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

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2009, 06:51 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Communicator head to head: The Nokia 9500, E90, E75 and N97

The single biggest form factor for true smartphones in Western Europe in the last five years has arguably been that of the 'Communicator', a term coined by Nokia for its 9000 series, initially running on GeOS and then on Symbian OS 6 and (later) Symbian OS 7 with the likes of the 9500 and (here) the 9300i. Then came the oddball E90 and a slightly more mainstream E75, while Nokia's Nseries picked up some similar action in the shape of the N97. But how do they compare, head to head? Is there a true modern day successor to the Psions and Nokia 9210s of old?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 08-10-2009, 07:55 AM
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E90

As you know, I loved the E90 - and still do in many respects - but I can't use it anymore. My eyes have, I think, just got older and even when the inside screen is zoomed up (using Web) I struggle to read the fonts. The resolution is *so* good that it's *too* good. It's a matter of physics, I guess - if it needs to be zoomed up enough to read, I can't take advantage of being able to see the whole webpage 'as designed' but rather a portion. Now with a touch screen, that might make 'swooping' in and out (iPhone/Hero sytle) easier and quicker to achieve. But as we've said many times before, Nokia aren't going to develop the Communicators any more. Ho hum! Great comparison, BTW.

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:11 AM
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I think the bit you left out was PIM functionality worthy of an article on its own. I have on my desk a Psion series 3a, a Nokia 9300 and Nokia E71. On the one hand the E71 excels from a technology point of view, but a comparison of PIM functionality would give a completely different perspective, with the 3a coming first by a mile, then the 9300 and the E71 a poor third. How about doing a comparison of the diary and contacts functionality (including synchronisation with Outlook and other diaries), Steve? Then following this up in each review of a new phone to see how it measures up, not only to the 3a, but also to the iPhone, Palm and others PIM offerings...?

  #4  
Old 08-10-2009, 08:28 AM
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Hello,

N97 is not communicator!!!!!!!!! terrible unit, not for business use.

I own the rest, and I think best of all was 9300 which was perfect size, good PIM, and really communicator. Today I use E71, and it's too small, and PIM is less good, but excellent connectivity.

It was wrong of Nokia to drop the communicator family due to the failure of E90 (their mistake), while the market buys more and more sophisticated phones, and market share shows how Nokia is diving down, and loosing the market. More and more business people drops Nokia and change to other manufacturers. RIM became very strong over Nokia due to that Nokia failed to understand business market and needs.

Isaac

  #5  
Old 08-10-2009, 08:48 AM
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Agree with Isaac... Nokia should do an 9300 upgrade... not N97... but the same form factor and the same OS, well balanced for communicator style.

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:22 AM
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Smile Correct

Same here , agreed . S80 is not a old , non-working platform for "modern" times . I like the "Menu" interfaces . Next commi should be a 9500 with 9210 keyboard , with modern hardware and E90 hinges .

Regards jApi NL
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2009, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iscogd View Post
N97 is not communicator!!!!!!!!! terrible unit, not for business use.
I think that in terms of the form factor, you could class the N97 as Communicator. It's not necessarily part of the Communicator family but it has some similar traits

  #8  
Old 08-10-2009, 09:45 AM
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At the start you pose the question which if any of these phones is a a true successor to the Psions. Though each iteration from the Series 3 to the E90 has been a two steps forward, one back exercise, I have had them all and strongly feel the E90 is the only one carrying the flag. For business use there is nothing like it as a replacement for everything, particularly a laptop. I never take anything else on business trips.
If the E90 is really the end of the Psion / Communicator line that is very bad news for people like me, and I assume I am not alone in this. Even if it is a niche product there must be enough market for it to make development worthwhile. There is a dedicated customer group out there and it would be senseless for Nokia to alienate it.

  #9  
Old 08-10-2009, 09:50 AM
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communicators..

well, the best keyboard was from 9210, best (sizewise) 9500..
all-in-all, teh S80 was a superb system and i am still longing for it..
Blackberry, E71, E90, they are all behind..

and the calendars are getting dumber, the sms functionality as well..

alas..

