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

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  #31  
Old 23-07-2008, 07:33 AM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Williamoni View Post
Nice test Steve.

One point though - using the phone to make phone calls is very important and I would be interested to see how the devices compare on that too.
This could also include recording calls - something Symbian has always been very strong (and WinMo very weak) at.

  #32  
Old 23-07-2008, 08:41 AM
mattrad mattrad is offline
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Nice shootout Steve

@notmicro

The iPhone version 2 firmware doesn't support Bluetooth syncing of contacts and calendar items, and I doubt it ever will.

You can sync contacts and calendar over Wifi (using MobileMe) or contacts, calendar, music, video, photos over USB using iTunes.

  #33  
Old 23-07-2008, 09:02 AM
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2 quick points:

On Rail Enquiries. May I heartily recommend the excellent traintimes.org.uk to anyone looking for, well, train times int the UK. I was alerted to it a few years ago by the NTK newsletter as a less bloated way of accessing the National Rail timetable data than the then horibly and unecessarily script-ridden official site. Therefore, while it's not avowedly mobile oriented, it makes great sense for a mobile user. It also has some dead handy features, like bookmarkable URLs (eg http://traintimes.org.uk/hitchin/cambridge will take you to the next few journeys from Hitchin to Cambridge, while http://traintimes.org.uk/hitchin/cam...next-wednesday specifies the out and back times; other modifiers are available...). Possibly the coolest new (since Feb this year) feature for an S60 user is the "add to calendar" feature; once you've picked the best journey, simply click "add" and each leg of the journey is added as an entry to your phone's calendar. It's been put together and developed by one of the mysociety.org chaps and is as fine a piece of work as any of the much lauded mysociety pages.

On Podcasting. Given you mentioned the other S60 options for YouTube, I'm surprised you didn't mention the excellent free Nokia Podcasting app...

  #34  
Old 23-07-2008, 09:23 AM
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Just going to add a few comments here (I imagine Steve will add his too later). Steve and I had a conversation / brain storm over what to include. It quickly became apparent that it is very difficult picking typical tasks because everyone is different. So you do have to take this into account. I note plenty of comments say 'what about etc' and yes there are other things you could include. The reality is we all use our device in different ways, so something like this can only ever be considered one point of view (that said we did try to do a reasonable cross section). Interestingly we threw out some ideas as we knew, before doing any testing, they would hopelessly favour one handset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine of MMM View Post
Again, please do not take this as being a harsh critism; I think this is probably one of the better types of comparative reviews that I've read from you. However, the validity of the review is marred because of your imbalances in the scoring. In such a high profile review, I'm not sure that AAS should have to answer to any biases because of testing methodology inconsistancies.
Antoine - all feedback is good I suspect Steve will weigh in himself here, but a few things to note. The 1-20 scale allows for gradations which a 1-2-3 scale does not. It is therefore more accurate not less as you suggest (IMHO). For something there's little difference between two device and for others there is a big difference. Surely its fairer if a device loses more marks for doing something very badly? Indeed ideally people would mark how important something is to them and we'd weight the scores accordingly and give you a personalised score.

Designing fair comparisons is very difficult as I note above because everyone is different. For some touch is essential, for other its a decent camera... Other will put up with a mediocre function because it is compensated elsewhere - someone else wont make that compromise etc etc. We try to be as objective as possible in our evaluation across the whole site.

People inevitably regard this site as being pro-S60, pro-Symbian, but we like to think we do our very best to maintain balance. Just because we primarily cover Symbian stuff doesn't mean our objectivity goes out the window. If you think we've been unfair somewhere please let is know - we value everyone's opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
why are you even including an s60 phone in the comparison?
For one thing, the contacts section sucks. So does calendar. As does messaging. Dont tell me I am abnormal for wanting to do all these things.Also got to pay $$ for all the stuff other people take for granted. Someone has already mentioned skyequikey (simiilar functionality available in latest SEs at no extra cost). Same goes for sms/call managers, a list of recently text'd contacts(WOW). Etc etc
Real people buy s40 or uiq phones.
It is not about cost either.
If you have ever used a p1i or a z8 or a 6270(as you have, steve), you'll know.
- a former e90 user.
P.s. I havent been a nokia user for 15 years, but I have been one for seven years. JUST GIVE ME A PHONE. I have an n800 for all the other stuff.
That's what makes these things difficult to do. Everyone has a different opinion of what is good or what they need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Williamoni View Post
Nice test Steve.

