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Are you happy or disappointed (or both) with your new E90?

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noetus
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 20:39    Post subject: Are you happy or disappointed (or both) with your new E90?   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz and I got into a little bit of a spat on this thread. This was unintentionl on my part - I wasn't intending to be commenting on his review when I wrote my original comments. Anyway, it seems we have a bit of a difference of opinion about what sort of device the E90 is, and I think it would be interesting to open this debate up and find out what new users of the E90 think - and please say when responding whether you are new to "Communicators" or are an old-time user of the 9300/9500 (or earlier) device (this is important).

I think the E90 is NOT a communicator but is a very smart smartphone (despite what it says on the box), and is disappointing in many small but incrementally large ways in the user interface. I think Michal's original review, while extremely thorough (especially on the hardware side), basically misrepresented what sort of device the S60 is by presenting it as a credible evolution of the Communicator line. I don't think it is - and what's more (I'll add here) I think that line is now dead. The E90 is designed as an expensive add-on for your laptop, i.e. mainly for synchronizing data, not for data entry and edit as the older communicators were (and the Psions before them). That is the basic design difference that marks off the E90 from the earlier devices.

I also think the decision to kill S80 and use S60 for the E90 was a commercial decision on the part of Nokia, and was not motivated by what is best for the user community (as Michal's review suggests). I'd like to add here a further comment that Nokia is being quite smart in using S60 instead of S80 if they want to expand the marketability of the "Communicator" line. The reasons: (1) The development costs of using S60 are clearly much less. (2) Expanding the user base means attracting users who are not familiar with Communicators but probably ARE familiar with S60, and therefore will (a) feel comfortable in the S60 environment, and (b) won't miss all the stuff that's been crippled from the S80 so won't be put off by that. (3) Keeping the old Communicator user base is probably assured, because we have no choice if we want better hardware than to 'upgrade' to an E90 - there is no other communicator-like device on the market. In sum, it was a no-brainer decision for Nokia, but the WRONG decision for me (and I wouldn't have minded waiting an extra year or so for the right machine to be developed, if that's what it would have taken - the 9300i is hardly obsolete).

Furthermore, I think that the argument that S60 is better for the users because it means more software choice is at best misguided, and possibly just wrong. Nokia is making it very difficult for small companies to develop software for the E90 (two small software companies have told me this directly, and I have read other stuff in this vein online), which means that the control of the device is being kept in a relatively small number of hands who have commercial interests first and the user community's interests second. This is what Nokia WANTS - they are not looking out for their users here. Some excellent software that was available for 9300/9500 (and earlier S60 incarnations) will probably NEVER be available for the E90.

Using the E90, in terms of the user interface, is very disappointing. There is nothing that has been improved from the 9300/9500, and almost everything has gotten worse (despite the larger screen) - with one exception, which is web-browsing (though even here not in every way - cutting and pasting, for example). Does that mean I will be returning my E90? No, because there are so many advantages - quad band, speedy and smooth, can stream audio and video, huge storage potential, and so on. I will just have to get used to having a different sort of device - one which I don't interact with in a rich way, and which I synchronize with my laptop for data rather than entering/editing it on the device (the whole POINT of the Communicators). And I am really definitely annoyed with Nokia that I have just spent $1,000 on this and it doesn't feel like a complete replacement for my old and now battered 9300. My answer to the question is that I am both happy (by all the new functionality) but ALSO disappointed.
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Jah
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 21:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

noetus, for the record I had a 9300 but still have a 9500.

Yes I did like the S80 UI as I am an old Psion user. But the front side of the 9500 was never that good and the keys were of poor quality. And even though the UI was easy to use the device speed was always an issue for me. The stability was superb however. I also know what you mean about the difference between the philosophy started by Palm, which led to Smartphones, and Psion which is similar to the 9500 Communicator. But I use my E90 more than I ever used my 9500 for active management of work-home life etc. So for me the E90 is a Communicator! The overall package is superb - nothing like it in the market place.

I find the E90 more comfortable to use on a desk than I did the 9300 - remember my personal view.

I think the reason I have few problems with the S60 UI is that I have a 5500 Sport and N95. Therefore the transition to the E90 was very smooth for me.

