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

  #1  
Old 22-04-2011, 09:00 AM
FredericL FredericL is offline
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The (average) Symbian user

Hi everyone!

I’m a student Communication & Multimedia Design from Holland and I’m doing a research about smartphone users. From the information I’ll collect I want to make personas, which are descriptions about the average user of a type of smartphone. I make distinction between providers of operating systems which are used by smartphones.

The providers are:
- RIM (BlackBerry)
- Apple (iPhone)
- Google Android (like HTC and Samsung)
- Symbian (like Nokia)
- Windows Mobile / Windows Phone (like Sony Ericsson)

The question:
From you I would like to know why you have chosen the smartphone you are using now, or want to buy. Which function, specification or other reason is, or was decisive; and why not a smartphone from one of the other providers I mentioned above. I’m not interested in answers like “I chose my iPhone because it looks beautiful” or “I chose the HTC Desire because of the many apps I can download”. Don’t be afraid to give a big description, the bigger the better (for me at least). What I also like to know is when and where you use your smartphone, at school/work? Or when traveling by train or other public transport, etc.

I’m curious if you make your choices based on function or design, or maybe both. I hope to find out which functions are decisive. Like the HD recordings of the Symbian or the mail function of the BlackBerry.

When I finished my research and made up the results I definitly want to share these with you, if you are interested.

Many thanks for the onces who will help me with my research!


Greetings,
Fréderic Luksemburg
Student Communication & Multimedia Design @ Avans Hogeschool - Holland
Portfolio: http://fredericluksemburg.nl/

Last edited by FredericL; 22-04-2011 at 02:27 PM.

  #2  
Old 22-04-2011, 03:00 PM
germcevoy germcevoy is offline
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I'm 22 years old and an N8 user. I chose it as it is the perfect converged device. It has comfortably replaced my standalone camera, music player, GPS unit and PSP for gaming. It can't be matched for sheer functionality. It also has an edge on other devices because it physically stands out from the crowd.

My main uses are at home and commuting on the bus.

  #3  
Old 26-04-2011, 10:33 AM
FredericL FredericL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germcevoy View Post
I'm 22 years old and an N8 user. I chose it as it is the perfect converged device. It has comfortably replaced my standalone camera, music player, GPS unit and PSP for gaming. It can't be matched for sheer functionality. It also has an edge on other devices because it physically stands out from the crowd.

My main uses are at home and commuting on the bus.
Thank you for your answer.

Do you use the functions you mentioned often? What smartphone you had before the N8 and why do you prefer Symbian above other smartphones from other providers like Android, iPhone or BB.

The key answer for me is to see which are the main reasons you choose this Symbian smartphone above others. I hope you can give me your reasons.

  #4  
Old 26-04-2011, 12:11 PM
monkeyandweasel monkeyandweasel is offline
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Frederic

The phone I am using now is the Nokia N8.

I chose it for the following reasons:-
1 – I wanted a good camera as I don’t want to carry about a separate camera for work and home use.
2 – I wanted a phone that had an fm transmitter built-in. I use this feature a lot both in the car and at home on multiple radios to listen to my music and podcasts. Very few phones offer this feature, but I did have it on my previous phone (Nokia N86).
3 – hdmi output facility. I like to play my movies and video clips on my hdmi tv and this gives good transfer quality.
4 – I wanted a phone with good satnav.
5 – I wanted a decent battery life (by today’s smartphone standard).
6 – I did not want a large phone.

Taking these primary reasons into consideration, I took the decision that the N8 was the best fit for me.

I am aware that there are other operating systems which operate in a smoother fashion, but this really is not important to me.
I was not put off by the Symbian operating system as I was used to it from previous phones.

I use my phone at work to listen to music / radio, access email (two separate accounts set up – MfE and hotmail), take photos / videos and access the internet.
I use my phone at home for music / radio / podcasts (video and audio), access emails, take photos / videos, access the internet and play the occasional game.
I also use it when travelling to either listen via headphones (bus / walking) or via the fm transmitter (driving).

Hope this helps.

Regards.
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  #5  
Old 26-04-2011, 01:28 PM
FredericL FredericL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyandweasel View Post
Frederic

The phone I am using now is the Nokia N8.

