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

  #31  
Old 17-07-2009, 03:43 PM
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Hello all - I have had the i8910 for almost 7 weeks now and had written a big update post that was trashed on Jul 14th :-(
oh well; but it rvirga is cool about it, I'll quickly use his list, which I completely agree with & had some things:

NB I debranded this week, and went for the official xxIG2 via the super-Pavel firmware page route *kudos to him*

These refere to the Italian xxIG2 firmware now:

- the aforementioned Podcasts app

Still atrocious

- the much-discussed AMR audio encoding in video

now 'fixed' to AAC, but this version of .mp4-AAC file still not recognized by PS3. Also, in xxIG2 the Connected Home DLNA app appears totally broken on my handset (see the How to use DLNA thread).

- java doesn't use the GPU, and is severely memory-limited

Yep, my Opera mini 4.2 still slows down after some big page loads. So use the onboard browser which feels much faster and stable than previous xxIE2 orange/

- when geotagging a photo, the camera app stores the wrong coordinates

Haven't even bothered to try this in fact. Assume it is still broken in xxIG2.

NB there are only 5 languages you can choose in xxIG2 as far as i can see - Italian, English, Spanish, German and French...

- no voice commands or voice dialing

I agree, this is missed.

- no remote control in the wired headset; not even a two-piece wired headset like the i8510's one, so that one can use his own pair of headphones

Again, this really ought to be in the box, but wasn't. I bought the SBH650 as an interim replacement. Bluetooth AD2P sound is much worse though.

- digital compass needs to be recalibrated, for various reasons, at least a couple of times a week (this is however only a minor annoyance, since recalibration takes just a few seconds)

Still the case.

- not a lot of home screen widgets, and fewer yet that are actually useful (maybe the widget competition will bring some better ones)

I don't like the widgets idea at all. Clutters the homescreen, none of the widgets have antialiased

- However, in spite of this, I'm still very, very happy with it and I don't regret buying it at all. This is easily the best phone I've ever owned. Also, all above problems except one are software ones, and can be fixed by firmware updates.

Yes, I agree - the best hardware handset, but it has been difficult to get to grips with Symbian and it has been the worst software o/s on a smartphone I have experienced. Would I do it again? erm... sorry, it was all about timings for me. I had to have a handset in June, pre-3GS. Now it would be either the 3Gs or (assuming I hadn't had this awful Samsung experience - once bitten, twice shy, as they say...) one of the new Sammies e.g. B7610. Choices choices.
Essentially the i8910 HD does/did not deliver the HD experience it promised for me. Don't get sucked into the advertising, but it still serves up the best possible camera you can get on a mobile IMO. DLNA capabilities are pretty much vapourware. I miss the WM6.1 software archive I built up, and all this Symbian signing is a real pain. xxIG2 firmware has gone some way to assuage my issue with strange battery drainings, and better video sound, but this has come about unofficially - so I cannot recommend Samsung as a handset manufacturer yet. I remain neutral on their capabilities and their service. Why do Orange UK spend time and effort into their consistently awful branding exercise beats me - put that effort into giving better services - you had the i8910 in the UK two months ahead of general release in any case. I just feel like a used consumer, ironing out bugs. Otherwise, their service and my new contract was good value compared to my old one - but make it 12 months, and release all handsets to all networks, Samsung - let's get some REAL COMPETITION going, eh!?
PS I really like the i8910 review on The Register hardware website!

  #32  
Old 20-07-2009, 01:50 AM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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I've just returned from my vacation and I finally managed to update the fw.
The good:
- audio recording in movies is now actually good
- it now geotags correctly (but too late for the photos I took! Grr)
- in Communities, they added YouTube
- I haven't tried the two new games, but their presence by itself can be considered a good thing
The bad:
- they broke Podcasting even more! I didn't think it could be done, but they managed anyway! Now, in addition to all previous bugs, I also get square symbols after each letter in most displayed text, making it impossible to read. Do they do QC at all on this software? This is a bug one cannot possibly miss.

In summary: the problems that were reported to BenM (AMR, geotagging, no upload to YouTube) got fixed, and the reason why the Podcasting app is still broken is because nobody raised the issue on the Mobile Innovator forums. Which is what I'm planning to do soon, since for me it's a critical app.

  #33  
Old 20-07-2009, 11:45 AM
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rvirga - thanks again for some quality updates & pointers - appreciated.
Glad to hear the geotagging works now - nevery actually tried it myself as i just assumed it was still broken. Yes, I see the characters issue inthe Podcasts app, but I only started it up once, but once I saw that, guessed it was still alpha code.
Thanks for the Youtube 'app' in Communities, i had even clicked on that new shortcut 'Communities' (it's not there on an Orange UK handset, well not xxIE2 firmware) as I thought it was so more rubbish..
still, the Youtube experience is far from ipod like...! but at least you get a sort of watchable stream over WiFi in portrait. Just.

