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

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  #16  
Old 11-06-2008, 03:21 PM
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To my mind one of the big factors (that doesn't get mentioned much) is the different form factors (i.e. tablet style, versus slider phone). When it comes down to it a lot of people still want a phone first and other bits later. I think a lot of iPhone users would agree that the actual phone experience is not optimal. Given this (form factor especially) the iPhone has a more limited addressable market that Nseries I'd say.

These comparisons, by necessity, are from one view point. Each point can also be taken a different way. Camera - e.g. it's slow - yes it is, but then do you want pictures usable off the device? Depends on the person? The good enough debate goes both way too (amount of functions vs usability of functions).

Personally I think most people reading this would be better off with an N95 because it can do more (and they're capable of getting round the foibles). The iPhone might appeal more to the less technical... but of course the less technical are probably less phone obsessed and may be happier with a cut down S60 phone or feature phone.

Also an isolated comparison of the devices doesn't tell the whole story - Nokia offers other Nseries devices, other S60 devices and other phone devices. Just as Apple offers iPods. Saying one device is better than another is fine (and clearly healthy debate on this), but the conclusions you can draw are limited - a sense of overall perspective is required.

Ultimately I think the competition can only be good for consumers. Nokia has had its own way with Nseries for too long really!

And I guess the fact we're talking about it at all says a lot about Apple's marketing / ability to attract attention and conversation!
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2008, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
When it comes down to it a lot of people still want a phone first and other bits later. I think a lot of iPhone users would agree that the actual phone experience is not optimal. Given this (form factor especially) the iPhone has a more limited addressable market that Nseries I'd say.
I know people who won't buy the iPhone purely because it's too wide, but it has to be that wide for the browser to work effectively. Apple have to make a different kind of phone if they want to win these kinds of sceptics over.

The phone market is so large (1 billion devices a year, practically every kind of person uses mobiles, every age, every income, every nationality) that tastes and needs are incredibly diverse.

It would be commercial suicide for a large phone company to stick to just one form factor. A few years ago Nokia's market share suffered apparently because they were putting too much emphasis on monoblock/candybar phones, people wanted the choice of flip phones and sliders too. When Nokia added more of these form factor options to their lineup, their market share went back up again.

Even among expensive models, look at all the different shapes of phone which have been successful: N95, Blackberry, RAZR etc. They don't have anything in common because different people have different tastes, there's room for all these form factors.

If Apple is serious about market share in the phone world, they will have to get over this idea that there's just one way of doing things, because that will only get them one kind of customer.

Large clothing companies would never try to sell one kind of garment, large car makers would never try to sell one kind of car, and large phone manufacturers cannot make just one kind of phone. Trying to make a single perfect phone is pure folly, it might go down well with hardcore fans but not with the wider market.
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2008, 04:17 PM
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I guess I ought to respond to some of the above comments!

"pouched" - yes, there's is no WAY I'd stick an iPhone in a general pocket.
"muggers" - you'll notice that I inlcluded this comment for both! 8-)
"OS upgrades" - Apple's updates have been no more dramatic than many Nokia firmware updates, I'd say the two devices were on a par here
"awesome" - I didn't use many superlatives, but the N95's camera vs the iPhone needs *some* kind of emphasis
"voice input"? - Seriously? You're kidding, right?
"5MP might as well be 2MP" - Sorry, you're just plain wrong here. I've done a few articles on this in my time....
"camera speed" - a fair comment, although the N95 devices have been getting faster and they're quite good enough for most people, most of the time
"Java" - by this I meant that you can install Java apps
"Mobitubia clunky" - NO - Mobitubia is superb in its latest version. And silky smooth
"Imagination" - seconded, Nokia do seem to need a little more in their designs of late
"NES emulator" - don't forget there are LOADS of emulators available for S60 3rd Edition
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2008, 04:21 PM
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the S60 browser does NOT support Java? thats funny, I've been visiting all kinds of java based websites lastnight on my n95, I must have been dreaming?

I was actually more under the impression that iphone is the one that doesn't support java.
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2008, 04:34 PM
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Exclamation Voicemode Again

Steve. i am not kidding. Just go download and see by yourself. Sometimes it works better then famous Dragon software for PC. You can use it in ANY program of phone, but there is one small thing. The program once upon a time sends MMS to company abroad and it is costly. I just set up in mms settings so it will ask before sending anything for my approval. In fact i am surprised you din't know about that. Mike

  #21  
Old 11-06-2008, 04:50 PM
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Sorry, i have spoken about voicemode - speech recognition program. Mike

  #22  
Old 11-06-2008, 04:58 PM
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Winner

And the winner is... The Nokia N810!

  #23  
Old 11-06-2008, 05:34 PM
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Hmmm

It would be easy to always plug the N95 ahead of the iPhone. But the overall compelling experience is created by the design of the UI and software. And this is where things can and most probably will change.

The number of N95's sold will be huge...especially as you can get the phone free on contract. But I wonder how many people web browse etc.?

Not many! Where as I buy into reports of experiences from the iPhone world where the design of the device has encouraged people to use features they may not otherwise use.

And in the case of the Apps store, this is where Apple may well have the heads up.

Let's face it. Look at Symbian third party software downloads on Handango - given the millions of devices out there, its scary to see decent applications with 1000 downloads...and you know the conversion to "buy" will be so so so much smaller.

But I will bet my life on Apple reporting in a few months staggering downloads of third party software from their Apps store.

Because what Apple are good at doing is aiming at the masses and creating brand loyalty. The overall compelling experience of using an iPhone if you look at it from the standpoint of Mr. and Mrs. Average is much higher than an N95.

