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

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Old 26-07-2010, 07:20 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Defining the Smartphone - part 2 (testing the definition, head to head)

As mentioned in part one of my Defining the Smartphone feature from earlier in the week, the very word now encompasses a surprising range of hardware, with some claiming that the older phone-like devices are outdated when compared to the modern capacitive touch slabs and that the former shouldn't even be called smartphones. In this, part two, I attempt to quantify the various attributes of two of the extremes from the smartphone world, I take the latest evolution of Nokia's classic S60 slider form factor, the N86, and pitch it head to head with the current highest rated Android smartphone in the UK, the HTC Desire. Will my own smartphone definition hold water?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 26-07-2010, 08:47 AM
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Smartphones

The Younger Generation thinks it good buying mobiles nowdays with Larger Screens an Interent Prawn,thats the Way the N86 loses out,the Only problem using the Interenet on Mobiles is that you are paying to use it,but loads do not realise that an throw loads of money away showing off using the interenet,this is another reason Nokia are under pressure because of the Smartphone Boom an hope the Future N8 really does Succede an get them back on Track Again

  #3  
Old 26-07-2010, 08:49 AM
ClockworkZombie ClockworkZombie is offline
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Dual slider

I think more should be made of the dual slider design, the media keys are excellent. I am finding them very useful for music whilst in the car.

I would be happy to see new phones with these. I use an N95 which is set up with joikuspot and other apps in case I need to use it for business functions when I am not near a computer or with my laptop and need an emergency internet connection.

If there was an N97 type device with dual slider goodness it would be pretty sweet, it may be something only I want but I would buy a decent Nokia phone with it over an iPhone for example as I already have an iPad for other non music multimedia & books.

The call quality and signal reception is far more important to me than a whole lot of other features, if it is not too subjective could they be added to your list.

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Old 26-07-2010, 09:12 AM
Tenkom Tenkom is offline
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Nokia podcasting is not fully integrated. A fully integrated podcasting client would pick up on a link pressed in the browser and not have to rely on a clumsy copy and paste trick.
Like for example the free download from android market called Google Listen. It fully integrates with the browser. Syncs your subscriptions with google. Supports resuming playback within the app itself so you don't have use another app for playing the podcasts(like in s60 where you have to download them in the podcast app and then use the music player to play them since it supports resuming playback). Of course it also supports scheduled downloads for new podcasts and has a much nicer interface.
And the n86 gets a point for Upnp? Upnp is useless in almost every way.

I have an n86 and a galaxy s(pretty close to the desire). And there are 2 or 3 reasons to get the n86 over the android. Camera, form factor and navigation if you live in a country where google navigation is not yet available.
Android has better games, better browser, better music player, better video playback, better podcasting app, better PIM functions, a much wider range of usefull apps(like google goggles, layar,tv-guides and such things).

Nokia better get the camera right on the n8 or that thing will be as redundant as a pair of manboobs.

Edit: and why didn't the desire get a point for its much faster snapdragon processor? If you call it a tie on the connectivity(upnp? Really?) and give the desire proper credit in the processor/speed(it is alot faster. Especially in apps like gallery, games and the browser) then we're looking at 5 points for the n86 and 9 for the desire.

Last edited by Tenkom; 26-07-2010 at 09:21 AM.

  #5  
Old 26-07-2010, 09:19 AM
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the exact 2 phone i have so i read with interest and have to agree for the most part

the one area i don't agree with is maps ... the search on google maps is in a completely different league to ovi and for me, without a very good and flexible search engine the maps aren't so useful

yes yes i know ... preload rules etc etc but it actually doesn't ... i have unlocked phones so whatever country i'm in i just buy a prepaid sim and use local rates for data and i have to say that google maps uses very little data ... also the "places" directory on the htc desire (basically a POI app from google) is absolutely better than anything nokia has right now

my final point with google maps over ovi is integration with other apps ... google maps on android are simple to integrate into your own apps ... ovi doesn't even have a public API last time i looked and even janole was using google maps in gravity afaik

of course the camera and speakers on my N86 leave the htc desire in the dust so i would agree 100% with you there steve

all in all i found that my htc desire cannot really replace my N86 completely

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Old 26-07-2010, 10:07 AM
gadget freak gadget freak is offline
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Don't laugh, but in my opinion the p910i was and probably still is the perfect form factor for a smartphone, open the keypad, close the keypad, remove it completly if only UIQ wasn't so darn complicated.

