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The Symbian Advantage

Posted on Feb 1, 2011 by in Android, Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, News, Symbian | 3 comments

The Symbian Advantage
Symbian OS

Sym­bian OS

The Sym­bian OS is pow­er­ful. Extremely pow­er­ful. There’s noth­ing that you can’t do on Sym­bian that you can do on the other plat­forms. The same can’t be said about the other plat­forms. Allow me to illustrate.

iOS is not open, there’s no secret about that. Although Apple is becom­ing more flex­i­ble on the kind of apps you can use on the iPhone, there are still a lot of things they don’t allow. That is why the jail-breaking scene is so huge — it allows you to do some sim­ple to com­plex things that Apple won’t allow. From turn­ing the phone into a Wi-fi hotspot(coming soon in iOS 4.3 maybe?) to dis­play­ing more info on the lock screen or trans­fer­ring files via Blue­tooth - fea­tures that have been avail­able on Sym­bian devices either out-of-box or through apps for ages. We often take these fea­tures for granted. It’s when you don’t have them that you realise the cen­tral role they play in your mobile experience.

On to Android, the new kid on the block. Just after I got my Android phone, my first after a series of Sym­bian devices, I noticed some­thing quite dis­turb­ing. The APN set­tings were not copied from the SIM card/carrier or where ever they come from! This NEVER hap­pened with any of my pre­vi­ous Sym­bian devices from both Nokia and Sam­sung. Even the ones I imported from around Asia and Europe. I had to go through many hours of search­ing and try­ing def­er­ent com­bi­na­tions until I got it right. So much for first impres­sions. So, you just got an Android phone with a front fac­ing cam­era. You should be able to make reg­u­lar video calls over 3G right? Wrong. Android doesn’t sup­port the stan­dard pro­to­col. The same pro­to­col that’s on many fea­ture phones from many man­u­fac­tures! You have to get apps like Skype or some­thing — major bum­mer because if like me, you had a deal with your car­rier for free/subsidised 3G video calls, you’re out of luck.

On both Android and iOS, data can be used with­out warn­ing. For the first time I’ve had to get a data plan for my phone. With Sym­bian, there’s a pop-up with options to choose the net­work to con­nect to when a con­nec­tion is needed. There are no ser­vices that use data in the back­ground unless you allow them to, i.e, you have more control.

The con­nec­tiv­ity on Sym­bian is unri­valed. From Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity (v3.0 on the N8) for head­sets, keyboards(Android lacks this) and file transfer(iOS any­one?), to the FM radio(iPhone again) and FM transmitter(both lack it), there is no com­pe­ti­tion. Some older Sym­bian devices even have Infrared ports(like the leg­endary n95).

The Sym­bian touch UI is prob­a­bly one of the most com­plex on the mar­ket. Peo­ple who hate it prob­a­bly don’t know how to use it. There’s also an advan­tage to it — if you can use a Sym­bian touch­screen phone then you can prob­a­bly use any touch­screen device that has and will ever come out with­out read­ing the manual!

There are some major kinks that Nokia/Symbian need to work out on the UI front though. If they are able to sort that out in a huge way, Sym­bian will become/remain the top smart­phone OS of them all.

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  • Mikeday1983

    You should def­i­nitely get an N8

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  • Jnjanaban15

    Really?maybe you still have lack of knowl­edge about Android.Symbian is already obsolete,right?Try using any HTC brand phone start­ing from their hero.Surely you’ll be amazed.

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  • Wan­Rizqi

    Sym­bian is not out­dated. You peo­ple just don’t have any clue –_–

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