For us tech heads, there is nothing difficult about the N95. Where as my 65 year old father can open a web page on my iPhone but I would have zero chance of getting him to do the same on my N95.

And that's the difference.

Yes - there is a lot of iPhone hype. But with good reason. The 3G version is really the beginning. The first iteration was the testing ground. And they will only get better.

Compelling experience is mostly created by software. And the Apps store could be the one thing that truly puts Apple ahead of the rest. And with their new pricing point, they are much more likely to capture a greater share of the market.

  #24  
Old 11-06-2008, 05:39 PM
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Cool

In theory, I agree that the N95 is a better phone, though the iPhone wins in some key areas. As a US buyer, there is one wrinkle, though: the price comparison you list does not apply here. The N95-8GB is $750 (at Nokia's site, though currently out of stock), more than triple the iPhone's $199 up front cost, and then the data plans are more expensive for the N95. AT&T, the only national option for 3G on the N95, has a standard data plan for $35, but the iPhone plan is $30 (they can choose from the same voice plans).

Admittedly, you get an unlocked N95, and no contract commitment, but since AT&T is the only source for 3G, what difference does that really make? That being the case, over the course of two years, the Nokia costs $670 more. No matter how much I like the N95, that is a big plus in the other column.

Jack

  #25  
Old 11-06-2008, 05:42 PM
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Usability

The N95 may be the clear winner in terms of raw features but using a Symbian phone and using all its features requires a lot of patience. Who had the idea of configuring the items on the main screen as "Standby items" in some 2nd level sub menu? You may think that S60 Nokia phones have a UI but actually they don't. It is more a collection of random apps which aren't working well together. Its a collection of things which gets a geek and some experts excited but finding all the functions is a pain in the butt. I had my fair share by trying to configure WLAN on an E61 yesterday. Mind you that we're writing software for mobile phones incl. S60 so I have some idea about mobile phones.

Apple has a clear UI and it works well. That's their strong point. It may not have all the bells and whistles but at least you can find and use them.

Just my $0.02
Frank

  #26  
Old 11-06-2008, 06:31 PM
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The arguments are biased towards nokia as they would be but from the feedback a lot of nokia users on this site appear to now consider an iPhone . The argument based on lists of features and specs does not work anymore as people see the user experience that apple provide from the desktop to the phone, nokia are nowhere near with their media offerings. Now tempted to move from from s60 to iPhone after Reading all the press coverage over the last few days. Nothing stands out in the new nokia line up to tempt me back to s60.

  #27  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:41 PM
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Am I missing something? Do people really have a phone to enjoy using it? I am sure there are plenty of better things to be doing with our time than using the features of an OS? Jeez, what have we become when something like that is important to us?

"Ooh look my phone has slidey pictures on it when I poke it!"

Get some friends.

  #28  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:41 PM
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The N95 may be the clear winner in terms of raw features but using a Symbian phone and using all its features requires a lot of patience. Who had the idea of configuring the items on the main screen as "Standby items" in some 2nd level sub menu? You may think that S60 Nokia phones have a UI but actually they don't. It is more a collection of random apps which aren't working well together. Its a collection of things which gets a geek and some experts excited but finding all the functions is a pain in the butt. I had my fair share by trying to configure WLAN on an E61 yesterday. Mind you that we're writing software for mobile phones incl. S60 so I have some idea about mobile phones.

Apple has a clear UI and it works well. That's their strong point. It may not have all the bells and whistles but at least you can find and use them.

Just my $0.02
Frank
I think you make a fair point about settings complexity, but then I'd also say at least I can configure this stuff / have decent personalisation etc. Complexity and hard to find stuff is partly a by product of more functionality surely? Though I think S60 could improve here.

S60 does have a UI and its efficient for a softkey driven UI (all the phone manufacturers use something like this in the basic design), but it does not have the slickness / coolness of touch. I actually think real world usability is much better on softkey phones than people realise - though that's another debate.

Plus bringing the E61 is a bit unfair - its 2 year old device after all.

The really interesting comparisons happen when we have Nokia touch devices to talk about.

To the last commenter - yeah there's some bias, but this is among the more informative and fact based discussion I've seen.

  #29  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:46 PM
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In theory, I agree that the N95 is a better phone, though the iPhone wins in some key areas. As a US buyer, there is one wrinkle, though: the price comparison you list does not apply here. The N95-8GB is $750 (at Nokia's site, though currently out of stock), more than triple the iPhone's $199 up front cost, and then the data plans are more expensive for the N95. AT&T, the only national option for 3G on the N95, has a standard data plan for $35, but the iPhone plan is $30 (they can choose from the same voice plans).

Admittedly, you get an unlocked N95, and no contract commitment, but since AT&T is the only source for 3G, what difference does that really make? That being the case, over the course of two years, the Nokia costs $670 more. No matter how much I like the N95, that is a big plus in the other column.

Jack
That's exactly the position I'm in. Living in the US and given the price point, it seems that the N95, nor the N82, N81, or N78 can even compete with the iPhone 3G. And as much as I hate to think of myself as someone who would carry around an iPhone, at this point it would be pure stupidity on my part to pay more than half a grand more for the N95.

  #30  
Old 11-06-2008, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
the S60 browser does NOT support Java? thats funny, I've been visiting all kinds of java based websites lastnight on my n95, I must have been dreaming?

I was actually more under the impression that iphone is the one that doesn't support java.
no you have been visiting javascript based sites not java.
Javascript and Java are not the same they are both programming languages but that is all they have in common.
Both the iPhone and N95 browsers support javascript neither support Java in the browser.
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