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Android vs Symbian: what are the differences, pros and cons?

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  1. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I have a Nokia E71 (Symbian S60 v3) and am considering moving to either a Nokia N97 mini (Symbian S60 v5) or to Android, probably a Motorola Milestone/Droid.

    What are the main differences between the two systems?

    My priorities are a good battery life, a good push email system via imap idle, good PIM and sync to google calendar and maybe RememberTheMilk for tasks. I don't care about facebook, myspace, etc

    I also like to organize my contacts into groups and I understand Android is better for this.

    I know these discussions can degenerate into flames or some sort of "religion wars" (e.g. Windows vs Linux) but I'm only really interested in an honest comparison between the two systems. Much to my surprise, I could find very little on the web.


  2. Ghâshûl

    Ghâshûl Well-Known Member

    I think Android should basically be easier for most of these things. At least for me, having an E51, I had some trouble getting calendar and contacts to sync with google, although it works fine after I got it up and running.

    What I like about Android is the market, makes it a lot easier to get ahold of new programs that might do what you need better than what's native. And of course it born with google integration.

    I have no doubt that my next phone will be an Android.
  3. hellybob

    hellybob Well-Known Member

    I have just gone from an E71 to a HTC Hero and I have absolutely no regrets at all.

    I have email on push all day and I would say the 2 are fairly comparable.

    The only down side is I cannot access my work contacts and calendar as they have blocked unauthorised use which Seven got around on the E71 but I can still get my email via Seven.

    If anyone knows how I can get my contacts and calendar or when Seven will get this working on Android I would be most grateful.

    The HTC Hero offers so much more.
  4. antipesto93

    antipesto93 Well-Known Member

    i went from n97 to htc hero, DO NOT go s60, very outdated.
  5. cdl

    cdl Well-Known Member

    How so? :confused:
    Could you be a bit more specific please?
  6. antipesto93

    antipesto93 Well-Known Member

    ok, i got my n97, and its a lovely phone, but after updateing the software and everything, it was just super slow - it was even getting jammed when listening to music and playing a game at the same time, it was not my phone only, it was other peoples aswell.
    the s60 app market is also a complete failure, not a single quality app i found on there,
    i went from iphone > android G1 > N97 > Back to android (HTC HERO )
    was not impressed with the n97 at all, the only good points was the nice looking hardware and the browser was nice, but opening more than one tab = lag

    getting my htc hero has been the best decission i ever made, its a pleasure to use and now lag issues. i would recomend the hero over the g1. a milestone/droid is even better
    you will not be dissapointed with android - :)
  7. arnab_das

    arnab_das Active Member

    playing a game and listening to music? haha, thats almost impossible for nokia devices. i have the new n97 mini, just 2 months old, i'll be selling it soon for an android. its just intolerably slow. UI sucks, no proper way to read pdf files, one software called alternate reader is probably the best but even that is so slow, it take 10-15 seconds to move from one page to another. just an outdated OS, symbian and device the N97 mini from nokia. i cant believe nokia is still publicizing this absolutely useless device.

    the battery is sooo poor its impossible to use wifi for more than 2 hours without the device switching itself off and the heating issue is something big. i hope i get better results with android devices.
  8. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Well-Known Member

    you'll have trouble with grouping contacts; you can store all your contacts into groups, but your contact list will just mix them all together and sort them alphabetically.
  9. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

    Former Symbian sucker here. There is no comparison between the two. It's going from a hellhole to paradise.

