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

  #1  
Old 23-05-2009, 08:50 AM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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Which Phone - N97, N86, or iPhone

My contract is due for renewal, and I have to make a choice on a phone.

Two years ago, the pinnacle, was indeed the Nokia N95. That was the phone for me, that gave me Carl Zeiss optics (not that great really, and frankly I don't think more mega pixels means better picture), 8 Gig memory card from O2, TV Out, runs TomTom, stores my music, does video recording.

Now I can use Nokia Sports Tracker, Google Maps, YouTube... it's pretty nice. Battered, dropped a few times, but nice.

So now I have to make a decision.

I've been thinking about the Apple iPhone, Nokia 5800, Nokia N97, Nokia E75, Nokia N86, Samsung i8910 or something completely different like a Google Android phone, such as, is it the HTC Magic?

What is important to me? GPS Navigation. Fairly decent memory (8 Gig or much larger), Ease of Use, Im not bothered about touch screen to be honest - but I do want one for some reason), Music Playback, Video Recording, Installable Apps etc....

I like my Nokia Sports Tracker which shows me which routes and speed etc I took whenever walking. I like my Google Maps etc. And Video and Audio recording are a high priority. Email collection as well as Exchange mail collection through OMA is a high priority. I also want SIP/VOIP built in, like my N95. I don't want to use Fring.

Here are my thoughts.

S60 5th Edition Thoughts
S60 5th edition phones appear not to seriously challenge the good looks of the iPhone.

The S60 5th edition phones look like bog standard S60 with a few bits tacked on. The whole interface needs a serious refresh and Im not at all happy with the text input methods. Both the Virtual QWERTY and numeric interfaces take up at least half the screen. The appeal for me with a touch screen phone, is that you also have a large screen.

With the N95, that whole screen is dedicated to writing text messages on a separate numeric keypad. But these S60 5th edition devices at least for text message entry, seem to have been designed in a rush and to me are quite ugly.

Scroll bars seem like a PITA and precise, esp on the 5800. Maybe that's sorted on the N97. The only real work in terms of actually changing anything around, seems to be on the "home screen" which have been heavily customised by N97 and i8910.

S60 5th Edition Touch Screen phones also suffer with a serious lack of viable GPS software. Tom Tom don't intend releasing anything else for Symbian. Route 66 does not work with touch screen. For those that have used TomTom, McGuider and Nokia Maps don't cut the mustard, and McGuider don't support touch screen either. The only one that supposedly works is Garmin XT.

Specific Phone Thoughts
5800 - Decent enough phone. Probably would have gone for this if it had a SIP client built in.

i8910 - No documentation on whether this has a SIP client built in. There is a rumour that the phone comes with Fring and with a Samsung branded version of Route 66. Which is odd, as Route 66 say they're not compatible with 5800, i8910 or N97.

N97 - Again, decent enough phone. Perhaps a bit lacking on processor and gpu, but 32 gig memory, FM transmitter. again though, ugly text messaging interface I would imagine. I suppose the great thing about it, is it has the best of both worlds. I can flip out the keyboard and use a normal text message input screen. Or if Im in a jam, I hope I can just prod the virtual buttons while Im in a club.

E75 or N86 - I should probably wait for these. Ok no touch screen, and not that different when compared to the N95, but they are new, they're fresh, they're simple. Relatively large screen, and a tactile number input.

Google Android - Unknown. Appears to have various Google Apps and other chintz. It's different. Doesn't appear yet to be a serious contender.

Apple iPhone - Does indeed look amazing and has some really great features. Let down for me though by the small QWERTY keyboard and the lack of other GPS software. Don't like the Apple monopoly. I can't see myself using this in a dark club/pub trying to send a drunken text message.

Conclusion
I am leaning therefore towards N97 or N86. E75 comes a close third with Apple in fourth. Think the N97 could give me the best of both worlds. N86 would be basically a refresh on my current phone. The E75 would be a nice alternative.

Given everything I've said, what would you recommend?