I chose it for the following reasons:-
1 – I wanted a good camera as I don’t want to carry about a separate camera for work and home use.
2 – I wanted a phone that had an fm transmitter built-in. I use this feature a lot both in the car and at home on multiple radios to listen to my music and podcasts. Very few phones offer this feature, but I did have it on my previous phone (Nokia N86).
3 – hdmi output facility. I like to play my movies and video clips on my hdmi tv and this gives good transfer quality.
4 – I wanted a phone with good satnav.
5 – I wanted a decent battery life (by today’s smartphone standard).
6 – I did not want a large phone.

Taking these primary reasons into consideration, I took the decision that the N8 was the best fit for me.
Thank you for your response. I clear answer for my research
But still one question, which are the main reasons you have chosen the N8 and not a smartphone from another provider like BB or iPhone? Some of those also fulfil the your primary needs for a smartphone. Like, which other smartphone from another provider you took in consideration? And what maded you decide to choose for the N8?

I hope you can answer that question for me to.

  #6  
Old 26-04-2011, 03:23 PM
germcevoy germcevoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredericL View Post
Thank you for your answer.

Do you use the functions you mentioned often? What smartphone you had before the N8 and why do you prefer Symbian above other smartphones from other providers like Android, iPhone or BB.

The key answer for me is to see which are the main reasons you choose this Symbian smartphone above others. I hope you can give me your reasons.
Music player, podcasts and camera several times a day. Watching videos and GPS a few days per week.

I've always been a symbian user but before the N8 I had used a HTC Hero and an iPhone 4. My pet hate with the iphone was the itunes reliance. On so many occasions I wanted to aceess my files on my phone from another computer but obviously couldn't unless itunes was available. The phone was also physically fragile which gave me no confidence in day to day use. It had it's positives but out of the box it just can not do what the N8 does.

In terms of Android I always just get the impression that it just isn't complete. Battery life has been an issue on every device I tried but ultimately I ditched Android out of impatience in waiting for a 2.1 update for my HTC Hero. I may well try the platform out again in the future if my N8 packs in or Nokia's Windows devices aren't up to much.

Symbian - Does more out of the box than any other OS and I am more than familiar with it. The N8 backs this up with some of the best hardware and build on the market.

  #7  
Old 26-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Dav.e30 Dav.e30 is offline
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I use an n8 at the moment. Before that I used a HTC hero then a desire before switching to a n97 mini which many might see as going backwards. The reason I changed from android was I was sick of feeling like I was always being targeted with ads.

I chose to buy the n8 because of the camera and the fact that I wouldnt need itunes or anything like that to put music and photos on the phone, it feels to me like I can do what ever I want with the phone not what they say I should be doing. This might seem very petty so some but I paid $600 for this thing and I think I should be able to do what I want with it.

The free ovi maps is also a sweet deal as well.

  #8  
Old 26-04-2011, 06:01 PM
monkeyandweasel monkeyandweasel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredericL View Post
Thank you for your response. I clear answer for my research
But still one question, which are the main reasons you have chosen the N8 and not a smartphone from another provider like BB or iPhone? Some of those also fulfil the your primary needs for a smartphone. Like, which other smartphone from another provider you took in consideration? And what maded you decide to choose for the N8?

I hope you can answer that question for me to.
I did consider an iPhone but I don't think that the camera is as good and I didn't want to be restricted to using iTunes. It also does not have an fm transmitter or hdmi or USB on the go.

I am not aware of any BB model that has an fm transmitter.
Ditto for any Android model.

I was only really left with getting a Nokia and, at the time of my contract renewal, the N8 was just released.
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  #9  
Old 27-04-2011, 02:45 AM
de_construct de_construct is offline
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Ex-Symbian User here...

I am using a Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro.

The main draw of the X10 Mini Pro was the physical QWERTY keyboard. It allows me to fire off accurate texts one-handed. Secondly was the excellent camera, which is reportedly better than the iPhone 4's unit. Thirdly was the assurance that leaving Symbian, Android offered a great alternative App ecosystem, which included, crucially, Documents-to-go, and that despite the relative immaturity of Android at the time, it was developing rapidly and would grow functionality that Apple did not offer in their take-it-or-leave-it, locked down iPhone world.

