All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:30 PM
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The Perception of Nokia

One of the interesting things I observed during the first day of news from Nokia World was the increasingly wide contrast between what Nokia and the retail stores are reporting on the Nokia N97, and what the blogging comentarati think is happening with the N97. Read on for my observations.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 04-09-2009, 01:38 PM
Carl Mumford
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You're right. Nothing is perfect first time round and Nokia World has brought a lot of promise to the products they have been slated for (N97) and also the products that many are awaiting. In your last video about using the N97 in the real world, yes the N97 is a massive step for those who have never had a touchscreen phone, let alone a QWERTY keyboard to get their fingers on so to us geeks who are working with these devices 24/7, the N97 is not a stand-out wow device.

However, it actually is and a few firmwares later it will become better. I don't think you're praising Nokia, you're looking in to the future and thanking their work at looking at problems. After all, bad business (failing devices) and left out customers are something that Nokia do not want. Kudos to your article.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:48 PM
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It would appear that a lot of Nokia owners felt a bit let down because they don't have a slick UI. Fair enough, but the exaggeration and bandwagonning has been ridiculous.

It is the nature of an insecure bully to always need a target to pick on.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:53 PM
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Sorry to burst the bubble of the NDF (Nokia Defense Force), but the 3GS initial firmware is pretty much problem free...mind, you this is a device launched more or less at the same time of the n97

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:03 PM
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Sorry to burst the bubble of the NDF (Nokia Defense Force), but the 3GS initial firmware is pretty much problem free...mind, you this is a device launched more or less at the same time of the n97
1. From experience it is far from problem free.

2. It is a development of the 3G which in turn is a development of the original iPhone, so has been refined for far longer than the N97. The Apple strategy is to release a simple product with limited functionality and add to it over a longer period gives the appearance of stability but at the cost of features from the beginning.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:10 PM
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Sorry to burst the bubble of the NDF (Nokia Defense Force), but the 3GS initial firmware is pretty much problem free...mind, you this is a device launched more or less at the same time of the n97
There will always be at least one iphone defender/nokia attacker in every non-apple forum. makes one wonder if this is all organized by apple to discredit other devices. I don't believe all iphone users are blind and arrogant. Unless they are paid to do so.

there is not much difference in UI/apps/hardware from the iphone of 2 years ago to the 3gs. Of course it's going to be stable. Yes I own an iphone too.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:15 PM
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Oh, and one other thing. The most vociferous criticism of the N97 has often come from it's owners, not the bloggerati / twitterati.

It's easy to be impressed by a device when you are given one for nothing, but somewhat harder when you have to part with £499 of your hard-earned money.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Sorry to burst the bubble of the NDF (Nokia Defense Force), but the 3GS initial firmware is pretty much problem free...mind, you this is a device launched more or less at the same time of the n97
I listen to the Mac and iPhone podcasts and it amuses me the way they always gloss over the Safari crashes and the other problems.

I frequently heard comments like "I reset my iPhone once a day to avoid memory problems". Or "Safari just disappeared, but it was no problem to start it again".

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:58 PM
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To some people, if it doesn't suite their needs, than it must be a fail. I believe mostly the tech geeks who are into the highest specs possible are the ones disappointed. Some are just disappointed for the fact that the N97 is not iphone-like.

On the OS side, a simple fact that S60 has been around for so long that people just jusp to the conclusion that it stopped evolving since it's debut.

But what ever the anti-N97 brigade is doing, they are doing a very nice job as from what I read from all the blogs, I wouldn't buy one myself. But if I was just to step in a store, most likely I would.

The rest of the world is more open minded and patient it seems then the gadget geeks.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:01 PM
celios celios is offline
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The problem Nokia have is that most of their early adopters who are unlucky enough to spend time with the early firmware have moved straight off another Nokia device, and often one that has a much more responsive UI and greater stability.

Nobody expects perfection, but if they insist on putting 128Mb of RAM in their flagship devices, at the very least they could make sure they don't install hundreds of useless apps on the C: drive and leave the browser cache munching through what's left.

With the amount of marketing muscle Nokia have thrown at the N97, they could sell pretty much anything. The real comparison with the N95 will be after the N97 has been out there for 9-12 months. Is it still selling in big numbers then? If they improve the firmware (as they appear to be with v2 / v20), then perhaps.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:01 PM
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No update in travel?

I've updated my N97 while on the beach, this August via FOTA (700kb).

Best improvement: sms speed and GPS no more loose fix.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:04 PM
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Sorry to burst the bubble of the ARDP (Apple Rabid Defence Party),

iPhone 3GS runs on iPhone OS 3.0, which is an update upon 2.0, and 2.0 upon 1.0

Which was released... in 2007. And was in development for 2 year prior, so the software was crap when you consider the performance/time ratio.

N97 runs on S60 5th Ed, which was released (On Nokia 5800)... in October 2008.

