A symbian user's dilemma


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  1. gangvanir

    gangvanir New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey guys,

    I've been a long time follower here and this is my first post.

    The story is simply this; I'm in the market for a new phone. There are obviously certain features I want my new phone to have. The thing is, even though I live in Hong Kong (and to a certain extent, the US too), I travel a lot. My current situation dictates that I am in the US (specifically, the northeast) for the majority of the year.

    Currently, I use an unlocked E71 which I bought from Hong Kong. I use T-Mobile in the US. I don't really need a data plan as I use wifi. Really, I use my phone for calling, SMS, Music and light web browsing. The E71 has served me extremely well in those respects. People might say the S60 is dated, however, I have found it to be extremely functional, and it serves my needs extremely well.

    However, I am now inclined to go touchscreen. This touchscreen phone needs to be GSM. I travel a lot, and CDMA is...well, its CDMA. I switch out my SIM Cards very often, so, CDMA is a huge "no" for me. The phone also needs to have very strong multimedia functionality AND support either T-mobile or AT&T in the US on 3G. Currently, I use T-mobile, but, I'm willing to switch.

    The phone must also be unlocked. Call me old fashioned, but I like to have a SINGLE device for everything. Currently, my E71 is just that. I don't want to have a different phone for the US and a different one for Hong Kong and a different one for Australia.

    Now, I have been loyal to Nokia for many, many years. The E71 has given me no reason not to stay loyal. However, I do use Google's services (Gmail, Google Calander) and currently, they sync extremely well to my E71. However, obviously Android would be better for Google and its services. Hence, my dilemma.

    The phones that I am going to pick between to replace my trusty E71 (which has been with me ever since it hit the stores) are the HTC Desire, the Nexus One and of course, the Nokia N8.

    The Desire takes a huge step back because it only comes with a 900/2100 3G radio. This is the ONLY reason (atleast for me) to opt for the Nexus One in this regard. The Nexus one is tri-band 3G with either T-mobile support (1700/2100 AWS + 2100) or AT&T support (850/1900+2100). Most countries I am in (places in Europe, Hong Kong, etc) use 2100 for their 3G data, though, not all (Australia....).

    The Nexus one, alas, loses to the Nokia N8 in some rather important respects. First, the Nokia N8 comes Pentaband 3G. This is ideal. Second, it has stronger multimedia (HDMI, great camera, inbuilt 16GB+ expandable 32GB of Micro SD expandable, more formats supported, etc). The Nokia N8 also wins on things such as battery life, call quality (I say this based on testimonials from friends with the Nexus One and I assume the N8's call quality will be good as thats the one thing Nokia always gets right).

    The two tie in things such as web browsing (Nokia N8 has flash support like the Nexus One + Froyo). The Nexus One might slightly edge the Nokia N8 in this regard, but if the N8 loads a page 3 seconds slower, it is of no consequence to me.

    The Nexus One wins out in the App support for Android. I might be a die hard Nokia user, but I can see that Android has more apps. However, whether I have any use for them, I do not know; I've never used Android before. I absolutely refuse to go Apple for a whole laundry list of reasons.

    So, the Nokia N8 is looking to be the better choice for me and my situation. However, I do want to give Android a chance, and I came here to ask a few questions:

    1) Is there an Android, other than the Nexus One, that has atleast TRI-band 3G that supports Froyo? (I want flash support)

    2) Considering that I use my phone for E-mail, calling, SMS and multimedia almost exclusively, is the Nexus One really that much better than the N8 (the Nexus One is certainly pricier). The N8 will come with the excellent Nokia Messaging E-mail client which pushes all manner of E-mail accounts.

    3) Considering that Nokia wins out on some extremely important "phone basics" (Battery life and call quality -both of which I hear, perhaps wrongly, are an issue on the Nexus One), is the Nexus One still worth it for Android?

