My new smartphone revealed

2289225709_162fa17a9c_m.jpgFirst up – I didn’t choose an iPhone. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t easy. However, I decided that despite the Apple elegance, user interface and overall sex appeal I felt it fell too short of my requirements.  I opted for the Nokia E90.  

Why?

Of all the current smartphones on the market, there is no doubt that this is currently up there at the top in terms of functionality and appeal. The Nokia E90 is the flagship business cellphone from Nokia. It is the latest in their Nokia Communicator series and aimed squarely at the high-end business market. With a clamshell design, the E90 is essentially more a UMPC than a cellphone. A fully featured QWERTY keyboard, 3.5g and wifi connectivity along with the stability and reliability of the S60 OS this phone wants for very little.  In a bid to broaden its appeal the E90 also has a very respectable 3.2mp camera with flash. 

Cost

Given the spec of the E90 it is hard to come by in the high street. Only Vodafone and 02 currently offer it. I had no particular desire to switch from Three and sit on a expensive business tarrif on 02 or Vodafone. So what did I do? I opted for a sim free model.  

How?

I was due for a free upgrade from Three , so I went for the New Nokia 95 8GB. Once I got it, I sold it directly on Ebay for £300 or so. I then got a brand new E90 (for £400 on ebaY ) with the proceeds plus an extra £100. So effectively, I got the stunning E90 for a bargain £100. 

Not without hacking first 

Don’t get me wrong. This phone is without a doubt the best phone I have ever had. It really does feel like a natural evolution from my much loved Psion 5mx. However, despite the E90 being brand new and SIM free it took some major hacking to get the device up and running.  The issue I discovered was that the firmware on all UK E90’s is not the latest, and capped at an earlier version than the firmware available from Nokia.  This was creating some serious issues for me. It prevented me from installing third party apps and it would not let me port my Three settings. A simple upgrade I hear you say. Not so. Because the IMEI number relates to the UK it simply told me the firmware was the latest. I knew it wasn’t and if my E90 was to function correctly I needed the latest firmware. After some research, I discovered that I would need to re flash the device.  Not a difficult process I know. But the added complication was that I needed to firstly, trick the software into thinking my E90 was not a UK version. To do this I installed Nemesis Service Suite on my computer and begun the process of ‘spoofing’ my E90’s product code. I eventually succeeded. Once in place I ran the standard Nokia Suite and began the reflashing. It now works a charm.It sounds incredibly difficult, but actually it wasn’t. It did take a long time (several hours) but I suspect that was due to being forced to using my ailing tablet PC. It was worth all the effort and I now have a simply incredible device. I would like to credit the forums on All About Symbian for their helpful guide on how to reflash.

 You can find the instructions here.