From some people’s perspective there’s a bit of my past that should be a sordid secret:
I don’t quite grasp why this was such a problem for folks unless they had the self-esteem of a fourteen year old girl. Everyone is not staring. You’re not that important to you and they simply do not care.
There’s plenty to take issue with on the phone but that? Really? Are you really that much of a bloody wuss?
The original (not the N-Gage QD) had its card slot behind the battery. Changing games meant removing the case, yanking the battery, and then pulling the card (followed by reassembly!).
Its screen had an aspect ratio that really wasn’t all that suitable for gaming.
It didn’t have particularly great battery life.
Series 60 Symbian was amazingly clunky. A solid platform in some ways but ergonomically it was like a cow in a shopping trolley.
Getting new apps for it was like pulling teeth.
But the angle it had to be held at was a bit unusual? Really?
On the flipside if one was a teenager with a lot of time to spend researching it then the device could be amazingly awesome for the time.
It could play some rather awesome games (Frozen Bubble, Worms World Party, Asphalt Urban GT, and various others), it could playback video (RealMedia and Xvid using SmartMovie), audio (MP3 and Ogg Vorbis using OggPlay), chat on MSN messenger using GPRS (Agile Messenger), browse the web (Opera), and assorted other nifty things.
The amount of work to get it to do all that stuff was more than the target customer could be expected to do, in all honesty, but I’m really surprised that more geeks don’t see how ahead of its time it was.
These days people seem to think Smartphones were invented in 2007. They weren’t – the category existed long before people were saying “What are all these app thingies? I just want to make calls!!”.
I guess ten years just isn’t long enough.