Other Questions
Any news on Route 66/Tom Tom etc available for Nokias Touch Screen devices? Is the one reportedly on the Samsung i8910 really Route 66? What GPS software is currently available?
What is the text message entry interface like on the 5800 and i8910? Am I making a big hoo ha over nothing or are they really ugly and unimaginitive interfaces?
Is it me, or is the iPhones QWERTY keyboard too small?
Would the i8910 run Nokias Sports Tracker?
Does the i8910 and will the N97 have SIP/VOIP functionality built in like the N95?
Should I even consider the iPhone or Android? Are they viable alternatives for someone who has been hooked on S60 since the Nokia 3650 but with little significant improvement, Im beginning to cool.

Cheers
Simon

Last edited by sjdean; 23-05-2009 at 08:58 AM.

  #2  
Old 23-05-2009, 01:28 PM
peterhawkins71 peterhawkins71 is offline
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I to have been thinking along the same lines, but only between the N97 and the new iphone.

I love my N96 and it does everything I need well such as push email, facebook, SIP via Fring, GPS, video/music with TV out and sports tracker. Whilst I love the look of the iphone and its GUI, it lacks the functionallity of symbian and has poor battery life etc. I also suspect whilst it may get 'cut & paste', turn by turn navigation will be sometime away!

At this moment in time, the N97 will probably be my next phone

BTW, I have been using Nokia Maps 3 Beta and it is very good! I loved my old Tomtom Go500 and could find nothing on a mobile to match it, however Maps 3 comes close only lacking the versatility of a touch screen (so should be great on the N97)

  #3  
Old 23-05-2009, 04:43 PM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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I think when it comes to S60 5th edition phones, between Samsung i8910, 5800, and N97, the N97 will walk it. Sure, i8910 probably has better hardware, but I do feel the N97 will be more usable.

Im still not convinced about touch screen text message entry, I don't like the look of the screenshots provided, seems to be an afterthought. You either have tiny fiddly buttons you couldn't use when drunk (iPhone), or you have these huge massive buttons that are just ugly and tie up the entire screen (S60 5th Edition).

I think depending on usability tests/price, I'll go with the N97, or hold out for the N86 or E75.

Cya
Simon

  #4  
Old 24-05-2009, 06:30 PM
mrochester mrochester is offline
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Don't forget the iPhone will be gaining a landscape keyboard in SMS and email in OS3.0.

  #5  
Old 24-05-2009, 11:56 PM
RogerPodacter RogerPodacter is offline
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I was skeptical but i'm seriously loving my 5800. I wanna upgrade to either the n97 or n86 and i just can't decide. I want that new improved camera but to be honest this high screen resolution is just incredible and long overdue for the symbian platform. Web browsing is just excellent so i will prob end up going with the n97 since it does at least have a decent camera.

  #6  
Old 25-05-2009, 11:55 AM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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How protected is the screen? Can i carry these things in my pocket OK? This, and the lack of a hardware keypad makes me seriously consider either sticking around for an N86 or going with an E75

Cya
Simon

  #7  
Old 30-05-2009, 10:15 AM
vudluxi vudluxi is offline
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Currently have the Samsung i8510 (had it for 8 months, not overly impressed), was thinking of either the Samsung i8910 or Nokia N97.
Have had 2 Samsungs previously (D600 and U600) but to be honest after the i8510 I think the N97 will win for me (previously had the Nokia 7710).
The Samsung support just doesn't seem to work well and they seem to release the phones before their ready.

  #8  
Old 03-06-2009, 09:59 AM
Tenkom Tenkom is offline
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Htc touch pro 2. It runs tomtom on the best screen resolution(800*480). It is the undisputed messaging king with a great keyboard and pocket outlook being as good as it is. The new touch flo 3d does a great job of making it easy to use. Not sure about voip. Camera is lacking but gets by in good light.

  #9  
Old 13-06-2009, 09:15 PM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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Well I've splashed out on a Nokia N97 in the end. It's the only phone for me at this stage.

I despise the iPhone, nice though it is, I still think it is ridiculously overpriced and lacks many of the features of the N97.

Google Android, I love it. But Im not bowled over just yet. For me to consider Android, I need an integrated SIP Client, DivX Playback, faster GPS lock, Exchange connectivity and Bluetooth File Transfer.

Then its complete.

The Samsung Omnia HD i8910 feels wrong in the hand. The HTC Magic feels better, but again, lacking in features.

