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

  #1  
Old 28-10-2008, 09:13 PM
Riccardinho Riccardinho is offline
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e71 - initial thoughts from a Windows Mobile refugee

I'm one of the former Windows Mobile users who has made the shock return to Nokia thanks to the e71. Just want to post a few initial thoughts on pros and cons after 3 weeks with the device. Any advice to overcome the cons is of course appreciated

PROS:

1. Battery life. Phenomenal. Anyone coming from a 2G phone might not get what the fuss is about, but just about every 3G device out there dies after less than a day's decent usage. My HTC Hermes would give me less than 6 hours by the end. The e71 just keeps going. 2 days with heavy wifi, surfing, GPS, music player, email polling is very impressive.

2. Form factor. Robustly built, smart to look at. The only device I've known yet that can really do one-handed QWERTY effectively.

3. All-round functionality. Few devices can give me GPS, music player, FM Radio, browser and email as well and as cheaply as the e71.

4. Widsets. Very nice!

5. Podcasting. I never listened to a single podcast on my HTC Hermes. The e71 makes it so easy to set up.

CONS:

1. No HTML email. After coming from Pocket Outlook, this is a real annoyance. I've tried the Nokia Email Beta, the Gmail client and the Email on 3 client as well as the built-in client and none come close to Outlook on WinMo. Is there anything out there for S60? I'd be quite happy to pay good whack for a decent email client.

2. Predictive text - you either have this off (which is no good) or on, and get predictive text but for a T9 device! If I've typed "home" on a QWERTY keyboard, I don't want the text to default to "good"!! Am I missing something here? Presumably this is a legacy of the e71 being sister to the e66. But it's very annoying!

3. Music player is quiet. I've got round this by copying my entire mp3 library and increasing volume on tracks using mp3gain. Would rather not have to have done this though obviously!

4. Navigation - too many clicks needed to do simple things. I'm aware I'm coming from a touchscreen world, but S60 really does demand many presses when one used to do. Can't see much I can do about this however.

5. Clunkiness of Symbian. I have 1300 music tracks on my e71. When I want to select a ringtone, why do I have to manually scroll through all 1300 before finding the tone I want - or worse, to simply select "No tone"? Aaaargggh!!

All said, still impressed with the device. Speed of performance and battery life are very good indeed. And I haven't started scratching the world of Symbian freeware. Although if anyone can find me a decent Scrabble game (if only they'd port Xwords over!) I'd be eternally grateful.

  #2  
Old 28-10-2008, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for the post - interesting insight.

Predictive text - its the phone trying to be helpful and auto correct you. Its not T9 as such. I find the quickest way round this is to tap the up key to go back to what you actually entered.

HTML email - agreed - Profilmail is the leading thid party client. If you use Exchange watch this space... Why Nokia didn't get HTML email for the E71 ready in time is not good.

Music player - that would be thanks to the EU

Navigation - I agree Nokia Maps could be better here. You might want to check out some of the sat nav solutions from third parties such as CoPilot.

Clunkiness - heh, this one annoys me too.

Scrabble - only one I can think of the the Java version (EA?)

My moan with the E71 is it is lacking in the multimedia department in general.
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Old 28-10-2008, 09:25 PM
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Yep, same Pros for me too (except for WidSets), coming from a similar background - HTC Touch and Kaiser

Cons:
1. HTML emails should still be delivered, but as attachments to the message

2. Haven't seen that one personally, but pressing Up or Down (perhaps either) should let you choose the text you actually entered if it's not recognised automatically

3. I haven't had an issue with the media player, but I don't use it very much at all

4. Yeah, miss the touch screen, and I agree that some things need too many clicks. Nothing you can do about it apart from using shortcuts to apps and re-ordering your menu

5. Yep! I did that just yesterday. Haven't looked for a solution because I don't change ringtones often

Games for the E71 are a bit thin on the ground, I want things that will use the screen well - shoot'em ups probably won't work well with that keyboard anyway

  #4  
Old 28-10-2008, 09:39 PM
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Games for the E71 - have a look here - they wont all work well with the E71 screen, but most of them shoudl have a free trial.

http://www.allaboutngage.com/unofficial_games/

This is from our sister site All About N-Gage, but its a list of decent S60 games which, screen issues aside, will run fine on the E71.
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Old 29-10-2008, 04:49 AM
fone_fanatic fone_fanatic is offline
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I see exactly what your saying, i too made the switch from windows mobile (Kaiser) but might switch back once the rapheal is released on tmobile in november.

