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

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Old 17-06-2009, 09:25 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Fight of the year turns into unsightly rout: N97 vs Touch Pro 2

I can feel the onslaught of accusations of bias already - but I don't care. In this feature, I present a hands-on head to head of the Nokia N97 and HTC Touch Pro 2, two tilt-screened qwerty smartphones with almost identical form factor. In theory a good match for each other, in practice the fight turns into a runaway rout, as you'll see. Summary: the N97 is imperfect. The Touch Pro 2 is so far short of perfect that it has disappeared over the horizon....

Read on in the full article.

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Old 17-06-2009, 10:08 AM
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Bias! :p

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Old 17-06-2009, 10:18 AM
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Stopped using Windows mobile a long time ago, Symbian beats it in all areas in my book, same with the Palm UI too for that matter.

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Old 17-06-2009, 10:21 AM
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I've not seen the HTC Touch Pro 2 outside of mobile events, so I've not spent any significant time with it. That said this is some of my thoughts / opinion on it.

HTC have come a long, long way and should now be considered one of the primary players in the smartphone space. In that light I expect them to be producing best of breed solutions. They do some great innovation (in both software and hardware), and I think the Touch Diamond II and Touch Pro II are examples of leading edge Windows Mobile devices.

I was really impressed with the quality of the hardware compared to earlier HTC devices. They keyboard is a step up from previous flat keyboards and the overall materials and build quality is decent. There's still room for improvement and it is a shame the multimedia hardware still feels under powered (camera, audio etc) - not what I expect on a 500 device. If you want strong multimedia - avoid HTC it seems (look at Sasmung for better WM multimedia). I still think there's an issue around completeness and durability, but without trying it out for a longer period its not really fair for me to comment on this in detail.

I'm not sure I would be so anti TouchFlo as Steve. The Touch Pro 2 has made further improvements and refinements, but I do agree it is jars when you transition out of it. I also feel that sometimes the design / style has too much of an edge over usability. On the other hand some of the ideas in it are excellent - I especially like the idea of being about to access communication history (calls, texts, emails) with a single contact easily. The promotion of certain email to the top of your inbox is a clever (if obvious idea) too.

I guess TouchFlo is the sticking point here - either you like it or you don't. In my opinion it significantly improves the Windows Mobile experience, but does result in a kludge that can makes things inconsistent for those coming to Windows Mobile for the first time.

The biggest point in favour of the N97 is the (relative) completeness and consistency of both the hardware and software package out of the box (especially for a consumer). So I think as a consumer the N97 is a stronger choice, but for enterprise users its a more even match, given the popularity of Microsoft solutions in that environment.
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Old 17-06-2009, 10:42 AM
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Great Post Rafe. Your opinion sounds very, very objective. I am a Nokia fan too, but Steve's article sounds more like one of a Nokia Fanboy.

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Old 17-06-2009, 10:44 AM
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It really is refreshing to see, and read something positive about the latest NSeries device, the N97. There are so many negative reviews out there, with most missing the whole concept of the device, and even comparing it to something that should not even come in to the conversation. The N97, to me, personally, is the ideal device for me. Thats my own reference. Agreed, the N97 is not for everyone, and is not aimed at Business users, but is aimed at Social Media Network types, just like myself.

Im sure Nokia will no doubt release another new, more powerful device later this year, which will take the Flagship title away from the N97.

While we are talking of the N97, I would just like to mention, my UK Pre-Order has just been confirmed to be in stock, and being processed for delivery

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:13 AM
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Now that's what I'm talking about... objectivity!

Great review Steve, a sensible comparison of two phones with the same form factor, occupying similar positions in the smartphone market.

Much more in the vein of what I believe AAS stands and let's see it continue.

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malerocks View Post
Great Post Rafe. Your opinion sounds very, very objective. I am a Nokia fan too, but Steve's article sounds more like one of a Nokia Fanboy.
Thanks though I think Steve point is valid, I was trying to put across a different perspective.

