I recently posted my impressions of the 808 http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=374416 and it has it's problems which means I will not be keeping the phone for very long. However if Nokia continued with Symbian which has far more potential than Windows Phone I'd have been happy with it and would have stuck with the phone knowing there will be more updates.
Now I've never used Symbian before, unless the 3310 run it, though that was a vastly different experience that you cannot compare. I decided just to give it a chance as the 808 was mega cheap on ebay and I thought what the hell, my upgrade comes in April and I can sell it then if I don't like it. I broke my phone so I needed to buy a new one and it's a bit of fun trying something other than Android or IOS for once.
I have to say now I'm not a fan of Windows Phone and IOS being closed systems, I think you can remain open like Android while offering a great selection of apps on the store. Developers really need to get over piracy, especially platform owners and the makers of Operating Systems. I feel like there is this trend to go towards a closed OS as an easy way to combat that, rather than offering a great open experience but having a service worth paying for over piracy. For example Steam has really defeated Piracy on the PC, people still do it, they always will and it isn't always a bad thing anyways. A lot of the time people will torrent stuff and then later buy it on Steam when they know it is a product they like. If that person goes on to tell other people about it then it creates more sales.
From what I've read Symbian has this bad image of piracy but I really think that is due to a lackluster service on Nokia's end more than anything. The store needs a lot of work, while it is functioning, it does need a bit of a UI tweak which obviously wont be happening. I also feel like you have to get your apps elsewhere to test them first as there is no protection from Nokia like you get with Android where you can get a refund within a certain time in case the app doesn't work. I've bought a few apps now which just plain don't work and it has put me off buying anything else.
Back to the topic though, I've never used Symbian before or had a Nokia since the 3310 and I'm really surprised at how good it is. I said in that thread it feels like a mix between IOS and Android and it even has good functionality of it's own. Belle FP2 is either a massive step up far too late or Symbian has gotten a lot of hate for no reason, I don't know as It's the only version I've used. The core functionality is good, it is fast, it doesn't drain much battery and it does everything the other platforms do. Yeah it looks a bit drab but it's so easy to just change the theme unlike IOS and while you can do it on Android it isn't anywhere near as easy as Symbian. I really Respect Nokia for a lot of things with Symbian and while I said the store needs work, it does function. I feel like it probably lacks a lot of options like more categories due to the lack of apps on it.
I've only really got two problems with Symbian and that is the stock browser is bad, which wouldn't be a problem if Nokia was continuing development of Symbian because they could easily fix it in the future. I have switched to Opera which fixes most of those issues, though I do wish Symbian supported Flash 11 because of my next point. The second issue is lack of apps, really this is what has lead me to selling the phone come my upgrade in April. You cannot do much on the phone compared to the others because of the lack of apps, if there was Flash 11 it would be less of an issue, however not being able to watch stuff like ITV Player or TVcatchup is a big downer. The lack of games is also another depressing thing and really the lack of development on Symbian is depressing.
From what I've seen of Belle FP2, Symbian is a great starting point for Nokia's Smart Phone future, sadly it looks like it has come too late and they've always ditched it for Windows Phone, which I think is a shame. The other biggest issue Nokia had is they never really made good hardware compared to the rest in the past. They've just started making competitive Smart Phone hardware just as they killed off Symbian. If the Lumia 920 came in 2010 for example I feel like more people would have taken notice of Symbian, sadly it came to Windows Phone and not Symbian. Sadly like I said it looks like it took too long for Symbian to get good... though I'm only guessing on that as I've never used it before Belle FP2.
I do like it though and really wish'd Nokia stuck with it.
I do have to ask though, how do I turn data roaming off? It keeps using roaming data but I cannot find the option anywhere so I've turned data off altogether.
I think the biggest commercial issue is that the most money in the phone business is made on app sales, and Symbian lost those once the Iphone came along and developers saw unlimited riches developing apps for IOS.
The fact that the vast majority of the apps in the Apple shop are useless trash, and most of the rest are so functionally crippled that one needs to buy several to do a single task, is not the point...
So, how were Nokia going to get app sales?
Symbian could easily be tarted up to work just like IOS. But the app sales were lost for ever, as of about 2010 when most Symbian developers dropped it and worked IOS-only. And a lot closed down completely.
