What I love about my Nokia (Symbian S60v3) – Ex Windows Mobile user

It’s been about 5 weeks since I moved from the HTC Tytn to the Nokia E90. This was a huge change for me as it meant I was coming back to Symbian S60 after 4 Windows Mobile devices (SP5, Prophet, Wizard and Tytn) and the last Symbian OS device I used was the side-talkin-taco-lovin N-Gage. So far my experience has been a fairly good one. There are a lot of things I absolutely love about my E90 and a few I don’t. In this post I’ll focus on some of the former.

1. Snappiness

I’m not even sure if that’s a word but it sure is hell should be. The Symbian OS is generally much more responsive than an out of the box WM device. Even though you don’t notice the lag after a while in a WM device after a while because you’re used to it, you can tell the difference when you use a Nokia phone.

2. Profiles

This is one thing I have absolutely missed the most. The ability to preconfigure message, call and email tones, levels and vibrate settings into presets has been sorely lacking in WM. Sure there are third party applications for this ability (as for most additional functionality) that work just as well; but this should really be included in the basic phone features.

3. Browsing

The included browser with the Nokia devices is just a delight to use. The cursor allows for precision compensating for the lack of touchscreen. The biggest improvement however is the speed of rendering, it’s just blazing fast. And then since the layout is web-like and not mobile-formatted, looking at full websites on a handheld device is great. (This is in comparison of the browser of WM6, not WM6.1)

4. Connection Managing

Should I set it to, any of the applications will let me choose the connection I want it to use. This is especially useful, when you have a data plan but also access to WiFi at a lot of places. Not only will this let you save up on the data plan (if it’s not unlimited) but allow faster data transfer too since Wifi at most places generally seems to be faster.

5. PC Suite

Most people don’t realise it, but the Nokia PC Suite is actually a brilliant application; miles ahead of Windows Mobile Device Center or ActiveSync. Among other things it will let you configure synchronisation, pictures and file transfer, install applications. However what stands out most for me is the almost perfect backup and restore application and the desktop messaging. The former will backup files (phone memory and memory card), contacts, calendar, notes, messages, settings and bookmarks. This is a huge time saver when it comes to upgrading firmware. The desktop messaging will allow you to send text messages from your desktop when connected to your phone.

6. Firmware Upgrades

Nokia periodically releases Firmware upgrades for it’s phones (mine just received its last week). These mostly include performance tweaks and bug fixes, but can often include significant upgrades. Flash Lite 3 was included in the last E90 update which allows me to view flash content directly on the web page now. These upgrades aren’t generally found with Windows Mobile phones.

I still have a few complaints with the device and the operating system too. Some of them stem from my use of the WM operating system, others being general annoyances. I’ll be talking about them in a separate blog post.

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HTC’s Best Yet! Touch Diamond

I would have been very disappointed had it been any other event where only one product was launched. But I’ve gotta hand it to HTC for making me excited yet again for their newest device, the HTC Touch Diamond. HTC has been in the market for many years now manufacturing devices for various companies including iMate and QTek; but only recently did they enter the retail market themselves and noone can argue they have done a brilliant job at it. All the devices they distribute themselves are manufactured to the highest quality, first examples that come to mind is the TyTn II and the Touch. The Touch Diamond is no different.

The specs are as follows:
Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7201A™ 528 MHz
OS: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
Memory ROM: 256 MB
Internal storage: 4 GB
Dimensions 102 mm (L) X 51 mm (W) X 11.5 mm (T)
Weight 110 g (with battery)
Display 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with VGA resolution
* Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
* Up to 384 kbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
* Europe/Asia: 900/1800/1900 MHz
GPS GPS and A-GPS ready
Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR & 802.11 b/g
Camera Main camera: 3.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus
Second camera: VGA CMOS color camera
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion or Lithium-ion polymer battery
Capacity: 900 mAh

Quite honestly I couldn’t ask for better specifications in a phone. This one sounds like a beast and has near damn everything and at 11.5mm, it’s pretty damn slim. However the main winner is the User Interface here. See the video linked below and you will see what I mean. HTC has added a superior overlay of it’s own to bring up the user interface standards to the already high productivity standards offered by Microsoft. While some may argue that this shows MS was incapable of doing this on their own, the reality is that MS has always let the 3rd party developers work their magic on their software; MS just provides the foundation.

UI Demo:

More Diamond Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/htc

Photo Gallery: http://www.htc.com/www/product.aspx?id=46280

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Skyfire: PC Style browsing with Flash support.

Skyfire is bringing PC like browsing to the mobile devices. This means content needn’t be changed in any way for the smaller screen, nor will existing content look like shit. While the video looks promising, it’s only available as a closed beta to US customers, so I won’t be getting a chance to review it for a long time. Right now support is included for Windows Mobile devices, but a Symbian version is in the works.

But a very important part of their Privacy policy is that they will be tracking usage “anonymously” but a user’s identitiy may very well be disclosed by the website(s) they visit.

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