Finally remember the E90 actually is three form factors is one. When closed it is like a Smartphone, when open on a desk it is a Communicator and when the screen is at 90 degrees it is like a Black Berry/E61i! So damn good value if yoy ask me Wink
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Deep_Heart
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 21:07    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

noetus, your saying the words out of my tongue, i strongly agree with every single phrase you commented about the E90, it is indeed not a replacement for the previous communicator S80 series.... with respect to everyone else opinion.

am not gonna be repeating what you have already said, but am simply offering my E90 for sale !

and will be waiting for a real replacement for the 9500 !

just to note, am a user of the communicator series since the 9110 was first released, the 9200 and the 9500 after it !

and for that matter, I would have rather go for an iPhone then the E90 ! since am already an apple user if ever decided to have a smartphone **am not trying to compare neither to imply one better then the other** ! but still NO i wont even go for an iPhone... i want a commi !
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m.tjioe
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 21:18    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

So, okay, I agree with you. I have been an avid supporter and Psion user, and have owned and used a 9210, 9210i, 9500 and now an E90. Okay like some others I miss some Psion and even 9500 functionality.

I must admit, the hardware is phenomenal, and I use webbrowser much more often than on my 9500, but I hate the keyboard, The design is nice, but the keys are to heavy. I could write complete articles on my 9500, which I did, but now my hands and especially my arms are hurting when I have typed a simple email. The keys are just to heavy.
But we were discussing series 60v3 and series 80. My 9500 was usually faster when switching tasks, when opening contacts or whatever. There seems to be an intentional delay when switching from the standby screen to any other application. This sucks, furthermore built-in applications are usually slower than any other on my 9500, only the simplified calendar on my e90 is defintly faster. How can this be? The processor is much faster then the one in my 9500. Must be that some software tweaks are still necessary.

The series60v3 interface is just not build for the E90. It doesn't use the full potential of the amazing screen, and it doesn't use the keyboard as much as it could. Eg it very frustrating that while you can see contact details or calendar details on the right side of the screen it is not possible to switch to that side of the screen to scroll to for example the streetaddress. You have to open the contact first, which opens a different view and scroll than down.

At this moment the E90 is a communicator but not a business device. Eg I can not synch my 1400 emails with Exchange for Mobile without almost killing my Messaging program (which becomes deadslow). No html email. Editing contacts is annoyingly slow. Calendar doesn't support whole day, events, less control over repeating entries etc.

As mentioned by others already, the outside screen usability is excellent. I use it much more often than on my old 9500, for navigation, contacts/calendar etc. without having to open the E90. it's not all bad.

I think that the E90 has huge potential and with hopefully several important firmware updates it can eventually replace the old communicators and be even more than any other communicator in the past. I just hope that Nokia listens and is working to sort things out.

And I already sold my 9500, so te E90 has to work...
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 21:49    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Noetus summarized very exactly what I think of E90 since a month.

All points would have in the Michal Jerz's review, for objectivity. It is what I reproach since the beginning.

I think also it would be interesting to open this debate seriously...


Last edited by Communicator on Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 23:34; edited 1 time in total
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Dennis M
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:06    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

noetus,

I used 9000->9110->9210->9500, and eagerly awaiting my E90, but I'm getting scared by your points, because everything you mention is important to me.

I can't agree on basis of own experience yet (my only one being trying the E90 in a shop) except for the keyboard. I was very disappointed with it - I couldn't feel at all if a key was pressed, like you can on the 9500 and I was so very very surprised, because no one seemed to mention it here on the site. I have to agree with you and m.tjioe, it seems to be unusable for writing longer documents, and I use the 9500 for that without any trouble.

Sigh, and my hopes for Nokia to make this good in later FW is very very low - they NEVER fixed the firstname, lastname problems in the 9500 or any other of the problems in that one, so why should they suddenly change? - When a phone is sold, the money is in the pocket, so on to the next device. They seem to ignore user satisfaction completely, and can probably get away with it because of their big market share.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:08    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I used a 9300i and sold it within a week....the phone had a mediocre build quality (felt like the hinges would break at any moment and within a few dozen open/closes the friction latching would just fail), the reception was THE WORST of any nokia I had ever used (from the lowly 8290 to the powerful E60), the web browser and onboard processor lacked speed and the cover phone was too limited. Im sure there were some business features I might have missed like the contacts and stuff, but if I really think about it, all those were just software enhancements (with the exception of fax, but that never stopped me anyways). The new E90 works great as a powerful smartphone like my E60, and I find it a joy to use as a communicator over my 9300i.
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Jah
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:18    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Dennis M, for the N95 I have already had TWO firmware upgrades, so I don't think Nokia will stop FW upgrades for the E90
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Dennis M
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:32    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Thank you Jah, that makes me feel a bit more secure.

