2011-11-23 23:38 - edited 2011-11-24 0:26
I've posted this to a popular IT-tech-site. During my 'quest' to find out if the N9 was worthwhile.
I've compared some functions between the several Nokia-platforms depending on what's important for me. If I posted this in the wrong forum then I appologise for the inconvinience.
This is slightly adapted with some corrections regarding recent developments.
The C7/N8 are the most popular o/t current Symbian devices. They have Symbian Anna nowadays as their latest installment of Symbian^3.
- Outlook sync (USB & Bluetooth) including contact-categories, repeating calendar-items and birthdays.
- convenient adressbook with smart-dialing and favorites. A lovely widget on the homescreen allows up-to 20-contacts on a horizontal scroll-list. Very nice.
- 2-way call recording (even when calls are made over Bluetooth headset)
--> manually via inbuilt Recorder program (as explained i/t user-guide) or automatically using 3rd-party software. Beeps every 10 seconds unless patched or using particular 3rd-party apps.
- LED Flash (C7) can be used as Torchlight. Move and hold lock-button down for a few seconds.(no 3rd party app needed). My old Samsung Omnia (1) used the volume-down button for this feature.
- Nokia Maps (most mature version). You can set which routes to avoid (e.g. ferry, tunnel etc..), extensive POI-database, interacts with BOTH contacts and calendar, special pedestrian-mode with spoken streetnames and digital compass (very nice indeed).
- FM-transmitter and FM radio. I don't really care for the FM-radio but the FM-transmitter is a neat little feature that hardly gets the attention it deserves. Its absolutely awesome if your car hasn't got iPod/MP3/USB-integration. Sure, its not perfect because the FM-band is quite saturated but it does what its supposed to do. The real fun part is that the FM-transmitter also plays Movies (audio) and game-audio through the FM-radio too. Obviously and unfortunately, all the other things that also uses the radio-chips can't transmit over FM while receiving data (like calling or navigation).
The most handsome of all Nokia's models with a gorgeous UI. The only true contender as iPhone killer. From what I gathered on the interweb the software doesn't use all the hardware features currently and probably never will (at least not from Nokia). Even landscape support is quite limited :-(
Outlook sync? Any ideas? I assume that since N9 also integrates with OVI/Nokia-suite it'll behave the same as a Symbian device. I suspect that it'll also syncs with both USB and Bluetooth. That categories are kept as groups. And that calender items get synced the same as they do on Symbian handsets. I would like to have more conclusive information regarding this. What gets synced and what not?
- Address-book seems under-developed and misses some modern features like smart dialing. Essential if you have a +500 contacts database (like I have).
- There's no 2-way call recording. In fact, from the intel that I have, the Recorder program is absent on this device. There's no mention of 3rd party software in this field either.
- There is a LED-flash and while it can't be used as a lamp using a convenient button or icon on the home screen. There are 3rd party programs to address this. I've even found some freeware.
- Nokia Maps.... hmmm. It seems that Nokia divided Maps into 2 items on this device. There's Drive and there's Maps. A lot of Symbian-features seems to be missing (like avoiding toll-booths, ferrys or sandy roads). Features which made the Symbian Maps a true replacement turn-by-turn-navigational tool for an incar-navigation or PNA. From what I've read the N9 version of OVI/Nokia Maps just isn't there yet.
- It wasn't very clear from the technical documentation but it seems the N9 does have FM-radio and an FM-transmitter (however no apps to use both of them). (correction: there's recently a freeware FMRadio-app released for N9) I've read that, contrary to the N9, the N900 (Maemo) has a functional FM-Transmitter. :-(
It seems that indeed the N9 has a lot of un-used potential (front-cam, FM-radio & Fm-TX). But since Nokia clearly indicated that this machine will not get further developed it'll probably never get utilized. A real shame! Especially since they DARE to ask upto 600 euro for the 16GB model!!!
Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7 (v7.5)
It's more or less the 'Windows Phone 7'-twin o/t N9. It looks almost the same. It has the obligatory camera button but lacks the front-camera (which isn't used on the N9 either from what I gathered). The problem with this device is the fact that Nokia has absolutely nothing to say in how the OS evolves. Sure, they can make suggestions but it doesn't mean these ever get considered. Which means that Nokia will have to resort to make 3rd-party apps themselves to fulfill the gaps in missing OS-functionality (which isn't necessarily bad).
The situation with the Lumia 800 with it's latest WP7 v7.5 (mango) seems like this AFAIK.
- Outlook sync? Outlook who? The same company that enforces Outlook upon us (as primary PIM) for the past decade turned 180 degrees Cloud. Sure, there's virtual exchange servers to hire (which add another cost to the already astronomical fees telco's are asking). Sure there's Google, there's Hotmail, there's Facebook. Unfortunately discretion doesn't allow me to post my +500 clients addresses, tell nos and email-addresses to these clouds. As they get inevitably hacked, cracked and broken. Not to mention that the majority of Facebook participants don't even fill in this info in their profiles.
- 2-way call recording. Oh boy... while there used to be some Windows Mobile 6.x devices that where able to do this. My former Samsung Omnia (WM6.1) could do it similarly like my current C7-00 (both from Bluetooth and on the device), my former Acer Neotouch (WM6.5) could only do it on the device itself. Although it had a record-button prominently displayed onscreen while in a call :-) Windows Phone 7 has no mention nor capability to record calls. Perhaps Nokia might address this (which I strongly doubt) by porting their Recorder software to Windows Phone 7. This seems a definite no-go for me as I NEED this feature (the fines for calling while driving are up-to 150 euro in my country! they're probably higher when writing a name, telno or address while driving!).
- LED-flashlight. Again this device has a LED-flash which could technically be used as a lamp. AFAIK only HTC devices (with LED-lights) have an app to use it as a lamp. There are 3rd party apps like White Light that should do the trick in Windows Phone 7 but unfortunately its a hit-and-miss on certain devices. So much for Microsoft's restrictions to adhere to conformity and hence stop software incompatibilities :-( FAIL!!!
- Nokia Maps. Well, it seems they used the exact same version as on the N9 with the SAME restrictions and shortcomings. Doh!
- FM-radio and FM-transmitter. There is an FM-radio (and there is software to utilize it indeed). The FM-transmitter is absent?!? What's the use of a 32GB music-storage device if there's no easy way to play back in my car (which hasn't got aux/mp3/iPod/USB-integration)? Again, a major let down from a supposedly high-end Nokia smartphone.
In essence the Lumia 800 has the same problems as the N9. An immature OS which lacks MANY features that current devices have standard. The hardware is less capable but you get a faster cpu than in N9 (as if that really matters in a cellphone). Social media integration seems pretty well covered in Windows Phone 7.5 and some hardware-features are more accessible for 3rd-party developers with this version. But as of now, the platform is unusable for small self-employed professionals like me. It seems like it's targeted at teenagers whom spend the whole day (though a 'whole day' is probably too optimistic due to battery constraints) on facebook and listen to music. Teenagers for which actually making a call is a luxury (thanks to the high fees telcos ask) and hence spend more time with SMS and tweets than making actual phone-calls. And if you don't make phone-calls then you don't need to record them, do you?
I ask you, is my following conclusion at this time correct? The wanna-have device (N9) is incomplete, the immature WP7 device is targeted at the wrong crowd and the only device that seems to be usable in a home/small-business environment are current crop of Symbian devices.
E.g a Nokia C7 has proper USB-outlook syncing, usable LED-lamp (without 3rd party apps), full 2-way call recording (even through bluetooth headset) and the best smartphone navigation tool today (bar previous-generation Windows Mobile 6.x versions of TomTom/iGO/Garmin whom are defunct nowadays).
Please feel free to correct this info. This would help me greatly into making a future decision if and when my Symbian device breaks down. But as of now I guess I have no other choice than to stick with Symbian for as long as possible.
Perhaps a FULL and complete comparative list of what is possible on todays smartphones can be compiled from this info. I would certainly appreciate it.
Please don't flame me for the long-winded thread.