October 10, 2011

On Symbian, Android and Nokia N8

After having used the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic for around two years, last week, I finally upgraded to Nokia N8. Of late, I have been using my mobile device to view and write huge amounts of text. The 3.2inch resistive touch screen of 5800 wasn't helping my cause.

My use of mobile phone, right now, is restricted to

1. Browsing (Belle browser, Opera Mobile 11 and Opera Mini 6 are doing the job efficiently)

2. Using twitter (of course, Gravity)

3. gNewsReader for Google Reader feeds, SymPaper for Read It Later articles, SymNote for writing notes.

4. Picsel Smart Office for reading pdfs and using MS Office documents

5. Default Symbian^3 mail client and Mobile Documents for using my Gmail and other mail accounts.

Taking pictures (12 megapixels Carl Zeiss camera), using "USB on the go" and also, the FM Transmitter are some of the other features which I regularly use on the device.

But why not Android? Yes, in that price range, it is easier to find better specced Android devices. But I have seen Android and these are the things which I don't like about them.

1. No device matching the build quality of Nokia N8.(I may be partial here, but I couldn't find a single Android device and say "Wow!" based only on design and build quality.)

2. No offline maps navigation and Nokia Maps is far better than Google Maps, which is a heavy data intensive app.

3. No great (or even good) camera. Nothing comes close to Carl Zeiss.

4. Superb audio quality of Nokia phones, both in terms of playing music and also the clarity in phone calls. N8 also has an excellent audio recorder.

5. Absence of FM transmitter, a twitter client like Gravity, etc.

I'm sure, supporters of Android would say that there are many good apps available at the market place, which Symbian definitely cannot boast of. Unfortunately, true. But what if I don't need them?

But there are two apps which I very much require for my regular use and miss in Symbian.

1. An app for Blogger services of Google. Here it is- Blob (updated on 7th April 2012)

2. A nice book reader app. (Though the ZXReader is doing a decent job, I would have liked an app like Kindle, present in other mobile platforms)

If you are new to Symbian (which is very very unlikely), or would wish to use better apps on your Symbian device, have a look at this list of Symbian applications curated by Steve Litchfield. And if your are wondering why I didn't go for an iPhone, it is only because of it's price and the absence of Swype input for text.