    4) All the apps I need are currently on my E71: Skype, Mobbler, Grooveshark, Wikipedia, Opera Mini, Skyfire, Gmail, Google Maps, OVI Maps, Youtube, FB, Ebuddy for IMing on all sorts of networks. They will certainly be on the N8 too. The question remains, is there something more that Android can offer me?

    Sorry for the long post guys. I would like some opinions. Currently, I am leaning towards the N8. Perhaps, the discussion here can change that.
     

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  2. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    My Nokia E63 (the downgraded version of the E71) was a great phone and served me well. I really had no major complaints. I can see how you are somewhat torn from the E71.

    1) The Nexus One would probably be the best option that I know of. It runs stock Android (no Sense or Motoblur or anything) so it receives updates almost immediately from Google. And like you said, its a tri-band 3G phone.

    2) To be honest, I don't know. I've never used an N-series phone, so I couldn't tell you how it compares in functionality. But I do know this, Android is pretty barebones when it comes to multimedia. It CAN do it, but it isn't anything special or remarkable. There isn't even a built-in equalizer. I don't know if that's a deal breaker right there for you. I heard there is an app that does have an EQ built-in. There are many third party apps to improve functionality and visual appeal however.

    3) Battery life is something the Nokia is almost guaranteed to win out on. I don't know how they do it, but they make their phones incredibly battery efficient. My Nokia E63 could go days on a single charge, yet my Eris struggles to make it 2 days with an large EXTENDED battery. Since I use a CDMA Android phone, I can't say if call quality issues are an Android problem or not, since CDMA has a noticeably lower quality than GSM on any phone.

    I don't know, its up to you. If you really feel the N8 is your best option, then go for it if it suits your needs better.

    Either way, your not going iPhone, so that makes you a winner.
     
  3. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

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    You'll understand what they mean by dated when you try to use Symbian on a touch-based phone.
    Right. What are you going to be putting into all this storage? Will you be recording videos? Torrenting games that are 8GB apiece? If not, I don't know why you'd need all that space. I'd concede the point on HDMI-out and camera, though; Nokia just uses better lenses/sensors. The N1's call quality is fine. Not fine if you go speakerphone, but otherwise, what's wrong with it? I don't get it. As for battery life, it can last anything from 12 to 22 hours depending on use and how smart you are with settings.
    No. No. No. It doesn't. I'm not sure if you can appreciate this since you may not have used a high-res phone before, but the N8 has a screen resolution of 360x640. That's right, in the day and age where 480x800/480x854 is becoming a standard in high-end smartphones, Nokia chose to go with... that. Browsing at 360x640 is ****ing horrible. ****ing. Horrible. That's assuming Nokia's next attempt at a browser won't suck horribly, which would be quite a miracle. There's a reason most Symbian users prefer Opera Mini.
    Gmail's mail fetcher can fetch e-mails from up to five other non-gmail accounts. It's fantastic. If not, there're still e-mail apps that handle non-gmail accounts fine.
    All of those are available on Android except, you know, better. Better performance. Usually better UI. Just plain old better. And yes, of course there's more to cover all your basic needs, improve/add onto the stock apps that come with the OS, useful things, frivolous things. Choices. Just in case you're wondering, I'm not answering all this as a rabid Android fan; I'm answering this as a pissed off ex-Nokia user. I hated my phone. I hated the OS. I hated everything about it. The shitty hardware--know why Nokia's battery life is so long? They cut corners with memory and processor; why do you think N97 owners were so enraged and let down? The horrible, horrible archaic UI of Symbian: here's a menu. Here are some more menus. Want to change the wallpaper? Time to dig into menu... settings... personalization... it's like Windows 3.1 except 3.1 was more intuitive. Android doesn't force me to jump through hoops just to change the ****ing wallpaper. I want to download a new app, it's two-three clicks away. I want to change the launcher, I install a free home replacement and voila, it's done: no need to fork out $30 for SPB Shell or bash my forehead against gDesk over and over. Not that you need anything drastic; Android by itself looks good, feels good, works well--chances are nobody'll ever be able to convince the average Android user to pay $30 for a UI rehaul. Merely talking about Nokia makes me angry. Hate. Hate. Hate. I hope their stock keeps sinking and five years down they'll be stuck peddling nothing but dumbphones. It's the only thing they're good for.
     