One point though - using the phone to make phone calls is very important and I would be interested to see how the devices compare on that too.
Plenty of comments like this - and i agree - but there's only so much space. Actually calling functions is one area where the N95 excels (IMHO).
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  #35  
Old 23-07-2008, 09:24 AM
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Good comparision, Steve! This is what it comes down to, how good can I do what I want on which device.

I am right now considering the N95-8GB, the E71 or the iPhone as my next phone. As movie recording is not an issue to me, they are much closer for me.
My killer apps are mobile internet and time management.
One important pro for the iPhone that is missing IMHO is the screen resolution. For mobile browsing, the QVGA resolution of Nokia devices is quite limiting. And Q9 does not help at entering URL's, so the iPhones on-screen-keyboard is quite an advantage.

But an important con for the iPhone is IMHO missing to:
"Buy the device at the dealer who will give you the best price (choose from many) and get a contract that fits your needs best (choose from many providers)"
iPhone: maybe 5 points, in case that you like the contract, the iPhone is offered with in your country.

  #36  
Old 23-07-2008, 09:28 AM
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Some replies(!)

@sdeetz:"the iphone picked up my exact position and was ready to start tracking my walking a full 60 seconds before the N95 was. And it is very "

Your N95 can't have the latest firmware then, my N95 gets a GPS lock in under 10 seconds a lot of the time, and always under 20. And my comparison already credited the iPhone as having a fast lock, I believe.

>>Next, I tested out the downloading of high res images off the internet that you described. I chose a full 5MP image that I have posted on my personal web page. It saved fine to the photo library, and opened up no problem on screen.

Hmm... yes, I guess this might be Touch firmware issue - my conclusion though, that Apple still have some work to do, and that the downsampling to VGA was still a huge problem, are valid.

>>Also, I agree about your Safari comments, but you have to take some of that with a grain of salt. The whole point of Safari is to take you to the REAL internet pages, not a mobile version. So of course, there will be some sites that are easier to navigate with a stripped down mobile version, but do you want that for every site?

I'd rather a browser worked with both. As S60 Web does. 8-)

>>One is video. If you need it, obviously you want the N95. Period. I don't shoot video at all on my N95, so this is not a consideration at all for me. Since

Absolutely. But anyone with a family or active hobby will surely want to shoot video at some point?

>>Second is the keyboard. I type a ton of emails on my phone while I travel, and the lack of a keyboard on the N95 means it stays in my bag more often, and I reach for the iphone to do my emails. This is the big one for me.

To be honest, neither are great for long emails. That's what Bluetooth keyboards are for, as you noted. I keep mine in the car glovebox, so it's always to hand when I'm out and about. Pity the iPhone can't use them yet, but..... 8-)

@brendan: Absolutely, and many will agree with your scores. But this was a task-based feature, not a subjective 'likeability' thing, so...

@Antoine: good points, but the feature was already many, many hours work - I haven't got time to break the 12 points down into even smaller score increments. The scores I gave were based on performance and my own 'expert'(!) opinion - bear in mind that I've used almost every device on the market and hopefully my own gut feel ratings carry some weight. A simply 1,2,3 wouldn't have worked, since in some cases one device was light years ahead of another, while in other cases they were very close. I wanted to give a lot of room for variations.

@Williamoni: all the devices here made phone calls very well. What is there to say?

@fbloise: "And since this is a S60 based website, you will (believe me!) always make nokia win."

Not at all. After completing the first few categories, I thought 'Heck, the iPhone's going to run away with this....' As it turned out, I hit enough showstoppers after that (video was always going to be one of them of course) that the N95 still won comfortably.

@TomJ:"I'm surprised you didn't mention the excellent free Nokia Podcasting app..."