Can you comment on your xxIG2's "Connected Home" DLNA app? - does it store it's settings ok? ,ime doesn't & takes 3 presses of the Exit button, until it finally decides to crash back down to the homescreen. Try making some settings, quitting, & I found all the settings have been 'lost'. This app in xxIE2 UK firmware did at elast work ok for mp3s and jpgs.

I am sorry that I haven't added to the Innovators forum - I haven't even logged in for a week or so. This AAS forum is my last bastion of i8910 interaction. I use the handset professionally &, sorry to say, I am already seriously thinking about moving away from it to something a bit more retro, and erm... stable. It's on it's last warning, so to speak!

  #34  
Old 20-07-2009, 03:05 PM
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The DLNA app works like before for me - are you sure they have updated it? In particular, it saves its settings and hasn't crashed on me yet. I think that, even after de-branding, your phone might have some Orange-flavoured after-taste left . Did your de-branded phone get the Download app with this latest update?
The videos I shoot still are reported by the PS3 to be in an unsupported format, though, despite the switch from AMR to AAC. Also, I had problems viewing my vacation photos, getting often a camera icon with rotating circular arrows; but that may depend on the fact that there are 850+ of them, all 8mpx.

  #35  
Old 21-07-2009, 11:29 AM
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Hi - yes, I have the 'Applications download' app, which contains a perhaps 20-30 apps, all costing 5 or 10 GBP, no freeware (again, I feel this a waste of time at the moment for me).
I can't see how I can have any 'Orange-taste' left, as you put it :-)
but, then, anything seems possible with my handset!

A full firmware update should replace everything, shouldn't it? I did the italian xxIF7, then I went to xxIG2 via the Samsung updater prog in PC Studio.

Well, interesting to note your Connected Home app is ok on xxIG2, mine is completely broken now on my xxIG2 (hard reset after both IF7 then IG2 firmware flashes). As I have bedded in my handset now how I like the menus etc., and that, as you too have found, the PS3 still doesn't understand the new .mp4-aac, I've given up on DLNA/PS3!

Yes, I think 850+ is too much for it :-) I've only ever tried with no more than about 20 in the Gallery (when it did work with xxIE2 firmware, each 8MP took 10-15 secs to stream over..., anyway, so pretty boring experience!)

  #36  
Old 21-07-2009, 08:54 PM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleader View Post
Hi - yes, I have the 'Applications download' app, which contains a perhaps 20-30 apps, all costing 5 or 10 GBP, no freeware (again, I feel this a waste of time at the moment for me).
I can't see how I can have any 'Orange-taste' left, as you put it :-)
but, then, anything seems possible with my handset!
OK, sorry, I take back the Orange-flavoured after-taste comment :-). It looks like you have a 100% Italian phone now.

Quote:
A full firmware update should replace everything, shouldn't it? I did the italian xxIF7, then I went to xxIG2 via the Samsung updater prog in PC Studio.
Have you tried to do a hard reset?
I went from the original xxIE4 to the xxIG2 via the updater. Is the Italian xxIE4 available? If it is, you might try following my same upgrade path.

Quote:
Yes, I think 850+ is too much for it :-)
Ahem, yes, admittedly I went a little overboard with the camera during this trip :-).

  #37  
Old 22-07-2009, 10:42 PM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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It's good to be king^W Italian

There's a new fw update coming soon for us Italians. They are being vague about the fixes. From the Samsung Italia Facebook Page, translated for your enjoyment:
Quote:
Soon it will be released a new update that will further improve the performance of OMNIA HD. Among the improvements made, one relating to multitasking. The update will be available through PC Studio 7. At the moment we cannot be more specific about the release date: continue to follow us!
The multitasking improvement they talk about might be that gorgeous 3D task manager that pre-release units had.
Let's hope they also fix the Podcast app, or at least they don't break it more.

  #38  
Old 22-07-2009, 10:56 PM
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They need to improve the web browser. Seeing as the n86 beats the original iphone with a similar(ish) cpu the i8910 should be able to at least match the iphone 3gs since they have the same cpu. And the scrolling needs to be improved alot. And carousel task managers, while pretty, really sucks for efficiency. A grid of icons is the best. Maybe if they made the icons bigger and "live" like on the palm pre. That would rock.

  #39  
Old 24-07-2009, 10:14 AM
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rvirga - yes, I do a hard rest after every hardware reflash, even before the online xxIG2 update process. For interest, I have reflashed all over again, from xxIF7 italian, hard reset, xxIG2, hard reset... still my DLNA app is broken. It was working fine on xxIE2 Orange UK. I may try to get the xxIE4 UK and see if it works after reflashing with that, but not sure if I want to spend time on that.

