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

Old 17-11-2008, 02:11 PM
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morpheus2702 morpheus2702 is offline
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An interesting article but we really are at the periphery of whatís an interesting comparison piece and whatís really just a bit delusional, rose-tinted nostalgia. Steve, your love of all things Psion and E90-like is a matter of public record. But letís look at the points you raise:

The screen. Easiest thing in the world to have a big screen Ė all the early Pocket PC phones had a 3.5Ē screen. People felt like an idiot using it as a phone, hence the success of the 2.8Ē screen variety. Now we are back to big screens after the iPhone made them sexy and socially acceptable. As for monochrome screens... come on!

OS speed Ė a fair point in isolation but just not one that stacks up. You want instant launch times, then the way I see it you have 3 options: Ramp up the RAM and the processor (and impact battery life). You make the OS really light like Palm, then realise that it doesnít have enough power to handle what consumers are doing now with all this fancy multimedia, 3G malarkey. 3rd possibility Ė do some tricks with the OS so that apps are prioritised, as is rumoured with the Windows 7 and what netbook manufacturers are doing.

Keyboards. What are the best selling mobile QWERTY devices on the planet right now? Blackberries Iíd guess. Why? Convenience. Convenience is the biggest consumer trend so far) of the 21st Century. If you are a road warrior and want to really hammer the keyboard Ė get a laptop with a 3G card. If you want something in-between, then youíll compromise on some element, inevitably the keyboard. Itís a matter of choice and if people really wanted an outstanding keyboard on a mobile device, donít you think some manufacturer would be making it?

Office Suite. This is one thing that I am constantly amazed at, the emphasis placed on the ability of a Smartphone/connected device/whatever to be able to view and edit Office documents. I am probably seriously off the pulse here; I know that Quick Office suites are amongst the best software sellers. However in 10 years of using mobile devices capable of editing/viewing spreadsheets, Iíve maybe used that utility a handful of times. Why? Spreadsheets of any complexity are a complete pain to view, never mind work on, on anything with a small screen. Much faster to get to a laptop and work on it there rather than try and do it on your mobile device, scroll, edit, scroll again, squint... I donít think itís a lack of progress; itís a lack of convenience and therefore, demand.

Old 17-11-2008, 02:25 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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@morpheus: All good points. Bear in mind I was trying for something slightly whimsical and provocative..... 8-)
Steve Litchfield, Admin, AAS

Old 17-11-2008, 02:28 PM
ares ares is offline
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Steve, yes, its reportedely still slow in some stuff, like any other Windows Mobile device, despite the powerfull processor.

Old 17-11-2008, 04:09 PM
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The beauty of the Psion screen could be coming back with OLED battery life, although it won't be up to the daylight viewing on Psions which was better than with backlight.

Demand for Psion products was huge I remember having great difficulty getting hold of one at one time. They were definitely filling a gap but such quality cannot be made cheap and these days people want cheap.

As for the Psion 7, now devices that can be considered similar are becoming hugely popular. Psion were years ahead but the Psion 7 (as I mentioned) was massively expensive). Having said that, if there were 3G networks around then and the 7 was enabled for them then Psion would have cleaned up.

The answer to the slow OS problems is two have two processors, one to handle the gui and another to talk asynchronously to the phone functions and the gui.

Old 17-11-2008, 05:16 PM
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I felt so strongly that Psion should get some credit for the recent boom in "netbooks" (as well as having first come up with the name) that I sent an email to the BBC's technology program, Click (

I must admit that I find the use of the name "netbook" for the range of new, cheapish, low-power laptops slightly ironic, as I have been using the original netbook for several years. By this, I mean the Psion netbook. This is a laptop having a superb keyboard, a VGA colour screen, no moving parts, wi-fi capability via a PCMCIA adapter etc. It weighs less than 1kg and runs for up to eight hours on a single charge; not bad for something that's now eight or nine years old. Of course, it is horribly outdated in some respects - no built-in wi-fi, no bluetooth, no USB, dodgy screen cable etc. But as a package, it was unrivalled until the EEE PC came along.

I have felt for a long time that a more powerful version of the Psion netbook would be more than adequate for many users' need, a fact which is borne out by the sales figures for these new "netbooks". Perhaps you would be so good as to give Psion some of the credit for having pioneered the use of low-power laptops, as well as having originally come up with the name "netbook" to describe such devices.
Ian Chapple, The Hague, The Netherlands

Last edited by buster; 17-11-2008 at 07:03 PM.