Yes, good point, although the existing solution is good enough and I'm still not convinced that the average user will use Podcasting. The user will find a feed in a web page and think 'now what do I do with this?' etc.

Steve Litchfield
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  #37  
Old 23-07-2008, 09:49 AM
Bassey Bassey is offline
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Seems like a pretty fair comparison to me. I'd only make two points. One, as you mention, the N95 8GB has been out a while and had several firmware updates since it's release. The other two are brand new. Lets not forget the original N95 was almost unusable for certain things. It took a good couple of updates for it to become as good as it is. The Diamond has improved massively from ROM 1.35 to 1.37 and more updates are on the way.

The other thing is the "take a picture and send by email". I can do this in less than 15s. What were you doing? It pops up with a button on-screen giving you the option to send it by email as soon as a pic is taken. Once in Pocket Outlook you start typing the name of the person you want to send it to and it starts listing those names that match. There are no "fiddly controls" or menu options. Is this maybe just a case of you being very familier with S60 and less so with WM?

I could go on about the point of WM being flexibility and the ability to customise the experience to suit you by adding your own shells, apps etc but I actually don't think that applies to the Diamond. I think HTC have taken the view that this will be bought by people looking for an "out of the box" experience.
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  #38  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassey View Post
I could go on about the point of WM being flexibility and the ability to customise the experience to suit you by adding your own shells, apps etc but I actually don't think that applies to the Diamond. I think HTC have taken the view that this will be bought by people looking for an "out of the box" experience.
Agreed. I think what a lot of power users forget is most people use the device largely as it comes. This I think hurts Windows Mobile most, then S60, then Apple (in general). Related to this is most people still buy a device through an operator and that has impacts upon availability, pricing etc etc.

Just another aspect of why it is difficult to say one device is better than another.
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  #39  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:08 AM
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a hem

I cant believe you put the N95 above the iPod touch/iPhone for music transfer.
c'mon itunes/iTMS is 1000xmore seemless than WMP/nokia music store/pc suite.

also bluetooth headphones, who ACTUALLY uses them to be an issue. as they are mostly terrible at the moment.

- the video test was unfair and skews the results. it's like adding in touch screen sensitivity as a test.

- contacts app on the N95 is a pile of smelly pants. how about adding the following test - look up the address of a contact. As on N95 you have to edit the address field to view it. nice nokia!

- you are a power s60 user - most 'normal' users would struggle to match your times. The calendar test took me over a minute on my n95. I sold my iPhone so cant comment on how long it would take me on that.

- use www.traintimes.org.uk - always!!! enjoy.

I like both phones, but comparing them is kinda pointless.
that said its an entertaining and polemic post.

  #40  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:19 AM
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>>I cant believe you put the N95 above the iPod touch/iPhone for music transfer. c'mon itunes/iTMS is 1000xmore seemless than WMP/nokia music store/pc suite.

Nope, I disagree. Windows Media Player integration with modern S60 handsets is superb and seamless. And faster than iTunes. iTunes only starts winning once you factor in people wanting to BUY DRM-ed music online.

>>also bluetooth headphones, who ACTUALLY uses them to be an issue. as they are mostly terrible at the moment.

I used them yesterday to listen to Pink Floyd while out fast-walking. Sounded pretty good to me.

>>- the video test was unfair and skews the results. it's like adding in touch screen sensitivity as a test.

I agree it skews them slightly, but taking at least basic video clips is a FUNDAMENTAL for a phone these days. Which is why the task was included. If the iPhone can't do it then I'm afraid it deserves the 'zero' here etc.

>>- contacts app on the N95 is a pile of smelly pants. how about adding the following test - look up the address of a contact. As on N95 you have to edit the address field to view it. nice nokia!

Agreed that this is sub-optimal. But only an occasional annoyance, at least in my life. Still, would be nice if Nokia fixed their screen-wrapping!

>>- you are a power s60 user - most 'normal' users would struggle to match your times. The calendar test took me over a minute on my n95.

