E is for 'Extinct'?

Published by at

Andy Hagon has been a trusted writer for AAS and many other sites in the last few years and I was interested to see his latest full-length feature, in two parts, covering trying to use two older Symbian devices from the Nokia Eseries, in late 2014. See below for links and quotes. It's fair to say that he was frustrated trying to live with 2010's E7 and even more so with 2009's E72. Part of the issue is that Andy didn't have the years of Symbian knowhow behind him, the magic geek tricks, the 'right' SIS downloads, but then why should he? And the average user would know even less. More seriously, the biggest issue was one of software and services, which have simply moved on so far from five years ago - and there's a big mismatch between what the two devices were designed to plug into and the mobile world of today.

Here are the links anyway, along with a brief quote, to wet your appetite, both the articles are easy and fun reads:


In late 2014 it is becoming more and more difficult to remember a time when the device in your pocket that you used every day was more-than-likely a phone that ran on Symbian. Nokia once had it all tied up: by 2010, they were selling around 110 million phones around the world, running on Symbian. That seems so surreal. To think that more people on this planet were using Nokia phones than iPhones or Samsungs. Weird, right? Think back even further to a time before Apple talked about “an internet device, a music player, and a phone” in January 2007, and you hark back to a time when there was no Windows 8, no Instagram, no Justin Bieber, and no bloody twerking. Ah, memories.

But coming back to the present for a second (because you can’t reminisce all day can you?) we are surrounded by large, touch-screen smartphone slabs that do pretty much anything, and none of them are running on Symbian. They run on iOS. They run on Android. And one or two even run on Windows Phone. (Tee hee.) But the percentage of phones that run on Symbian in the latter part of 2014 is absolutely miniscule compared to the heady days of yore....


So the E7 was all loaded up with apps, emails, calendar entries and contacts. It was raring to go, so I charged it up and headed out into the New York weekend. 


And unfortunately, that is when I hit some dead-ends. You see, despite my efforts in making sure I’d ticked all the right boxes and done everything right with updates and the latest apps and even restarting the phone a few times during the app installation process to ‘keep the system happy’, Symbian just is not stable enough (in my E7 anyway) to be relied upon fully. It wasn’t long before I was checking my Tweetian feed, wanting to switch out and check my email, when the screen froze up. It was like time had stopped, I could do nothing with the phone. No hardware button could release it from its syntax error prison, and the only thing I could do was hold the power button down for about ten seconds to do a full soft-reset. The phone went off, and came back on again, booting up all the little areas that it needs to be ready again. No worries! Except that it happened again later on in the evening, and I had to reset it. Again.

There seems to be this fact that Symbian just doesn’t like to be used. I know that sounds daft, but Symbian is happiest when the screen is in standby and you’re leaving it alone. As soon as you want to start actually doing things, you know, smartphone-type things, it gets angry and moody and stomps its feet, and pouts and refuses to play. 

And from part 2: http://www.onetechstop.net/2014/10/25/e-is-for-extinct-part-2/

Yeah, so… no. It was nice to stroll down Nostalgia Avenue for a few hours, but the path just led to Exasperation Lane instead of Fun Times Road, and I justhad to knock it on the head. I didn’t even give myself the chance to explore all of the quirky keyboard shortcuts – I honestly felt like I was wasting my precious time by trying to use the E72, so I simply decided not to waste any more of it. But the real shame is the fact that the E72’s hardware is gorgeous, even by today’s standards. Solidly built, beautifully designed, but it’s quite upsetting that the software doesn’t stand the test of time like its physical form does. Why can’t apps and services just bloody work for more than a few years?! Grrrr.

I sympathise with Andy's experiences here - it's completely fair to say that the only ways to use Symbian in late 2014 is as a 'feature phone' (witness the number of people still using E71 and N95s etc.) or with somewhat extreme geek knowledge. As part of the latter group, I reckon I could use both the E72 and E7 daily and most of my smartphone lifestyle would remain intact (see all my 'Pimping' articles, for example). But then I'm Mr Symbian and have SIS downloads, magic runes and stuff that even the techy Andy Hagon doesnt know about! And yes, even when set up, I agree that I'd find the overall experience somewhat slow and frustrating, on the E7 and E72, at least.

Anyone who knows Andy will saythat he should have hung onto his Nokia 808 - possibly one of only two Symbian phones which still 'cut it' fully in 2014, in terms of speed, RAM, and so on. And even the mighty 808 needs careful software curation these days in order to keep everything chugging along!

Comments welcome, of course.

Source / Credit: OneTechStop