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

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  #1  
Old 04-11-2009, 07:33 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Nokia N86 8MP to N97 mini: The reluctant baton hand-over?

In which I muse on the seemingly unstoppable handover in all parts of the phone world from traditional phone form factors to large touchscreens and wonder, in particular, just how far the Nokia N97 mini actually is a step forwards from the last (and best) of the mainstream S60 3rd Edition line, the Nokia N86 8MP...

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 04-11-2009, 08:53 AM
billfish billfish is offline
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10 months ago I bought a 5800. I loved it, it was so cool. OK, so it was a little bit tricky to use, but I would get used to it, after all, it was a completely new UI. Any new phone takes a while to get used to. Touch was cool, and the large widescreen was great for viewing media and web browsing.
A couple of weeks ago, my beloved phone broke. (ironically, the screen went). No problem, it's still under waranty, so I took it back. In the mean time I needed a stand in - out comes my trusty old N95. I updated the firmware to 31, reset it and loaded all the latest software on. I was surprised at how comfortable it was. It was so much easier to use. It seems I had been blinded by the "cool" touchscreen, and had forgotten how easy "real" buttons were.
I was looking at purchaing an N97 in the new year, but now I am seriously considering the N86 (my N95 is a little "tired")

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Old 04-11-2009, 08:55 AM
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nice one steve

Hahaha... i fell from my chair after reading the last sentence. And yes, my N86 is not only built like Sherman tank, it also have a rocket rack above its turret.

Unfortunately i agree that the trend is shifting towards from S60 3rd to S60 5th. I just got my N86 2 months ago and i guess i will stick to this "old fashion" for a while. My next phone will be S60 5th and i will say good bye to non-touchscreen phone forever then.

  #4  
Old 04-11-2009, 09:47 AM
Dynite Dynite is offline
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Nothing forces you to use the touchscreen if there are buttons present. (except a few usability errors which will get fixed)

I also expect there will be non-touch 5th edition devices at some point. Its not an all or nothing situation.

I don't really understand your point Steve. Isn't your point basically that more and more phones will be 5th edition as we go forwards? (Was this somehow unexpected?)

  #5  
Old 04-11-2009, 10:01 AM
beyarecords beyarecords is offline
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Ah...the joys of progress!
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Peace & Love

  #6  
Old 04-11-2009, 10:19 AM
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malerocks malerocks is offline
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I think the only reason why the n86 'might' be considered slightly outdated is because it is still on the S60 3rd edition when there are already 5th edition devices out there. Put all the n86 has on a 5th edition device and see what a rocking device that makes.
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2009, 10:37 AM
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N97 mini does have FM transmitter?

I thought N97 mini does have FM transmitter? Or did they take it out from the big N97?

That would suck if they did!!

Nokia has long ways to go for making a great device, although they pump in the most features out there, they always miss something big..

for example:

1. the keyboard on the N97/mini is just stupid with that space bar all the way on the right
2. the d-pad should be on the front screen if you want it placed useful and prolly should be optical too or why not just a track ball?
3. the design of the whole phone is just hideous, the N97 is too thick, the mini is awkwardly colored and the back is weird with that camera standing out.
4. screen responsiveness: they just don't get it.. resistive screens are less responsive on the human finger than capacitive screens, its that simple, so why in the world are they still using resistive screens is beyond me.

Verdict: Nokia has definitely seen better days, they do offer some nice things but they just lack good user experience with their phones.

Solution: Put yourself into your consumers shoes and ask yourself 'am i really offering a great user experience and what would make it better' thats it. Try to find out what consumers want and design a device that fits that, not the other way around and try to justify all the wrong-gones and push it down their throat.

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Old 04-11-2009, 10:55 AM
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3 row keyboards

Y'know, I'm wondering about the utility of two spacebars for a three row keyboard - shorten the current spacebar to one key, and add a space to the left of the z key.
Accuracy on the space shouldn't be a problem and you gain more concurrent typing.

Hardware UI design seems to suck mightily for practically every phone manufacturer - simple rule of thumb is to ignore marketing ie. target markets and build a hardware UI that works across several demographics...

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Old 04-11-2009, 11:42 AM
krisq krisq is offline
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Getting used to space bar on the right took me three sentences, literally. The more you use it, the more this placement makes sense.
And no, Mini doesn't have FM Transmitter :/

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:37 PM
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n97 has technically 2 space bars for all the whiners out there. the short on the right and ok on d pad on the left. guess what my mind naturally goes for the one on the right even though im left handed..

