You have seen my recent posts on the Nokia N90 and I just wanted to make a mention of the program that put the device in my hands to review. Brooke Davidson and Andy Abramson from Comunicano sent out an email to many bloggers to solicit whether or not they wanted to participate in a new unique Nokia Blogger Relations Communications program where the bloggers would be sent a Nokia device to evaluate and may or may not be asked to return the unit. I have seen critical posts on the program stating that people were given a N90 device for free and of course they would give it positive feedback to get more free goodies. However, in every document I was given we were not told the devices were ours to keep for good and actually I have a return FedEx label right in the package they sent me. As a result, I am personally treating it like I do with other review units I get sent where I get to check out devices for 30 days and then return them. Also, as Oliver Starr so clearly stated in his blog post, “First of all, when sending something like these phones to hard core geeks, you’d better be awfully confident that your product is exceptional. We don’t have Nokia advertising plastered all over our blogs, and while these phones are awfully nice, not a one of us would sully our reputation by giving an undeserved glowing review; if there are things about these devices that we don’t dig, you can count on reading about it.”
If you check out my blog posts, I think I have been quite truthful about the device performance with both good and bad aspects pointed out to my readers. I have been critical of the lack of vibration mode, lack of A2DP profile, and the need to make landscape usable for more than the camera. The N90 also has many positives, such as the camera quality, sturdy flip and twist hinge design, beautiful high resolution display, loud speakerphone, and use of the latest version of Series 60.
I think Nokia is taking a risk with this program, but I also think that readers of the blogs who post their thoughts on the devices will get a much better feel for how the devices actually perform compared to the big media “reviews” that are basically just rewording of the press releases. I am rarely impressed with the “reviews” of major publications since they don’t give me a good hands-on perspective of the device and I personally prefer to stick with reviews from bloggers and enthusiast sites when I make purchasing decisions. I think Nokia made the right move in taking this step to get review units out to the blogging/enthusiast community and hope that readers appreciate all the time and effort that the writers put into the device evaluations. I personally review and write because I love these gadgets and want to inform and help people also get excited about them while also helping people make informed decisions before they plunk down their hard earned cash.