Given the price tag, the multimedia hardware deficiencies and Touch Flo integration issue (not Touch Flo itself) is enough to stop me recommending this phone (unless you want WM).

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Originally Posted by morpheus2702 View Post
Now that's what I'm talking about... objectivity!

Great review Steve, a sensible comparison of two phones with the same form factor, occupying similar positions in the smartphone market.

Much more in the vein of what I believe AAS stands and let's see it continue.
Thanks morpheus - we've got more of this sort of thing planned, subject to hardware availability.
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Old 17-06-2009, 11:30 AM
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Well, having had an N97 on preorder for the last few weeks, I cancelled it this morning, and am seriously considering the Touch Pro2. Why? Because I discovered yesterday that the editing version of QuickOffice for S60 5ed isn't ready yet, and QuickOffice themselves couldn't give me any idea when it might appear, other than "soon", which in IT can mean anything up to a year or more. I need to replace a Palm Treo 650, and I need mobile spreadsheets that work properly out of the box, not as an upgrade at some undisclosed future date. For Nokia to be launching a device with a QWERTY keyboard that doesn't support Office doc editing at launch is a serious mistake, IMO. It also seems that there are quite a few apps for S60 3ed that won't work on the N97 (such as Mobipocket, another one I need immediately) - I'm not quite as convinced by the idea that S60 5ed is a stable platform with full third-party support yet, so I'm going to hold off and see what happens.

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:31 AM
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the htc touch phones are very well made. diamond, diamond II are beautiful devices.
and their qwerty ones are excellent too - WinMo lets them down, hopefully 7 will improve things. Touch Flo does its best but its always going to be a layer.

now stick android on that bad boy and see something magical. Though android really needs a capacitive screen, mind you both these would fair better that tech.

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:32 AM
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oh yes and sadly EVERY htc phone has a terrible camera - they just dont seem to get that bit right.

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
Thanks though I think Steve point is valid, I was trying to put across a different perspective.

Given the price tag, the multimedia hardware deficiencies and Touch Flo integration issue (not Touch Flo itself) is enough to stop me recommending this phone (unless you want WM).
I agree Rafe. And I am not rubbishing Steve's article. What I simply meant was a comparison between phones should also ideally include points like you had mentioned. Your points IMO are important too when one would be deciding what phone to buy.

These should also have been included in the comparison.

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:34 AM
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Because I discovered yesterday that the editing version of QuickOffice for S60 5ed isn't ready yet, and QuickOffice themselves couldn't give me any idea when it might appear, other than "soon", which in IT can mean anything up to a year or more.
Rafe's crystal ball says it will a lot less than a year. In fact I think I can say it will appear in a month that has a J in its name.
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Old 17-06-2009, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spl View Post
Well, having had an N97 on preorder for the last few weeks, I cancelled it this morning, and am seriously considering the Touch Pro2. Why? Because I discovered yesterday that the editing version of QuickOffice for S60 5ed isn't ready yet, and QuickOffice themselves couldn't give me any idea when it might appear, other than "soon", which in IT can mean anything up to a year or more. I need to replace a Palm Treo 650, and I need mobile spreadsheets that work properly out of the box, not as an upgrade at some undisclosed future date. For Nokia to be launching a device with a QWERTY keyboard that doesn't support Office doc editing at launch is a serious mistake, IMO. It also seems that there are quite a few apps for S60 3ed that won't work on the N97 (such as Mobipocket, another one I need immediately) - I'm not quite as convinced by the idea that S60 5ed is a stable platform with full third-party support yet, so I'm going to hold off and see what happens.
Well you can stick with a Symbian 9.3 device for now if you like (one of the other nseries phones or one of the eseries phones)

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Old 17-06-2009, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
Rafe's crystal ball says it will a lot less than a year. In fact I think I can say it will appear in a month that has a J in its name.
Hehe... crystal ball... :P
 

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