  #11  
Old 04-11-2009, 01:42 PM
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reluctance....

Spec bashers are a fascinating species. Handle a device for a couple of hours / days and pontificate ad nausea. What most of the spec bashers miss is that humans are very adaptable. Everything we touch either shapes us or is shaped by us… In my "real" life, I like Ewan love the combination of physical keyboard and touch – using them simultaneously is a wonderful experience. Capacitive vs resistive? I guess I'm Finnish. I wear driving gloves and it is very convenient to use the back of a pen to tap the screen in business meetings or as you write at your desk

The N97 does give me what many other mobiles don't – options as a user. Fingers, gloves, pens. Qwerty, touch, handwriting, hybrid. FP2 apps, FP3 apps , 5th ed apps. Use it one handed, two handed, no handed (screen popped open on desk).

This is the challenge and will demonstrate the strength of a device like the N97. Keep it up to date, use it for a month or two, as your only device. Then go back to your E71 or N85. I did and it was a rubbish experience. I also did this with the 3GS (which did not fit in with my life style).

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Old 04-11-2009, 04:23 PM
marlboro35 marlboro35 is offline
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After using N95/N95 8GB for a couple of years, 2 month ago I was tempted for this "touch-screen" maddness and bought an N97. (My experience was very far from happy for several aspects including the well known FW bugs and HW defects, but I will not go over that here again)

I recomend reading this article because (IMHO) it explains very well the strengths and advantages a keypad-cellphone has over any touch-screen device (including IPhone). Other article from the same author makes similar comments about the 5800XM.

If only the N86 would offer at least a 2.8" (like the N95 8GB) screen I wouldn´t hesitate a microsecond on waiting for it instead rushing over the fatidic N97 (but not now, after being scammed by Nokia with the N97)

IMO the N86 is "What (IMHO) the N95/96 successor should be"

I really think that the N97/N97 mini and all S60 V5 phones have stalled in the middle of the way between feature-rich multimedia devices (too many bugs, too much HW handicapped, too inmature UI design) and bussiness oriented devices (too slow to operate, two-hands usually needed, too unstable/unreliable)

I guess the N8x series has still a lot to offer. Let´s hope it will be customers still out there after the N97 story (although not me, Nokia)

Alberto

  #13  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:27 PM
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I purchased a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, mostly because the N97 still commands a high premium in the second hand market (they were going for twice the price of the X1 I bought) and the X1 has a superior hardware (528mhz vs 434mhz, 800x480 vs 630 x 360, hardware 3D acceleration vs software 3D acceleration, etc) but inferior software. WinMo really isn't suited for people like me, who prefer to fix their device in one sitting, and devote only some time after that to keep it up to date.

Guess I'd have to wait and save up for the N900...

  #14  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:28 PM
Jejoma Jejoma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
This is the challenge and will demonstrate the strength of a device like the N97. Keep it up to date, use it for a month or two, as your only device. Then go back to your E71 or N85. I did and it was a rubbish experience. I also did this with the 3GS (which did not fit in with my life style).
I think it all depends how you use the phone. I've had an i8910 for three months or so and love it. It has great hardware a good selection of programs and an easy to use interphase - Once you're trained up on S60! It's my media / weekend phone of choice.

But, when I go to work I get out my E71. Why?- one handed use, keyboard text input (can still be one-handed) easy to use hard key shortcuts to leap around the various programs. It's just so much more productive from the point of view of my business useage. No, it does't have the big, pretty screen or the wonders of Opera Mobile 10's kinetic scrolling (Chrome, pretty, helps a bit but it wouldn't be on my desert island). It just does what I want and easily. In my mind no other phone comes near it for what I want at work.

  #15  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:42 PM
davekaybsc davekaybsc is offline
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I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, both versions of the N97 are complete shit when compared to the Droid/Milestone. If I'm going to have a touch screen it had better be capacitive, huge and high res, and the hardware absolutely cannot be barely better than what I have in the E90, and in some cases worse - no 3D accel, nearly useless amount of available RAM.

I still love the E90, and I would be absolutely delighted with little more than an update to the latest processor tech. I think the clams hell form factor is flawless. But since nobody wants to deliver that anymore, the best slider out there is by FAR the Droid/Milestone. If Nokia continues to make underpowered crap, and boring E71 and E55 retreads over and over, that's going to be my next phone.
 

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