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

  #1  
Old 26-03-2010, 04:14 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Review: Nokia 5230

Following on from his tour of the USA with the Nokia 5230/Nuron, Ewan delivers his final verdict on Nokia's newest and cheapest S60 5th Edition smartphone. There's no Wi-Fi, only a mono speaker, a cheap 2mp fixed focus camera and no flash, but the 5230 still wins out overall by representing enormous value for money for smartphone newcomers.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 26-03-2010, 04:38 PM
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Actually, in the US T-mobile is offering it for $70 on a two year contract and $180 on prepaid, or pay as you go.

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Old 26-03-2010, 06:24 PM
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So is it the worst current touchscreen smartphone in the world?

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Old 26-03-2010, 06:30 PM
gazza_d gazza_d is offline
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Smile

I bought one of these last week to replace a 6220, and to tide me over with something new until my contract allows an upgrade, and I am really impressed with it.

Software wise, it is as responsive as an N97. I have maps running, music player, and gravity running most of the time.

The only two weaknesses are the lack of wifi (meaning that a decent data plan is a must), and the camera. As you said Ewan the lack of stereo speakers is not an issue for 99.9% of users in real life. The only other thing is that it looks cheap - well built but cheap. Replacing the gray plastic surround with chromed plastic in the style of the N97 may have increased it's appeal to the "bling bling" generation.

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Old 26-03-2010, 07:46 PM
Hurlley Hurlley is offline
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They probably should have put a 3.2mp camera in there, (proably did not because of the 5800). Other than that I imagine this would be a very hot Pay Go phone for teenagers, thats why I reckon 3.2 would have been good they would probably be snapping lots of pics. Back in my school days went from 0.3 (Nokia 7250i/3200) early teens to 1.3 late teen (Nokia 6230i) Although that was Nokias flagship right? but then again phones were not through the roof expensive either.

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Old 26-03-2010, 08:16 PM
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Thumbs up Replaced my T-Mobile Wing

I was searching for some mobiel data plan less than $30. I found it! the 5230's data plan is $10 (unlimited 3G).
I was looking for something that would do Everything myT-Mobile Wing would do. I found it! So what if it doesn't have WiFi?
I was looking for something that had a really usable "Online-Interactive" interface. I found it! FaceBook/E-Mail/GPS/WEB/Gaming/Video, Movie, & MP3 Player.
I have wanted a GPS forever. I found it! Not only a GPS but also a personal locator for your phone built right in.
I wanted Word, Excel, etc. I found it! Runs OpenOffice.
This list is getting long, and I've taken some pictures/videos and there's no yellowing or anything else that would make me say something bad about the camera.

  #7  
Old 27-03-2010, 02:13 PM
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Exclamation MobiReader

Hello Evan, Steve

which Version of MobiReader works on a 5th Ed. Phone without a keyboard?
Can you please give me a hint how to make the MobiReader work on my 5800XM (what i have found here and elswhere are versions that work on a N97 with a keyboard but not without)?

Regards, Pete

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Old 27-03-2010, 06:15 PM
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So why buy it?

I don't understand your conclusion regarding the 5230.

You point out the UI is inconsistent and not intuitive to the beginner or person moving from a non-S60 phone.

You mention that the GPS works, but usually needs a data connection to get a quicker lock-on. That the camera is the result of cost-cutting. That the screen, in any country that is blessed with sunlight, is unreadable during daylight hours outside.

So, if the phone fails so utterly in those features, which typically are thought to separate the so-called "smartphone" from a "feature phone", why do you expect it to sell in the millions? Is it because people are willing to put up with all these limitations? Is it because they have no choice of phones, and this is it?

And since I'm on the soapbox…

Regarding the S60 5th Edition interface - people who "argue that computers are hard to use and need complex interfaces" apparently haven't a clue. It is possible to design an interface that scales from allowing a beginner to use the phone/computer in a productive manner, all the way up till when they are an expert user. The S60-5 UI does not do this. It is a poorly thought out, hurried executed response to providing a touch screen. Nokia (or symbian or whoever implemented this) did the bare minimum to make the S60 software work with a touch screen. The inconsistencies in the UI, the fact that some screens/apps can be rotated and others not (and what happens when you rotate to the right? With the 5530 nothing), that the scrolling changes based on the application you are using, that the scroll bar is present and damn hard to use if you have big fingers.

The 5th edition exposes all the flaws and inconsistent behaviors in the underlying OS that have been around for years, that Nokia or Symbian have yet to fix. Supposedly Symbian^3 will address all these. We'll see.