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Old 26-07-2010, 10:41 AM
SWR SWR is offline
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Smartphone

Couldn't agree more about the P910 and UIQ. The PIM functions were much closer to the EPOC originals in allowing copy/paste in calendar and the combination of scroll wheel, qwerty, and touch was unbeatable.
What about the question of sync'ing? As a Mac user, I look to see whether a phone has an iSync plug-in before I buy - with one exception. Just bought a Samsung i8910 and am now living with the frustration of trying to get my agenda set up without sync facilities. Can Android phones sync with Mac's? Shouldn't sync'ing be a criterion?

Last edited by SWR; 26-07-2010 at 10:46 AM.

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Old 26-07-2010, 10:49 AM
gadget freak gadget freak is offline
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Get Android, open Google account, sync outlook with google, sync google with phone. sync with the cloud....well thats what they want anyway market won't work unless you have a gtalk account.

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Old 26-07-2010, 11:08 AM
user47alpha user47alpha is offline
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Quote:
permanently connected to the Internet.
Who says that? Thats a stupid definition. What if I don't want my smartphone to be permanently connected to the Internet? Will it stop to be a smartphone?

1Ghz Snapdragon should give a point.

GoogleMaps has a very good version for Symbian as well, so this is no plus for Android.

Quote:
Get Android, open Google account, sync outlook with google, sync google with phone. sync with the cloud....well thats what they want anyway market won't work unless you have a gtalk account.
Yeah, thats easy... By the way: Ovi has a pretty good Online-Calendar and Contact-Synchronisation, along with Tasks AND Notes (Something that even Exchange does not offer [at least for the Pre and Nokia]).
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:25 AM
gadget freak gadget freak is offline
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it is a plus because on android you get layers and free navigation which you don't on symbian

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Old 26-07-2010, 11:32 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@SWR, but you CAN get iSync plug-ins for the i8910 HD! I sync fine to my Mac.... see the Nova Media web site - it's a commercial plug-in but well worth it.
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Old 26-07-2010, 11:56 AM
user47alpha user47alpha is offline
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Is GoogleMaps Navigation available outside of the US?

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Old 26-07-2010, 12:49 PM
UKJeeper UKJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user47alpha View Post
Is GoogleMaps Navigation available outside of the US?
A quick Google search got me this (From Mashable.com)


Quote:
In October 2009, Google released Google Maps Navigation for Android devices, a free turn-by-turn navigation system based on Google Maps. At first, the service was limited to the U.S. Recently it was extended to the U.K. and Ireland, and now itís also available in Canada and most of mainland Europe.

According to Mobiflip.de the list of newly supported countries is as follows: Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.

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Old 26-07-2010, 01:36 PM
gadget freak gadget freak is offline
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navigation works on my desire and works well.
On my E71 I open ovi maps and it tells me i'm a mile away, open google maps bang! it knows where i am, go back to Ovi maps look i've moved to where i'm supposed to be, see little things like that can give the end user (ie me) the right hump, that and having to change the access point in every goddam application.

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Old 26-07-2010, 01:44 PM
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shadamehr shadamehr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user47alpha View Post
Is GoogleMaps Navigation available outside of the US?
Yes.

Initially it was the UK and Ireland, but about a month ago a whole raft of additional European Countries were added.
-


May I say a couple of thinks about it however, as someone who owned a white N86, now owns a HTC Desire, and additionally has owned several high end TomToms, and currently own a high end TomTom Go 940 Live...

