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Old 08-07-2010, 10:53 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Not a Dedicated Follower of Fashion - 10 Reasons Why Touchscreens Suck

Playing devil's advocate, but only to a degree, Steve Litchfield turns the entire smartphone world on its head by rejecting its latest darling - large touchscreens. Ask any pundit in the mobile world about smartphones and you'll get the answer that it's all about touch. About large displays that can be caressed and programmed and manipulated with your fingers. Except that traditional, non-touch form factors have these 2010 'flagships' well and truly beat in many ways - here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Touchscreens Suck.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:24 AM
Dubito Dubito is offline
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The main advantage touch-screen phones have is, of course, that they're more fun to play with.

Not recognising this fun factor is clearly why Nokia are being punished in the uninformed public consciousness. You only have to watch the N8 demonstration videos to realise that Nokia is not, as a company, charismatic.

I just wish more companies would build more touch-plus-buttons devices of the N97/Milestone or even Samsung Ultra Touch patterns (why can't Nokia do a dual-slider with a touch screen? Make everybody (un)happy).

The Motorola Backflip, however, we could probably live without.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:27 AM
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S^3 and fouch-free devices

Will there be S^3 devices without a touchscreen?

  #4  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:43 AM
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I really miss the Dpad on my 5800 when playing games.

Also, when I have to mark multiple files or messages, I really wish there was a pencil key that could click and mark away all the files that I want.

The comment about T9 typing without looking at the phone was dead on. That's one of the reason I still keep my N82 around as my official phone. During a meeting, I simply type and send the messages out while the phone is under the desk away from my eyes.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:57 AM
Nick17 Nick17 is offline
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I am with Steve on this one.

For real power-users the amount of "non-touched" when touched is still far to high.

When something needs to be done I grap the S60v3 on the road instead of the S60v5.

Hoping the N9 will change that, because the N97 didn't.

  #6  
Old 08-07-2010, 12:29 PM
stirly stirly is offline
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Have to say I agree with Mr Litchfield on this subject. Back in the day, I had an HTC Universal, which while having an excellent querty keyboard and huge screen, was akin to holding a tea tray against my face when i wanted to make calls! Subsequently, I abandoned touchscreens, and got myself an N80, then N95 classic, and now an N86 8mp, all of which were numeric keypad phones. Recently, I began to wonder if the technology had moved on significantly enough for me to have another shot at touch. My main issue has ALWAYS been that you simply cannot operate these phones FULLY using just one hand, be it texting on the go, or surfing the web in the bath!! However, when my wife got herself a new iphone, I had a chance to once again see if the problems still exsited, and I'm afraid they do! The user interface is pleasing, and the real estate is great for watching videos etc, but for MY use case, namely texting and surfing one-handed, they just don't cut the mustard.

I'll be sticking with my N86 until Nokia or someone else comes up with a numeric keypad slider, with a 3" screen. THEN I'll be really happy!

Good article Steve, and just emphasizes my own point of view. There is no right or wrong, no better or worse, just what suits the individual. Only slightly annoying aspect of this touchscreen love-in by the manufacturers is that new non-touch phones at the higher end of the market seem to have been neglected.

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:37 PM
Jejoma Jejoma is offline
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I heartily agree. I have a Samsung i8910 but that's only for play. For the real world, i.e. work, I use a Nokia E72. I guess the crunch factor is the one-handed operation. Plus it just seems so much easier to use with the various short-cut keys, hard and soft.

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:39 PM
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Gloves

I haven't own (or used) a touch phone but can a phone with a capasitive screen be used with gloves? It's quite cold in here during winter (and autumn and spring) and if I must take my gloves off before I can even answer the phone it's not something I'd like to do very frequently.

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:47 PM
tatoo1000 tatoo1000 is offline
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Besto of both worlds...