    Think of it this way--for everything Symbian makes you jump through hoops and hoops of menus after sub-menus, Android lets you do in one or two long-presses. Unlike Symbian, the little green guy was designed from the start for a touch-based UI, not keypads. Everything is smoother, more efficient, more aesthetically pleasing and technically superior. No more digging through the steaming pile that is the Ovi Store; the Android market has its faults but compared to Ovi, it's a godsend. Everything related to Google services syncs seamlessly, though I can't vouch for PIM stuff since I never used that sort of thing on my last and only Nokia barely-smartphone.
  10. arnab_das

    arnab_das Active Member

    the ovi store is a joke really. i gave up on symbian the day i realised i cant read pdfs on it. okay u can but only if u have half a day to read a 10 page document.
  11. ashykat

    ashykat Well-Known Member

    Just want to point out this thread is 5 months old.
  12. Astridax93

    Astridax93 Well-Known Member

    S60 is a slow and buggy OS with very little developer support. Most apps don't work well anyway, at least on my Nokia 5800. I have friends with the original n97. Some of them have had to take for repair 5 times!
  13. nil0lab

    nil0lab New Member

    I'm running an N95 for now (AT&T contract expires early '11 and I have lots of rollover minutes) and a myTouch with Froyo on a T-Mobile data-only SIM right now.

    The apps on the Android are way slicker and the web browsing is much better, but the Symbian device does one major advantage to me:

    It beats any touch device for eyes-free operation.

    I'd like to see a modern smartphone that beats this use-case:

    If you configure it for the grid layout, home takes you to an app list with 12 apps mapped to 12 keys. So I can hit Home-6(M) and get to Google Maps. I can hit Home-7(P) and be in the music Player. I can hit Home-X(9) and be in X-Plore (a file manager). I can browse to a folder before I start driving and start a track playing. On the road, I can stop the current podcast playing (Home-7-hangup-hangup), delete it (Home-9-Clear-Yes), and start the next track (OK) totally eyes-free.

    Now here's my question: will there be any smartphone devices that allow eyes-free single-handed operation? I see n8 is touchscreen and qwerty is no good for eye-free either.

    Doesn't look like Symbian is going there- the only Symbian^3 so far is a touch-only device.

    edit: found this too:
  14. nil0lab

    nil0lab New Member

    And what's your poing? Still relevant.
  15. phirefaux

    phirefaux Well-Known Member

    yea...whats your poing??
  16. Psythik

    Psythik New Member

    It's also the #1 result when you google "android vs. symbian". I never understood the unwritten never-bump-old-topics forum rule, especially since they're helpful to people who are googling this kind of stuff.
  17. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

    Very true. It's probably worth something to keep this thread going, even.

    It's worth noting that:

    1) The article compares Symbian with Android on... an outdated Android device running custom software (HTC Sense).

    2) Symbian Guru has since shut down. Their owners/writers have gotten fed up with Nokia and feel they can no longer advocate the platform. They've even said they were moving to Android as soon as possible.

    So, yeah. Not a rousing endorsement, eh?
  18. lockheed

    lockheed New Member

    I can see the faults of S60, mainly for being so sluggish and unsuitable for touchscreen BUT there is one crucial thing that makes me hesitate when thinking of switching to Android:


    I have been a Symbian user for years and found some extremely useful aplications that I am not so sure I can find equivalents of on Android or any other platform for that matter. Let me list the most important ones:

    Oxford English-English dictionary
    titornado likes this.
  19. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

    There actually is something almost exactly like BestProfiles. I just can't remember what its called since I don't use it personally, but I've heard lots of things about it. I'm willing to bet something out there will be like TotalPatrol also.

    I know there are dictionary apps.

    Recording calls in Android is sort of tricky. I don't think any Android phone can adequately.

    EDIT: Found the app, its called "Tasker".
  20. hhj8i

    hhj8i Member

    You r currently using a very out dated S60 device which was announced in 2 December 2008.Could you plz tell which firmware version you have been using
    because the latest firmware version is 22.0.110.You are comparing it with Htc hero which was released on 10/11/2009.:cool:
  21. hhj8i

