February 6, 2013

Nokia Gently Massages Their Own Throbbing Ego

“This time last week, I was lucky enough to take delivery of the new Nokia Lumia 620 – Nokia’s latest, and most affordable, Windows Phone 8 smartphone,” writes Adam Fraser in his latest review of Nokia’s newest Windows Phone.

“Like a kid on Christmas morning, I grabbed the delivery bag, tore it open and glanced at the contents — a blue box with the words “Nokia Lumia 620” printed on it.”

So far, this reads like an almost normal, if not slightly slanted gadget review found on any techie site, yes?

No. Nokia employee Adam Fraser is reviewing the Lumia 620 on behalf of none other than Nokia for a post found on their Conversations blog.

You’ll be shocked — shocked I say — to hear that Fraser not only found the 620 to be a strong and sturdy feeling phone, but also a phone with a durable and long-lasting battery.

Worried about the 620’s measly 512 MB of RAM? Don’t be, says Nokia’s Fraser.

“The dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon CPU does a fantastic job at keeping everything running as smooth as any other — more expensive — smartphone.”

Fraser’s post is an interesting look not only at how the company likely sees themselves, but also how they’d like you to see them and how they’d like you to use the phone.

For instance, Fraser first mentions that he was given three differently colored shells for his new phone (apparently he knows a guy) in which to test the new Lumia 620. He then mentions how these phones are “fun” and “almost-youthful,” (almost? Oh Adam, you tease!) thanks to the color range. Fraser took advantage of these color options by matching the jumper he was wearing that day with the lime-colored shell, all before powering the thing on.

Once he had powered it on and did all the “boring stuff,” such as setting up email and social networks, he opted yet again for the green theme, and moved on.

According to a quick LinkedIn search, Adam Fraser was once the GTM Program Manager for Nokia and is now a Staff writer for Republic Publishing, writing editorial content for the Nokia blog.

I was curious about this, for in his “review,” (Nokia later changed the name of his post from “Review” to “Hands-On”) he listed two games, a check-in app, two photography apps and a weather app as “essential” to his daily smartphone lifestyle. Seems a little “youthful” for the typical executive, no?

Let us not forget that this is the second time in less than six months that Nokia has been caught “faking” to promote their own stuff. The Verge caught the Finnish company last September using a professional camera crew to record videos Nokia claimed had been recorded using their own PureView Technology.

Shortly after the “review” was found, many quickly called out the inanity of Nokia giving their own product glowing remarks. TechCrunch even wrote a thing about it, translating some of what Fraser said into what Fraser meant.  Thus, Nokia quickly changed the title from “Review” to “Hands-on.”

But even then, this post is decidedly tilted. It’s no surprise that Nokia thinks their phone is great, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that they want to guide the conversation along to mention battery life and apps and colors. What is surprising, however, is how bold they were to do it. They were clearly aiming this review at those who might punch in “Nokia Lumia 620 review” into the Google machine, hoping to lure in some of those fun, youthful potential buyers who are concerned with matching their phone with their jumpers. The whole bit about 125,000 apps also sounds like a desperate plea:

“We’re good enough, plus we have COLORS!”

Personally, I’m rooting for Nokia. They’ve always built solid phones and deserve more credit than their receiving. Yet, it’s not likely they’ll get any of this success if they keep trying to pull the wool over their customer’s eyes.

Image Credit: Adam Fraser / Nokia

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