn’t seem to want to work. I could play music from my 8GB microSDHC though – that was nice on the drive back.

Conclusion
its very possible that in moving forward in years with mobile that we are actually moving backwards in the efficiency of communication and productivity. The N95 was indeed a landmark device for Nokia and the entire mobile industry. For now, at least until I can get something closer to my idea of a perfect-for-me device, I’m keeping this one in the rotation. As the movies showed, some sequels are worth the price of readmission.

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