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Old 08-07-2010, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I totally disagreed with Steve. Let's face it, the future of smartphones will be multi-touch devices. Apple pioneered the use of multi-touch in smartphone and now every manufacturer is following this trend. It is not true that single handed operation cannot be used on a multi-touch smartphone. You can also use T9 on a touchphone. It is just a piece of software that you purchase from the App Store. Together with haptic, the T9 function on a multi-touch phone can be as good as those phones with keypad.
It IS true that multi touch functions on an iPhone cannot be done comfortably one handed. Any decent multi-touch should provide a sensible one handed alternative to the gimmicky multi touch gestures.

N900 spiral is much better for one handed. I think phones will move away from multi touch to better innovations.

And I have the iPhone. Physical keypads are way better.

And I much prefer being able to do simple operations on my phone without having to look at it or even remove it from my pocket.

Old 08-07-2010, 05:45 PM
comnut comnut is offline
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I haven't own (or used) a touch phone but can a phone with a capasitive screen be used with gloves? It's quite cold in here during winter (and autumn and spring) and if I must take my gloves off before I can even answer the phone it's not something I'd like to do very frequently.
The quick answer is NO.... there was talk a while ago of a special stylus that would work on cap-touch, but no sign now.... :(

as for all you rest, you are just too used to using your buttons, and do not tire of typing in very long sentences! you must have a well muscular thumb by now!!!

unless you have a blackberry, with it's full keyboard, but then I am not sure of the 'one handed' usage of that....

Old 08-07-2010, 06:04 PM
comnut comnut is offline
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Browsing = touch. The standard desktop browsing method is by mouse, touch is the best portable replacement.
well I hear a rumor that the usb on the N8 will work with a mouse!!

Typing and answering calls, dialling etc needs physical keys.
no my 5800 works fine... And I think I can access most numbers and SMS much faster than going thru the long menus - Count how many presses you need, to get to a deep system menu - on 5800, it only takes 3 or 4 to get there, and this can be reduced by moving the icon out to the first menu..

Old 08-07-2010, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by comnut View Post

no my 5800 works fine... And I think I can access most numbers and SMS much faster than going thru the long menus - Count how many presses you need, to get to a deep system menu - on 5800, it only takes 3 or 4 to get there, and this can be reduced by moving the icon out to the first menu..
I have a 5800 and I still need to hold it in front of me and look at it, there is no easy way to reliably find the right keys. As for accessing numbers, on a key pad phone, one to get to contacts, two select a letter, three select the choice.

Or if you are dialing a new number, straight to the keypad.

Answering, and rejecting calls can be done easily without even looking at the phone or removing it from your pocket with a keypad. Not so the 5800. Fantastic phone though it is for the price, it's a bit slack in this respect.

However, where it wins big time is in my profession. I look after lots of horses for a living, and I am mostly gloved in all weather, and there is an awful lot of mess, dirt and dust involved. The resistive screen would be any use with the gloves, and the all in one intrinsic construction keeps out the dirt, although I have had to tape over the memory card slot etc. It's also sturdy enough to survive being dropped from a 16.2 hand mount.

I do still wish I could operate some functions without having to look at it though.

Old 08-07-2010, 07:54 PM
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jApi NL jApi NL is offline
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Smile Big Screen + Physical Buttons

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The thing is, a lot of people want a big screen for the media and web viewing. So once you've got that, then the question is, do you want to start adding buttons and size to do all the phone things you talk about in your list? The answer for a lot of people is, no, even though there are trade offs.

I think if you would stop viewing what we talk about as "phones" as phones and accepted that the devices can have other roles that are more important, it would all get clearer...
I also love big screens and don't like missing physical buttons . Still using the very aged (?) , genius Communicator :
One hand , two hands and table use : all is possible .
Touch ? Don't really miss it . Even after using HP Touchsmart and N900 ....

Regards jApi NL

Old 08-07-2010, 09:41 PM
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Hi steve,

As usual, great article
This is a reason I won't getting those great looking Nokia N8 or SE Vivaz.
I think button is a must but a touchsceen is a bonus.

Old 08-07-2010, 10:39 PM
ILoveGadgets ILoveGadgets is offline
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If you like a device enough (or are "made to want it"), you'll be prepared to compromise on many things. Using rational observation it's clear that physical buttons are better than touch for the items listed above, but if these are relatively minor annoyances, you adapt your behaviour to make up for the weaknesses (sometimes to the extent of proclaiming them strengths). Using a virtual keyboard is a perfect example.

