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

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  #1  
Old 15-03-2010, 09:04 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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The old pearl (Nokia N95 8GB) still rocks....

Always good to read of older (but classic) devices still being put through their paces. Jorge Ledesmo has penned a lovely 8 point comparison between his trusty Nokia N95 8GB and his newer N97 mini and N900, looking at different functionality in daily life. It's fair to say that the older device is outgunned overall, but the margin is surprisingly small, bearing up my own opinion for years that the N95 8GB was the most powerful phone in the world.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 15-03-2010, 09:29 PM
clonmult clonmult is offline
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Its an interesting article ....
1. Texting - I do prefer texting on a physical keyboard, but definitely prefer T9 for writing quick messages over a compromised physical qwerty or an equally compromised touch keyboard.
3. Multitasking - its surprising how well Symbian copes, but thats part of its heritage, being designed for multi tasking on a device with less memory. Interesting that the only time I've had memory problems on the 5230 was when using the Ovi store ....
4. Browsing. The speed of browsing on the N95 wasn't anything to do with processor speed. Look at the performance difference between Opera Mini and the Symbian browser - night and day difference. From the way it works, you wouldn't ever believe that Symbian, Android and Apple share the same underlying browser engine. Nokias implementation really isn't that good.
8. Usability in general. I've noticed exactly the same issue with music playback. The N95 started immediately when you clicked play. The N85 had a small lag, and the 5230 isn't really that much better.

The N95 could only take decent pictures in good lighting though - anything indoors without daylight generally sucked. Try taking a picture of a toddler who won't sit still with an N95 - you'll just get a blurry mess. The 5230 seems to do a better job - no focusing delay, just zap, a picture that practically equal to the N95.

The N95 got so many things absolutely perfect, and Nokia haven't really improved on overall real-world usability of the core device features in its "replacements".

- cameras have more MP (which everyone seems to love), but don't actually take better pictures (quality is not a function related to pixel counts)
- aren't any faster in operation - menus were pretty snappy on the N95, latter models hid the potential differences with nicer transitions
- battery life still isn't any better. It would be nice to have a device that would last a week on a full charge rather than just one or two days.

The only reason I've moved on from the N95 (and N85) is for Ovi Maps. That is a key application for me, and the 5230 does it incredibly well. One device sat on the windscreen of the car doing a good job of being a phone and satnav. Shame it can't have a stunning camera, but Nokia are yet to surpass the N82.

  #3  
Old 15-03-2010, 11:00 PM
ILoveGadgets ILoveGadgets is offline
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I loved my n95 and he's right, a lot of what's replaced it has failed to impress. I do own a n900 now and while I agree with most of the negative points, I think it just about justifies the upgrade, despite the indifferent photos and poor maps implementation. I see it as being similar to the n95 in that it will take some time to get up to speed, which is complicated by the diversity of platforms at Nokia and the obvious lack of resources.

The form factor question has been debated on here before so I won't over-egg the custard, but a number of issues raised in this article could be solved by the addition of a slide form-factor to the current catalogue (n86 never really replaced the n95 and the n96 was a jack-of-all trades phone). For me, the biggest win with the n900 is the browsing experience - beats everything else out there, but I really do miss the convenience of the design classic that is the n95.

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  #4  
Old 15-03-2010, 11:42 PM
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The N95 had hardware display acceleration. But, had a small screen, ropey slide mechansim (see Ebay for many repair bodges) and a badly placed GPS antenna. Addtionally, it would get very hot in operation compared to the newer phones when doing streamed video or working particualarly hard.

  #5  
Old 16-03-2010, 08:08 AM
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Hardeep1singh Hardeep1singh is offline
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N82 has all the positives of the N95 and takes it a notch further with its pic quality, shutter speed and ofcourse 'Xenon'. There's still no real upgrade over that phone offered by Nokia or any other phone manufacturer.
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Old 16-03-2010, 10:20 AM
Gabeuk Gabeuk is offline
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More or less agree with everyone else. I've gone from N95 8GB to N900.

N95 8GB was/is a fantastic device. At the time HSPA, WiFi, SIP stack, large screen were all very impressive. The reason I changed was for a better browser and a qwerty.

The N900, although not Symbian, is very, very Nokia. I'm pretty happy with it, especially the Browser.

Fwiw, I get a few review units of different devices through the year, so I'm somewhat familiar with most other brands.

  #7  
Old 16-03-2010, 11:29 AM
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N82 STILL blows everything away that Nokia have produced before or since, shocking though that is to say. The killer features for me being Xenon flash which makes the camera usable (yes, Xenon really does make ALL the difference to a camera), hardware graphics chip, and physical robustness (my N82 has taken multiple full immersions in water and more beatings and drops than you'd believe). These are also the features that put it LEAGUES ahead of any iPhone or Android or Blackberry on the market.

