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Nokia N8’s Symbian^3 Has Lots of Things That Need To Be Fixed

I have been waiting for the Nokia N8 for a very long time. Nokia made sure to take all the time they needed in order to ship a stable phone. And they did! The Nokia N8 is stable, and is fast, for the most part. Symbian^3 also solved many problems S^1 had, like double tapping and scrolling. However, I am not sure whether Symbian^3 could be considered a high-end smartphone OS. The direct competitors for S^3 right now are Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7. All modern OSs that can get the job done in a beautiful way. Symbian^3’s problem is that it can get the job done, but not in an intuitive, or user-friendly way. Symbian^3 is lacking design, that aspect that has made Apple the greatest tech company in the world. Symbian^3 still has many annoyances, many things that must be changed. The Symbian^3 that currently runs on the N8 is far inferior to Android, for example. To demonstrate that, I have made a video comparing the N8, to my Galaxy S. I am in the process of establishing a standpoint on the N8, and S^3, so all comments, questions, and concerns are very welcomed.

  • Andelson

    I know what I have to say? Don´t use Nokia Symbian^3 anymore, it doesn't works for you anymore, you are Android's guy now, you prefer pass for 5 icons screen instead to press 3 forder's icons to arrive untill your app. So, don't write about Nokia, don't write about Symbian, you don't belong to our world anymore. Just let it go. Move on, be happy!

    • edumana

      Actually, I am remaining with Nokia because of MeeGo. But of course, if MeeGo fails, bye bye Nokia Mobile Blog

      • netborn

        OHHH MY GOD!!! This will be the end of the world, like a 12/21/12, please don´t do it…

        Now seriously, nokia bloggers are becoming crying girls, besides All About Symbian, Nokia Experts and SymbianTweet, the rest can close tomorrow.

        • edumana

          Not crying girls, just exposing what's wrong with the N8, people need to know

        • Anonymous

          Agreed, please do exposed what is wrong with Nokia’s OS, but c’mon there is so much good in there, so much the other OS can’t do, is amazing how the “tech bloggers” are focusing in little stuff “it looks old” instead of what it is capable of, there are a ton of stuff Symbian can do, and do better than iOS and Android, but “it looks old”

          I bought an iPod 4, and after a week I sold it to my brother, most of the sites (I need) didn’t render correctly, scrolling in my bank’s site was impossible, and accesing another bank site impossible, why, don’t know, the absence of flash is a pain. I’m still an owner of an iPad, wifi only, because using JoikuSpot I turn my N97 into a hotspot, avoiding to pay another bill, something impossible for Android and iOS.

          I have to say that the N97 is quite slow to open my music app and collection, I have 6000 song in there, but that is no excuse, since the phone can handle 48GB (which it has, 32 + my memory card)

        • edumana

          What can Symbian do that Android can't? Aside from taking awesome pictures, there is absolutely nothing.

          I assume you bought an iPhone 4? Can't tell you why it didn't work, but there are banking apps for iOS, that Symbian and even Android lack.

          Android can turn into a hotspot. In fact, it is built-in functionality….

        • jorgearturo

          so far symbian can open as many apps as the hardware allows, I have seen Samsung Omnia HD with more than 50 apps open at the same time, while android is limited to 5.

          I like the way Android is evolving.

        • edumana

          You are talking without having the complete information.

          An average Android handset has 40 apps running at any time. The thing is, that you can only have a shortcut when you long press the home button for up to 8 apps (in Froyo 2.2, 6 in Eclair) However, if you open the app from the menu, it will start from where you left it. Its crippled multitasking, I agree. But what do I get out of the N8 having awesome multitasking, which it does, but crashing and burning when I open a big website?

  • ppo

    i don’t get it.. have you ever tried Symbian before?!
    most of the things that you complained about are really stupid things and “fixable” by the user
    like the Swype thing.. its a third party app.. just install it or use the portrait mini qwerty keyboard
    or for the Google thing, u loaded the MOBILE page.. u just need to press the “view: classic”
    another thing, if you want your Symbian phone to perform well, u need to close all those unused app at the background.. they just eat your Ram + CPU + battery..
    yes, the WRT is annoying and slowish etc etc, in this aspect i agree with you..
    about the “stock weather” thing, don’t forget the fact that the carriers and Samsung are pushing a lot of third party apps to android all the time.. and Nokia just doesn’t do it.. you want third party apps? go and buy / download them..

