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

  #1  
Old 04-01-2009, 06:53 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Comparisons Good, Comparisons Bad

We all love phone comparison pieces. I love writing them. You love reading them. And then the world and their dog love arguing until gone midnight about why the comparison is valid/invalid/pointless (delete as applicable). Below, I'm mulling over both sides of the argument, pitching a Nokia N82 against the 5800 XpressMusic and the Apple iPhone 3G to try and make a serious point.

Read on in the full article.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2009, 08:16 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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If comparisons are meant to be genuinely useful, the key thing is probably just to compare devices which are aimed at the same market, with similar prices and similar functionality. You wouldn't compare a bicycle with a wheelchair just because they're mobility devices, as they're meant for totally different users.

The N97 would make a much better comparison with the iPhone than the 5800, because the 5800 is half the price of either of these devices.

Of course that's not going to stop some crazy comparison articles appearing, but that's possibly because a lot of comparison articles aren't about being useful but just "my brand is better than yours" tribalism.

  #3  
Old 04-01-2009, 08:33 PM
viipottaja viipottaja is offline
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Oh boy, just waiting for the controversy on you web experience rating to start..

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:44 PM
maartenmk maartenmk is offline
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Short and to the point, nice article!
I never understood why comparing very different phones would be pointless, after all both the Iphone and the N82 have their appeal (I have an N82), but I don't want to buy and carry around two phones. So they do compete for the same space and money.

But where is the 'multimedia' category? This is also quite important to a lot of people I believe.

Actually, I think Nokia could already have created a phone that scores well on all points. An N82 with a touchscreen (but keep the D-pad please!) would have come a long way. Although it would not have scored any better in the 'extra apps' category. So does that mean we should bet on the 3rd gen Iphone after all? ;-)

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:52 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@viipottaja: Just to explain this category further, the S60 phones score because they show the full Web, including Flash content and even Flash videos. The iPhone scores because it shows about 75% of the 'full web', but does show it quite a bit faster. Meanwhile S60 phones handle 'mobile' web pages perfectly, while the iPhone's Safari makes a complete pig's ear of them. Honours even all round, in my opinion, anyway.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:54 PM
sjhong sjhong is offline
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@Steve:

As an owner of an iPod Touch (as yourself) I have two questions:

1) Don't you think that the majority of that huge number of apps available for the iPhone are useless? Also, some important apps, available for every other platform are absent from iTunes (as far as I know). For instance, I can't create or edit Excel worksheets on my iTouch.

2) The YouTube app on the iPhone works very well on WiFi but the quality of the video is limited on 3G (almost unbearable in comparison). Lots of apps nowadays require WiFi or 3G to work, and I was wondering if the performance on 3G is not seriously compromised in comparison with WiFi.

@Tzer2:

What's the price difference between the iPhone and the 5800 in UK (including data plan info, if possible)?

  #7  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:07 PM
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seki seki is offline
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Beer iPhone - Phone quality

Steve I work on iPhones as a developer every day .. their phone call quality is marginal at best. For this reason I don't use one personally, I own two s60 phones (N95-1 and N85) and am seriously contemplating getting the 5800 .. for interface comparison .. I do carry an iPod Touch .. which does what it does very well.
oh forgot iPhone SMS! what? you cannot be serious .. it is amongst the worst sms devices ever. A real text-message phone is capable of one hand operation try doing that with your iPhone.
Multi-media messaging .. cough .. Copy and Paste .. giggle ..

  #8  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:33 PM
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Smile

so i bought a iphone on prepay in ireland (570) as everybody online is raving about them. i only know one person who has one and she hates the battery life.

i also have a nokia e71 (340).

*photo/video*
the e71 wins hands down as the iphone doesn't shoot video. i don't shoot much video but at work i video failing pcs and crashes to send to manufacturers who won't believe the error i'm describing on their hardware. speeds up the process of getting a new unit :-)

the e71 has a flash and macro mode. clear winner. also i can bluetooth images between devices using e71 and i can't on iphone.

*navigation*
the e71 wins here for me as i can download all the maps if i have a windows pc to download all a countries maps. wish there were a linux/macosx client for this but i can use a pc at work at a pinch. i found google maps to stutter/lag a bit on the iphone when it doesn't on the e71.

*survivability*
i have dropped the e71 twice and once the keyboard popped out. the e71 isn't as touch as the 3650/n70/e61/e61i i had but i'd rate it tougher than the large fragile screen on the iphone.

*telephone*
not really much of a difference here other than battery life. the nokia will last a whole day no matteer what i use it for. the iphone can be drained in less than a day. i use them for different tasks (e71, wifi, web, email, book reader, games) v (iphone, music, video, games) but the e71 has a way better battery life so i will favour the nokia when it comes to calls.

*sms*
prefer the keyboard on the e71 over touch screen of the iphone. typing on the iphone is slow. have spent 3-4 hours practising to speed myself up and it is still slowerr than typing on e71.