There are good and bad points to them ALL!

Ovi Maps is completely free (for all new devices, and some older ones). This means on the Value front, it cant be knocked, and moreover, on the "getting it out there" front, millions will use or have access to it. Score two to Ovi.

MAJOR fail for Ovi though (though it's getting slowly better supposedly), is 'Search'. And sadly this does not just extend to POI type destinations or Commercial locations, entering ANY destination can be a fraught affair on Ovi Maps... Postcodes or Residential Full Addresses are not user friendly to add, are often not found, and ultimately rely on a data connection based back-end search, and even then often do not find what you are looking for. More on this Data aspect later...


Onto "Google Maps with Navigation"...

Again, for those devices that support it, as it needs certain versions of Androids and upwards, this too is entirely free, but with the caveat, only certain countries are covered. Again though, this is expanding all the time.

In terms of those countries that do support it though, again as it's Free, it scores on the "Value" box. Additionally, as Android 2.1 is now allegedly on 56% of all Android devices, and it also runs on 1.6 up if I recall, then this again means a huge amount of devices that have free access to it, and it is ever expanding.

And let me just say I am using it more and more instead of my high end TomTom Go 940 LIVE - though, like Ovi Maps, this is in a small part due to the fact that it is "on a device I already happen to have with me", which is one of the biggest plus points about mapping on mobile phone of course.

Notwithstanding this however, I do also favour it for many other reasons too, when I choose to use this rather than TomTom...

The display, graphics, and presentation is amazing... On my Desire, with 1Ghz Snapdragon, and 3D Support, it looks amazing... anti-aliased streets, smoother curved roads than either Ovi Maps or TomTom, and of course, with the option to enable true Satellite Imagery Mapping if you wish, or even more incredible, full Google Street View routing using actual photos of your route, junctions, and roundabouts. For now, this is something that NO other Navigation or Mapping Provider can offer, and is another major plus tick for Google Navigation.

Another one where Google wins, is "Search"... with Google Navigation, you can basically go ANYWHERE you want to go, and simply and easily at that... Streets - search finds them, even if recently opened or added. Companies? It's what Google Maps Search was INVENTED for... Postcodes - no problem. Grid References...? Did I mention it uses Google Maps/Search for it's location services? Natural Search - no problem, just press the Speak Button, and tell it "Dominos" and it will find the nearest Domino's Pizzas (other Pizza Services exist, and we do not endorse any particular brand *lol*) to where you are (it's clever like that), and let you choose the one you want...

So actual search/destination, is one aspect where Google Navigation leaves everyone else standing - albeit subject to the next point I will make...

Data Connection!

It is of course, well documented that Google Navigation requires a working Data Connection.

BUT - as Google Maps Navigation currently only comes on Android devices, then for the MAJORITY of (but indeed not all), users, they will likely already have a working data plan with their carrier, with inclusive Data allowance. And believe it or not, despite the rich detail offered, Google Nav uses a lot less data than you would think.

No - to me the issue with requiring a Data Connection, is not so much cost, but COVERAGE... In the Highlands of Scotland, for example, there may not be coverage in many places.

Now obviously, Google gets around this, by caching the map tile data for the whole of the journey planned, and alternative routes to it etc, in case of wrong turns or directions. But this is still something that should not be overlooked, as when you get to Granny MacDougall's Farmhouse B&B in the middle of nowhere, then planning an ongoing route to somewhere in the area, might be an issue for you, if there is no mobile signal where you are staying.

I'd like to say to this though, as everything Google, they like to develop. And I have a hope that the next major milestone version of Google Nav will be a very different beast, and add a lot more functionality again, in terms of data displayed on the routing screen, even greater POI like functionality, map error reporting, map correcting on the fly maybe, like TomTom MapShare, user/third party POI's such as Speed Camera Warnings, possible inbuilt Speed Camera warnings (currently there is no support for this in any form), and another biggy: LOCAL MAP STORAGE.

