As mentioned in part one of my Defining the Smartphone feature from earlier in the week, the very word now encompasses a surprising range of hardware, with some claiming that the older phone-like devices are outdated when compared to the modern capacitive touch slabs and that the former shouldn't even be called smartphones. In this, part two, I attempt to quantify the various attributes of two of the extremes from the smartphone world, I take the latest evolution of Nokia's classic S60 slider form factor, the N86, and pitch it head to head with the current highest rated Android smartphone in the UK, the HTC Desire. Will my own smartphone definition hold water?
Recent Features - Page 51
Spurred on by his reviews of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Samsung i8910 HD, David Gilson looks at the huge investment Nokia has made into providing an Ovi service layer - it seems that, whatever Ovi's detractors might say, the absence of this service layer on non-Nokia hardware is desperately noticeable. He also wonders whatever became of Symbian's Horizon project - as good a starting point as any for getting applications out to all Symbian smartphones.
David Gilson explores the relative benefits of native applications and cloud applications, both from a consumer point of view, and from the point of view of the developers who ultimately supply our applications. Will the cloud replace the traditional app?
In leaps and bounds, the term 'smartphone' is being bandied about by manufacturers, analysts, journalists, developers and end users across the world. Which would normally be a good thing, except that there are many definitions, all totally different. What exactly defines a smartphone in 2010? What did it used to mean in 2007? Or 2003? With reports regularly quoting the word, it would be good to all agree what the word means, surely? Steve Litchfield addresses the issue, in part one of a two part feature.
The popular misconception about camera phones is that the higher the spec level, the better the photos you'll take. While I'll accept that there is some correlation there, another big factor is the skill (or, more accurately, imagination and common sense) of the user. In truth, you don't have to be David Bailey or own the current top-rated camera smartphone costing megabucks in order to turn out pleasing photos. Let me demonstrate...
In an article written some 15 months ago, just after the first S60 5th Edition smartphone had appeared (the Nokia 5800), I went in depth into the pros and cons of resistive versus capacitive touchscreens, pronouncing both technologies as being valid for different use cases. We're now mid 2010 and it's clear that capacitive technology is winning out, for mid and high priced smartphones at least. So what's changed? Who moved the goalposts? I try to explain below!
With Nokia and Symbian on the ropes in the tech media at the moment, and with User Interfaces (UIs) a particular battling point, Ewan points out that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with Symbian^3's UI and that every mobile device in the last 20 years hasn't looked appreciably different. The key, he explains is in consistency and user experience within the UI and he points out that this is where recent S60 versions have fallen down. Nokia job advert: "Wanted: Someone with obsessive attention to detail"...
Playing devil's advocate, but only to a degree, Steve Litchfield turns the entire smartphone world on its head by rejecting its latest darling - large touchscreens. Ask any pundit in the mobile world about smartphones and you'll get the answer that it's all about touch. About large displays that can be caressed and programmed and manipulated with your fingers. Except that traditional, non-touch form factors have these 2010 'flagships' well and truly beat - here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Touchscreens Suck.
We tend to ignore Nokia's cheap and cheerful Series 40 platform phones here on All About Symbian, but the launch of the new C3 brought, in theory, a handset slap bang into contention with a Symbian-powered smartphone, in this case the E63, itself over a year old now. Which means that a blow by blow comparison should be very interesting - can the £80 C3 (currently a Vodafone exclusive in the UK) threaten the lowly (for the smartphone world) E63?
Using a mixture of diagrams and literary quotes, Steve Litchfield re-examines the thorny issue of RAM, explains why it has been an issue for years and identifies the models that have been up to scratch and those that haven't. Where do the devices you've owned sit in the grand RAM pantheon? Finally, he asks whether the upcoming crop of devices have sufficient of this precious resource? Comments welcome!