  4. gangvanir

    gangvanir New Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have used them. I agree with you. S60 was always meant to be used with buttons.
    Mate, I have a lot of data. I don't NEED that storage, but if I have it, I have use for it. The N8 also has USB on-the-go. This means I can connect my 250GB External drive (it meets the power restrictions the N8 imposes on USB connections) and my flash drive to it and access them. Thats a plus for the N8. Its all about convenience see...as I mentioned, I travel quite a bit and I do take my data everywhere with me.
    Thanks for clearing this up mate. I had just heard (as I said, perhaps wrongly) that battery life was an issue. Currently, my E71 lasts me 2 full days. A friend of mine who just got the iPhone 4 and uses her phone about as intensively as I do can barely make it through the day.
    You're not sure I can appreciate that? You don't have to be condescending to make your point mate. I have used iPhones, and yes, I have even played around with the Nexus One. I accept that the Nokia N8 has a lower resolution. Since I'm not really into browsing all that much, I'm ok with that. However, that is certainly a point in favour of the Nexus One.
    I've been using symbian for a long time. I do prefer the regular webkit browser on my E71. Its rather snappy, even compared to the iPhone 3Gs. For example, it loads a page like NYT around 3-4 sec slower than the iphone 3gs. Thats ok by my book. The N8 with S3 will obviously be a lot quicker.
    Thanks for clearing this up.
    Yes, I get that about Android. However, I'm extremely happy (read: used to) Symbian's rather functional UI. I'm happy with the UI and the speed of my apps. You have to admit one thing about the S60 on the Nokia E series: its fast and it handles multitasking effortlessly. This is why I like my E71.
    About the N97, you're right. Even Nokia admitted as much. The E71, however, was a roaring success. Every company comes out with a shitty product once in a while. In Hong Kong, Nokia, for example, offered users close to free upgrades to the N97 mini, released firmware updates etc. Nokia responded admirably. I'm not defending the N97 fiasco, however, Nokia's had a lot more successes than failures.

    The N97 is history. This thread was not about "what Nokia did." This thread is about the Nokia N8 versus Android offerings for my needs. Also, I'm quite happy with Symbian's UI. Symbian 3, which is designed as a touch interface will fix a lot of S60V5's problems. Symbian has always been about function over form. This is why Nokia's phones have a good battery life; symbian has a light footprint.

    Also I agree with your point about the N97's processo. However, this thread is not about the N97.

    The Nexus One has a 1GHZ Snapdragon, while the N8 uses a ARM 11 680MHZ+ Dedicated GPU. Its a match for the Nexus One. The N8 also does pentaband 3G...which is a huge plus.

    I appreciate the post mate. Thanks for your input.

    On a side note, can someone tell me if a pentaband Android phone exists? Or rather, can someone also list some Tri-band 3g or Quadband 3g Android phones? Also, regarding the Nexus One: it does use regular SIM cards right...not MicroSIMs or MiniSIMs?

    Thanks guys.
     
  5. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

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    I didn't mean to be condescending, actually (I'm a condescending prick a lot of the time on this forum, but not on this specific occasion); before becoming familiar with hi-res phones with big screens, I couldn't appreciate the delight of higher resolutions. I just thought, hey, it's a phone, not a PC, right? How much resolution can you need on such a tiny screen? Then I actually started using/handling high-end smartphones and the differences are immense. Yeah, you still need to scroll every which way if you're trying to load full desktop sites in the browser, but it's actually quite readable/navigation-friendly. And smooth, because whoa, Google's webkit browser can handle Javascript like nobody's business.

    Not sure about that. Their track record in the high-end sector is pretty miserable. The N900 is amazing in every way--and it was going to be my phone if I hadn't gotten so pissed off with Nokia and if Google hadn't dropped the N1 long before the N900 was available in my country--but adoption rate, as far as I know, wasn't fantastic. Of course, the N1 didn't shift ginormous amounts of units, either. High-end Android devices in general, on the other hand...

