You may remember that I featured the Top 10 Most Beautiful Symbian phones a while back? This is the exact opposite, a condemnation celebration of the very worst in cosmetics, practicality and pocketability... This is Symbian wierd, or at least as weird as phones linked by a common software platform can get. From the freak show below, see how many of the phones you owned - a prize (or at least major sympathies) if you owned the lot!
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With Symbian firmly in its twilight years but still very much alive, I'd like to gather a little data, for all our interest, on the generations of Symbian-powered hardware still in active use. It's unlikely that everyone reading this owns a Nokia 808 PureView, but just how far back do you all go? Are there still readers actively using a d-pad driven Nokia N95? Any Nokia E90 users still? See below and add your tuppence worth! [UPDATED]
It's all very well looking at flagship devices, the household names that always get the glory - but what about the rest? The unsung hero devices that didn't cost the earth, that never claimed to lead the field and yet which provided the maximum functionality and reliability with a minimum of fuss. Here then are my top 10 smartphones that punched above their weight over the last decade in the Symbian world.
The feel of cold hard metal in your hand - there's nothing like it. The quality, the sense of something very special. I reviewed the Apple iPhone 5 recently and declared it as much an item of jewellery as a phone, which got me thinking. Which Symbian-powered phones from the last decade have impressed as being utter triumphs of fashion over functionality? Not necessarily metal (though that plays a part), but smartphones which have looked a million dollars and not really lived up to the valuation. Here's my top 10. Or should that be bottom 10? I guess it depends on your priorities!
File this under 'middle of the night musings', but it's a question I often ask myself. 'How far could I go back in Symbian history and still have a device which filled all my needs today in 2012?' After all, there are some functions which (e.g.) the 2007 Nokia N82 does a heck of a lot better than 90% of today's oh-so-droppable, oh-so-expensive touch-slab smartphones, albeit with a less obviously pleasing UI. But how far could I go back? At what point does the antiquity of the hardware and software get in the way?
I've been over Nokia's greatest mistakes before, but there's another elephant in the room that needs addressing. It was a hot topic of debate back in the early days of Symbian and the ramifications of what was decided then worked themselves out in the following twelve or so years. Branding. I contend that Symbian as an OS has always been fighting a massive rearguard action - if the name itself had been allowed as much prominence as Android and iOS and Windows Phone have now, I suspect that Symbian's trajectory might have risen a lot higher and extended further.
The period 2001 to 2011 should be celebrated, it's the decade when the humble 'mobile phone' become more, so much more. And it's worth noting Nokia's part in this transformation, with five things listed here that the company absolutely nailed in the fight to give us more and more powerful phones. But I also can't let such a retrospective go by without a similar attempt to identify the five biggest mistakes that Nokia made, leading to its somewhat troubled existence in the smartphone world of 2012.
I've done other top lists here, based on functionality and innovation, but never one based on pure cosmetics and elegance. And, with that in mind, we discover in my latest Top 10 a few unsung heroes of the Symbian world. You see, the raw power and functionality usually championed on this site often comes with something of a price in terms of compromises to appearance - the devices on offer here include some which are fairly unusable out in the world but which look a treat...!
I'm struggling. I really am. To understand the whole concept of 'homescreens'. Symbian Nokia Belle allows up to six of the things and it seems that when I parade my one or two homescreens to the world I'm subjected to 'call yourself a power user?' taunts. But hang on, which of us have six 'homes' in the real world? Surely a homescreen is not a 'home' screen if there are six of them? And where the heck did the idea of a homescreen come from in the first place? With the help of the Nokia 9210 and Apple iPhone, I investigate....
One fairly unique feature of the Symbian scene over the last decade has been the willingness of manufacturers to experiment with different form factors. And, usually, this means the introduction of physical QWERTY keyboards, perennially loved by geeks and messaging-centric users across the world.