I do like the direction of Android though, and some of the screen shots of the upcoming HTC Hero with the "Rosie" interface, and of course the upcoming Samsung implementation probably aren't anything to sneeze about.

I think for me though, the next natural progression from N95 is N97 hands down.

I think it does lack the refinement of phones such as the iPhone, hopefully this is something Nokia can address. The phone, display and interface all needs serious modernisation. I don't like the onscreen keyboards of the phone, think they look very slapdash and an afterthought.

Cya
Simon
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  #10  
Old 27-06-2009, 09:32 AM
blackadder33 blackadder33 is offline
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Have you found any decent Sat Nav software that works on the N97?

I am considering upgrading to the Nokia N86 but want some decent Sat Nav software for it. I have used Route 66 for a while now on my Nokia N82 and it works great. I am hoping that Route 66 will update their software for newer phones soon.

I will never use Nokia Maps out of principal. I prefer to pay for the map and get voice guidance for free forever. The idea of having to pay yearly for voice guidance is (for me) a complete rip off.

  #11  
Old 27-06-2009, 11:03 AM
ratm ratm is offline
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Coming from someone that was using an N95 8GB HEAVILY for 18months, I would definitely go for the N97 - I love it

  #12  
Old 27-06-2009, 01:49 PM
JohnnyN JohnnyN is offline
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I wouldnt write off the N86 so quickly, is it does just about everything that the N95 did and FP2 runs really nicely on it, plus the camera should work much better in low light conditions (clubs and pubs )I've also heard a lot of complaints about the N97 and I think Nokia really need to distance S5 from S3 to make a good touchscreen device.

  #13  
Old 27-08-2009, 06:37 AM
mobiletech mobiletech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vudluxi View Post
Currently have the Samsung i8510 (had it for 8 months, not overly impressed), was thinking of either the Samsung i8910 or Nokia N97.
Have had 2 Samsungs previously (D600 and U600) but to be honest after the i8510 I think the N97 will win for me (previously had the Nokia 7710).
The Samsung support just doesn't seem to work well and they seem to release the phones before their ready.
Just got the N97 and so far I think it rocks. Samsung has given me problems in the past too although the i8510 is a pretty good phone.

Mobile Phone Service Tech

Last edited by mobiletech; 01-09-2009 at 06:14 AM. Reason: add review on Samsung i8510

  #14  
Old 27-08-2009, 07:12 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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If you need a keyboard and your phone is only used for internet access, emails, IM or application based stuff, then the N97 is the best choice (its faster than E71 with bigger screen and the touch is great for the net access). Its a good all rounder with good camera abilities (V12 firmware and above) - but downside is the amount of Bugs in the damn thing (even after 2 firmware upgrades) and the hotly contested Lens scratching issue.

If you dont need to type much (but still good for some), are into games with a need of some applications, then the iphone 3GS is the go. Applications on itunes absolutely kills Nokia's portfolio (very very sad).. on the downside, crap camera (but ok VGA video recording for 3GS). Go for this one if you are after the most support since every man and his dog wants one..

If you need a phone with a great camera then go for the Samsung i8910. Cannot beat 8Mpix and HD video recording.. But lack of keyboard (and a joke of the onscreen keyboard), its not really that usable for emails I find. The plus is a gorgeous OLED screen thats second to none.

N86 is ok - but the problem is, the S60V3 is really on its last legs and its only a matter of time before Nokia will replace it or shove it down as their "low end" OS (to replace the S40). I still prefer the quality of i8910 for pics and video though. This is the phone that was meant to compete with the Samsung Innov8, but a year too late..

There is no perfect solution - just have to think what you need it for the most (other than the phone calls). You can use that as a simple guide to invest in. I personally have the N97 since its the god-given answer for merging my N95 and E71 together as one device. On the other hand, I have given my wife an iphone because of the novelties available there and the video camera is not bad.. The i8910 is beautiful in build and quality, but without a keyboard, I am screwed for emails (and yes, the onscreen keyboard IS really that bad.. you have to try it to believe it).

  #15  
Old 04-09-2009, 08:03 AM
nicky napkins nicky napkins is offline
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Now we have the Nokia n900..


It looks gorgeous.!


No major reports yet though.... looking forward to it.


Nicky..
 

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