Now let me just say, these are in effect, my wish-list, not things I have some sort of insider knowledge about.

But with Froyo (Android 2.2) and inbuilt SD Card support without Root being required, I think this offers Google the opportunity for making available the opportunity for local storage of Map Data.

The issue here though, is that Google's Map data is not like OVI's or TomTom's... it also includes massive "Search" database info, complete Satellite Imagery, and even high-res photo coverage of most of the UK, in terms of Street View. Clearly, it would be impossible to move all of this to local storage, as the size would be staggering, and far too much for even the biggest SD cards perhaps.

So of course, Google could elect to just move the basic mapping data, namely the roads and routing only, to an optional local storage mode. BUT, this then runs the risk of a two-tier quality, whereby those who use local storage get only basic mapping, routing, and inaccurate historic data, compared to those that have a data connection.

And whilst this is not unique to Google, in that this very same issue applies to Ovi Maps already, both for mapping, AND for POI/Search (with MASSIVE difference in quality for OVi Maps, as well known and documented), then the issue is MUCH MUCH larger for Google however, who are in effect, a Cloud/Data Company - everything they have and do, is Cloud, or Back-end Database based. So for Google to offer a Local Storage option, as well as the normal Data pull method, I see MASSIVE differences and disparity between the quality of each, far far more so than is clear for Ovi, and perhaps so much so, that it means it's not something Google can be comfortable to do.

I still think that Google will, as the future develops, look for more and better ways to cover offline/local storage and routing too, so watch this space.

And lets not forget, that into the future, and in an ideal world, a Data Connected model and device, means that we can have real time superior quality traffic alerts (and even traffic shaping/monitoring in real time using the mobile data from the devices themselves, as TomTom do with HD Traffic)... real time weather... real time speed camera and mobile camera data interchange, reporting, and recording... most up to date routing, mapping, and new roads data... real time search... location sharing (such as CoPilot offer)... remote routing/destination changes or suggestions from "Head Office" etc, again such as Copilot already offer)... GPS Almanac updates, to allow faster fixes (akin/linked in with Assisted GPS as we already see on mobile devices)... real time fuel prices, and so very much more. So Data has a cost and a Coverage issue, but overall, makes for a far more 'complete' service, with a much better end user experience.

------------

This Sat Nav comparison however, has of course taken me largely off-topic from the thread as it stood.

So just to close by saying, that whilst I might agree with the "on paper" inclusion of the N86 Steve, my very reason from moving away from my N86, and then its replacement E72, to my current HTC Desire, were all reliability issues...

My N86 froze, crashed, hung, failed to respond, etc etc, on an almost regular basis, with the latest firmware, being kept as clean as possible, etc etc... and was a well documented story at that time, whilst working with D.D. to get to the bottom of it. Alas all the replacements were just the same.... the issue was the OS itself... it just couldn't cut the mustard any more, and even the E72 after it, was only a bit better.

So another thing about SmartPhones, when defining what that means...

Ticking paper boxes is no good - how they cope in real terms, is the only key. And my N86 didn't come close, and even my E72 which was better, still gave me so much frustration in the end, that I elected to try the HTC Desire.

And my Desire has been a dream, in this particular aspect.

But I have to agree - media wise, the N86 was better for gathering this (it's camera/video recording etc), by leaps and bounds. (The Desire is a dream for SHARING/Distributing media content though, far more so even than my N86 with Pixelpipe even).

And the Battery life is a nightmare, given it's screen etc.

So the N86 wins by miles, for Media CAPTURE.

The E72 wins just about anything by miles, for BATTERY LIFE.

But for overall SYSTEM RELIABILITY, APPLICATION INSTALLATION, and Media Sharing and Social Networking, as well as Internet etc, the Desire wins by miles.

That would be my fair assessment of each device's strengths and weaknesses...
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