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Old 21-09-2009, 11:46 AM
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Beer i8910 after 4 months - with key updates!

This is a thread which relates to my previous post here:
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/forum...ad.php?t=84660
Do read this for extra info on all sections!

Pt2: - I have NOW starred (*) WITH extra COMMENTS after having the i8910 for 4 months!

*Background firmware information: shipped with xxIE2 Orange UK. After 4 weeks I decided to go down the 'learn how to firmware flash' route - see other websites, notably samsungi8910omnia.com ! Now using xxII1 as of it's release mid-Sept. ish.

Speed of O/S:

*with xxII1 italian firmware upgrade, there is even more of a noticeble 'turbo' upgrade in speed. Everything just has a faster edge to it. The xxII1 is, IMHO, the firmware the i8910 should have shipped with in late May.

In call quality: Acceptable.
*Appears to be the same in xxII1. NB has anyone else noticed that callers who are calling you have an iPhone now sound very screechy (too high a gain?) - my current idea is that the iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade has done something funny to their mic gain input settings... comments / suggestions welcome.

*Podcasts app has now gone into beta IMO with xxII1, it still nowhere close to being very useful. Loaded it up twice in the last 3 months.

*Still waiting for an extended battery option. Would like to have it, just in case. My previous Battery issues with the xxIE2 were all firmware related, AFAIK, since going down the italian firmware route, and also trying out Orange UK xxIF7 for a while, also no further battery problems. It is EXCELLENT.

Not had xxII1 firmware on long enough to see a difference, but others report even more battery longevity.

External covers:
*not yet broken any port covers, so they are pretty robust. I am tending to use a black silicon shell most of the time, but taking it off (easily removed) for some weekend gadget lusting, in its naked form (sad, eh?)!

Video-calling; 50p/minute in the UK...
*It did cost me a quid for 2 mins. Excellent experience, too costly for anyone who has a sense of how much money is worth. Couldn't use it to call a mate with a Sony K800 - went to some Video messaging service; did not pursue this, have not tried it again.

Proximity sensor:
*This feature still annoys me a bit; but got used to it. Why not always having the dialler buttons showing too? Always having to bring them up to interact e.g. with voicemail.

Holding the handset:
Very slippery: *Get a silicon shell IMO. Works ok for me now.

Exterior Camera lens / design:
No lens cover. No xenon flash, only LED flash. Both negatives IMHO. Handset rests, when you put it down e.g. on a table, on the metal ring around the
camera lens. This metal ring will sooner or later get scratched greatly. There are no rubber feet on the back of the handset to stop damage.
*Yes, have been missing the Xenon option, greatly. Do not HD record any movies, total waste of time - 'soft' movie-quality and stuttery, even on xxII1. not good enough for me. No lens scratches yet, with silicon shell on providing extra height off a flat surface.

Speakers:
Holes at top and bottom of handset. They are excellent and the best I have used on a handset. Enough said.
* Still brilliant - a really great speakerphone as well - use them A LOT. also for Radio, listening anywhere at home. In fact, the i8910 is now my main FM radio!!!

SOFTWARE
*now on xxII1 (Italian) - this is the firmware it should have shipped with 4 months ago; but it is still pretty weak IMHO. It's not anywhere close to iPod touch sleekness, but at least with Opera Mini 5 beta, browsing feels like it is coming of age on the i8910.

Profiles: when handset on, and unlocked via pushing for 1 sec the side Lock button, then push and hold the 'End call' button, a menu appears: e.g.

Silent, general, meeting, outdoor; all can be used as a template and then customised and saved. Excellent.

Telephone application:
Very clear; big dialling numbers on the screen. Easy to get to contacts. I transferred my contacts from my old mobile, to Outlook, then to i8910 via the

Samsung PC studio. Easy. Detail: no idea how to change or remove my old photo thumbnails linked to my contacts. They appear in the i8910's speed dial application automatically, but i can't change them (yet)! (?) Speed dial app is good.

Radio:
*It has, in fact, become my main FM radio about the house, using the external speakers! VERY CONVENIENT! +++ Still no Timer function though.

Messaging app: does the job; all the icons, for all apps, are very clear on the OLED screen. Excellent.

BBC iplayer: .sis version works, sometimes slow to respond to touch (?). Also serves lower quality streams of shows than I expect. I still use the IPod touch...
*with xxII1, everything is much quicker, iPlayer icons load up much faster after starting the app; but the stream is still nonsense, Awful, to point of unwatchable. Server side issues I think, but it renders it all useless. Still don't use it; I pick up the iPod touch.