    • edumana

      If you read this blog, you probably know I got a walk around to get Swype on the N8, it is not, however, officially available. And just as I was afraid, it doesn't support portrait. You can only use Swype on landscape…

      How do fix the web browser? Or the Social app? You can't!

      The Google site is mobile on bot handsets… And using the full Google site is not convenient on the N8, trust me.

      Why should I have to close all the apps? The Captivate was running at least 38 apps on the background, of course, multitasking sucks on android.

      About the stocks, Nokia needs to provide these things that users now expect to have on their devices.

      • http://twitter.com/Krustylicious Taras Dhedhi

        You did actually change the font size in settings didn’t you..

        The browser issues are valid and a new browser is coming as you already know.

        As for the folders thing – you can make your own.

  • Kurtus

    Most problems you point out (portrait keyboard, number of lines in mail, etc.) are rooted in the smaller (in pixels) screen of N8 than Galaxy S. Not fair…

    • edumana

      Oh, it is fair. Why didn't Nokia use a higher res. and bigger screen?

      • a_rob

        because, if you'd actually do some research, you'd know that Symbian 3 is limited in resolution like earlier Symbians. Symbian 4 and MeeGo are the platforms that will offer higher res capabilities, and so larger screens.

        • edumana

          Of course I know that. But it is not an excuse! Nokia should have added higher res in S^3! Apple did it with iOS, why can't Nokia?

          Could you believe they are still releasing QVGA smartphones in 2010?! Like the E5? The E5 is fine, but needs double the res. to fight with the BB devices that sport an amazing high-res in the same 2.4'' of screen.

        • Anonymous

          It’s not an excuse…it’s a reason. It’s a system limitation of Symbian 3. Apple only recently built there OS from scratch, and with Apple being Apple, it will have been built with the foresight of the need to handle higher res specs than the system currently does as Apple does flashy things very well. The old build of Symbian (S^3 and all those previous – new builds being S^4 and MeeGo) was built in a time WAY before Apple even thought about mobile phones. The first Symbian phone was released in 2001, with Symbian being an updated version of Psion’s EPOC32, first released in 1997.

          So, that’s why Nokia can’t increase the resolution any more. The issue is more why Nokia hasn’t been efficient enough to get S^4 up and running quicker – hopefully it’ll be good enough to warrant the wait…

        • edumana

          The length of existence of Symbian is irrelevant. Nokia's mistake was turning S60 3rd ed into a touch interface. Then, is when they should have started from scratch.

          It all comes down to: Other manufacturers use it, Nokia has no excuse to not have it.

        • Tpu1476

          Ed everything you say is true and personally i cant see why anyone would get the n8- i have an e71 and am just tired of having to find workarounds for things that just dont work in nokia phones. for example in the e71 caller ID didnt work until I deleted my own phone number from the phone – how does that make sense? Similarly, before the firmware update, if you had 3G turned on, the phone would shut itself off intermittently on AT&T’s network – again, something that should just plain work. And these fixes i had to find by searching for hours on user forums, nokia has no clue. Gmail is still a joke on s60 as are most of the apps. And a lot of patches and fixes for things that shouldnt be that hard to change (turn annoying camera sound off) are “unsigned apps” that you need a comp sci degree to install. it’s not too much to ask for a phone that just works, google and apple do it.

          Nokia fans have this hardcore loyalty to defend symbian and its ‘capabilities’ but the most important feature is can i use the phone without it being a major pain in my arse. I love nokia design – they should call it a day and run android on their hardware and you’d have a great phone.
          Not having a full keyboard in portrait mode is a total dealbreaker look around how many people turn their phone sideways to type a freaking text message.

          Lets be real – whatever the reason is, nokia software sucks, is a pain, and ilife is too short to spend on user forums trying to figure out how to enable some random feature on a phone – like for example the combination of settings that will show the clock during screensaver mode…i still cant remember i have to look it up it has to do with the power savings, screen saver mode, time out duration warning light etc, if one of those is not properly set you dont get the clock are u serious??

  • G73giorgio

    I don't understand this. When someone tries to point out the problems that should be fixed with S3 and there are people shouting, go! move to android! we don't want you! we don't need you!