Personally I'm a bit torn. Like others, I tried early touch phones and disgarded them to return to the trusty buttons. I was really happy later on with the dual slider, but the lack of new models led me to a querty/touch phone. Thing is, I really like it (n900), and I can't deny that the querty keyboard is the best text-entry method available. I do use the touch when it's quicker or better to do so, and it is, at least 50% of the time.

The thing is, I've trained myself to always operate the phone with two hands, and am relatively happy with the results. But if I'm honest, the use of a dual slider form factor is the most natural means of one-handed communication with a phone for me, and I miss that. So until someone comes up with a better form-factor I'll be compromising

Last edited by ILoveGadgets; 08-07-2010 at 10:41 PM.

Old 08-07-2010, 10:57 PM
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1. Personally, there are few times where I actually wanted or needed to use a touch screen phone one handed. Also, I've seen people who are very adept at using touch screen phones one handed. It just takes practice.

2. I figured that the idea of having a screen is so it would display some information that is useful to the person using it. There are very few applications where you don't want to or need to actually look at some output that is displayed on the screen.

3. No argument here.

4. Hard? If it is hard for you to pick up a touchscreen phone without pushing buttons, I think you have some issues with your manual dexterity. Non-touch screen phones are also prone to accidental button pushes. That is why non-touchscreen phones, allow you to lock the keyboard.

5. The loss of robustness is more than made up by the features of a touchscreen.

6. This is an issue with the UI. You could easily design a crappy UI for a non-touchscreen phone that required you to do the exact same thing. Many

7. Playing action games on my non-multitouch resistive touchscreen phone sucks. It's hard to look at the action on the screen and know where to press on the touch screen to take the appropriate action. Games ideally should be played with some type of controller where I can feel with my fingers. That way if I want to say move up, I do not need to look for the up arrow on the touch screen control pad and then press it. I would often press the wrong spot or miss something as I am not looking at the action in the game.

. For non-action games, touch screens work fine. Some games require you select a particular section of the game screen. With a touch screen, you don't need to use a D-pad to move the pointer across different selections to reach the spot on the screen you want to select. You just point to it and touch it right away. Depending on the type of game, touchscreens may be better.

8. You will run into the same issues with a non-touchscreen phone if you want to interact with it while it is cradled on your dash giving turn-by-turn instructions. I've used a Blackberry non-touchscreen phone as well as my N97 touchscreen phone while using mapping software while driving. Both are just as cumbersome to use. For both, you have to actually look on the screen from time to time and pressing buttons while the car is being jolted due to the bumps on the road. It is just as easy to press the wrong button as it is to press the wrong spot on a touchscreen.

9. The difficulty of inputting text is more due to your familiarity with the input device and your proficiency with entering text on it. I know someone who can enter text much faster on his iPhone touchscreen keyboard than I can on my N97 slide out keyboard. I can also enter text way faster on my N97 than on my Blackberry keyboard because I am more familiar with the N97 than with the Blackberry. If you are having difficulties with the touchscreen keyboard or any keyboard for that matter, it is likely you are simply not as familiar with it compared to something else. You cannot blame touchscreens for your lack of proficiency with the input device.

10. Good luck using your mapping software on your 2.6", non-touchscreen while it is on your dashboard 2-feet away from your eyes. Meanwhile, I can comfortably see the roads on my 3.5" screen from that same distance. If my screen were 4", I can see the maps even more comfortably. I never would have thought that having a smaller screen would be such a big benefit. If you feel that you want something even smaller than the 2.6" screen, perhaps you can use those phones with 7-segment displays. The result can be a form factor whcih can be even dramatically smaller. I think Zoolander has one of those phones.


Old 09-07-2010, 12:47 AM
beardyweirdy beardyweirdy is offline
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Like a few others in this thread, I too made the switch after many years of Nokia/Symbian to a HTC Desire following the frustration and disappointment of N97 ownership. I thought I'd miss the qwerty keypad of the N97 (probably the only thing I ended up liking about the phone), but for most of my usage (web browsing, media, maps etc) I much prefer the big responsive touchscreen of the Desire.

When I first switched I found text input for emails etc slower, but since installing the Swype beta I haven't looked back - I'm now MUCH faster on Swype than any other phone input I've used previously (various t9 keypads, e71 & n97 qwertys, stock & custom android keyboards). For any other android users who haven't tried it yet I'd urge you to give it a go.

Android handsets have a few more physical buttons than an iPhone, so you can have a bit more non-touch interaction. However, the two buttons I miss the most, and think should be standard on any phone, are the dedicated dial and hang-up buttons. If they were on my Desire I'd be a completely happy bunny.

