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A Night At Slate (Nokia Open To Anything Event)

May 13, 2008 in Nokia Phone News

So last Thursday I made the trip out to New York City – to a bar called Slate nestled deep in the heart of Manhattan. It’s one of those hip, happening places that I’m not all that used to, living in the ‘burbs. Except it’s a little different from your average bar thanks to the addition of like 20 pool/table tennis tables strewn around the area.

The event at Slate was Nokia’s own “Open to Anything” get-together, hosted by the folks at WOMWorld. A big thanks to Richard, Colin, and Siobhan from WOMWorld for setting up the event and inviting me out there!

Here’s a little preview of what went on in that back room.

Nokia. Slate. The N78.

Nokia. Slate. The N78.

I actually arrived at Slate well before the proceedings started – around 6:15ish – and the place was pretty much empty minus the WOMWorld members, who were still in the process of setting up for the night’s big draw: Mark Guim. I chatted with Siobhan and Colin for a bit, and then people started arriving. I’d already met some of them back from the Nokia in LA Event (Erick, Alan, Jonathan, Mark) so that was cool seeing them again.

Slate: An Introduction
It was a pretty laid-back affair.
Slate: An Introduction

The Nokia N78: Not Your Average Candy Bar

Slate: The N78
The N78.

We had a sweet little introduction to the Nokia N78 candy bar phone, which was brought along for the ride by Chance, an honest-to-goodness actual Nokia employee. I didn’t even recognize it at first, I thought it was an N82. Ouch. Anyway, the N78 was announced so long ago that I’d totally forgotten about it.

A couple things I noticed about the N78:

  • It’s well-built, and by that I mean it feels nothing like the N81, a phone that makes a lot of noise just by holding it. I think the expression “it feels like a winner” fit it quite well.
  • It’s pretty damn thin.
  • Since it’s Feature Pack 3.2 or whatever, Nokia has added a little something to the UI – it’s got a lot of flashy icon animations and color changing swooshes that I personally find really, really annoying.
  • The camera takes pretty quick pictures, but it’s a 3.2 megapixel. (Carl Zeiss included)
  • The N78 keypad is a little odd. For those of you who don’t remember, it looks a little like this:
    Nokia N78 - Keypad

    Since the buttons are small narrow lines, pressing them does take a matter of getting used to. However, the call/send buttons are not difficult to press compared to the N81.

  • There’s an onboard navi-wheel, and lo and behold, the thing actually works! It’s also usable for normal menu items such as browsing folders even though using the directional keys is much faster. Still, thumbing through pictures (the gallery has now been replaced by Nokia Photos) has never been easier. I like it.
  • Since there was no FM radio about, we didn’t get to try out the FM transmitter. The fact that the N78 has it as a feature adds about 30 points to the final score.

Chance did mention that the USA could see the Nokia N78 as early as the end of May. That’s the good news. The bad news is the price went up to $599 USD. Damn!

Nokia N78 - Keypad

All in all though, I have to say I was pretty impressed with the N78. It looks good, it feels good, and it’s the real deal so to speak.

(a sort of random video clip of a couple of us testing out the N78)

An Introduction to MobiReader

Mark Guim of The Nokia Blog, fierce competitor to (and not to be confused with) the Nokia Phone Blog, also gave an informal presentation on how S60 applications have turned his life around. Actually, it was really about MobiReader, a way-cool ebook reading app that lets you open up and search through ebook-type files quickly and easily. In Mark’s case, he used it to replace one of those massive Drug Information books which meant one less book to carry to class. Way to be lazy, Mark.

The Food

Slate: Food
There was indeed a lot of food. And it was pretty good too.

So in closing, I have to say that the whole experience was a lot of fun and one heck of an entertaining night. Unfortunately, I had to go to work the next day.



Erick 'aka' gwapz
1:23 pm

It was a heck of a party.. Nice seeing you again Cary!! Good job on the article..

Reply to Erick 'aka' gwapz

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