NokiaIndia went from being generic to ubercool, last week. They invited me along with other bloggers for an event at Goa! India’s most happening chill-out destination, that. The event was held in shacks, in shores of Baga. Folks from Nokia showcased their upcoming Symbian Belle devices such as the Nokia 600,700 and 701, NFC accessories and live demo of NFC pairing and more. Each of these devices had one feature in common, that’s right, am talking about NFC – Near field communication.

Apart from NFC, each of those three devices also had 1GHz processors in common and never before improvement in UX, ‘Symbian Belle‘. Folks from Nokia gave a ‘know it all’ about Symbian Belle and NFC from a consumers point of view. They emphasized on the point – PC like experience is what consumers would love on their phone. Belle brings in awesome bunch of features like – draggable widgets, pull down notification bar, redesigned UI and it works on improving the user experience.

We were also able to understand how serious the firm is about NFC campaign- Just Tap. And it’s definitely a good thing, as most of us over there were able to make perfect use of NFC while on photo sharing and pairing accessories like the Play 360, Bluetooth headset and while trying a refreshing concept called NFC Tags, where each of us were given a tag which when placed close to phone will route to an app download link at Nokia Store. Use case of tags in not just limited to app download. You can find more about NFC, tags and workaround here.

Later, we bloggers were given one of those three devices (I was given the Nokia 700) and were told to explore Goa city. They had split us into 4 different teams. Nokia 700, cute and light yet powerful fella! I was pleasantly surprised by its camera. I already knew that phone would be a zillion times better in terms of usability and performance. I was not let off. Only place where I found myself not in a place to appreciate the phone was while using its on-screen keyboard. I would have appreciated a bigger screen there and not better, as it already had a stunning bright screen with lovely colors. The device lasted a day long with heavy data, camera and normal fiddling around. Out of all three devices that I tried Nokia 700 remained my favorite! If you’re twitter, don’t forget to search for #NokiaNFC hashtag. Btw, it was a whole lot fun getting together with bunch of like minded people.

The whole idea of this event was to find more use-cases with NFC and get an idea of how this piece of wireless technology would make users life simple. Nokia is trying hard to build an ecosystem around this. And since NFC is pretty new in India, atleast, Nokia needs more of marketing and other work around to make it ‘a use it often’ thing. And, I also heard from Nokia Digital Marketing head that, they were working closely with banks and other brands. Future of NFC must be more than interesting!

Symbian Belle and NFC sure is best of two combinations. As I tweeted during the event, Belle is the just the best thing that happened to Symbian after a very LONG time. Speaking of phones that I tried, they all are just not entry level or mid ranged smartphones, they do exceed their league at certain places. Nokia has got things almost right at many places, except in making social experience more social. Once they’re ok there, I don’t see a reason why people would give a second thought before buying a Nokia Smartphone with the kind of hardware and technology they bring!

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