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

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Old 14-02-2007, 01:05 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Can we please consign Psion to the history books now?

Reacting to a piece on The Register, Ewan's fed up with the 'Wasn't life better with Psion in the 1990s' brigade. Time to move on and bury the memory of Psion for good, he feels...

Read on in the full article.

Old 14-02-2007, 01:35 PM
svdwal svdwal is offline
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I am curious to know how the E90 performs for "bulk" data entry, for example taking notes during a meeting. As the keyboard was one of the main Psion advantages over a lot of competitors, the E90s keyboard is likely to be the thing to compel Psioneers to make the move (or not).

As for synchronisation, only very recently has Symbian OS synchronisation become usable, without duplicating all you contacts every time you synchronised. There's still the issue with phone number formats, though.

Old 14-02-2007, 02:44 PM
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Smile but some things don't change

I have an E61 and have now read about the new E61i. Better keyboard, better scrolling etc. Can Nokia have got it so wrong with the e61. The big companies are firing out new hardware so frequently yet so many devices have poor design. I like the look of the new e90 and it looks like it is the answer to the Psion 5. However, this time around I think I will wait until the E90i until they send out a model with all glitches fixed.
Crawford Patterson

Old 14-02-2007, 03:12 PM
turl turl is offline
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Thumbs down Now we can point and grunt, can we please consign Language to the history books?

The point of the article you reference is that sometimes technology can go backwards. There's no way you can say the E90 PDA is as good as the Psion PDA. And now we know that the E90 just bodges the E70 into a big case, there's no way you can even say it's as good as the 2-handed S80. It's a big step backwards.

I see neither of you is actually disagreeing.

Now imagine if civilization, over centuries, lost the capacity for language (eg as in Mike Judge's Idiocracy). Would you then be trying to keep language alive, or would you be saying, "Get over it! We can point and grunt and everything's fantastic!"

Poor show, chaps.

Old 14-02-2007, 03:25 PM
Bassey Bassey is offline
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I see your point and I agree to some extent. However, I don't think we should just ignore the past. Perhaps, though, people should be as ready to learn from the mistakes of the past as they are to reminisce about the good times.

If the E90's keyboard really is only useable by thumb typing then it does seem an appalling mistake on the part of Nokia.

Oh, and that Moto just looks amazing

You look like you want to go away, But I know you’re gonna stay. For although your heart is in L.A, Your head is in my fridge. There’s flowers in your hair, they're not real their made of silk. There’s a note in your mouth, to remind me to get milk.

Wot Italian? from Boothby Graffoe

Old 14-02-2007, 03:36 PM
stewart01 stewart01 is offline
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Psion 5 will only die when there's a symbian phone that could match the stock PDA software.

None have yet reached that milestone.

Shame, Psion bowed out - they could have come up with some very nice smartphone devices.

Old 14-02-2007, 03:47 PM
dgduris dgduris is offline
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It is easy for you to make this that we should all move on now:

The E90 is on the horizon for you and the Europeans and may well satisfy the desire to have 1 fast, efficient machine that manages PI as well as the Psion did and communications as well as, well... as a radio-enabled Series 5mx would have.

BUT NOT IN AMERICA YET!!! So I'll hold onto my misty-eyed memories and dreams a bit longer. (Wow! I should get a life!)


Richard ;-}

Old 14-02-2007, 04:47 PM
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The only rose tinted specs I see regularly seem to be pirched the the AAS reviewers' noses when they review s60 devices. The s60 PIM functionality just isn't yet comparable either to the old Psions (or even the UIQ suite).

There's nothing wrong with pointing this out - if you buy an old Psion now you will be able to use functionality that is not present in the S60 device - not for any technical reason (the modern devices have all the required hardware and OS features to support it) they just haven't bothered or seen a need to implement it. Hence the frustration - you know it could be done.

So to use the S60 PIM apps in the E90 seems crazy to me. This device is supposed to be the flagship organiser isn't it?

Old 14-02-2007, 04:53 PM
sovind sovind is offline
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Ewan - the ranting of a deranged fanboy.

