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

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  #1  
Old 23-12-2008, 04:16 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Alternative Review of the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic

You'll have already seen Rafe's exhaustive (p)review of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, the first S60 5th Edition phone: Intro and Hardware, Multimedia, Software and Compatibility. In today's review feature, Steve Litchfield gives his own pointed slant on the device. Armed with production (9th Dec 2008) firmware, he critiques the 5800 XpressMusic from various standpoints, including text entry, user interface, camera and web browsing.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 23-12-2008, 05:35 PM
Greyscale Greyscale is offline
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Does this new version of Symbian actually show you when you're in a 3.5G area, unlike the current versions that only show when connected?

  #3  
Old 23-12-2008, 07:17 PM
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Just to get this clear. Apart from :

- a keyboard
- a slightly bigger screen
- a slightly better camera
- more built in storage

Is there any advantage to an N97 over this. The above are useful, I'll admit. But to be honest, given the size difference and likely price difference and of course the 6 month wait, I'm not sure I'd actually pick an N97 over this.

The only other point I can think of is that Nokia won't offer the same nice N series software bundled with the N97 with this. Hate marketing limiting what you can do with the same hardware, but they have to justify the price differential I guess.

Anyway, any other differences ?

Zuber

  #4  
Old 23-12-2008, 08:01 PM
davekolmer davekolmer is offline
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Maps in Landscape Mode?

Can Maps be viewed in landscape mode on the 5800? That would be excellent.

  #5  
Old 23-12-2008, 08:03 PM
Hih Hih is offline
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Thanks Steve! Very objective review this time.

Pictures taken by this device are far from N-Series! Firmware update should fix some things for sure.

And yes, 3,5G network is displayed when available.

  #6  
Old 23-12-2008, 08:54 PM
Williamoni Williamoni is offline
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Thanks Steve. Nice Christmas present for us to get the full Litchfield on this device.

  #7  
Old 23-12-2008, 09:10 PM
rbrunner rbrunner is offline
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Single tap / double tap

Thanks for the good and detailed description of the "single tap versus double tap" problem.

Coming from UIQ I know this problem well. UIQ had decided to make *everything* single tap - if it reacts to a tap at all, you can be sure that it will react to a single tap. Very consistent from the user's point of view.

But: When I designed a user interface for an UIQ program of mine I quickly noticed that this single tap behaviour can severly restrict my options. Basically, as you described as well, with pure single-tap the user can't select something and *then* choose what to do with the selected thing from a list of options.

There is a list box variant on UIQ where each entry has a little checkbox on it, at the start of the line. Tapping the checkbox does not select the entry (which would already result in action, of course), but just checks/unchecks it. You can then offer a command that does something with all checked list box entries.

But at least to me this looks somewhat ugly, feels a little strange, eats precious screen estate (especially bad when you happen to almost never use the checkboxes), and of course is no solution for anything that cannot be nicely lined-up in a list box.

I thought long and hard about this, on theoretical grounds, of course not being able to change UIQ. But I never came up with a true and elegant solution of the problem.

Maybe some radical stroke of a genius is needed to solve this...

  #8  
Old 23-12-2008, 09:32 PM
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Lightbulb @rbrunner

What about "press and hold" for context menus on one item, or "press and drag" (which really is a special form of "press and hold") for multiple items?

You could either make it so the menu pops up due to the "hold" part, or just make that highlight the item, ready for a subsequent "Options" press.

I had a SE P990i, and I could never understand why SE didn't implement this. It's on WM, for heaven's sake!

  #9  
Old 23-12-2008, 11:46 PM
fernando20 fernando20 is offline
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double taps are the key flaw in S60 5th ed unfortunately, tap and hold for options would be a great solution

  #10  
Old 24-12-2008, 05:56 AM
rbrunner rbrunner is offline
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It's not so easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando20 View Post
double taps are the key flaw in S60 5th ed unfortunately, tap and hold for options would be a great solution
Well, I was thinking about that as well, but I am quite sure that any "tap and hold" solution will have to overcome one very serious handicap:

You will have to work with a defined delay: Tap i.e. contact with the surface less than, say, a second means "select and do right now", contact of a second or longer means "not select, but options". Do you see where that leads? For *every* tap you will have to wait a second until you can do anything, because only after a second it becomes clear what the user means!

To delay *every* action a second does not seem acceptable to me. Ideally, in the "select" case, you want action at "tap down" (in analogy to "key down": On a keyboard as well, you don't want the computer to wait until you release the key before anything happens.)

I think going down with this time limit to e.g. half a second will only get you another problem: The shorter the delay, the bigger the chance that your taps will be mis-interpreted as "tap and hold".