The form factor and build quality is what keeps me using this device. feels much better in the hand then my kaiser. Also its an eye cather, people are always asking me about it.

The predictive text feature on it is great! its not like a t9 you'd see with a regular phone, but it works perfectly with the qwerty! If you dont like the suggested word, just press up.
But it was hard getting used to small keys at first. I still switch between the e71 and the kaiser frequently (when one's battery dies or if i need the features of one more than the other for a specific task) and the kaiser is much easier to type on.

I'm still used to all the apps on my winmo device like live search and being able to change the max size of an mms or being able to adjust the user agent. I'm always asking my brother, who regularly uses symbian, how to do things that i can do with my winmo phone and theres no subsitute :(

But then on the other hand, i ran out of time for rom flashing every week or so. Also s60 is more stable then winmo and care-free.

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Old 29-10-2008, 08:34 AM
chucky.egg chucky.egg is offline
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Yeah, stability was important to me and the one thing I didn't really know enough about before I made the leap - it's been rock solid though.

I gave up on WM because I'd spent 1000 in 12 months on new handsets and was still unable to find what I wanted - especially performance/size, which the E71 excels at.

I miss some features of WM, it's way more configurable and the community and development strikes me as being much more active for WM... but the E71 is everything I *need*

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Old 29-10-2008, 07:23 PM
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Interesting thread this as I have recently had to make a decision about what I want or need from my phone.

I upgraded from an HTC Tytn II (Kaiser) to an HTC Touch Diamond. I loved the Tytn but it was just too BIG. The Diamond was gorgeous but too small to be totally touch screen & the battery life was rubbish.

In the background was the E71.

So I sold the Tytn II & Diamond on ebay & bought the E71 & what a relief to go back to pressing keys & long battery life.

I agree that there is a slight compromise in terms of the flexability of WM but to me they are outweighed by the functionality of the E71.

As chucky.egg said this phone does what you need & in my opinion it does it very well.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:39 PM
RogerPodacter RogerPodacter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riccardinho View Post
CONS:

1. No HTML email. After coming from Pocket Outlook, this is a real annoyance. I've tried the Nokia Email Beta, the Gmail client and the Email on 3 client as well as the built-in client and none come close to Outlook on WinMo. Is there anything out there for S60? I'd be quite happy to pay good whack for a decent email client.

2. Predictive text - you either have this off (which is no good) or on, and get predictive text but for a T9 device! If I've typed "home" on a QWERTY keyboard, I don't want the text to default to "good"!! Am I missing something here? Presumably this is a legacy of the e71 being sister to the e66. But it's very annoying!

3. Music player is quiet. I've got round this by copying my entire mp3 library and increasing volume on tracks using mp3gain. Would rather not have to have done this though obviously!

4. Navigation - too many clicks needed to do simple things. I'm aware I'm coming from a touchscreen world, but S60 really does demand many presses when one used to do. Can't see much I can do about this however.
1. each message in the default emailclient has ATTACHMENT which contains the entire email in HTML form. just click it and it opens up the HTML version of each email. the reason why emails are text only is apparently for countries with expensive data plans, so they dont download more than they need all the time. i dont mind this approach, because each email i get has the HTML attachment right there if i need to view it. but most of the time i just need to read the text and thats it, no more.

2. i have no idea what you are doing here with predictive text. in no circumstance does the word GOOD show up when i start to type HOME. are you sure you are using an e71? lol cause predictive text for my e71 works like this, when i start typing a word, it auto completes the remainder of the word. thats it.

3. the loudspeaker sucks on the e71. n95 is so much better and louder.

