Just prior to the virtual on-line session, the 4(!) bloggers at the event got to spend a few minutes with the product managers.
Here’s what was discussed:
Q: Why FP1 not FP2?
A: Nokia needed a stable and reliable platform to build the unique (security and messaging) E-series features on. At the time the products started development FP2 wasn’t suitable.
Q: Where’s the GPS receiever on these devices?
A: On the top (learnt the lesson from poor N95 placement).
Q: What is the rational for the Contacts quick-access entry process?
It starts with letters from contacts in the phone book then reverts to numbers if something is entered that isn’t in the phonebook. There seems to be an exception for entry of the first character (always a number) which was noted.
Q: Will there be E71 variants – QWERTY in different form factors?
A: Considering it (reference was also made earlier in the day to other QWERTY devices in the pipeline).
Q: What’s happened to the E70 form-factor?
A: There’s no similar form-factor devices in the foreseeable future. Not ruling anything out very long-term though.
Q: These devices support Ovi services. Does that include N-Gage?
A: No – that requires additional hardware acceleration. Games are available (and included), but not N-Gage ones.
Q: So these are all ‘single chip’ products?
A: Yes – done for size and cost.
Q: Does the inclusion of Ovi services risk customer confusion over the difference between E and N series?
A: No – there’s a common suite of functions, but games and media are really only consumable on N-series and messaging and security features of E series identify it as business-focussed. Some consumers will choose E-series for styling, but they will understand the device’s capabilities.
Q: Will there be a special US variant like the E62 was for the E61?
A: Both E71 and E66 are US-capable and will launch in Q3 there. There will be 3 variants of each handset for Europe, Asia, and a special Brazilian variant.
Q: What about syncing services?
A: No comment on Ovi offering – MFE and corporate or hosted Microsoft Exchange is best for the moment. Blackberry not supported on this platform for now – concentrating on core offering initially. Blackberry will have to develop a client if one is to be made available (reading the body language – forget it).
Q: How was the camera spec decided?
A: It’s the best compromise of spec and size.
Q: Why does the E71 have infrared?
A: Primarilly for the Asian market where it is still very popular.
Q: Why have light-up keys on teh E66? Doesn’t it make it hard to see what they do in bright conditions?
A: It’s not an issue – it’s only the top function keys and people learn their functions quickly without reference to icons. They wanted the device to have physical appeal too and this is part of that.
Q: On the E66 the delete key is immediately below the square-pad. Is it easy to trigger delete key by accident?
A: It’s in the same position as previous phones which have received this complaint, but harder to hit – as pad is more raised. Not found to be an issue in testing.
Q: What was the test feedback on the smaller E71 keyboard, paticularly regarding speed of typing?
A: 70% of test users choose the E71 keyboard over competitors in testing