I really do not see a way around this. Maybe because I am not a genius, after all.

  #11  
Old 24-12-2008, 06:07 AM
rbrunner rbrunner is offline
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How does that work, exactly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CotH View Post
I had a SE P990i, and I could never understand why SE didn't implement this. It's on WM, for heaven's sake!
Interesting. Can you give details? How does this "tap and hold" work there, excactly? And where does WM offer this behaviour? Generally, for every interface element, or only for list boxes?

For listboxes, UIQ offers a solution, maybe not a very elegant one, but at least a solution. It's other interface elements that should be active where the real problems start, I think.

Take a button: Tap it means action, "tap and hold" (or whatever) e.g. means "show tooltip" or "show action variants"? How would you do this? (Without waiting a second before doing anything which every user will soon love to hate, as I explained in another post)

  #12  
Old 24-12-2008, 06:18 AM
talhamid talhamid is offline
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1) Great, great review Steve and thanks for posting it. Especially your conclusion makes me feel extra good, having purchased it at a ridiculous price about two weeks ago

2) I will go for double-tap. Single tap can get annoying - just try to scroll through the songs on Iphone or Apps folder on 5800. AS LONG AS IT IS CONSISTENT that is

3) I am stunned, dismayed, and alarmed by Nokia's decision not to bring up an alphanumeric keypad on the dial command, and lack of any smart dialing. What were they thinking? A keyless phone is much harder to navigate as it is and this 'omission' by Nokia means that I can't expect my favorite app of all time, T9Nav, to be ported to 5800 - which is a crying shame.

4) Nokia, hope you fix that thin, irritating scroll bar soon. You better! Also, how about letting the volume control/zoom keys be used as scroll buttons on long lists? Oh, I am dreaming too much.

5) 3D or no 3D, I would absolutely love to see full-screen Java games on this baby. Imagine Monopoly or Scrabble - I'd be in mobile heaven.

6) Come on, take the plunge - allow users to add more damned shortcuts to the standby, Nokia! What use is that 'nHD' screen if all I see is four huge, dumb icons? And please, also allow us to add more shortcuts to the 'multimedia menu' - and do us a favour, map the shortcuts to OPENED pictures/video folders rather than a list of folders. This is plain dumb

7) N97? Too big, too heavy - simply can't think about lugging such a device around. PErhaps we'd be better off waiting for a 6-series S60 Touch device, with (pretty please) slide-out alphanumeric keypad and a d-pad. Oh, that's too much to ask I guess.

  #13  
Old 24-12-2008, 08:18 PM
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From the lack of gripes about Nokia Maps in your review, I take that they've enabled landscape mode in firmware v11. Steve, can you confirm this?

  #14  
Old 24-12-2008, 10:54 PM
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Exclamation DIsagree with conclusion of "Alternative Review of the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic"

I love your review but seriously if i was offered a choice between the iphone 3g 8gb and the 5800 8gb .. pshh .. i would take the iphone anyday.

Dont get me wrong . . I own a 5800 .. and so far im LOVING IT . . but you cant compare a Lancer Evo that does a 0-60 in 6 secs to a Porsche carerra that does 0-60 in 6 secs . . they arnt in the same league and its stupid to say one would rather take the bare bones lancer over the sexy and refined carerra if they were offered all costs aside! (based on probablility)

I bought the 5800 mainly becuase i wanted bang for my buck and im saving my money for something bigger and better to purchase end of next year (N97 or iPhone 3rd) .. another reason is becuase in the Dubai where i live, Apple has not released the iphone yet, or atleast officially - it is available in all the shops here, but retailers do not provide the warrenty and telephone carriers dont provide network support.

I am a diehard Nokia/Symbian freek and have used nokias for the past 6 years .. and for the first time ALMOST switched boats and switched to apple .. im hoping that the N97 is all its cracked up to be . . . altouch i have no reason to believe it wont be .. but if it isnt . . im gonna switch to the 3rd gen iphone when its released . . and i hear its gonna be the big kahunna! . . i hope the N97 will be released with that in mind.

P.S: the 5800 has countless bugs and glitches .. its not a phone for the lightlearted or unseasoned symbian user . . NOKIA PLEASE RELEASE A FIRMWARE UPDATE ASAP! (but i still love it)

  #15  
Old 25-12-2008, 12:15 AM
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> but seriously if i was offered a choice between the iphone 3g 8gb and the 5800 8gb .. pshh .. i would take the iphone anyday.

Me too! And after that, I'd sell the iPhone on eBay, and use the money to buy two 5800s, one for me and one for my girlfriend :P.
Not only the 5800 is the more capable and useful handset, it also costs about 1/2 as much as an unlocked iPhone. That is what really amazes me about this device.
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