I am not anti-touch at all (it is usually a good thing), and obviously I would love the software progress and larger screens of later models. But I do not want to carry a separate camera, nor should I have to. And the ONLY thing that makes that possible is Xenon flash. I also cannot go around worrying about whether my shiny piece of tech will break at the first chance, like some delicate little flower of an iPhone/Android. Hardware that goes everywhere in daily use SHOULD be able to take a physical beating.

So Nokia, you are told time and time again on boards such as this one what features are popular and successful. Please could you listen, and incorporate in upcoming products (even just one or two more models with the full works that would be great).

I have this horrible feeling that Nokia are going to announce a lovely new Symbian ^3 touch NSeries shortly that STILL lacks the features people love - Xenon, decent graphics hardware, etc. Chip speed and low RAM can be worked around with firmware updates. Missing Xenon or other hardware can't

  #8  
Old 16-03-2010, 11:36 AM
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So Nokia, you are told time and time again on boards such as this one what features are popular and successful. Please could you listen, and incorporate in upcoming products (even just one or two more models with the full works that would be great).

I have this horrible feeling that Nokia are going to announce a lovely new Symbian ^3 touch NSeries shortly that STILL lacks the features people love - Xenon, decent graphics hardware, etc. Chip speed and low RAM can be worked around with firmware updates. Missing Xenon or other hardware can't
Ah, there you go, an immediate answer to my post: http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/...release_De.php

Nokia Conversations release 'Design By Community' - 2 stories above this one on the front page.

Go for it folks!

  #9  
Old 16-03-2010, 12:45 PM
walmark walmark is offline
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I still can't believe that my n97 mini "almost flagship" has ZERO improvements in hardware (RAM, camera, battery life) compared to a flagship from 3 years ago! So in 3 years they took their best phone, slapped a touchscreen, tweaked the OS to support it (rather poorly), and called that progress?... We'll see what next 3 years will bring:

nokia n98 mini! S60v5 FP1! (with kinetic scrolling and single tap CONSISTENT throughout the system this time!). 128mb RAM but 16GB mass memory! Oh, and 50Mb of C: drive, since you have the mass memory (ooops, we forgot again).

Anyone else has a guess for more specs?

  #10  
Old 16-03-2010, 01:12 PM
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N82 STILL blows everything away that Nokia have produced before or since, shocking though that is to say. The killer features for me being Xenon flash which makes the camera usable (yes, Xenon really does make ALL the difference to a camera), hardware graphics chip, and physical robustness
I never got on with the N82, got rid of it gladly after 6 months or so. The xenon flash didn't make that much difference because there are so many photo situations where no flash at all is needed so the "usable' thing is a dead duck. You could do faces in the dark with it, but the results have quite a harsh white light, it was flattering to ugly people because it washed out features - perhaps that's why some people like it. If all pictures needed flash then Xenon would be important, but they don't and there still isn't a phone camera that can produce reasonable image quality by comparison to some very cheap dedicated cameras.

I think that the bigger screens on newer phones have set them free as media devices. Trying to maximise screen size whilst keeping size down means removing the keyboard from the front one way or another. SE did it with the P900 etc (fold out), the N97 slide out style, the pure touch on screen and the Nokia 95 style slides have all been tried.

I am looking for an innovation with regard to input.

  #11  
Old 16-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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I never got on with the N82, got rid of it gladly after 6 months or so. The xenon flash didn't make that much difference because there are so many photo situations where no flash at all is needed so the "usable' thing is a dead duck. You could do faces in the dark with it, but the results have quite a harsh white light, it was flattering to ugly people because it washed out features - perhaps that's why some people like it. If all pictures needed flash then Xenon would be important, but they don't and there still isn't a phone camera that can produce reasonable image quality by comparison to some very cheap dedicated cameras.

I think that the bigger screens on newer phones have set them free as media devices. Trying to maximise screen size whilst keeping size down means removing the keyboard from the front one way or another. SE did it with the P900 etc (fold out), the N97 slide out style, the pure touch on screen and the Nokia 95 style slides have all been tried.