Nah, I'm average. I get lots of emails actually, saying how slow I am at texting. Trust me, my speeds are average.

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  #41  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:33 AM
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You can turn off Touchflow 3D on the HTC, it is just a homescreen plugin.

  #42  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:36 AM
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Smartphone is all about 3rd party software

In spite of titanic work done by AAS, i think this comparison is irrelevant 'cause the main feature of any smartphone, is its ability to install 3rd party (native, java, widgets etc.) and therefore to adjust, optimize the device for your needs. You write about it yourself all over the article by mentioning those widgets, java clients etc. What is the point to compare, let's say, windows, mac os and linux without the bulk of software comes with each of them. Especially when you can almost 100% mimic each one on each one (same in smartphone world). So a winner in my opinion is a device, which i can adjust in most possible ways including even tethering with hardware inside (processor speed, bluetooth stack etc.), changing UI for whatever i desire and having most possible software choice available for today. The winner is obvious.

  #43  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:41 AM
davidmaxwaterma davidmaxwaterma is offline
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50 seconds!??!?

"Nokia N95 8GB: 50 seconds using built-in Messaging, accessing GMail via IMAP push email, slowed by the speed of Messaging and the clumsy access point selection etc."

Steve, what were you doing? Did you go for a cup of tea or something?

I just measured it on my E90 and it was a little under 30 seconds.

Aso, what do you mean 'clumsy access point selection'? If you have selected an access point in the settings, then it isn't 'IMAP push'. The whole point is that it needs to be connected constantly, so you need to set the automatic retrieval setting to a little less than the server's timeout (or other causes of disconnections) so that it remains connected.

In my test, I :

1) made sure Messaging was connected to the server by checking the 'Options' menu says 'Disconnect' (and not 'Connect').
2) send myself an email from another account (yahoo or something)
3) wait a few seconds for the server to tell Messaging it has a new email
4) start the timer
5) select the message (D-up) and click on it (D-middle)
6) wait for message to download and display - this is where it takes time
7) reply - Options/Reply->To Sender
8) wait for compose screen to appear
9) send - D-middle/"Send"
10) wait for return to message list
11) stop the timer

For me, that took a little under 30 seconds. I don't know what you were doing for the other 20 seconds.

BTW, using IMAP in Messaging is *NOT* the same as 'push email', even if you do manage to make it stay connected the whole time. This is because Messaging does not automatically download the message body when the IMAP server tells it there's a new message - only the message header.

This difference is more significant for people who don't check their messages immediately and/or network connections aren't consistent. IE, when they come to check them, the network may not be available, so, although they can see the new messages' headers, they can't see the body. Even if they do still have a network connection, they have to wait for the body to download (the whole point of 'push' is that you don't have to wait).

If you do it 'my way' it'd bring the time to approximately the same as the iPhone, IMO.

Max.

  #44  
Old 23-07-2008, 10:53 AM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macwhu View Post
also bluetooth headphones, who ACTUALLY uses them to be an issue. as they are mostly terrible at the moment.
Note the world "mostly". There are quite a few excellent A2DP headphones out there; for example, the Plantronics Pulsar 590A. I *really* recommend my related articles (and, for that matter, ALL of my articles) I've posted to the S60 forum (and, mostly, the N95 subforum) here; for example,
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/forum...ad.php?t=72962

All in all, A2DP now is a VERY good alternative to wired headphones - without any quality degradation.

  #45  
Old 23-07-2008, 11:28 AM
davidmaxwaterma davidmaxwaterma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slitchfield View Post
Some replies(!)

@sdeetz:"the iphone picked up my exact position and was ready to start tracking my walking a full 60 seconds before the N95 was. And it is very "

Your N95 can't have the latest firmware then, my N95 gets a GPS lock in under 10 seconds a lot of the time, and always under 20. And my comparison already credited the iPhone as having a fast lock, I believe.
I agree. My E90 just locked on in somewhat less than 30 seconds and I'm *inside*.

I recall that it used to take minutes (sometimes *many*) to lock on before I applied the recent firmware upgrade. I suspect the N95-8GB is a similar speed before/after.
 

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