Considering the hardware differences between the 5800 and N97, time allowances HAS to be made, and it's a pretty much well executed job for the time they had.

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:08 PM
BreathlessTao
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Well...maybe.

Uhm...You got some points right there, but maybe try reading this: http://bit.ly/21iNZ0 if you haven't already. And maybe this here http://bit.ly/1svHfq as well (being my own thoughts). You've got some valid points, and of course no device is bug-free, but there are a few mistakes here that are just not justified by anything, mainly from a manufacturer that's been market leader for the gods only know how long. And mainly not when they had at least half a year to iron out the problems, from announcement til the release - and that's just the latest period. Or have those been running an entirely different build of the OS that somehow could get over the hardware limitations? Because of so, well, why not give that to us too? Yes, there are flaws and bugs in every new device. But there are some boundaries beyond which these are unaccaptable - and btw, I'd barely call design flops "flaws": weak hardware, a lens cover that actually wounds the lens instead of protecting it...and I doubt they only spend a month or two testing the stuffs, but even if it's so, these are too obvious to be overlooked just like that.

Symbian is the same: of course the system itself is as far from dead as a newborn baby is from being a serial killer, but still. Dust off the S60 5th Ed. and you'll see the same 3rd Edition that's been running on the N90 already - while at the same time, all the others are racing to come up with the most convenient and/or best looking UI customizations to be unique. Not Nokia, they actually look like they've taken steps backwards. To bury the system is quite early indeed, but with the "developments" that's been going on, it's sure like a signature on the coffin order form. And yes, Symbian might outlive and even outsell all of its competitors in the mid-range market, but survival as a whole is an entirely different thing from top-level innovations, and that's where it's seriously crippled still.

And as for Linux...I can't possibly KNOW per se, but I doubt they've only been working on that one for "a matter of months".

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Old 04-09-2009, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BreathlessTao View Post
[...] they had at least half a year to iron out the problems, from announcement til the release - and that's just the latest period. [...] and btw, I'd barely call design flops "flaws": weak hardware, a lens cover that actually wounds the lens instead of protecting it...and I doubt they only spend a month or two testing the stuffs, but even if it's so, these are too obvious to be overlooked just like that.

Symbian is the same: of course the system itself is as far from dead as a newborn baby is from being a serial killer, but still. Dust off the S60 5th Ed. and you'll see the same 3rd Edition that's been running on the N90 already - while at the same time, all the others are racing to come up with the most convenient and/or best looking UI customizations to be unique. Not Nokia, they actually look like they've taken steps backwards. [...] survival as a whole is an entirely different thing from top-level innovations, and that's where it's seriously crippled still.

And as for Linux...I can't possibly KNOW per se, but I doubt they've only been working on that one for "a matter of months".
wow. you are misguided. lets hit these points one at a time, shall we?
1. half a year to iron out problems: right, that's like a blink of the eye in development timelines. sure, it's annoying to have bugs, but at least i don't mysteriously lose 3G connectivity like the iphone did, instead i get a scratch camera glass (not actually the lens, mind you) which i replaced for $12 including shipping from hong kong.

2. design 'flops' versus 'flaws' - what are you saying here? yes the camera lens cover issue is a HUGE flaw. that's called a flaw not a flop. not sure what you're saying, really. should i go to the jeweler and tell them that dark spot in diamonds aren't flaws but flops simply because the diamond is so expensive? right - silly - but that's what you're saying here. rename the term because... whatever, i'm done with this point. well, almost: what's weak about the hardware? yes, camera lens cover sucks, ok. that's not what you meant by weak hardware. i own an N97, i put it through its paces. i tunnel my network connection through an IPsec VPN and ssh into my office, i play games, i develop Qt applications for it, i seriously bombard the hardware with taxing software.... and i'm happy with how it performs. what, would you rather a 1.5x speedup in the cpu (to match the iphone's cpu)? why? system performance is not measured in raw mhz. i'd be content with a 100mhz cpu on the n97, if the system performed just as it does now. matter of fact, in designing these devices the GOAL is to pick the LEAST POWER HUNGRY cpu able to do the job well. you might say that the iphone, requiring a 1.5x faster cpu, is therefore less well engineered than the N97 because better software would be more efficient and require less cpu cycles to get the job done. but hey, nokia had the advantage with years and years of optimizations already done for symbian and s60.