Android was lost to Nokia due to very limited options for product differentiation. So they had to do something else, and WP was the only option.
WP is not a bad option. I have played with WP phones and they work fine. And Micro$oft have the resources to drive it forward.
Piracy is IMHO barely relevant. It affects mostly games - just like on IOS where the vast majority of jailbreaking is done to run games and other trivia. Piracy became big on Symbian once the developer community dropped it en-masse, and what the hell did they expect? Many developers didn't just drop development; they actually took the apps off their websites and out of the Nokia app shop, which is a really stupid business strategy. This stupidity is what has driven piracy. I have had to google for a number of .sis files, to get apps that I would have paid for happily.
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See I don't think Symbian is the problem, Belle is really nice and what Nokia have done is make it function like IOS and Android. I've used both in the past, I left IOS because I found it too restrictive and used Android ever since. Making the jump to Symbian Belle, it's pretty much the same experience but with no apps, though the core Belle experience feels more refined than Android. It probably just came too late for Nokia....
I also think Nokia hasn't made a Smart Phone to get excited for until the 920. Everything else they made was sub par, poor specs, poor screen and just very clunky and I'm guessing from reviews, Symbian wasn't good before Belle. Like I said though if they released the 920 last year on Symbian Belle instead of Windows Phone 8, I think Symbian could have survived. Really all Belle needed was the hardware and it just never got it, the 808 is great for a camera but the hardware isn't mainstream like the 920 is.
I just find it weird how Nokia handled the whole situation, it took years for them to get going and once they did they retired Symbian and never released it on a relevant Smart Phone to give it a chance.
The 808 has opened my eyes to Nokia Hardware though, it is good and well made. I'll wait to see if they release a refreshed 808 with better specs and screen this year before I upgrade as I've just seen rumours about it. I'm just not convinced about Microsoft making good on Windows Phone, I don't like the experience it currently offers and Microsoft have never delivered on anything worth while in the past apart from Windows 7. If I look at all their software, I don't remember any of it being good and now with Windows Phone being a closed experience, you're stuck with Microsoft's software.
I just think it is a shame, I really like Belle, it just needs apps and Nokia to revive development for it.
The problem for me with the 920 is that it is HUGE.
And phone shops are packed with HUGE phones.
Samsung make about 1000 different HUGE phones. If you want a big phone, with a 4-core processor, ultra thin, whatever, there are loads of them.
I guess that, for the current "phone season", Nokia have to sell a HUGE phone like everybody else. They missed out on "Star Trek" flip-top phone business which was all the rage 10 years ago and they don't want to miss another big wave like that.
The problem I have is Windows Phone is a locked OS, you have to wait for Microsoft to do everything for you.
The potential is gone already, Microsoft does not make good software, it's always just bought out the competition but due to laws these days it's having a hard time staying relevant. The only reason Windows is still so big is down to it being open and all the third party stuff is great.
Symbian is open and so with developer support it could be great. The core experience is almost there, it's pretty much Android but without all the apps.
Symbian has far more potential than Windows Phone and tbh we need more Operating systems so there is never a monopoly like there has been with IOS and Android.
Asha is S4 != Symbian
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I wonder if Nokia will release Windows Phone 7.8 for the 808. It seems a bit bad to release the phone and then kill off Symbian, I'd love to be able to dual boot them.
They won't, the 808 is nearly a year old now and doesn't meet Microsofts hardware specs.
Why would you want to cripple it like that anyway?
there is some information about the rise and fall of Symbian on the Internet (example) that might be interesting to you. Like you, I also can't understand (from a consumer's point of view) why Symbian was killed so quickly and dirtily. It has a great UI (since Belle, Belle FP1 and Belle FP2), terrific hardware support (USB on-the-go that supports USB drives, mice and keyboards, HDMI out, FM radio AND transmitter, analog TV out (PAL or NTSC), etc.) and is really much more open than iOS or WP.
To answer your question regarding data roaming:
Got to: Menu -> Settings -> Connections -> Mobile data counter -> Allow mobile data and select "in home network only".
You can go faster to this menu if you add the mobile data counter widget to your homescreen.