I’ve been using this phone for around a month now. I bought it on eBay in one hell of a deal: I got it for Rs. 8,500 while it is sold at stores for around Rs. 12,500 against its MRP of Rs. 16000. It’s been good to me, particularly because it is a Symbian S60 phone, so that means there are a lot of applications. Still it hasn’t been perfect.
I have noticed that on low end S60 phones, the interface takes some time to redraw. This is a bit annoying at times, particularly when you’re trying to read multiple messages. While a separate program that reads out text messages to you seems to have no problem skipping between multiple messages really easily, the in-built message program seems to have quite a bit of trouble with SMS messages, with the screen flickering to the Inbox and then to the next message.
This also seems to happen on the lower Nokia N-series phones (the N70, N72 at least) and if anyone can tell me how to make the interface react faster I would gladly heed their advice.
Also, VoIP is a bitch to set up and while carriers here seem to have EDGE networks, those only work really fast for those with one of those data cards. The rest of us get speeds in the range of 8-12kb/s which, while acceptable, is nowhere near what it should be. Also, Airtel seems to have poor coverage along the railway lines, so browsing is hopeless there.
The in-built browser is slow to render and frequently crashes, though it does have auto-completion for frequently used addresses and seems to work fine with full HTML pages, though AJAX is completely beyond it. I’ve been looking to download Opera for Mobile Devices, but have settled for Opera mini on my phone – a much better browser than the default because it has neat features like switching to landscape mode, and because it just works much faster. I’ve managed to use it to post on my tumblog and it has a decent text entry interface, though the memory on my phone seems to limit how long text can be.
WLAN on the phone is a bit erratic, the WiFi chip does not seem to be capable of connecting properly to the D-Link 802.11 b/g router we have at work because the WPA seems to be a bit different. However, I’ve managed to connect to a few unsecured networks and it works just fine on those, though signal strength seems to come and go while my laptop receives full strength at the same place.
The phone seems to be a little low on memory, I can’t have too many applications open at the same time and considering that fring is always on so that I can send instant messages all the time, I can’t seem to do very much with the phone unless I close that. It’s even worse when I have the browser on too.
The in-built music player is decent, but it doesn’t seem to do ogg, which is okay I guess. The one thing that really annoys me is that you have to be careful how you return to the standby screen, or the damn program will shut off. The default should be ‘hide’, not ‘exit’.
The phone also doesn’t have a Wi-Fi before mobile internet option, and so I have it set to ask me about the access point each time. There was also a problem in the beginning where the goddamn Airtel Live settings would be used as the default. This is positively lousy because they charge you Rs. 15 all the time for nothing. Visit a page? Pay. Download a 2kb file? Pay. It’s awful. I deleted those settings when I managed to get Mobile Office (a flat rate of Rs. 15 a day) and it’s actually quite good.
The phone also does not seem to have hardware acceleration for graphics, so games can be very slow. This isn’t too much of a factor, because I don’t play games as much on the phone, so it isn’t really a problem.
Too many to list, but there a couple of things that are nice, but not specific to the phone. Because it is an S60 phone, I get to use Google Maps. The free program has this neat feature where it locates your position to the nearest cell phone tower. While I would really like it to triangulate my position, I guess that is either not possible or that the phone companies have decided to disallow that so that they can offer GPS services at more expensive rates. Google Maps combined with Google Local Search makes life really easy for me in a new city. Still, I wish directions and transit information worked. If there is any way to upload and use community documentation for this, I’d be happy to volunteer to help build a database.
Having never used a smartphone before I’m rather thrilled that I can open a program in the background and let it run. Because my damn home server back in Madras is down, and my brother is showing no enthusiasm in fixing it I haven’t tried an SSH client yet, but I don’t quite know how I’m going to work with a shell on a phone that doesn’t have a full keyboard. How do you get screen to put a session in the background without a Ctrl key?
I love the phone, and with Nokia saying that they’ll open source Symbian I can’t wait to see what improvements are made to the OS. Still, if I had a little more cash, I would’ve gone for a communicator with a full keyboard.