The latest touch version of Nokia Maps 2.0 looks great on the large display, and maps of the UK and Ireland have been pre-installed on the bundled memory card. For full voice guidance, you have to pay a subscription fee, but out of the box, Maps gives you all the other typical satnav route-planning features and lets you browse maps in 2D, 3D or satellite image views. You zoom in and out using buttons, not iPhone-style multi-touch gestures.
There's a plectrum-style stylus for the more musically inclined
We found the Assisted GPS system very responsive, locking on to satellites and determining our position very quickly from start up at a number of locations, usually taking just a few - and no more than 30 - seconds to pinpoint our position. Speed can vary according to where you are, of course, but we found it impressive when compared to other A-GPS phones we’ve looked at in similar circumstances.
With 3.6Mb/s HSDPA and Wi-Fi, the 5800 delivers a good mobile browsing experience too. Again, it may not be quite up to the pinch and swipe slickness of the iPhone, but it renders web pages swiftly and reliably, and supports for Flash, something the iPhone doesn't. Zooming is done with a quick tap and drag of a zoom bar, and you pan around pages with the same tap-and-drag gesture. Links for FaceBook, MySpace and YouTube are pre-loaded for quick access.
As well as the headline grabbing apps, the 5800 includes plenty of standard-issue S60 tools, including voice command and personal organiser stuff. Email is easy to set up and use, while instant messaging is supported too. A variety of additional apps can be found and downloaded using the Download! utility.
Plenty of apps bundled - more are just an HSDPA or Wi-Fi download away
A couple of games – the touch-controlled Bounce Touch and tilt-steered Global Race Racing Thunder – eke a little entertainment out of the touch and accelerometer capabilities. On a practical level, the phone also uses sensors to let you mute incoming calls and alarms by turning the phone face down.
S60 is not for touch
The whole point of the iphone is that you DON'T have to unlearn and relearn anything!! Their interface is something called 'intuitive'. New word.
Okay, I'm being an idiot and confrontational.
But my point is this, S60 has _mainly_ been used for non-touch phones over the years. Not only that, but S60 is not as user friendly as it might be. It's not bad, but it's not amazing either. It's just what we've all gotten used to over the years because it's all we've really had for smart phones. Other than winmo of course and lets not talk about that.
Your points above seem to suggest that somehow MS and other companies don't change because they are scared their users won't be able to use their new interfaces....I don't think that is the case at all. There are many reasons they don't change stuff too much (see vista) but they always want to improve user experience as much as possible. Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 anyone?
When folks bought the iphone did you hear anyone complaining about how it didn't look or behave like their previous phone OS? Because all I heard was people saying how much easier to use it is and what a relief it was that someone had made such a decent job of it.
Surely then if Nokia released an updated OS designed specifically for touch that was AS good or....wait for it....even BETTER that Apples attempt then surely people would be shouting about how brilliant it is - not how it's familiar it is. Familiar is only normally quoted as an advantage when people move to an OS that is even worse than the one they're currently using. For instance, when users moved from a Nokia to Samsung or Motorola (Samsung/Motorola being unfamiliar but not better and possibly harder to use than Nokia).
Yes S60 (the front end to Symbian?) is good but its nowhere near as good as it could be. Don't stay in the past, innovate and improve things even if it means users have to be happier with their new 'difficult to learn' OS. Which wouldn't be the case actually would it because if it was difficult to learn it would be any good, would it.
Yes Nokia is a big ship that turns like an Oil Tanker which is why I'm so grateful to apple (as much as I dislike the way they do business) because it it wasn't for them we'd all still be using 6310i's or K810i. Funnily enough Apple is also a very large company (at least in terms of revenue) but still manage to produce great _new_ (in every sense of the word) products.
Facts are important
Bill, you don't know which foot to stand on except that you are obviously anti-Symbian. Most importantly Symbian was the first mobile OS that supported touchscreen; in fact the first Symbian device ever had touchscreen, and the first Symbian phone ever, back in 1999, the Ericsson R380, also had touch screen. So your notion of 'bolted-on' is simply nonsense. And then you opten for non-touch screen anway so it's blur what you're getting at.
In terms of innovations, if you except the iPhone UI, i can't right now think of any new phone innovation that wasn't launched on a Symbian device before any other OS, and there is no reason to believe that this is not going to continue.
Nokia has chosen to make the 5800 and N97 touch screen UIs familiar to their existing S60 user base, which is most widely used in the marketplace. I would say that's a very wise move; the worst thing they could do now is to come up with something fancy demanding massive unlearning and relearning.
The user compatibility is rightly far more a concern for Nokia than binary compatibility.
Wise move to continue with S60 on Symbian for touch screen phones
Contrary to the above commentator, I think it's the wisest move by Nokia to base the new touch screen phones (5800, N97 etc) on the S60. This will make it familiar to the largest phone user community in the world. It's far better than, for the sake of 'innovation', come up with something different.
I would think it's far more a concern for Nokia to be compatible with its large user base, than being worried about binary compatibility, which is really a non-issue.
Some other factual errors of the above commentator should also be pointed out. Symbian was designed for touch-screen from the outset, it's not something bolted on. The first Symbian device ever, back in 1996, was a touch screen device and the very first Symbian phone, the Ericsson R380, was a touch screen device.
I would also argue that far more innovations have been first launched on a Symbian phone than any other OS in the market.