As you can tell, I just don't trust the i8910 enough yet to use with my professional data. It is purely a development handset for me to play with.
As such, I haven't ever tried to use the Backup tool or tried sync'ing with any data from the i8910. I just believe the i8910 will mess it up. I'm giving it time. Still a lovely camera tho'

Tenkom - agree completely; I find it frustrating to use, the built-in browser, as well as Opera mini (although I found that the Opera webset OTA download now recognises my handset as a GT-i8910 straight off, which is prorgess! & it downloads 4.02 mini... yes, 4.02 - Not sure if the heap problem is fixed with this 'recognized' Opera yet). At home, if I use a PDA, it's the iPod touch for instant browsing still.

  #40  
Old 28-08-2009, 04:25 PM
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Three months with the i8910!

So, already three months have passed by. I haven't posted for a while as I am tending to use my old WinMo handset mainly during the day, and the i8910 at weekends. I still don't trust the i8910. As rvirga kindly suggested I may have some minor hardware issue, my plan at present is to wait until I am sure Orange UK are using a decent firmware that solves most, if not all (we live in hope) issues that people have been experiencing in these forums - and only then to attempt a handset replacement. I just don't have the time to worry about being around for a courier at the moment, only to get a similar level of firmware that I am living with at the moment. At the moment I have Orange xxIF7 on for the past 3 weeks (my main gripe from the first couple of months, the overnight sudden battery drain problem I had, appears fixed also with this xxIF7 firmware, as I haven't suffered with it) but as I have now become competent at flashing firmware (which I've never had to do as an end-consumer before, for the past decade+ of owning a phone), I feel I might even try xxIG3 or xxIG4_HK, as I know I can go back to Orange firmware ok... but probably I won't bother. Life is too short for some of us! I'll wait another month or so.
In summary: it is now 3 months in and I still view this handset, as I read that most others do, as being woefully inadequate in its software development. A lesson I have learned!
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  #41  
Old 28-09-2009, 06:32 PM
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I am going crazy on which phone to buy! I can't decide, I thought I had it all figured out to buy this phone but now by the reviews it seems like it has no support and no proper downloads.

I was basically looking for a 16M colour phone with capactitive touchscreen and where I could just browse the internet on my phone with java support so I wouldnt have to go to like seperate sites to view them like those m.espn.com or whatever. I dont know what to do!!! :( ANY help would be nice!

  #42  
Old 28-09-2009, 08:05 PM
boogieindubai boogieindubai is offline
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I am sooo glad that after using the N97 for a week, I was able to get rid of that pos phone. Even though I lost around 10 Euros on reselling it, I am happy that its gone.

I always wanted the i8910 since it was announced, and I think I will go for it. People using it on samsungi8910omnia.com have said good things about it. Also a lot of people are using "cooked" firmware and swear that the phone is absolutely amazing.

Anyways, I doubt it will be any worse than the N97.

  #43  
Old 29-09-2009, 03:42 PM
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there seems to be NO support for this phone and who wants to download stupid italian/chinese/russian firmware??? WHERES THE DEFAULT ENGLISH ONE?!?!!

  #44  
Old 02-10-2009, 01:41 PM
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*sympathy*

I sympathise; I haven't enjoyed learning all the firmware updating process, just to enjoy a little bit more phone this handset. However, if you have an XP PC, and not really bothered about warranty (!), then it took me 20 min to figure out the replacing of my UK firmware to Italian one (and choosing the English language is easy), and the latest Italian update xxII1 really does make this phone a little bit more mature (i.e. what it should have had since last May) and just about usable.

However: my opinion: (assuming you still like Samsung)... the Omnia II (i8000) might be worth looking at. I haven't seen one yet (in my hand).
Looking back at the trouble I've had, I cannot recommend you to buy the i8910 except for two things: the AMOLED screen, and the 8MP camera (stills only). For everything else e.g. professional use (office/email), I'd still say wait. The firmware is still not completely mature IMHO. It is close, though.

Good luck - you have made an excellent point. Yes, the (internet) support for this handset has been the worst I've ever experienced.

EDIT: Nov 5 2009 - for fun (!), I've reflashed back to Orange xxIF6, and installed Opera mobile 10 beta, and iplayer 2.5 - now, Google maps v3.2.1 seems to work properly again, my USB connectivity has been restored (this died about one month ago for me, and I have been memory card transferring content since) to my XP machine (so, obviously now, something had gone wrong inside my handset's software internals to stop USB connectivity via PC studio, or Mass storage options); plus, more importantly, the 'speed' of using the handset has suddenly become amazingly fast, all over again...
Just thought I'd report this for people's interest!

Last edited by rleader; 05-11-2009 at 02:52 PM.
 

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