My best phone ever was the E71, but I am sure I will miss the size of the screen of my N97 while watching videos and reading the news, if I get a smaller screen.
But being able to write quickly, with almost no typos and running anything I want without any stability issue, is something I miss of my E71.
Waiting for the N9 or E7. Hope will be my ideal phone, big screen, good sound, supreme stability and a full qwerty keyboard.

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:55 PM
rafiii rafiii is offline
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I have played with a lot of touch sceen phones (iphone, galaxy spica, n900, HD2, 5800) and I feel that using these phones is really slower than my old N86.

Totally agree with you steve! A N86 with a touch screen would be awesome!

  #11  
Old 08-07-2010, 01:41 PM
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True, but irrelevant

The thing is, a lot of people want a big screen for the media and web viewing. So once you've got that, then the question is, do you want to start adding buttons and size to do all the phone things you talk about in your list? The answer for a lot of people is, no, even though there are trade offs.

I think if you would stop viewing what we talk about as "phones" as phones and accepted that the devices can have other roles that are more important, it would all get clearer...

  #12  
Old 08-07-2010, 01:54 PM
filipp filipp is offline
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After some time with E71 and now with 5800 I'm stuck in a middle. Texting at E71 was great, but looking at the web pages through the keyhole-sized screen was not comfortable. On the other hand, pages look nice at 5800, but entering text is not easy. I'm thinking about N97 mini now, but somehow I feel it's not a solution anyway. What to do?

  #13  
Old 08-07-2010, 01:55 PM
gadget freak gadget freak is offline
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How many Blackberrys do you see now in the hands of teens and the fashionable? theere are school kids running around with blackberry's. How did RIM turn a device made for stuffy suits into a must have consumer device?

The point is there is still a market for devices with keyboards, and as i have said on here before chasing the touchscreen buck when your reputation is in tatters and your up against google and apple seems way too optimistic.

If i were the pr guru at Nokia the N9 whatever it is being leaked would be the device i would be pushing as an alternative not another me too device.

  #14  
Old 08-07-2010, 02:06 PM
Dubito Dubito is offline
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What disappoints me most about mobile phone manufacturers is that they're so unimaginative and unadventurous. The last really interesting innovation in design was the dual slider. Everything else has been different ways of doing the same old thing, often with less useful buttons.

A better use of slide controls, such as the scroll-wheel used on older Blackberries and the touch+side-slide QWERTY iMate that's hanging around my office with no visible owner, would make one-handed usage much easier on touch-screen devices, acting as a D-pad replacement without making the device bigger or compromising screen size. But that appears to be ex-technology, and the trackball on Android devices doesn't even seem to work on the home screen (disclaimer - that was from briefly playing with an HTC something today).

Don't get me started on how text input on touch-screens is currently several years behind where it should be - I was using systems on a QTopia-based Sharp Zaurus 7 years ago that are only just being rediscovered by Android developers. News-flash, people: Text prediction and auto-correction in software are not new. Not even remotely.

Mind you, Steve's point about the iPhone having the music player icon at the bottom of each screen does point to another option: Having the controls grouped largely at the bottom of the screen, instead of the desktop-style top of the screen, would also ease one-handed usage. S60v5, with its options and exit buttons at the bottom or right is a step in the right direction here.

The durability and grease-on-screen issues aside, touch-screens could be made a lot more efficient and fast to use if a bit of lateral thinking was used.

  #15  
Old 08-07-2010, 02:14 PM
iamtheapeohyes iamtheapeohyes is offline
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good keyboard, whether touch or physical

agree with the phone-or-toy central plank of argument, but I've never had a phone with a decent keyboard. The e61 and e90 have these dreadful little keys with no travel- I found stabbing with the stylus on my shortlived n5800 better (the screen cracked from the unreasonable use of having it in my pocket with keys).
Like the iPhone on Guardian CiF, AAS threads have to have a Psion mention. My Psion 5 had a fabulous keyboard- the acid test being I never thought about writing something down for speed, it was always the psion that came out for notes, lists etc. That no-one has stuck a phone in a psion is a global catastrophe far worse than any climate change or asteroid impact.
 

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