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

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  #1  
Old 19-03-2009, 09:04 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Resistive vs Capacitive: the invisible tech war in which both opponents can win?

Much has been made of the Apple iPhone and T-Mobile G1's capacitive touchscreens, with many proclaiming them superior to the humble 'resistive' touchscreens that have been used since the dawn of time (oh, ok, since about 1995). But is it as simple as the one technology being superior? What advantages does 'resistive' tech have and what else do you need to know?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 19-03-2009, 09:31 AM
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Chinese characters on capacitive touchscreen

Yesterday, while riding on the bus here in Macao, I saw a Chinese youngster happily switching between on-screen keyboard and Chinese character drawing input on his iPhone. He sketched the character and then chose the correct one from a list appearing to the side of the drawing area. Didn't seem to have any problems with accuracy from what I could see.

  #3  
Old 19-03-2009, 09:35 AM
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typing speed

I recall reading about typing speed being better on the capacitive screen.

  #4  
Old 19-03-2009, 10:03 AM
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morpheus2702 morpheus2702 is offline
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Screen war

I just don't get the idea of resistive vs capacitive screens being complementary - only in the sense that one is a budget option, and the other is what you really want.

Resistive screens are old technology. Trying out the the 5800 the first impression I got was "this is like my old iPaq". You definitely need the stylus - at least until Symbian 5 is properly optimised for touch.

I'm no Apple fanboy, far from it. But the iPhone's screen continually impresses me. A friend of mine treats his phones really poorly - no case, never mind a screen protector. But after 6 months, his iPhone is still pristine. How long could you say that about any resistive screen?

As for the operating temperature range of each screen technology, I'd be interested to know if the range quoted is only based temperatures quoted for Nokia resistive screens, the inference being that do they specifiy screens to match the Finnish climate?

If the future is stylus-shaped and global warming triggers the next Ice Age (as in the Day After Tomorrow) then I'd agree and say yes, resistive has a future beyond being a budget option.

  #5  
Old 19-03-2009, 10:19 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@morpheus: I disagree, resistive tech doesn't REQUIRE a stylus, the 5800 works well enough with just a finger. And, re: budget option, is that a bad thing? Surely phones which cost less to make and which sell for less, and phones which bring smartphone tech down into the mid-tier is good for lots of people?

I don't disagree that Capacitive touch is perhaps better for more things than resistive, on balance, but reports of Resistive touch's death have been greatly exaggerated.
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  #6  
Old 19-03-2009, 10:35 AM
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I'm not sure the actual difference between the two technologies is all that great, but the user interfaces make it seem so. TomTom have had no problems with resistive screens, but since their devices are intended to be prodded with fingers from a couple of feet away their UI is designed accordingly. S60 and Windows Mobile were designed for buttons and stylus input respectively, so you can't expect them to be finger friendly without any major changes to the interface. I'm sure if you ran the iPhone OS on a resistive screen it would be fine for fingers but weak when needing the precision of a stylus, because that's how it was designed.

  #7  
Old 19-03-2009, 10:46 AM
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Personally I use a 5800 because it's cheap. If there was another similarly featured phone that had a proper keypad for as good a price then I would ditch touch altogether.

Having said that though, it's a fine phone and the touch screen is more than adequate. It would be nice to have a car capable of 200mph, but my car does more than I need. Same with a resitive screen.

  #8  
Old 19-03-2009, 10:55 AM
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Given the choice, I'd go for capacitive. But mostly just for the durability (or perhaps just perceived durability. You feel more confident and less protective about the device).

I've used both the iPhone and 5800 a fair amount. And yes, the sensitivity of the iPhone screen is great, but I don't have any problems with the 5800 screen either.

They both require a different techniques, that's all.

iPhone - fingerpad

5800 - finger tip

I think alot of people use the iPhone and then expect the 5800 to work in the same way (fingerpad). That does not work well.

Once you get in the habbit of using the fingertip, then it's fine (for me and the mrs at least). Though not as good as the iPhone, I suspect that is in part responsiveness of software related as well.

Also agree with Steve about the resistive being much more precise.

Been a few months, but I'm sure I played with some paint type programs on the iPhone and it did not have the same satisfying feel as using a stylus with the 5800.

On a seperate note, software is critical to the choice. The 5800 would probably work quite well with a capacitive screen. but I'm also considering a Toshiba TG01 and and used to have a Nokia N810.

Dispite the big (4.1 inch) screen I don't think they would work well with a capacitive screen. Too many bits of the interface that require precise input.

I like the whole finger based input fad. But it's not all +++.

Havinig to make everything 'bigger' does result in less information immediately at your fingertips (pun intended).

At least with Resistive, both options, small buttons etc. (use carefully/slowly or quick with stylus) or big easy to prod buttons are available.