(note: my own experience is with a 5530, as the nuron/5230 has only started being offered in the last couple of days. It is the first phone that I plan to return. The user experience is horrible. Compared to the e51 and e63 that I used before, it was a mess).

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Old 27-03-2010, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
You mention that the GPS works, but usually needs a data connection to get a quicker lock-on. That the camera is the result of cost-cutting. That the screen, in any country that is blessed with sunlight, is unreadable during daylight hours outside.

So, if the phone fails so utterly in those features, which typically are thought to separate the so-called "smartphone" from a "feature phone", why do you expect it to sell in the millions?
The price. Duh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
You mention that the GPS works, but usually needs a data
Regarding the S60 5th Edition interface - people who "argue that computers are hard to use and need complex interfaces" apparently haven't a clue. It is possible to design an interface that scales from allowing a beginner to use the phone/computer in a productive manner, all the way up till when they are an expert user. The S60-5 UI does not do this. It is a poorly thought out, hurried executed response to providing a touch screen. Nokia (or symbian or whoever implemented this) did the bare minimum to make the S60 software work with a touch screen.
Nah. It's not as good as the others but it's not bad. You poke the screen with your finger and it does stuff. It's not even a big deal. Some people who are not very bright struggle to get on with it but basically it does what it needs to.

Most of the critisisms that Ewan made can be critisism of other phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The inconsistencies in the UI, the fact that some screens/apps can be rotated and others not
Same as the iPhone then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The 5th edition exposes all the flaws and inconsistent behaviors in the underlying OS that have been around for years, that Nokia or Symbian have yet to fix. Supposedly Symbian^3 will address all these. We'll see.
What flaws and inconsistent behaviours in the underlying OS?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
(note: my own experience is with a 5530, as the nuron/5230 has only started being offered in the last couple of days. It is the first phone that I plan to return. The user experience is horrible. Compared to the e51 and e63 that I used before, it was a mess).
My own experience is that these 5th Ed. phones are better than the E51 and E63 as well as being considerably cheaper and that there will always be people that are not happy and assume that if they don't like it then nobody likes it.

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Old 27-03-2010, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hello Evan, Steve

which Version of MobiReader works on a 5th Ed. Phone without a keyboard?
Can you please give me a hint how to make the MobiReader work on my 5800XM (what i have found here and elswhere are versions that work on a N97 with a keyboard but not without)?

Regards, Pete
Google 'virtual keyboard s60v5'. It's a transparent keyboard that enables you to navigate on various incompatible apps with the 5800. Mobireader works with this. It's not elegant, but it works. There is no mobireader for full touchscreen available. It would probably needs signing though.

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Old 27-03-2010, 10:52 PM
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actually in response to the person who said that this phone is significantly cheaper than the e63 you can get the e63 for $180 on newegg right now. I have one and I think it's a great phone... has wifi too.

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Old 28-03-2010, 02:27 PM
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A Malaysian retail package of this phone contains a 2GB microSD card, a short micro USB cable and 5 back cover of different colours with stylus just as the 5800 for a price around RM740 (£145) official, and RM580 (£115) unofficial price.

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Old 28-03-2010, 05:42 PM
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actually in response to the person who said that this phone is significantly cheaper than the e63 you can get the e63 for $180 on newegg right now. I have one and I think it's a great phone... has wifi too.
Almost double the price of the 5230 then. Thanks for confirming.

  #14  
Old 29-03-2010, 08:09 AM
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Arrow

>> You mention that the GPS works, but usually needs a data connection to get a quicker lock-on.

EVERY single GPS receiver in the world suffers from this. You either look at the sky, search for the sats and do a long wait a few minutes for them to broadcast time and position, or download that information from a server and finish far faster.

>> That the camera is the result of cost-cutting.

Of course. It can be said of almost any camera in the world, too. And this one is no worse than the vast majority of cellphone cameras.

As for WiFi, it really is mostly useless in a smartphone that really should have a 3G data plan.

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Old 29-03-2010, 08:47 AM
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I thought it was a really strange verdict too considering the price of the phone and where it is pitched.

5230 = GPS/3G/2MP - no WiFi around £80

5530 = WiFi/3.2MP - no GPS/3G around £80

5800 = WiFi/3.2MP/GPS/3G around £140-£160

Logical segmentation in my opinion. Pick the one that suits your needs best. I know of people who have no access to 3G, but have WiFi available most of the time - applies to whole nations in some cases. There are others who also have 3G and cheap data plans available.

When critisising the 5230, it should be weighed against other phones at a similar price. Taking the lack of WiFi and a 2MP camera as a negative against the 5230 is like complaining because a Kia Ceed doesn't have split-zone climate control and head-up night vision display.
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