I didn’t know that I was missing out on a lot of 3G until I got the Nokia 5800 NAM. I previously had a European Nokia N85 which had tri-band UMTS (900/1900/2100). Living in NYC, I thought I’d be covered by AT&T because they use 850/1900. I was dead wrong.
I live in the Bronx, go to school in Westchester, usually eat out in Queens, and hang out in Manhattan. I have not seen anything but 3G or 3.5G data speeds using the Nokia 5800 NAM all over New York.
On the other hand, I had a different experience with the Euro Nokia N85. I would get 3G in the Bronx and Queens, while stuck with the slower Edge in Westchester and certain parts of Manhattan. It looks like my carrier, AT&T, has a limited 1900 coverage in New York.
So what’s the obvious lesson here? Know your carrier’s frequencies and buy the proper phone version for your region. If you’re in North America like me, you should only buy the NAM variation for better 3G coverage! As an early adopter, I know it’s going to be hard to resist the Euro version of the Nokia N97 if it comes before the NAM.
To find out what frequencies your country/region is covered with, GSM World has a nice coverage map for you to check out.