    Really great attitude. I hope this is not the official Nokia response because if it is, it'll soon be over for them. And I am a Nokia user for many years, I own a great N79.

    Let's face it, Nokia's future is Meego. But if they don't get it right from day one, it's bye bye for millions of users. Just take a look at the statistics. And as for Symbian 3, just try scrolling through the 3 screens… yeah, it takes TIME. Now try scrolling through the screens of ANY android device or iOS. My point exactly.

    I suppose we all want the best for Nokia, I know I do. I would like to keep using their handsets. But for the love of God, it's time they kept up with current events. Every time I see a friend's iphone and go through the list of apps or, even worse, use a few of them, I feel so bad about using Symbian. I feel like using a devise from 2005. I'm sorry but that's the truth. I know it and many of you, know it too.

  • http://twitter.com/Falcantara79 Freddy Alcantara

    Symbian is better than BADA and BB OS, but not iOS and Android.

    • jorgearturo

      In terms of UI and ease of use iOS wins first, Android second, but in power, Symbian wins, there is almost nothing you can't do with a symbian phone, right now I'm owner of an N97 that has the same problem with engadget site, that should be fixed with the new browser or Opera, also I'm owner of an iPad and althought it is faster it fails more in rendering sites, it can handle ajax correctly, nor frames, and the already know problem with java and flash. I can use more sites with the N97 (fully) than the iPad, the iPad is faster. Also the problem in the browser of the iPad, I can not download anything but images using it, there is no save option, no search in the site option, nor many, many things, the email may be pretty but I can not add attachments from the app itself, nor add different kind of apps in the samd email, to send a photo I have to go to the photo app and choose the photos to send and send them, but if I need to send a photo and a text file I have yo send two emails. Also in the browser I can not upload to sites, there are apps for flickr, picasa and other, but wath about a different not so popular site, there is no way to upload files. Also on the iPad is a pain to scroll text boxes, like the one I'm using right now to write this, if I want to go to the begining of my text is a pain, I can not just scroll inside thr box.

      By the way I wrote this on my iPad, love the screen size and the keyboard, and in phones I love T9 is faster for me.

      • edumana

        I disagree. In power, Android wins. A rooted Android handset is capable of doing AMAZING things you can't dream of on Symbian. Do you think that the crappy browser in Symbian is powerful? Nope, the HTML5, full Flash 10.1 browser in Android 2.2 is powerful. It is, by the way, the fastest mobile browser in the industry (not iOS!). Symbian was powerful, but not anymore…

        • Anonymous

          I like Android, and I like symbian, I like iOS bells and whistles, as WP7, in power I think WP7, Android and Symbian are the choice. because their “fathers” don’t forbid any app nor feature, it is like the 90’s once more, with apple impossing rules on their OS trying to monopolized, ans the others adding features, lets see how wins, my predictions are, Apple like in the PC market a niche nice looking and capable hardware, and the other as the general present in a huge variety of hardware for all budgets.

  • http://twitter.com/Falcantara79 Freddy Alcantara

    El Nokia N8 puede mejorar su WEB Browser y OS R: SI!! El Galaxy S y iPhone4 puede tener camara 12Mpx/Xenon, GPSNAV gratis y radio R: NO

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1464613930 Enzro Greenidge

    thanks for the review. most of your points are mute. Just one point. Women buy phones too and most don't want a 4 inch screen. Android is great, but most people i know with android phones are tethered to a plug.

  • Stuntman

    Is this issue unique to your experience or have others also report the same problem with the N8 freezing when trying to view the Engadget web site? I tried looking for other reports of the N8 freezing when viewing certain web sites on the Nokia discussion forums and have not been able to find others reporting this issue.

    • edumana

      eltiempo.com full version (my favorite news site) doesn't work either, check by yourself if you have an N8

      • Anonymous

        in my N97 loads fine, slow but fine, I’m waiting for the new browser from Nokia, somebody said it was planned for November, I hope it solves those problems. but I’m happy with choices like Opera and Skyfire

        • edumana

          Skyfire doesn't work on my N8. I downloaded it from get.skyfire.com because it isn't available at the Ovi Store

  • Anonymous

    The google site loaded was the mobile, the classic does have the full features, and by the way that is not HTML5 is simple ajax, which can be performed by the nokia browser.