    Right, but apart from that, Nokia's phones have always had low RAM and slow, slow, slow processors to go with their low-res displays. Naturally battery would last for all of eternity. I'd be interested in seeing whether the N8 has as fantastic a battery life as Nokia boasts.

    For what it's worth, Android 2.2 manages processes much more smartly than before, and while processes running in the background don't actually use CPU cycles (and therefore no battery drain), rogue apps can still do shitty things and keep trying to sync or something. 2.2 brings some sort of automatic task-killing that was never around before, keeping free memory in the region of 180-200 MB at all times and as far as I can tell, only essential services running: widgets listening for updates, push e-mails, etc. Some people have reported much better battery life with 2.2, but I can't attest to that since I run a highly modded version with an overclocked kernel, so what I get out of it doesn't mean much to the non-rooted user.

    Yeah, the N1 uses a normal sim slot. I don't think micro sim adoption will be very popular globally, IMO. No idea about tri-band.

    Sorry if I came off as hostile. It's just that I really, really dislike Nokia's approach toward software.
     
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    Battery life heavily depends on your particular usage with Android. The same device used by 2 different people can have drastically different results and few people seem to comprehend that. Generalizations about certain Android devices having "poor battery life" are fairly meaningless IMO. It's like driving a car lead footed and broadly proclaiming that the vehicle has poor gas mileage. If you're also a lead foot that's useful but not everyone is.

    Possibly. This question is like the point about displays. It's difficult to know what you're missing without experiencing what it is that you're missing. Android has a huge apps market and apps can be very useful in extending Android's capabilities. It's impossible to tell you what you will and what you won't find useful or must-haves.

    I don't know a thing about the N8 but it does sound like it has the edge for you.

    Doesn't really matter if you see why someone does or doesn't need the space. My 16GB microSD card is pretty full. If the OP states that 16GB expandable to 32GB is important, then it is. However, I wouldn't place too much weight on one option just because it ships with a larger capacity card. You can replace cards (that's the point of them).

    I know Android fanboyism is popular but winning depends on the individual's needs/wants. No device is one-size-fits-all.
     
  7. gangvanir

    gangvanir New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, I know your point. Trust me, I know subjectivity when I see it. I brought it up because I've heard bad things about Nexus One's battery life from a bunch of people, not to mention reviews. That is why I brought it up.

    I also have, just a couple of quick questions: I love Google's services-gmail, calender, docs, etc. However, I prefer to keep my contacts away from Google's cloud. Can I stop the Nexus One from syncing Google Contacts (my Google contacts are fairly unorganised and iffy) and input my own? I'm pretty old fashioned in this regard- I actually use an organised spreadsheet with all my contacts which I prefer to keep offline.

    Regarding, multitouch- I've heard that the Nexus One does not support multitouch in the US because of patent issues (with Apple). If I order one to Hong Kong, will it support multitouch? Thats the one gimmick (perhaps even innovation) that the iPhone had which I really liked.

    Also, I've been reading about this thing called "rooting." I understand that it essentially means hacking into the software. I'm curious; what extra functionality does this add and is this risky?
     
  8. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Save new contacts onto the phone instead of your gmail account. Disable contacts syncing.

    Erm, multi-touch on the Nexus was enabled like... five months ago. On all units.

    Rooting is gaining root privileges ala on Linux. It lets you modify system files, flash custom ROMs, theme the GUI, flash custom kernels, overclock/underclock the phone, undervolt it for longer battery life, etc. It even lets you run Debian, Ubuntu and Win 95 if you for some reason really, really want to. There's not much risk if you follow instructions carefully. You do void your warranty, unless you root with a method that doesn't unlock the bootloader (available for some devices, including the N1).
     
  9. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    It was a bit of tongue in cheek comment more than anything, but the OP is still would be a winner in that sense, since he doesn't want an Apple product as he explicitly stated in his post.
     

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