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!
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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!
Our rule of thumb is that 95% of content in every mobile app store is complete rubbish, without significant merit. But, rather than dismiss this 95% en-bloc, or one at a time, we thought we'd do better to dismiss some of the worst offenders category by category, so that you can spot future offenders yourself more easily in future. The traditional way is to handle software roundups is to go for a Top Ten list, and we've done a few here in the past (such as this Top Time Management Apps list). But, by way of something slightly different, here's some coverage of the Top Ten Lists we won't be compiling... naturally itself in the form of a somewhat recursive Top Ten List!
Over the last few years, I've had a burning conviction that's been growing and growing as I watch the current craze for 'Apps' blossom. Now, I've nothing against genuine applications or games, but it has to be said that a large number of so-called 'Apps' are simply scraping or managing exactly the same data as you get right now, on any phone, for free. And my way there are no installations, no complications and no hassle. Apps? Pah - I've a new slogan to rival Apple's. "There's a Bookmark for that!"
In another of our illustrated how-tos, David Gilson highlights Nokia's built-in Search utility, showing how to use it to get information fast, including playing a specific music track, launching an app or finding a particular contact. See also All About Symbian's 'How to' index.
Starting with a throwaway line from a US podcast, Steve Litchfield works up a head of steam over the ever-slipping battery life standard in our smartphones. How long is long enough when it comes to keeping a modern smartphone going on a single charge? Are we destined to need to carry around mobile chargers in our pocket in 2011 or is there a better way to go? Surely making it through the day is a fundamental that should never be compromised?
With the imminent arrival of both the Apple iPhone 4 and the Symbian-powered Nokia N8, I thought it high time to pitch the two head to head. In fact, while doing so, why not widen the comparison to include the other non-Nokia Symbian flagships, the Sony Ericsson Satio and Samsung i8910 HD, both of which have similar specifications, plus throw in the Android flagship (in the UK) as well - the HTC Desire? The result is hopefully a comprehensive cross-section of the top end smartphones of 2010.