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:09 AM
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Agree with JGlazener above - there is nothing current or coming which has the same set of features as the E90 - large hi-res screen, full keyboard, and monster battery. There are many devices which have only two of the three - the closest is the N97, but the all three are inferior, and on top of that the build quality and firmware stability are inferior too.
I was initially excited by the N900 but now I believe it will fail like the other tablets - sincerely hope I'm wrong. I suspect the commie line is dead - the E90 is over two years old and no replacement announced - I suspect they think E75 & E71 will cover the market sector. E90 is too big for most people.

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:10 AM
pintofale pintofale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timsalmon View Post
As you know, I loved the E90 - and still do in many respects - but I can't use it anymore. My eyes have, I think, just got older and even when the inside screen is zoomed up (using Web) I struggle to read the fonts. The resolution is *so* good that it's *too* good. It's a matter of physics, I guess - if it needs to be zoomed up enough to read, I can't take advantage of being able to see the whole webpage 'as designed' but rather a portion. Now with a touch screen, that might make 'swooping' in and out (iPhone/Hero sytle) easier and quicker to achieve. But as we've said many times before, Nokia aren't going to develop the Communicators any more. Ho hum! Great comparison, BTW.
So what replaced your E90 Tim?

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Old 08-10-2009, 12:55 PM
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Nice article, Steve. Made me really miss my 9300...

I really don't get Nokia (and other players) approach to UI design..! Series 80 was, in my opinion, without a doubt The Best UI for a pocket-sized computer-phone. Why do I think it was the best? -Simply because it had a UI most resemblant that of a real computer - with the top drop-down menus (and the sidebar) with all the necessary functions laid out in a logical, easy-to-use manner.

So, why is it then when smartphones become more and more computer-like (with phones also promoted as such), Nokia (and others) move away from a clean computer-like menu layout, to a messy, clunky, illogical icon-based UI? Practically everyone has used a real computer way before smartphones started appearing, so why not make the UI more similar to a real computer menu layout, especially now that phones are meant to do almost everything your desktop/laptop computer does?

I was initially very excited with the release of the N900, only to find out that the UI has been dumbed-down (more s60-like) compared to the earlier Maemo internet tablets...

Perhaps I am being old fashioned, and that this is the way forward... I for one, just can't stand this trend... I'd like a powerful Communicator that works in many ways the same as OS X Tiger on my old Mac... I know, the iPhone (which I own) has made this whole icon based UI work really well. The only problem there is that the iPhone really can't act as a computer replacement, being too locked-down and simplistic, missing some essential features like easy file transfer, proper multitasking, customization options etc.

So, have I lost the plot completely here, am I missing something? Anyone?

EDIT: Oh yeah, about the phones in the article, I'd choose the E90. Even though I think S60 sucks donkey balls and I love the Series 80 interface much more, the 9300 is unfortunately a bit too outdated now; technology-wise...
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Last edited by Raven; 08-10-2009 at 01:02 PM.

  #13  
Old 08-10-2009, 01:11 PM
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Till now i cant find a proper device to replace my trusty E90...Communicator in my humble opinion mean large screen (E75 fail horribly) with decent QWERTY keyboard (N97 fail...even with the touch screen) and at least one day charging interval (N97 fail again).

While N97 has its own advantages over the Communicators in the multimedia species i cant see any advantages in the E75 beside the small things i dont care about.

May be am still young enough...i didnt use the 9300 neither S80.

Again in PIM comments...S60 is very poor in this field...even with 3rd party solutions.
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  #14  
Old 08-10-2009, 01:42 PM
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Haven't you guys heard of the N900? I think its about to beat all of those models on just about every front. Its not perfect but it will be a direct contender to the iPhone for touchscreens.

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Old 08-10-2009, 02:01 PM
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'Unregistered' above - the iPhone has succeeded primarily because its software is very refined. I will have a tenner with you now that Maemo 5 is a basket case when the N900 launches, and that prediction is based on experience both of previous Maemos and every recent symbian Nokia.
 

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