I'm sure if you're repairing Nokias you'll see the design flaws too e.g. when communicators get a hairline crack at the hinge and poof, the screen is gone too.

As for all the s60 sold - so what - they're only phones that are hardly any more capable than the SonyEricsson T630 if you're looking for a 5mx/Revo replacement.

We can argue that the s60 phones are computers till the cows come in - but as far I'm concerned, if I have to multitap to enter data/info - they're just overpriced T630s.

Andrew of The Register has valid points. If the human machine interface is poor - it sucks then - no defense. From my view I've hated EVERY Nokia Symbian implementation - gone is the simplicity.

Will I get the E90? Probably not - I'll just buy deep discount 9300i not because it is any good, but because it's the only alternative.

If Nokia really wanted the Psion keyboard - just buy the technology from Psion - I'm sure they'll sell it after all they've shown they'll probably sell their mothers too if the price is right.

Ewan - it's not time to move on - it's time to find out where it went wrong because mobile computing sure isn't here yet.

Old 14-02-2007, 06:17 PM
krisse krisse is offline
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It's interesting how over-the-top and emotional one or two of your responses to Ewan's article are. It's as if you're taking his comments personally.

You ought to listen to yourselves, these aren't balanced comments:

"Ewan - the ranting of a deranged fanboy."

That's just an insult, not feedback at all.

"From my view I've hated EVERY Nokia Symbian implementation"

You've tried every Nokia smartphone ever made? For several months each? Because that's how long it can take to get to know and love the ins and outs of a system.

A lot of people who hate a computer system hate it because it's unfamiliar, not because it's innately bad. When I used a Macintosh recently I absolutely loathed it, but most of my criticisms were worthless because they centred entirely around the differences between it and Windows. The Mac did some things differently, I had to get over it, and only when I got over it could I compare the two systems fairly.

"it's time to find out where it went wrong because mobile computing sure isn't here yet."

Really? Why is it I can do most of my computing tasks on mobile phones then? Email, the web, instant messaging, calendar, music etc. The interface might not be exactly what you want, but it's definitely computing and it's definitely mobile.

"There's no way you can say the E90 PDA is as good as the Psion PDA."

Just out of interest, have you actually tried using the E90 for an extended period of time?

There's hundreds of things the E90 can do that the Psion never could, it's difficult to know where to start.

You can't surf the web on a Psion, you can't do mobile email, you can't do IM, you can't upload or download data on the move, you can't see where you are on GPS maps. All of these things are incredibly useful for organising and managing your life, which is surely the point of a PDA. You can even make phone calls on the E90 for goodness sake, doesn't that make your life far easier too?

These are the kind of things that people have come to expect from smartphones and PDAs nowadays. To pretend that a Psion which that lacks these things is superior is just delusional. At best the Psion had useful features which the E90 still lacks, but then that's true of most successful computers.

If Psion was still making devices, they'd have to do more than just make PDAs: they'd have to be phones, and web browsers, and high speed modems, and multimedia players. PDAs that lack these features have seen their sales crumbling away to nothing, and every year brings a new collapse in their share of the market. Whatever their merits, people just don't want pure PDAs any more and you can't blame manufacturers for abandoning the sector as demand disappears.

I used to have an 8-bit computer called the Sinclair Spectrum, it was great, I loved it, and it still has a loyal following today (and incidentally it outsold all of Psion's organisers). It was probably the best-value computing package ever released, and opened up home computing to an entire generation of British people. It would boot up straight away, it had incredibly cheap and hyper-efficiently written software and it was completely free of viruses. Should I claim that makes it superior to my PC?

It would be crazy to do that because the Spectrum can't do a fraction of the things that a PC can do, particularly the online things, and that's why no one uses them or computers like them any more. They're pretty much useless as modern IT tools because they completely lack the ability to handle multimedia or connectivity. It's not really a fair comparison as they're from completely different eras when users had completely different needs from their devices.