*music*
iphone wins here. well it is an ipod! pity as i liked using my 3650, n70, e61, e61i as a media player but the e71 has one spectacular flaw. every time i take the memory card out to transfer files and then fire up the media player the software says the library is damaged and has to search for all the music again taking 3-4 minutes. pain in the ar*e!

*mobile web*
despite the prettiness i prefer opera mini on the e71. when using the iphone i find i keep having to zoom in/out swappping hands to select and use multitouch. on the e71 i just view a web page, no fuss. also opera mini uses compression so my 50mb a day goes further on nokia than on iphone which uses no compression.

*style*
iphone is pretty. but i love the sleekness of the e71. slightly smaller than iphone.

*gaming*
prefer solitare on e71 on e71 v solitare on iphone. i can play one handed on nokia. on iphone it needs two hands. one to hold the device and one to select which card i want to move. that been said there are more games for free on the iphone.

*extra apps*
i use the e71 as a book reader and while there are book readers for the iphone i cannot easily copy on text files i have accululated over the years. i've used symbian for years so its not really a fair comparison as i already have dozens of little programs that do 90% of what i want. on the iphone i'm a newbie.

-moylan

  #9  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:46 PM
DrCochambre
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"Price" should be in the comparison list.
I don't agree with the "Extra apps" score for the Iphone. I believe S60v3 platform has more apps available, and more useful ones too (office docs editing, enhanced navigation apps, system enhancement apps, etc). Most Iphone apps are Websites-apps, games, and silly apps.
Another point that i think is overvalued in the Iphone is the web navigation. Full web experience is not supported. Cache (key feature regarding speed) is not supported. Downloads not supported. I do agree that the UI response and handling is better though.
Besides that, good comparison and well explained. Hope to see more of these.

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:06 AM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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Quote:
I never understood why comparing very different phones would be pointless, after all both the Iphone and the N82 have their appeal (I have an N82), but I don't want to buy and carry around two phones. So they do compete for the same space and money.
They appeal to different kinds of audience though. N82 fans will probably be the kind of people who want a really good cameraphone, while iPhone users probably value the web browser more than the camera. They're not really competing directly, in the same way that chocolate doesn't compete directly with peanuts even though they're both snacks.

I do see what you mean, that some people will want a good camera AND a good browser so they're torn between two totally different devices, but on the whole people tend to go for one or the other.

(And yes, I just ate a packet of peanut M&Ms so that does sort of destroy my peanut-chocolate analogy...)

  #11  
Old 05-01-2009, 02:21 AM
petdragon
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Comparing phones is good, but I think you should take into account, the 'cost effectiveness' of the devices as well. The iphone costs more than both the n82 and 5800. On a "most bang for the buck" comparison - the iPhone's higher price but with lesser features, puts it in last place! (on the 'cost effectiveness' scale). One strong point of the 5800 is that it's aimed at the mass market, so it's not that expensive at all. Unlike the iPhone, which Apple wishes was aimed at the mass market, but carrying a pricetag that prevents it from being so.

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:25 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Price was one of the things I almost always exclude from comparisons because, at the end of the day, unless there are HUGE differences, people go for the phone they really want anyway. Witness the number of youngsters I see around me who had set their heart on an N95 and worked their way to getting one. Even the iPhone is affordable if someone really, really wants it. And, to be honest, over 2 years of purchase/contract/data charges, all these devices work out roughly the same anyway.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:07 AM
xerxes xerxes is offline
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@Steve,

I like the way your comparison is structured into categories but I think you might be being misled by the fact that you use an iPod touch rather than an actual iPhone.

I know more than 20 people who bought iPhone in the initial hysteria about the product and who now mainly feel (after a solid 6 - 12 months of using the device) that it is actually very weak for everything except games and basic web browsing. All of them complain about the inability to use the phone safely or legally whilst driving, the poor voice quality and texting functions, the inability to sync their PIM info over the air (my company doesn't use Exchange), and the generally weak 3G signal.

Pretty much all of the iPhone users I know are now thinking of getting a Nokia or a Blackberry as their main phone and either ditching their iPhone completely or keeping it as a personal/fun device.

The weakest aspects of the iPhone are its lack of ability in all elements relating to mobile communication - elements that you don't see as an iPod Touch user.

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Old 05-01-2009, 02:13 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@xerxes: well, as you can see above, I did give the iPhone low-ish scores for these categories.... 8-) I@ve used a full iPhone quite a bit as well, don't forget, I just haven't managed to get to keep one yet!
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2009, 02:31 PM
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The Nokia Music Player is a p. o. s. with crap interface and no gapless playback. How could be on the same level as the iPhone? On the other hand although the number of iPhone apps are high the 80% of them are crap (fart, tip calculator etc.) and the ban of background apps by Apple cripples the iPhone in regard of some app types like call recorders, location based apps etc., so I'd not put the extra apps value so high.
 

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