Zuber

  #9  
Old 19-03-2009, 11:52 AM
Iain 117
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Seems everyone is forgetting one thing - The General public. And what do the masses want? Easy to use, durable capacitive TS. You think general joe public will buy a phone that comes with a stylus? Hell no they'll want one that they can EASILY use wtb their hands so that they don't seem "nerdy" which is what Resitive IE stylus TS are seen as still, or for business users but either way it isn't the technology that will be used in the future, capacitive will be, I mean Apples own Mobile OSX is now on 30 million devices and growing still, that's 30 million people using a finger friendly OS with a capacitive TS, the future is capacitive, thank God.

The ONLY pro Resistive has is that stupid thing all the Resistive followers fall back on :"But you can't use it in the winter with gloves on har har!!" so what, be a man and take the gloves off ya pansies :-p

  #10  
Old 19-03-2009, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain 117 View Post
The ONLY pro Resistive has is that stupid thing all the Resistive followers fall back on :"But you can't use it in the winter with gloves on har har!!" so what, be a man and take the gloves off ya pansies :-p
What will the women do??

No matter what article you publish and even if you do not go about hitting the iphone, there will be some fan who wants to come and throw figures about sales and how this is better and how that is better...

The important thing is that the general public really will not care whether the screen is Resistive or Capacitive. What will be important is the ease of use and how flexible the technology is is bringing in a wow factor. Do remember that both iphone and 5800 just talk about the phone been touch, not 'our phone offers superior Resistive or Capacitive technology'

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Old 19-03-2009, 12:49 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@Iain: "The ONLY pro Resistive has is that stupid thing all the Resistive followers fall back on :"But you can't use it in the winter with gloves on har har!!" so what, be a man and take the gloves off ya pansies"

Did you even READ my article?? That was the one thing I debunked, etc.
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  #12  
Old 19-03-2009, 01:21 PM
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Stantum Multitouch on Resistive Screen

Resistive screen can be more powerful, useful, responsive and modern if well done.

Stantum Precision Multitouch "TouchPark" Technology on resistive touch screen is a very good example. but it needs a Pmatrix-powered chip in order to use it in Nokia touch phone.

I am interested to know whether Nokia will be the first to implement this great ever feature to its future touch phone!

Stantum > iPhone Multitouch!
Tat Mobile UI > iPhone UI

  #13  
Old 19-03-2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain 117 View Post
Seems everyone is forgetting one thing - The General public. And what do the masses want?
Low prices. Have you been following the news?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain 117 View Post
The ONLY pro Resistive has is that stupid thing all the Resistive followers fall back on :"But you can't use it in the winter with gloves on har har!!" so what, be a man and take the gloves off ya pansies :-p
Wrong. Gloves are bad on capacitive and resistive. Forget touch, buttons are the way. One handed simple operation that doesn't require you to hold the thing in front of your face.

  #14  
Old 19-03-2009, 02:10 PM
bartmanekul bartmanekul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morpheus2702 View Post
I just don't get the idea of resistive vs capacitive screens being complementary - only in the sense that one is a budget option, and the other is what you really want.

Resistive screens are old technology. Trying out the the 5800 the first impression I got was "this is like my old iPaq". You definitely need the stylus - at least until Symbian 5 is properly optimised for touch.

I'm no Apple fanboy, far from it. But the iPhone's screen continually impresses me. A friend of mine treats his phones really poorly - no case, never mind a screen protector. But after 6 months, his iPhone is still pristine. How long could you say that about any resistive screen?

As for the operating temperature range of each screen technology, I'd be interested to know if the range quoted is only based temperatures quoted for Nokia resistive screens, the inference being that do they specifiy screens to match the Finnish climate?

If the future is stylus-shaped and global warming triggers the next Ice Age (as in the Day After Tomorrow) then I'd agree and say yes, resistive has a future beyond being a budget option.
I use the 5800 with my finger no problem. However, I use the stylus for things that require precision. A good example being making a route on viewranger. Theres no way you can use a finger, or even a fingernail to do that.

I got my 5800 on release, and it's still pristine. Will it last 6 months or more? I reckon it will, easy.

So thus, no, I don't want capacitive touch. I'll keep my 5800 thanks (although a newer version the same size with a better camera, integrated compass and mass memory would be welcome).

  #15  
Old 19-03-2009, 02:25 PM
Iain 117
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Yes Steve I did read your article, I said the Resistive loyalists say that, not your article, did you even READ my post??

And to the Stantum and Tat fellow, in what way does the Tat Mobile UI beat out the iPhone UI in terms of Multi touch?

And the OSX is on 30+ million devices, how many is this Tat UI on? 'Nuff said.

And to Unregistered, if the general public wanted low prices, then why do high priced products even exist then? Why has the iPhone Platform sold over 30 million Devices? With over 800 MILLION downloads from the Appstore? Yeah, you're definitely right :rollseyes:

Bartman, you'll stay with the 5800 because it's cheap, you can't afford to buy something premium like the N97 or iPhone just like you couldn't afford to buy the N95. That's why you don't neede Capacitive.

I'm sorry but I just feel like if Nokia used Capacitive most of these comments would have their tune changed ;-) If their was no cost penalty for using Capacitive over Resistive then I bet everyone here would want it on their TS handsets, and technology only gets cheaper ;-)
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