The (Nokia) Communicator Strikes Back
Today, I managed to get my hands on a Nokia 9500, otherwise known as a Communicator. This isn’t the first Communicator I’ve owned, though. The Nokia 9290 was the second generation Communicator available in the US. It has a nice color screen, keyboard, and was GSM. Problem: it was GSM 1900 only, had no GPRS (this phone came out right as GPRS was starting to be the norm on GSM networks in the US), no bluetooth, and was a bit bulky. Data connectivity was limited to GSM Data (otherwise known as Circuit Switched Data), which is 9600 bps in the US. Couldn’t even use that function on AT&T Wireless.
Enter the Nokia 9500. A little smaller, and a little lighter than the 9290, though not as dainty as its slimmer cousin, the 9300. It is a triband GSM phone (900/1800/1900 Mhz on the Eur-Asian version, 850/1800/1900 Mhz on the Americas version). It has a keyboard. It has a kick-ass speakerphone. It has Bluetooth. It has GPRS/EDGE (class 10, which means it can communicate at up to 236.8kbps). It has 802.11b. It has a camera. It still has a color screen and a keyboard. It syncs with Outlook. It can send and receive email/SMS/MMS. It plays MP3s. It can read Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). It can sync with your Outlook calendar. You can run PuTTY (an ssh client) and a whole bunch of other third-party Series 80 applications on it. In short, it’s one of those “converged” devices.
The smaller Nokia 9300 basically has the same features as the 9500 except it doesn’t have WiFi and a camera. This makes it a bit slimmer.
I should be able to do everything I need to from this one device while I am traveling, or at least “in airports” or “on airplanes” and the like where using a full laptop is problematic. With WiFi and GPRS/EDGE, I should be able to take advantage of any connectivity options while on the ground. With a flight mode available, all radio functions in the Communicator are disabled so it can be used on an airplane. I’ll be putting this theory to the test soon enough.