Old 17-11-2008, 06:02 PM
Ben_Kri Ben_Kri is offline
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The need for speed

Originally Posted by ajck View Post

> My Windows-powered PC on the other hand takes several minutes to load up
Tzer2: As someone who's designed and written all sorts of software on mutliple OSes over the last 25 years, I can tell you this is just Microsoft's appallingly bad software engineering, pure and simple. This is not bias, and it's a shame the general public and journalists don't realise just how incredibly poor Microsoft's engineering is. Their success is pure marketing, and illegal and immoral tactics. Some Linux distributions can fully boot in single digit seconds, on the same hardware as a multi-minute Windows boot. And yet end up giving you the same functionality. If only people could see through the Microsoft halo and aura, they would see them for what they are - a giant parasite
That said, I am still questioning why there is nothing like a "PC-Suite" for Linux users. There are some workarounds for a couple of devices, but regrettably I am "just" a simple user. If you have a look in all the popular linux-distribution forums, there are a lot of users who stick to MS-Windows just because they cannot give up on proper pc-to-phone-communication (like sync and using the phone as modem). There are even people out there using dual-boot-systems just because of the need to get their phones synchronized.

Old 17-11-2008, 07:05 PM
Super Chimp Super Chimp is offline
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Originally Posted by ares View Post
Steve, yes, its reportedely still slow in some stuff, like any other Windows Mobile device, despite the powerfull processor.
Well it's supposed to be the fastest WM device around at the moment, I think it's then the Touch HD in the speed stakes.

All the RL stuff I have read says it obtains an acceptable speed & isn't greatly behind other top rank TS devices.

Old 18-11-2008, 12:24 AM
ianfogg42 ianfogg42 is offline
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agree on speed, what matters is feel of speed

Older gear often feels faster in use as the slower hardware is matched with less ambitious software.

The concept is what I call subjective speed. Wrote about it recently on my new site, but am unable to put the link in here as not posted 10 times here yet :-(

Old 18-11-2008, 04:31 AM
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Of course, the Psion 3a was too bulky to fit in a pocket, heavy, and the screen didn't have a backlight. It was a nice, but ultimately flawed device -- too big for a PDA, too small for a netbook -- and that's why Palm ultimately killed Psion's offerings. (This was in the good old days, of course, when Palm still had half a brain.)

You want a Psion now? Maybe try an EeePC or similar. They're more comparable in size and function than today's mobile phones.

Old 18-11-2008, 10:38 AM
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I am a Psion user for more than 10 years now and worked for a company building GSM-phones. So let me rant a while:
When we introduced our phones to the (German) net providers in order to let them sell them with their contracts, they told us 3 criteria: low power consumption, cheap, and: a new model every 2 years.
IMHO the last issue is the point: Psion devices were designed kind of "from scratch", with hardware, OS and software being optimized and as close to a perfect fit as possible.
This is impossible to acheive every 2 years, so nowadays we have beta-ports of "current" OS and software-suites to the latest hardware. The developers simply did not have the time to optimize OS and software for the new gadgets that were invented the last 10 years. They even do not always have the time to test carefully. This results in loading times of several seconds, missing keyboard shortcuts, upgrades, reboots, comparably high power consumption,...
Some 3rd party software solutions also have to be "rapid ports" of their predecessors.
The only thing we can do about this si asking us, if we really need the newest hardware and e.g. multimedia? We have to live with those drawbacks then. The rest of us may use their old systems to good effect, even if they are more 15 years old. BTW: I am more than 3 times that age ;-)

Old 18-11-2008, 02:07 PM
DKlaus DKlaus is offline
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Speaking of seconds...

A bit off-topic, but...

After getting my N95-1 back from repair (including a firmware upgrade), loading the latest gallery image takes about 13 seconds! It was significantly faster before the repair/upgrade. Has anyone else experienced this?

Old 18-11-2008, 10:13 PM
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I still pull out my Psion 5MX (acutally the Ericsson branded version for those who remember) from time to time and I'm still amazed at it's build quality and utility - I really can't believe that no one has licensed the design for a more up-to-date version - in fact look at the massive interest in 'netbooks' - is that not a cry for a new Psion 5 or even Series 7 ?
-- btw I still have my Psion Sienna as well

Old 20-11-2008, 09:38 PM
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That's what I'm talking about. I'm using a 3a every day!

Old 19-12-2008, 07:53 PM
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Talking I miss my handspring too

My 68010 based handspring was fast and easy, with batteries lasting for several weeks, good performance, handling and writing recognition fast enough for taking notes at meetings.
That's an other strange story: how a company like 3Com could think that phones and PDAs where two different things until it was too late to decide. I think it will be interesting to read how they could think that having phone numbers in one pocket and the phone in the other one was just the way to go.
But I remember the feeling of diminuition the day I switched to a nokia Phone, an other strange interesting beast like the N-Gage, but no pen. How Nokia can have kepts thinking until today that people love to fiddle with a "five way navigation" is still one more story to tell.

Old 25-03-2009, 02:34 PM
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Thank you, Steve, for this nice roundup. Right on the money!

Let me add this: in over 15 years of use, never lost a file (except due to own stupidy) and maybe experienced a total of three (?) freezes but not a single crash. Everything solved with warm reboot.

J R Groeger

1xSeries3, 3x3a, 2x3mx, 2xMC218,1x5mxPRO, 2x netBook, 1xSeries7 and....

ah, yes a handful of Revos



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