Did they fix any user interface usability issues, or only serious connectivity kind of problems? I ask because there were also FW updates to the 9500, but as far as I know they never addressed inconveniences, only 'serious' problems...
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

For information, I posted june 4 : http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32555&highlight=

Last edited by Communicator on Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:57; edited 1 time in total
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Jah
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 22:39    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Dennis M, on the N95 I did not have any usability issues. Here in the UK it is one of the best selling phones so I assume it must be okay to use! The FW upgrade improved the GPS acquisition speed and performance of the UI. I am sure other things were addressed but I did not notice Wink
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 23:03    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

noetus, I agree with you. This has been a sad "development" with regard to the communicator-specific features. Personally, I think that the Calendar views and features have been extremely reduced. The E90 cannot be used as a good enough planning tool, like the old Psions, with week planner, busy hour view for the next weeks etc etc. Also, the good feature that you could have different colors for the different hour views for appointments, is missing too. This was very useful when planning different activities.

Fax is missing. Log is limited to 30 days. Scheduled fax and SMS sendings are missing. Timed profiles are missing. And in my opinion no 3rd party software can replace built in programs in a good enough way. Also, the keys are too hard to press, and the feedback they give, is not giving you a good feel whether you have typed or not. And the size of the keyboard is definitively on the verge of being just a bit too small for more extensive text entry - and this is just the POINT of being a communicator, as has been pointed out in an above post.

And unfortunately, I am afraid Nokia does not care.


Last edited by mortenandersen1 on Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 23:13; edited 1 time in total
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noetus
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 23:09    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

The 'crippling' of S60 in comparison to S80 - regarding keyboard shortcuts, poor use of screen real estate, poor use of keyboard, lack of (basic) features in Calendar and Contacts, and other such things we are concerned about CANNOT be fixed by a firmware update. A revision of S60 and these apps is required. Firmware updates will fix bugs, not design shortcomings.

The more I use the E90 and read posts on this forum, the more I realize there is a very basic mis-match between the hardware and the OS, and this will require more than a firmware upgrade, but a whole new OS revision.

One way in which the hardware has been accommodated to the OS, ironically enough, is that the E90 keyboard has been SHRUNK - or at least, not the keyboard area, but the individual letter and number keys are smaller than the N9300 keys, while certain keys - enter, backspace, my own key, tab (why? it's useless now) have been made larger. This is another way in which the keyboard is more like a smartphone's keyboard than a Communicator's keyboard - it's not designed for entering data, but from switching around between apps and such, with data entry on a sort of emergency basis.
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Jah
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PostPosted: Sunday, 29.Jul.2007 23:11    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

For the record after using Papyrus I will not really miss the Calendar and To Do app of the 9500, which by the way could not sync Notes.
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PostPosted: Monday, 30.Jul.2007 03:12    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

brosken wrote 24th Dec. 2004 about the transition from 9210i to 9500: (I think this really illustrates how early the "bad development" began.)

"* keyboard:
BAD
- on the pda side the keys are too close to each other
- Key feedback: it's hard to tell if you pressed a key or not without looking at the screen (keysounds can't always be heard in noisy environments)
- the space-key is too small
- the top row isn't seperated from the rest of the keyboard
- screen buttons are a tad hard to press as well as the joystick thingy
- arrow section should have been more seperated or beveled to avoid mistyping
GOOD
+ the "help" key is finally a combo-key so you don't accidentally hit it Cool
+ BT/IR/SYNC can be activated directly from the PDA side (just missing the BT on the phone)
+ joystick thingy works great except a bit hard to press
+ "My own" key is a cool addition
+ we now have 2 "SHIFT"-keys instead of 1 on the 9210
+ there is a handsfree earbud thingy included in the box"

In fact, I got my old 9210i out of my drawer tonight, and am much more satisfied with its keyboard (good separated keys and a much better "rocker" key). Of course, the screen was not as good as the quality of to day's screens, and naturally there are quite a number of features that are lacking (e.g. bluetooth etc).

But my main point is that as a HARDWARE device with regard to the keyboard, for putting lots of text entries in, in my opinion the transition to 9500 and E90 is really bad turn: Too small and crampy, keys are not enough separated.

Nokia must do this right again, otherwise I think they are in a danger of being kicked down and out by the HTC OMNI, at least hardware-wise, and perhaps also in other ways.
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