As for media playback controls I tend to use either bluetooth headsets or the in-line headphone remote. After 2.5 years with an N95 and an N95 8GB I can count on one hand the number of times I used the media buttons on the dual slider.

Last edited by beardyweirdy; 09-07-2010 at 12:50 AM.

Old 09-07-2010, 04:15 AM
Dubito Dubito is offline
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This thread really does illustrate that there is no such thing as a single solution to please everyone.

I'll be the first to say that Nokia makes too many different models, but at least you get choice.

I never used to use the media playback buttons or the stereo speakers on my N95, but now I use them daily and I refuse to replace it with anything that has sub-par speakers, which pretty much wipes out most Android devices.

I never text without looking at the screen (seriously, how many times do you send the wrong word because it came up first in the list?), but having used iPhone and Android on-screen keyboards, I will need a lot more convincing before relying on anything that doesn't have Swype or SlideIT installed.

I stand by what I've already said: The best solution is a hybrid, and I wish manufacturers would get a little more bold and a little more adventurous.

Oh, and: Anybody who says "Those problems have already been solved" is only true for a limited subset of "everyone".

Isn't diversity wonderful?

Old 09-07-2010, 07:26 AM
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I like a small phone, I am not prepared to carry a great slap around and hang it off the side of my head. I find many things on phones are second rate versions of reall applications - like sat nav for example. I have up after trying several phone sat-navs and went back to a real one. In fact I am rolling back my phone dependency and reducing my reliance on the phone, I've figured that I've been sold the whole idea and I really, honestly don't need it, and in fact its not all that useful.

So, whether its touch or keypad etc, really doesn't matter as long as the VERY FEW things that a smartphone does well work OK. It's not even necessary to get annaly retentive about details. They are just pocket devices, remember that and treat them as such.

Despite what the rabid faboys try to evangelise, they really are 60-70% glorified toys.

And I've owned and tried them all. iPhone OS is way ahead of everything including Android (shame that the iPhone hardware can't match up to its OS, especially the call quality). There is not a lot to choose between Android and Symbian, and with Symbian ^3 there should be nothing at all.

Generally speaking of course. Personal preferences may vary. Sequences shortened, some steps removed.

Old 09-07-2010, 08:31 AM
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Excellent article. Thanks!

I agree entirely, especially with point number 9. I left the Palm world and entered Symbian mainly for the WiFi capabilities on a non-Windows smartphone and I'm in love with my E71. The main reason I didn't go to an iPhone is the keyboard. I'd go crazy trying to type an e-mail on that keyboard. Same goes for an iPad which, by the way, at first was marketed without any mention of the optional external keyboard, but not any more. Again, typing on a touchscreen keyboard is torture.

Granted, I'd love a larger screen for reading e-books and watching films on my phone, but I'm willing to give that up for the *real* (not virtual) keyboard.

Old 09-07-2010, 06:50 PM
nwhitfield nwhitfield is offline
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A well designed bit of software can make great used of the physical buttons; I used to use Navicore on my N70 and then N95. On the N70 I had the 'multimedia' key set to launch Navicore, while on the N95 it was the default option on the menu carousel, so very easy to start it up in the cradle, even without looking at the screen.

And then, the 'speed dials' in Navicore allowed you to set specific destinations on six number buttons, which again can easily be found without looking. A couple of presses with barely a glance in the direction of the phone would start up the software and automatically programme a route home.

That's the sort of little thing that can make using a device so much more straightforward and enjoyable, and I think it would be pretty hard to do that with touch.

A pity that Wayfinder bought Navicore only to totally screw up. And a shame you can't use Nokia Maps in quite such a straightforward way, too.

Old 09-07-2010, 09:24 PM
johnk johnk is offline
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All depends what you value, of course. I still love my E63 because it has such a great keyboard - the best phone keyboard I've used. I can't imagine using a touch-only handset. But then again I'm still using my ancient Thinkpad X31 laptop because I've yet to find a current laptop with a keyboard anywhere near as good as the X31, whereas most people don't seem to care much about keyboard quality.

Old 10-07-2010, 08:46 PM
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I disagree entirely with point 8. Touchscreens are better for GPS-enabled phones. Look at dedicated GPS devices. Do they use non-touch screens with d-pads and keyboard? No. They use touchscreens, because it's easier to select options (such as "change route") directly on screen than by navigating a d-pad or keyboard.

Even the comparatively awful N97 gave me a better GPS experience than the N95 or N85, precisely because it had touch support, which is more natural for using a GPS. Given that GPS is one of Nokia's strongest selling points, "going touch" makes perfect sense.


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