4. garmin is much better than nokia maps for GPS.

  #9  
Old 05-11-2008, 11:37 PM
xerxes xerxes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky.egg View Post
Yeah, stability was important to me and the one thing I didn't really know enough about before I made the leap - it's been rock solid though.

I gave up on WM because I'd spent 1000 in 12 months on new handsets and was still unable to find what I wanted - especially performance/size, which the E71 excels at.

I miss some features of WM, it's way more configurable and the community and development strikes me as being much more active for WM... but the E71 is everything I *need*
All you ex-WinMo users should take a look at the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1. I've had one for a few days and it came very close to persuading me to go back to WinMo.

I have decided to send it back now but it was a very close run thing. If I was a little more comfortable with WinMo as a user I would probably have made the switch back but I haven't really used PPC much since I moved to S60 2.5 years ago.

The X1 has the best screen I have ever seen on a mobile device, an excellent battery, a reasonable keyboard (although by on means brilliant), and the very decent SE Bluetooth stack, and all in a device only slightly longer and noticeably thinner than my N95!

The main thing against it for me was that I now find WinMo a bit fiddly to use after getting so used to S60.

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Old 06-11-2008, 04:49 PM
chucky.egg chucky.egg is offline
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I plan on sticking with my E71 for at least 6 months - I can't afford to keep changing handsets every 2-3 months any more.

The X1 for some reason doesn't grab me. I think I'm more interested in really small devices.

Not so long ago you could get phones like the Motorola vDot (v3688) It wasn't great, texting was awful, but there's nothing that small on the market any more.

  #11  
Old 06-11-2008, 05:40 PM
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X1 dont worth the money.

am sticked to Symbian from 5 years because i need the stability & safety & Battery life more the useless "for me" features on Windows Mobile OS.

But if i choose a Windows Mobile device now...then it should be HTC...sony products are very very overpriced.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:00 PM
Riccardinho Riccardinho is offline
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The comment on the X1 battery life is interesting. Far and away the biggest reason for me moving from Windows Mobile was the rotten battery life on the Hermes. If the X1's performs as well as the e71's then my wife my find herself having an e71 handed down to her shortly! I do like the e71, but the problems I'm having with PC synching documented elsewhere on this forum have been a real frustration after the trouble-free plug'n'play days with Windows.

Having seen an X1 and had a play I have to say it looked a very good device, but the build of the keyboard was very poor and far, far behind the Touch Pro.

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Old 07-11-2008, 11:44 AM
xerxes xerxes is offline
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I agree the X1 keyboard is not as good as some. It was better than the keyboard on my e61i, but definitely not as good as the e71.

During my testing the X1 battery lasted for about a day and a half with very heavy internet use (wifi and HSDPA).

I used to use WinMo (both smartphone and PPC) until I switched to S60 a couple of years ago so I thought it would be pretty easy to go back, especially given the recent improvements like the SPB shell panel. I got the hang of it pretty easily but I just didn't <<like>> it much. It felt wierd. The device itself deserves to be liked but WinMo Pro just doesn't cut it for me anymore. Maybe I'm just not a touch screen person.

Honestly though, you should see how well Opera Mini renders on an 800 pixel wide display.

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Old 24-11-2008, 10:27 PM
Riccardinho Riccardinho is offline
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Let me clarify on predictive here. It's not quite T9 true, but it's trying to help me and just being a bit simple about the whole thing.

I type a word on a QWERTY keyboard, I'm delighted if my device suggests a replacement. I'm less delighted if the device assumes what I typed is wrong. On the e71, the only way to stop it assuming it's right and I'm not is to turn predictive off altogether.

For an example, I typed the word bassline in today. "No!" said e71, "you mean 'baseline'!" And proceeded to change what I had typed, requiring me to click up on the dial then press space to get back to what I meant. Windows Mobile by contrast will suggest but never assume. Far more useable.

If there is a way to change the settings to keep the predictive but stop the assumption that I've mistyped, I'd be grateful to anyone who can outline it. Having to watch what I'm typing to ensure I do the up-and-space trick is just a pain.
 

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