    hhj8i Member

    I hope so u r had been using China's duplicate n97!Nokia is giving HD gaming in S60 devices,equivalent to that of iPhone.You certainly had been using old firmware.You must update immediately update to get best from you device.The Adobe PDF reader is excellent enough to handle PDF files smartly!
  22. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I found OVI to be a joke. The battery in my C6 could go for days without a recharge even on wifi (I don't use the music player or game) and some apps were distinctly lacking.
    The 2 pluses were - using Styletap I could run my old Palm (Clie) programs and the information files on the C6 were logical. It was very easy to tell the phone - wifi only/network only. If you wanted anything under connectivity, it was under connectivity and not all over the phone! The file system on the Galaxy3 is a joke.
    The Galaxy is the far nicer phone, but I sure would like to import the logical file system, battery usage and Styletap into it.
  23. monomono

    monomono New Member

    I don't want to tell you that symbian is better than android,because I believe that generally it's not. I will describe my opinion:
    I have a Nokia 5230 phone from first 2010,it's like 5800 without wifi and lower camera.but everything else is like 5800.
    I found so many apps untill now for s60v5 for many cases. so many apps that do much more things than my expectations from symbian.
    first I should tell that I have been upgraded my phones firmware about 4 times and now firmware version is 50.0.1.
    these are some of the best apps I founded for s60v5:

    1.Nokia Animation Creator:
    thats a very amazing app that lets you create animations on your phone with finger gestures.

    lets you take photo of any one and turn it to a caricature by finger gestures(Like the app in iPhone)

    3.Handy Paint:
    application that lets you paint on your phone with lots of options and responsive touch gestures.

    4.IDesigner Touch:
    a very advanced painting tool with so many options and very usefull tools for advanced painting on phone.

    5.MP3 Cut:
    lets you cut any song to desired length.

    6:pDF Scan:
    lets you take photos upto 20 pages from a book and saves it as one PDF.

    7.Picsel Smart Office:
    really amazing app for viewing and editing office documents even office 2010 and viewing PDF files with lots of editing tools even fonts with a high quality full touch UI.

    also if you install Qt on your phone there is a huge number of useful and powerful Qt apps for symbian like:

    1.Dj Turn Table:
    lets you mix songs with drums on the Dj Table.

    2.Heart Beat Counter:
    determines heart beat count using camera from color changes of your skin.

    3.Nokia Loop:
    lets you overlay up to 4 different sound tracks over each other and mix them together.

    I only Mentioned Top apps that I remember now.
    but I should say that I have about 700 MB of tested apps for s60v5 that can use for different needs.

    So I said all that but not to prove Symbian advantages on Android. because there is so much apps for android that do above things. but there is one consideration:
    Android is good,and is better much more than symbian IF you can pay for a good android phone not a cheap one. because android on cheap phones is much trouble. in fact according to how much you can pay for a phone,you should make true decision,I give you an example:
    I can buy HTC wildfire with android 2.1 about 260 USD(in my country)
    but HTC wildfire has a 320 X 240 resolution thats like a joke for an android either not android phone now a day. when you install useful android apps on it, and run them, you see that texts and images are double sized on the screen and its hard to do working easily or surfing the web with ex. Opera Mobile because you see only 6 lines of a page on the screen.
    whereas on almost any s60v5 device you have 640 X 360 resolution that is amazing to work with. so I said these to tell you that it's depending on your money to make decision about OS type, really if I would have 200 USD, I would bought a s60v5(5230) phone again, but with 400 USD I never think about symbian. so my next phone is an android phone but a good android phone to take advantages of android. not only to have an android phone in my pocket that's hard to work with it.
    titornado likes this.
  24. steveulent

    steveulent Active Member

    Quite an historically interesting thread . . . Surely symbian is dog-food now that nokia is making windows devices? Or are they still using it? I also had a nokia 5230 until recently, and moved to an android galaxy ace. It's been an improvement in almost all respects - except that text entry on the nokia was smoother and quicker, and I've yet to find an android browser that doesn't send me to mobile versions of websites. . . but overall, android wins hands down. . .
  25. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I use the stock browser on the SGS4G. On the bottom of the page you can switch from mobile to classic.

    Using classic, I can post to my Blogger account without jumping through any more Google hoops. Google wants cell info for Blogger. If you have a Market Account, they already have it and a credit card. I don't think they need any more.

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