Built-in music player: does the job. Screen rotates to landscape like ipod; but otherwise no comparison, iPod much better.
*Again, frustrating, it's there - but I just don't want to use it; rather carry my iPod Touch about.

Built-in video player - apparently plays a lot of movies / codecs; I tried ripping a few bizarrely specified .mp4s with my IMTOO converter. These don't play e.g. a 480p attempt. 480x272 did though. I tried to get an .xvid file (I am not used to doing this), which did on the PC, but not on mobile. Gave up through lack of knowledge and time (2h+ to get a failed xvid file is enough for me). I do not intend to pay for DivX encoding, so that aspect of the

player is redundant to me.
*Still great. One of the BEST things about the i8910.

Office folder, with applications in it:
Calculator / clock / calendar / converter / dictionary / smart reader (automatically converts business card into text, seems to work great) / Dictionary / file manager / zip manager = all ok, look great on the crisp screen.
Adobe reader - fine, but NO FULL SCREEN mode??? Am I missing something here?
*Still no full screen mode - so don't use it much.
Quick office - MS word reading etc, BUT YOU HAVE to PAY to get a licence to EDIT documents? Again, very disappointing. This is not going to happen.
*Tried to install the v6 etc. but it appears it must go onto c:\. I had a real weekend of headaches, reflashing, as this caused lots of low memory issues... so I still just don't use Quick Office, only to view in desperation.

Not yet tried direct printing to a bluetooth enabled printer, expect (LOL) it to work.
*still not tried. Life is too short on this one, for me! :-)

Digital compass:
*again, just don't use it. A gimmick. Very rarely did I manage to get it to lock 'green' and calibrated.

*Now Opera 5 mini beta - a little bit better than 4 - still some sort of heap/graphics issues, so: it's best to use the S60 browser which has become more stable (and no STOP bug anymore with xxII1)

Accuweather.
*Google maps - try and get hold of v3.0.1; v3.2.1 for me crashes after 5+ secs every launch.
Gmail, but in Java form, only uses half the screen as it assumes some hardware buttons need to be put onscreen (?).
*gmail installs with a lo res icon - but perhaps one can upgrade it somehow like i found out howto with the Opera 5 mini icon...
Realplayer - redundant sort of, as use Video player.
*Voice recorder - awful sound quality - don't use it.
*Mobbler v0.6 is excellent, too!

The last time I had such a technology rush was with using the iPod Touch 2nd gen (my only iPod to date) for the first time.
The i8910 has the best screen to date on an easy to use mobile 'phone with a great 8MP camera. It also plays back standard .mp4s with great clarity and colour depth.
BUT The iPhone still has the best O/S and surfing experience.
AND WM6.1 still has the best software base for me.

*Now we have the iPhone 3Gs, and the new Samsung i8000. If the Samsung i8000 Omnia II was coming out end of last May when I had to take a new contract - on paper, I think I would have gone for it instead. I have had a lot of trouble with the i8910 &, quite frankly, it just isn't my main handset. I'd say I use my old WinMo one 60% of the time, and pick up the i8910 at weekends. I just don't trust the stability of the software, as before I put on xxII1 I was
having just too many crashes. (one a week, is too many for me!).

PS I can't find any FM transmitter; I'll say again: disappointed can't get any recorded HD content to play on my TV via PS3 DLNA! (even if sound is poor)
*Yes, no FM transmitter, as we all know now, also I just CAN'T BE BOTHERED to see if the DLNA app works with my two-day old firmware xxII1 update... The DLNA experience was rubbish when I did have it working for a little while (the first 4 weeks).
*I'm still debating whether I should 'attempt' to get a handset exchange, in case I have some odd hardware faults e.g. DLNA stopped working and, but I'm waiting to find out if Orange UK ever decide to implement another firmware update.
*Acer F900 is now at 196 I see, perhaps re: upcoming Acer F1 (Oct 6th launch?), Samsung i8000... can I trust Samsung after what I feel has been an awful consumer experience wit the i8910?
*Not even bothering to view the Samsung app store - there is no way I am putting in any more money after all the problems with the i8910... perhaps when I see it has a vibrant Freeware community...

Last edited by rleader; 02-10-2009 at 01:50 PM. Reason: updated my opinion on Opera 5 mini beta