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

Old 11-10-2002, 02:53 AM
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Comment: When is a phone, just a phone?....

He's been down the pub, he's getting ready for going away for the weekend, it's the middle of the night, and the booze is wearing off..... Yep SwitchBlade is on a ramble again, be afraid, be very afraid.

For a change I'm not gonna rant, just take you on a gentle ramble. In response to the question in the title the answer is increasingly becoming "When it's plugged into the wall". The humble (or not so humble) mobile phone has changed a lot since it was a simple phone handset connected to a breifcase sized transmitter and battery, they can now send text messages on the most basic of models, and are increasingly coming with games as standard on the cheap ones.

Let's face it, a mobile phone for the past 2 years has not just been a device for talking. Ignoring the flashy handsets (9110/92x0), the standard phone has had SMS, games, WAP, e-mail, and other odd functions surplus to the old addage of "It's good to talk.". Now look at your handset, most of you have a 92x0 of a 7650 at the mo, both of which are sold in mobile phone shops as mobile phones.

Firstly a look at the 92x0, how do you see this, IMHO it's a PDA and that is the main use I give it, I read e-books, play games, watch vids, listen to music, etc on it. I make phone calls infrequently, hell I'll be lucky to make one a day on it. Texts on the other hand I make a bucket load of, and couldn't do without the QWERTY keyboard any more. On the other hand to most people I know it's a phone, "Look at that man, it's a f*cking brick!" is the usual response, the fact that my 9210 is a veritable e-swiss-army-knife escapes them in a conversation of "my 3310 is miles smaller".

Secondly the 7650, this has less and more features than the 92x0, it's a mixed bag and I'm not sure where to place it. The official line is "Smartphone", and something has to be wrong when a marketing buzz-word is the best description for it, but non-the-less it is phone+ in much the same way as RoboCop is to a normal Bobby on the beat. Again size comes into it, despite the fact that you can take (admittedly low quality) photos with it, play colour games, etc etc with it, no doubt there's one guy who says "yeah but my 3310 is smaller, that phone sucks it's like a brick".

Despite these obvious analogies (and I gladly gave up my slender 6210 for a 9210), what do you strive for most in a phone? In my case and probably for most of you it's functionality. Essentially my 9210 saves me carrying a Gameboy, pad of paper, walkman, portable video player, and mobile phone with me wherever I go. Yet if I offered these people with their "smaller phones" a phone the size of an 8210 for the same price as their current handset cost, but they could only make phone calls on it (no texts, no games, nothing) would they go for it? The answer is "no", these people use the extra features their phones have all the time and are essentially oblivious that their argument of having a smaller phone being better doesn't hold water with themselves.

Think for a minute, if manufacturers decided that the future was mobile phones you could only use for talking, would you upgrade to one of these handsets? There are standard features you expect from a mobile phone, yet you wouldn't expect your BT landline phone to send a text message. Years ago, before the market seemingly fell flat on it's face, it was declared that at some point everyone would have a PDA of some description. Looking at the old PDAs the 7650 has better features and so should really qualify as one, albeit a cut down one by todays standards. The statement was mocked, and disbelieved by many including myself, yet it seems to be coming true. Increasingly the mobile phone as carried by almost all of the first world's population and a lot of the second world's population too by now, is becomming more and more like a PDA than a phone.

For ages people said they wouldn't buy a PDA because they didn't need all the features, but they bought a mobile phone for convenience, now under their noses the mobile phone is gradualy mutating into a PDA. Would those same people not upgrade to a newer phone because they didn't want a PDA in the first place? I doubt it. The features are being added slowly but surely and the change has been barely noticable until now, a lot of features like calandars, SMS, and WAP have been used by people on their phones over the past year or 2 and are now expected features. In 2 years a notes app will probably be an expected feature so people can keep their shopping list on the phone, unless they are using the built in web-browser to visit the online supermarket.

The name mobile phone seems no longer apt, perhaps we should resort to "Cordless Digital Data Transciever" as a better description. Maybe Bob Hoskins will be on adverts for O2 with the slogan "It's good to talk/text/e-mail/surf/etc." in an effort to sell more phones. Do you want a device just to talk on, or does the idea of a multi-purpose "e-swiss-army-knife" appeal more? I'm guessing for people here it's the latter, and in a few years the advertising will have the average Joe thinking the same.
Millennia in the future, the Earth is now a dead world and man has colonised the galaxy.
Now the galaxy is about to discover that man is not alone...
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Old 11-10-2002, 04:36 AM
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Well, last year I was looking to buy an iPAQ working for Compaq. I was a user of an Ericsson T28s. Then, someone showed me the Ericsson R380s. I didn't want all the features of an iPAQ. However, the R380e never happened. And the next option was the 9210, the brick.

I thought, wow, if Nokia can reduce the size of the 9210 to the size of the R380e, that would be great. Had I wanted a smaller size, that would have led me to the Motorola model. Too square for me.

The idea of a keyboard was significant. Look at the buyers of Treo units later. They bought it for the convenience of the keyboard.

Wow, if that can be practical keyboard at that size, they can actually reduce the 9210 size further.

But, going back to why I bought the 9210. It is not for the multimedia which can drain my batteries quick. It is not for the games that I can play on it. It is because of the Office package, Email, and Web. I need to create documents in the field, format it, and send it through email. I need to work on my Excel sheets. The Powerpoint files from time to time. Instead of carrying them in a diskette or CD. It's in my phone. With the appearance of infrared capable printers I can print on it directly too.

The Ericsson P800 lacks this software package. Too bad. You can only view and not edit. There might be an extended keyboard for the P800 perhaps for more than just chat. But that would be one thumb operation if you're on the field. The keyboard for the 9210 I can do a two-thumb operation.

Yes, I never bothered to get an iPAQ anymore, not even the XDA thing. It's because of the keyboard of the 9210. It seemed faster to me. I tried using the eraser end of a pencil to simulate pecking at the keyboard of the 9210 if I can get faster inputs. Not.

What would I wish they'd do for the next PDA/Phone? Reduce the length, there is so much space about 2 inches. Make it touch screen. A bit smaller keyboard. MMS capable. Make the outer phone interface color too

I'd be really happy :-)

Old 12-10-2002, 03:54 AM
MaleBuffy MaleBuffy is offline
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Actually the 3310 and the 7650 have the same height, length whatever!
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