Design-wise, the X10 Mini Pro's distinguishing point is its small footprint, however its screen is the same size as my old Nokia E71's and matches the ample Nokia N95's screen. The removable back cover has a rubber texture that gives me enough confidence that I don't require a protective case, and if it is broken, that I can easily order a new one cheaply. I'd say the design itself was very smart, although it comes across as 'cute' because of its size. I'll admit some bias, as I have mostly owned and bought Nokias and Sony Ericssons.

I use the X10 Mini Pro occasionally for work, I use it frequently to stock take in excel, and emailing my spreadsheets and documents to my superiors. being on my feet all the time means I am not able to sit down at work. The excellent 5MP Camera allows me to take legible photos of documents for forwarding quickly, instead of scanning them.

On public transport I do email quite a bit, although the keyboard is not as good as the Blackberry's, I'm much more proficient at using it now than my previous phones, the Nokia E71 and the Sony Ericsson P1i.

To be honest about design, I like to try to be different, and pretty much everyone I know/work with has iPhones, it's hard to avoid, although I use an iPod touch as my primary music device (owing to its 64GB capacity) and it helps avoid excess battery life drain on the phone, something Android has problems with, but I have a cheap spare battery.

Another crucial deciding factor was that it was bought off-contract for £150, so I could get a cheap SIM-only contract deal.

The screen is a bit small, so my next phone will likely be another Sony Ericsson, possibly the Xperia Arc owing to its great camera and slim design. I must admit to not liking the design of the Xperia Pro as much as the Arc. I like the silver one, strangely most of my Nokias were black, and most of my SEs were silver.

  #10  
Old 27-04-2011, 07:38 AM
FredericL FredericL is offline
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@ All; Could the onces that already gave a response to my question and all the other who are going to give response tell me if they are an employee or student. And if employee, what kind of work. I didn't need to know exactly what you do, although I wouldn't mind if you tell me. If you don't want to post that here I understand that.

@ Dav.e30; And don't know what you mean by targeted with ads? What do I have to imagine?
I see you also say to dislike the fact that you need iTunes to put stuff from computer to smartphone. How does it work with Symbian? Don't you have to install stuff? And if so, than whats the difference with iPhone?
Did you considering a BB or WM smartphone?

@ de_construct; I don't get your third reason, about the Android. It looks to me that this is a reason to go for Android instead of Symbian. But can you tell me in other words what you mean by that. And is that the reason you left Symbian? My English isn't that good, I'm from Holland.
You mentioned the BB keyboard which you find better. So why not chosen a BB? Is that because of the camera? I see good reasons why you don't choose for iPhone, but maybe BB or WM smartphones can also fulfil your needs for a smartphone.

Edit: reaction to de_construct

Last edited by FredericL; 27-04-2011 at 07:42 AM.

  #11  
Old 27-04-2011, 12:55 PM
FredericL FredericL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michealclark444 View Post
I have the Nokia N85 at the moment, I've had it little over a week, but the slide is lose and the speakers are terrible quality
What was the reason to choose for Symbian in the first place? Seems like you are not happy with your choice, would you still buy other Symbian phones?

  #12  
Old 27-04-2011, 04:15 PM
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MontyN95 MontyN95 is offline
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I use the Nokia N8

I work as a scientist.

Reason for choosing the N8 is because I can get a combination of features in one phone

I like the freedom to be able to use whatever software I want to manage my ohone on the computer.
I like having a file system on my phone and I use my phone as a pen drive to move files around a lot

I like to be able to bluetooth files to/from my PC without hassle

I like my phone to be able to back up itself via bluetooth when I'm in the vicinity of my computer without me having to manually sync it or connect it

I like being able to use any bluetooth enabled device with my phone e.g keyboard, mouse, headphones etc. as I do this a lot

Having video/HDMI out functionality means I can show off pictures and videos on my phone on any tv without loosing quality.

