You want to know how Nokias are better than iPhones?
The video above has me pining for an alternate universe, where the splitscreen is another path. One where Nokia conquered the iPhone tyrant and made high-tech handsets funner and more Euro in style, function and lifestyle. The video also is sign that Nokia isn't finished yet. For all the talk about how great is the iPhone 4 camera, the aging N8 has superior digital capture capabilities.
"Splitscreen: A Love Story" won the Nokia Shorts 2011 competition. JW Griffiths shot the short film using a pair of Nokia 8 smartphones. People were shooting short films and music videos on Nokias long before there ever was iPhone. Music video "Oceans" was shot with a Nokia N93 in 2006, for example.
Nokia announced the N8 in April 2010, and I gave 10 reasons to get excited about the handset. But Nokia took nearly six months bringing the N8 to market, with Apple launching iPhone 4 in-between. All those iPhone 4 users pining over the camera simply don't know what it is to use a high-end Nokia cameraphone. With the N8 that means 12-megapixel camera, Xenon flash, physical shutter button and lots of software settings -- then there is the HD video recording as seen above.
Until Nokia lost its way, after iPhone debuted four years ago today and later Apple launched the App Store, I typically used the Finnish company's handsets. Among them: N95, N95 8GB, N96, N97 and N900 among others. As a journalist, Nokias couldn't be beat for taking sharp photos and videos -- and better than anything available from every competitor. Apple only caught up with circa 2008 Nokia cameraphones last year.
When I saw the first pictures of iPhone 4, my first reaction was: "Wow, it looks like a Nokia". Something about the thinness, metal band and metal buttons evoked elements of Nokia's classic industrial design. Anyone who has ever held the N79 or N96 should understand what I mean.
Nokias are still used the globe over -- not that Americans would ever know. Although, there are sometimes hints. During last night's USA Network drama "Covert Affairs", main character Annie Walker used a Nokia mobile -- not iPhone or Android handset. Perhaps the TV show's producers found the Nokia more appropriate for the setting of Argentina.
Nokia's community engagement is among the best in techdom. Marketing is exceptional, and Nokia actively encourages customer feedback and participation. Apple doesn't come close. The N8 contest is example of both.
"Eight filmmakers had a $5,000 production budget, two Nokia N8s, and just a few short weeks to turn their idea into a finished film," according to Nokia.
I watched the winning video with a sense of sadness. Nokia produces excellent and often industry-leading hardware, but needs a CEO with more vision and understanding about how to build from the community and customer base -- the character -- that defines the products. Sigh.
To cheer myself up, I embedded the video below, it's from Nokia's summer 2007 "Jealous Computers" marketing campaign for the N95. Nokia shot the videos using the cameraphone. Apple would never do that -- leave up a marketing website for four years. That reflects something about the difference in corporate cultures.
Last week, Nokia announced the stunning N9 running an operating system the company will no longer support. I'd buy one, but what's the point if the OS is dead? So I'm stuck using the inferior iPhone 4 and wondering at the poetic injustice of the winning N8 film contest video title. A love story. There's no happy ending.