Friday, March 21, 2008

9500 vs 9300

With the announcement of the Nokia 9300 Communicator, you'll be wondering what the differences between the 9500 and the 9300, and which is right for you? Ewan sits down with both devices and plays "Spot The Difference."

The Really Quick Answer

The 9300 is smaller, while the 9500 has Wi-Fi connectivity and an integrated Digital Camera.
For Those Of You Still Reading

9210, 9500 and 9300The 9500 and the 9300 are obviously aimed at seperate markets. The 9500 was always pushed as a business phone, and lots of individual users were saving hard to make sure they could afford it - the Communicators have been notorious at launching at a very high market price - and All About readers aren't know for being able to wait till the price drops. The 9300 is going for the consumer PDA market and attempting to take on devices like the XDA and the Treo's head on.
Media Features

For a phone that appears to be aimed at the consumer, the obvious difference is the most unusual. There's no Digital Camera on the 9300 (only on the 9500). Given that the networks like to push this feature, and it's one of the complaints you hear about the N-Gage QD, there must have been some design decision discussions in Finland.

They both comes with a built in Media Player supporting MP3, AAC, WAV, MIDI and Real formats. Hopefully the OGG Player project ( will be able to take on board this project, because their Series 60 and UIQ implementations are smooth and hassle free. There are a number of headsets available, both wireless and cabled, and the 9300 has the regular POP port, so it may be possible to use your own headphones. Polyphonic ringtones are supported on the 9300. You don't have the Image Viewer app on the 9300, which makes sense as there is no digital camera, nor do you need the video recording app - just streaming video on the 9300.

Internet Applications
The core of the Communicators (and the name gives it away) is the Messaging Application. Here there's no difference - both phones support SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4, as well as MMS and SMS sending and recieving. Note that there's no mention of Mail Authentication - if you use the BlackBeryy Push Software (it's an additional purchase) then that may support some form of authentication.

The WAP browser from the 9210 is no more, as the new integrated browser supports WAP 1.2.1, as well as HTML, XHTML, Javascript and smart rendering. Note the 9500 also supports WAP 1.3, as well as 1.2.1.

Data Connections
Tri-band is available on both phones, in both a European (900/1800/1900) and an American (850/1800/1900) flavour. As well as standard GSM, (which was all the 9200's had) we have both GPRS and EDGE enabled in both the 9500 and 9300.

Desktop and to Other Devices

If you hadn't seen the Wi-Fi on the 9500, you'd be very impressed with the 9300's connectivity options. As well as the IrDA port lurking on the edge of the machine, we've got Bluetooth and a fixed USB cable for conenction to your PC. Bluetooth profiles aren't listed yet, but we've got the Wireless Booms and Headsets available as extra's, so we can assume the Headset profile is present, as is the Hands Free profile for the car kits.
Day To Day Usage

That picture above is the relative size, the 9300 is a lot smaller than the 9500. It also weights a lot less (167g compared to 227g). The last complaint of the Communicator series (the size) is finally being addressed. While still quite large compared to devices like the Siemens SL55 or Sony Ericsson T6100, the 9300 is a reasonable pocket sized phone.

Estimated battery life on the 9300 is about 75% of the 9500, and they use different batteries, so no ordering a 9500 battery for your 9300. Both phones have the 80mb of internal memory, and space for the old style regular MMC cards. The smaller form on the 9300 may mean the keyboard is a bit more cramped, but until we get both units in our hands, it's going to be impossible to say. Finally, there's no bundled games on the 9300 CD. If you're desperate for Bounce, Triplepop, Snake Ex and Card deck, you're going to need to download them from Nokia's 9500 or 9210 web pages.

And (as Raven's just pointed out in the forums) the 9300 hinge will open 180 degrees, allowing the device to sit flat n a table. The 9500 only opens around 130 degrees.
Not a Lot To Choose

The 9300 really is just a 9500 with no Wi-Fi and no Camera. There's very little to choose from, apart from the 9500 being out 3-4 months before the 9300, and we'd assume a difference in price of around 100-150 Euros. They're software compatible with each other (and with the older 9200 Series) so when they're side by side in the shops, it will probably comes down to a simple choice of a lower price or the two extra features.

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