    Engadget site is always problematic in Nokia browser, agreed. But nokia also announce there is a new version of the browser in the way and also there is Opera Mobile “there is an app for that”

    The keyboard, I like T9, one hand fast writing, and you can turn on the prediction, but if you want something else, like apple fanboys say “there is an app for that”

    You seem to play stupid in the video (not saying you are, not trying to insult) but you know that the phone is capable of doing all the thing you complain, and in case of some sites, you have browser choices like Opera, Skyfire (that actually has an ad in your site) and others.

    • edumana

      Why would I load the classic google site on the N8 if I am loading the mobile on the Galaxy? You have to compare apples with apples….

      Please understand that I can't solve Nokia's problems. I have to review the phones how, and with what they ship them. And anyway, Opera is nowhere near Android Browser

      There isn't an app for portrait keyboard on the N8.

      You are seeing it from the wrong perspective. The N8 can't do any of the things I showed in the video. How are you going to replace the horrible E-Mail client for example? And although I already explained I can't compare the N8 with 3rd party apps, there is another point I have to do. If you have to resort to 3rd party apps for basic functionality, the manufacturer has failed miserably.

      • jorgearturo

        exactly, apples with apples, the mobile site for the android platform was made AdHoc for the Android, while the mobile version in the nokia is made for all mobiles, almost wap like, why, well Google owns Android, so they created a special version that provides more to the user, if you tested classic in both phones that could be more “apples with apples” as you said.

        The email client, I haven't try it, and fine with no comparing third party apps with in built ones. Agreed on that.

        • edumana

          iPhone has same cool Google homescreen. And Apple and Google have BIG differences between them.

        • Jorgearturo

          Still for a fair review the same site should be used, if you compare a site made AdHoc for iPhone and a site made AdHoc for the Android vs a site made for all the devices (s40, Sony Ericsson Walkman, etc.) in the Nokia, you obviously will find the later ugly. There are sites made AdHoc for Nokia browser (I found some newspapers with specialized versions for Nokia) but comparing that is not real web, is customized. That is why I suggest when comparing web browsers use “common” sites, not mobilized or customized versions for every browser, there are tons of sites that can help you with that. And to test HTML5 there are test sites too, and a good comparing method will be the acid tests site.

          That way you will be fair in the comparison and not look bias (very important since you are a blogger in a Nokia fan site), check out the CNet review by Bonnie Cha of the Nokia N8, so far is the most objective I have read, she is actually an Android girl, but she is fair while comparing.

      • jorgearturo

        Just check your video once more and the article to see your opinion on the email client, the client screen is customizable, you can set the mail client to not group the emails (those divisions for dates or names in case you re order the emails) also that will give you a little more space to see a few (maybe two more) emails, that way you will be not so confused, the font size is also customizable in the settings of the phone. As a user I agree many people won't dig in the settings to customized their phone, but hey I suggested the “what kind of user are you” screen.

        • edumana

          That is true, without sorting there are more messages displayed. Scrolling still SUCKS BIG TIME, as well as fonts. I selected large fonts, but I still get really small fonts on some emails. Newsletters mostly.

  • Jorgearturo

    Nokia should add a start screen asking to choose what kind of user you are “Easy” or “Profesional” if chosen Easy it should provide a crippled version of the OS with flashy stuff, and limited multitask, like no more than 5 apps (android) at the same time, no settings for anything important but the basic like backgroud, you can choose the ringtone and/or change to silence, just as simple, no download from the web browser, no flash, no java, no silverlight, no frames, so the browser works fast and crashes less frequent (that’s apple’s secret), in fact just Opera Mini as the browser, bluetooth just for accesories not to send and recieve files, limited copy and paste (just in the same app like apple), no option to add attachments in the email app so it can be fast, no posibility to add different files (image + text) in the same email, no file explorer, no way to upload thing with the web browser, a huge portrait keyboard, not option to a T9, nor alphanumerical, no Ovi Maps, because some fanboys told me it was too dificult (sometimes I believe they just complain because apple don’t have that), limited video calling just for wifi (apple way).

    And the “Profesional” with all the symbian features, that make it a real OS and a real smart device, that way all the haters will be happy, because they want something simple, easy and bling, they don’t want smart, they want flashy stuf but no Adobe Flash =)

    • edumana

      Who decides the line between advanced and basic users?

      • jorgearturo

        you, you can decided which kind of user you are, that way people who want simplicity, will have it, and those of us who wanted it all, will have it.