I like the possibility having an AMOLED screen gives

I like having a very good camera with me at all times that I can be confident will work well in all occasions including dark places

I like that I have a fully featured satnav with walk functionality without paying any additional costs

I like that I can expand my device by as much as I want using a microsd card

I like that I can play my music from any radio using the fm transmiter

I like that I can keep multiple applications running in the background at the same time

I like very solid devices that don't break or scratch at the slightest opportunity

I like that I can use standard connectors to charge my device - microUSB

I don't like the fact that I have managed to somehow get a crack on my camera glass making me seriously consider buying a new N8

I don't care much for pretty icons and nice UI effects


As far as I know, only the N8 offers all of this today

Last edited by MontyN95; 27-04-2011 at 04:18 PM.

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Old 27-04-2011, 05:55 PM
Dav.e30 Dav.e30 is offline
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I just think the whole reason android exists is to get google ads infront of more people, maybe a bit paranoid but thats just me.

With symbian phones you dont need to install anything to put files on your phone. It just shows up as a USB device and you just drag and drop. This for me is a massive plus because while I do have a windows pc most of the time I use linux.
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Old 28-04-2011, 01:03 AM
de_construct de_construct is offline
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To expand on my third reason; yes, Blackberries are known for their great keyboards, but I must admit to finding Blackberry weak in other areas, like iOS, the BB OS is limited to one manufacturer. I found the large, touchscreen Blackberries like Storm and Torch very confusing to use. To be honest, I really like the Palm Pre, WebOS is excellent, but the Pre has a fragile slide mechanism and sharp plastic edge you can cut cheese with, and is sadly much overlooked by app developers.

Apps are the primary reason why I have a smartphone, so naturally you choose a Smartphone that you hope will be supported both by developers and software updates from the manufacturer. For this reason, in my estimation, the pecking order is iOS > Android > Symbian > BB > WP7 > WebOS > Maemo, Bada, LiMo etc. Android is trumping WP7 and BB right now in terms of sales, and therefore also developer interest.

There is a great argument for having many different manufacturers, all solving particular design problems when differentiating their products, it's more likely that you will find one to suit your own needs. As Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Motorola abandoned Symbian, Android became the new Symbian for me. I think you either choose great vertical integration like Apple do with Macs/OS X and iOS, or you go for hardware choice and a "good enough OS, with fragmentation issues" like Windows PCs and Android. WebOS just didn't attract enough developers for me to make it a viable choice. I find Blackberries peculiar, and wish someone other than RIM was designing their handsets. WP7 might get there eventually, but the phones on offer are way too similar, and the OS isn't really ready yet.

I guess that was part of the formula in my head when I got the X10 Mini Pro. Hope that helps!

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Old 28-04-2011, 01:04 AM
de_construct de_construct is offline
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To expand on my third reason; yes, Blackberries are known for their great keyboards, but I must admit to finding Blackberry weak in other areas, like iOS, the BB OS is limited to one manufacturer. I found the large, touchscreen Blackberries like Storm and Torch very confusing to use. To be honest, I really like the Palm Pre, WebOS is excellent, but the Pre has a fragile slide mechanism and sharp plastic edge you can cut cheese with, and is sadly much overlooked by app developers.

Apps are the primary reason why I have a smartphone, so naturally you choose a Smartphone that you hope will be supported both by developers and software updates from the manufacturer. For this reason, in my estimation, the pecking order is iOS > Android > Symbian > BB > WP7 > WebOS > Maemo, Bada, LiMo etc. Android is trumping WP7 and BB right now in terms of sales, and therefore also developer interest.

There is a great argument for having many different manufacturers, all solving particular design problems when differentiating their products, it's more likely that you will find one to suit your own needs. As Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Motorola abandoned Symbian, Android became the new Symbian for me. I think you either choose great vertical integration like Apple do with Macs/OS X and iOS, or you go for hardware choice and a "good enough OS, with fragmentation issues" like Windows PCs and Android. WebOS just didn't attract enough developers for me to make it a viable choice. I find Blackberries peculiar, and wish someone other than RIM was designing their handsets. WP7 might get there eventually, but the phones on offer are way too similar, and the OS isn't really ready yet.

I guess that was part of the formula in my head when I got the X10 Mini Pro. Hope that helps!
 

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