3. UI customizations != Operating System. holy crap this is starting to bug me. not just you, but all these freaking bloggers out there that think the user interface IS THE OS. it's not. IT IS NOT THE OS. dammit. go take a 100 level computer engineering class. or even a computer science class if you're not up to snuff for engineering courses. the UI is totally separate. right. that's how UIQ and S60 could both be called symbian operating systems. ok, i'm done with that rant (which was somewhat offtopic, sorry). the reason S60v5 doesn't look pretty? because nokia is retargeting their UI framework for cross-platform Qt. right maemo5? you like that? good. that's the Qt framework in action. that's what is already slated for the N97 in Symbian^2. That's the framework you can already develop your applications on using the 'Tower' preview release FOR FREE. it's open source and cross platform. want to build an app with similar looking variants on Maemo, S60v5, Windows, Linux, and MacOSX? great, now you can. that's the point. write one bunch of code and use a simple GUI tool to create a set of user interfaces for the devices you are targetting, then compile for each platform and you're done. yay. want pretty? want kinetic scrolling? you ALREADY HAVE IT IF YOU DEVELOP WITH QT ON S60. and that's the direction Nokia is going: future firmwares will have the Qt libraries preinstalled and future built-in apps will call those libraries instead of the old Avkon (might confuse you, but S0 is the UI backend, Avkon more closely labels what you see on the device - right STILL NOT THE FREAKING OS).

4. survival as a whole versus toplevel innovations: right. nokia doesn't innovate. they've had one decent competitor in decades and that blind-sided them, yes. but they don't innovate? have a look at http://research.nokia.com - research is the heart of innovation, and nokia does their research openly. apple? right, the multi-touch screen. that's their number one innovation. pretty UI? not really an innovation, but a clear and obvious UI direction to go once they had multi-touch in place (why do you think everyone else seems to copy the UI?). to claim that nokia doesn't innovate is like claiming that bell labs didn't innovate (in the US, bell was broken into many parts years ago as it was a monopoly in the telecoms industry). right, if you didn't know, bell labs invented the transistor. the same one that is reproduced billions of times in that fancy computer you're using. nokia is a key product development innovate for the full vertical market in mobiles. not just the phones, but the equipment telecoms use as well as the signaling methods to get faster and strong communications between mobile and tower. nokia invented or significantly improved a large fraction of what makes it possible for apple to build a phone in the first place. apple added a pretty user interface and you're going to say apple innovates and nokia doesn't? as a computer engineer, i'm personally insulted by this: i do work similar to what nokia has done (my team has designed a superscalar cpu for use in hardware protection devices) and one day someone will take our design, do something cool with it, and someone like you in my industry will say i didn't innovate but that other company did.

5. working on meamo for a matter of months: you misread the article, and restated the original statement's argument as though you were correcting it. simple as that. but as i stated early, you like maemo 5? looks pretty? that's not linux that looks so pretty (linux is actually not even a full OS, just a kernel, and it has no GUI at all) but Qt for Maemo. right Qt. which nokia did not create, they bought the company that created it (trolltech). and it's open source. and that prettiness is available for maemo, s60v5, windows, linux, macosx. yup. the same prettiness. and for touch devices (all supported touch devices) kinetic scrolling, transition effects, etc. right. months of work, years of work, whatever it was that work was NOT just on maemo, but on Qt. that's the catch here, the work on Qt is crossplatform - so whatever work was poured into Qt also applies to the N97. you might say that they were really working on the N97 that whole time and are already re-using the code in a new maemo product.

sorry if i sound annoyed with you personally, i'm not. i'm annoyed with all the ignorance out there claiming to be knowledge. it's like having my brand new car picked on by gearheads because it has a 67 horsepower engine and they don't understand that as a hybrid the electric motor gives me most of my power (and 100 ft-lb of torque). sure, these people might know SOMETHING but their knowledge is an artifact of unrelated experiences. someone who actually understands how these systems work might be positive or negative about the N97, but would not go around making the arrogant and often ridiculously narrow and ignorant claims that are so common. (a real mechanic would look at my hybrid and question if the torque could be put to use well enough to make up for the missing horsepower, and would be satisfied when i would point out that the vehicle is so light-weight that in fact it handles about as well as my old camero)

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:18 PM
jared
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N97 vs. N95

Well, I for one purchased the N95-1 as an early adopter. yup. and I'm in the states, so later when the NAM came out with gobs of ram and a better battery i was disappointed.

Let me say this, and say it clearly: the N97 is far more satisfying of a purchase than the N95-1 was. Sure, on a clean boot the N97 doesn't have as much free RAM as, say, the N82. who cares? I can still launch apps when I'm running low on ram with my N97!

The N95-1? try this: clean boot, launch the camera, exit the camera -> now try to open, say, maps. right you can't. reboot, open maps, exit maps -> now try to launch the camera. right, you can't. The N95 was horribly flawed by too little RAM.

The N97? forget how much RAM you see listed, can you reproduce the FLAW? I can't. I simply cannot cause my N97 to fail due to too little ram. so is RAM an issue? no.

C: space? yeah, that's an issue. hardreset and install everything to the E: drive helps a LOT! problem solved? well, at least for now. what else do people have a problem with?

personally i wouldn't have bought an iphone if it were $0.30. it's a useless device to me. i may have purchased an android phone though, or another s60v5. i chose the N97 and i'm glad for it.
 

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