I am looking for an innovation with regard to input.
Well in my case I find myself taking more indoor pictures, so the xenon is godsend. I recently bought a 5800 just for ovi maps. It's a really nice device, but it doesn't hold a candle to my 2 year old N82. Everything, from the camera, gps performance, gaming, multitasking, overall ease and speed of use, the N82 just blows it away. The only thing I like doing better on the 5800 is web browsing due to the screen. But then again my N82 can run opera and several other apps without breaking a sweat whereas 'not enough memory' constantly pops up with the 5800. Anyone using the N82, N95 8gb, E90, contemplating an 'upgrade' to any of the newer symbian devices, my advice is don't! Tough it out for another year at the most (hopefully).

  #12  
Old 16-03-2010, 02:41 PM
clonmult clonmult is offline
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Well in my case I find myself taking more indoor pictures, so the xenon is godsend. I recently bought a 5800 just for ovi maps. It's a really nice device, but it doesn't hold a candle to my 2 year old N82. Everything, from the camera, gps performance, gaming, multitasking, overall ease and speed of use, the N82 just blows it away. The only thing I like doing better on the 5800 is web browsing due to the screen. But then again my N82 can run opera and several other apps without breaking a sweat whereas 'not enough memory' constantly pops up with the 5800. Anyone using the N82, N95 8gb, E90, contemplating an 'upgrade' to any of the newer symbian devices, my advice is don't! Tough it out for another year at the most (hopefully).
I had an N95-1, and the GPS on that is practically identical to the N82. I also had an N85. Neither of these got a GPS lock on anywhere near as quick as the 5230.

The N95 to the 5800 or 5230 is a fairly sensible move, albeit of a sideways nature. The N95 camera had great potential, but was utterly useless indoors - where I take most of my pictures for maybe a third of the year.

If you want a cheap mapping solution, the 5230 and 5800 are almost unbeatable. can't think of any product that even begins to come close for the price.

The graphics accelerator that has often been mentioned (by myself included) was rarely used on anything other than the core OS. Games and apps didn't make any use of it, at least not to any noticeable extent.
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  #13  
Old 16-03-2010, 05:18 PM
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Confirms my worst fear -- that Nokia has made no progress with its last two generation of phones. Still getting over the n97 heartache. Oh why couldn't they just give the N97+mini the cpu and ram it frigg'n NEEDS? I'd grab it (again) over the vivaz or omnia, it's perfectly endowed -- excepting its dimunitive brain. That said, the e71 remains the de facto powerhouse in the lineup in terms of usability, agility and stamina. Of course, you risk going blind with prolonged use, hence the upgrade dilemma.

  #14  
Old 16-03-2010, 05:40 PM
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Well in my case I find myself taking more indoor pictures, so the xenon is godsend. I recently bought a 5800 just for ovi maps. It's a really nice device, but it doesn't hold a candle to my 2 year old N82. Everything, from the camera, gps performance, gaming, multitasking, overall ease and speed of use, the N82 just blows it away. The only thing I like doing better on the 5800 is web browsing due to the screen. But then again my N82 can run opera and several other apps without breaking a sweat whereas 'not enough memory' constantly pops up with the 5800. Anyone using the N82, N95 8gb, E90, contemplating an 'upgrade' to any of the newer symbian devices, my advice is don't! Tough it out for another year at the most (hopefully).
My experience differs. I like to be able to use the latest apps. I never see "not enough memory".

People forget that when 5800 appeared it was half the price of the N82.

Seriously, if I had a need to take picture and it was important (indoors or out) then I would use a camera. The tiny xenon on phones might be a bit better than LEDs but it ain't great. There is no compelling reason to buy any particular phone based on the flash performance. And people say the latest touch S60 is bad, using these old phones is like going back to the 90s. And they get really hot.

There is no speed and ease of use argument either. Especially after you've tried to pick from any long list.

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Old 16-03-2010, 07:46 PM
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My experience differs. I like to be able to use the latest apps. I never see "not enough memory".

People forget that when 5800 appeared it was half the price of the N82.

Seriously, if I had a need to take picture and it was important (indoors or out) then I would use a camera. The tiny xenon on phones might be a bit better than LEDs but it ain't great. There is no compelling reason to buy any particular phone based on the flash performance. And people say the latest touch S60 is bad, using these old phones is like going back to the 90s. And they get really hot.

There is no speed and ease of use argument either. Especially after you've tried to pick from any long list.
Try running opera with 4-5 other apps (gravity, music player, etc)? People also forget that the N95 is 3 years old and the N82, 2 years. When you come from something as powerful, stable and matured as the N82, it gets a bit frustrating. Don't get me wrong, I adore my 5800, and for the price, it's the best in the world for what it offers. But my 2 year old device out performs it on almost every aspect, yes including gps. And someone mentioned multiple immersions in water? Ahh..the numbers of knocks mine has taken..it just keeps on going.
 

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