        • edumana

          It is impossible for a manufacturer to decide what functions to include in what version. There simply isn't a line that separates advanced users, from basic users. All the people use their phone differently.

  • Anonymous

    I have Phone with android, and this is very unstable, Nokia is the best.

  • Anonymous

    It’s kind of sad that Nokia’s biggest fans are the biggest obstacle to Nokia actually becoming competitive. Nokia needs *more* input and complaints and suggestions to make their software better, not less. Nokia won’t move as long as the legions of fanboys jump on any criticism and howl to the rafters that Everything Is Great. It makes them complacent and gives them the mindset that they’re on the right track. Nokia needs to know that you’re dissatisfied and also how you want them to improve.

    Let me ask you guys, if the N9 fixes all the issues, has massive screen resolution with portrait Qwerty and smooth UI, etc., are you going to complain that you prefer how it was done on the N8? Good grief, of course not.

  • nomnom

    If you look at minute 2:50, the n8 in the backgroud finished loading the site and started scrolling down the page, then opened the task manager cause you spammed all that actions before laying the phone on the table. I’m not sayng that is working right but do not say that just simply freeze and crash.
    Also try do disable javascript and try, and again i’m not sayng is ok but also not un-usable at all.

  • Anonymous

    Please show it to me…

  • Anonymous

    It’s not just web browser, its mail, app, UI, workflow, design, and user friendliness.

  • Saakik

    The Galaxy S has no camera flash rendering its camera useless so it was never an option for me. You complain about the browser and missing apps. So download Opera which is very nice and all the other apps you want. That Nokia does not fill their device with bloatware that users have to remove is a plus to me. I don’t care about stocks, why should I have it pre-installed? Swype is available for the N8 as well. I agree teh fonts in social are too small, so install Snaptu which is very nice.

    I have used Android and thought it was a pain, to busy, to much flash, form over function. Some things it does well, others not, just like S3. I love my N8 and have had 0 problems with it. I would not trade it for a galaxy every.

  • http://positivetranceformations.com.au/hypnosis-gold-coast/  Hypnosis gold coast

    Nokia N8′s Symbian^3 Has Lots of Things That Need To Be Fixed

  • http://twitter.com/inngadget Inngadget

    You call urself nokia blogger?? You are a probably a person recruited by engadget or maybe google themselves.

    All you harp in this video is things that you find difficulty with and most of which are easily fixable!!
    No mention of crappy battery life with android..huh..all is good in that section?

    All you are comparing is browser only, which anyway is going to be replaced soon. And if you still do not like it
    go use Opera, freely available for S^3.

    I see you have prepared this video to diss symbian in favour of android.
    Some points to prove this –
    – 2:20s – i can be wrong but it seem that on galaxy the engadget page was preloaded. Not sure which version of s/w u have
    on N8, but mine works amazing..loading a heavy duty site like engadget. And even while it is loading you can
    still scroll.

    – 3:35 – lot of taps??!! You can go to history and tap once to go to google, like you can on Galaxy.
    I really doubt the sw that u r using coz on my N8, i am able to see google homepage as it is shown on my laptop.

    – 4:15 – if you hate the alphanumeric keyboard, you CAN download swype for N8, for FREE !! Stop cribbing.
    The aplhanumeric keyboard is a huge success and there are lots of people who like it as its great for texting. If you dont, STFU !

    – 5:08 – lot of confusion??!! It is just like Outlook on your laptop/PC. You have emails sorted with days and even weeks.
    5 emails on N8 vs 10 emails on android?? Now you dont even fuckin know how to count??
    I am just 5 mins into seeing this video and you already have got me convinced that either this video is planted by google
    OR you are a complete jackass not worthy of writing anything about anyone!!
    Screen flickering!! again..pls update the sw version. This looks like you have got a work in progress sw.

    – 8:22 – Shut up already, please !! go download as many stock and news app you want from OVI !

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    Nokia N8 for a very long time. Nokia made sure to take all the time they needed in order to ship a stable phone. And they did! The Nokia N8 is stable

  • http://www.bestcontractmobilephonedeals.co.uk/ Mobile phone deals

    Nokia N8 for a very long time. Nokia made sure to take all the time they needed in order to ship a stable phone. And they did! The Nokia N8 is stable