As computers get more advanced and more converged there is always a price to pay, either a literal amount of money or some sort of technical compromise. Whether that price is worth paying is up to the market, whether people buy things. So far the market has said a resounding YES to modern smartphones and a resounding NO to old style unconnected PDAs.

Last edited by krisse; 14-02-2007 at 06:24 PM.

Old 14-02-2007, 06:27 PM
stewart01 stewart01 is offline
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Actually, you could get on to the internet with the Psion and browse internet, email etc.

I did just that - infrared connection from Psion to Ercisson Phone - mobile access. Ok, its not smartphone style - but still very possible and usable.

I wouldn't like to have browsed content heavy sites.

Psion + cell phone over smartphone - No chance. I'll keep my E70 ( with the nice Psion software - oh, if it were possible!)

The Calendar in series60 is a poor excuse, Nokia can do so much better.

Originally Posted by krisse View Post
You can't surf the web on a Psion, you can't do mobile email, you can't do IM, you can't upload or download data on the move, you can't see where you are on GPS maps. All of these things are incredibly useful for organising and managing your life, which is surely the point of a PDA. You can even make phone calls on the E90 for goodness sake, doesn't that make your life far easier too?

Old 14-02-2007, 07:12 PM
alistairj alistairj is offline
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The E90 looks great but Mr Orlowski's view that the PIM s/w is a step backwards for Communicator and Psion users is incontrovertible (and he has at least had a chance to try the keyboard which is more than most of us have had). Why is this having a rose-tinted view of the past? (If he had been speaking in glowing terms about dodgy hinges, 5mx screen contrast and Revo battery charging then you might have a point).

Old 14-02-2007, 08:03 PM
svdwal svdwal is offline
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Michael Mace (, who used to work for Palm, has an interesting hypothesis about the different kinds of users of mobile devices. He says there are three kinds of people using mobile devices, one using the device to support their communicating needs (say Blackberry, M600, E61), one using it for multimedia (say Nseries, W950), and one using it for information storage and retrieval (say Psion). The communicator range is targetted at both the information and the communicating people, in case you are wondering. Also, the number of people in each category is roughly equal, being about 12% of the entiere range. Everybody else just wants a phone.

I think Mace's hypothesis explains very well certain aspects of the E90 debate. People wanting an infomation device only appear to be unhappier with the E90 than the communicating people.

Certain aspects of the commie range (lack of memory, lack of speed, keyboard) made it not quite good enough for the info people, but more than adequate for the communicating people. For instance, writing an email on the commie works fine, but for writing a report the keyboard lets it down.

I know I am the info kind of guy (half of the time I leave my mobile at home when I'm outdoors ;-) ), and though I rather like the commie range, it had and might still have problems that might make it not the perfect machine for me.

As such, the E90 appears to come closer than ever before to being an excellent information device. As far as I can see at this time the keyboard and the S60 user interface are the main potential problems (everything else can be solved by buying the right programs).

Old 14-02-2007, 08:13 PM
langdona langdona is offline
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Well I started off with a Psion 5 and the only things I miss are the keyboard and built in spell checker. I would not want to go back to a device as big as a Psion 5 again and so can't expect such a usable keyboard. There is no excuse for the lack of spell checking though (Anyone know if the E90 has it?). The PIM applications may not be so good but the S60 ones are absolutely fine for my limited requirements and I suspect for the vast majority of peoples. The E90 looks good to me and may well be my E61 replacement later this year.

I notice that the register report again describes the E90 as a brick. Which I assume they mean in a derogatory way. This is a daft comment there are a range of smartphones with different functionality and usability. Its a bit like saying a Land Rover is not as good looking and small as a Ferrari but I know which one I would want to have if I needed to get to the other side of a ploughed field with a family of four children! I also know which one to have to impress the ladies and your mates.

Old 14-02-2007, 09:29 PM
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I think we should not make such a big issue from a casual encounter between The Register and the E90 - The Register's only aim is to gain attention not to inform. My-Symbian has an informed review of the E90 - I think AAS should do a review ASAP.


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