Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Transitioning from Symbian to Android, and Goodbye…for now.

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My apologies for those who have kept up with my site while I haven’t over the past year. A lot has changed for me since I last updated this site. I moved to Chicago following a job offer to work at US Cellular as a retail wireless consultant in late 2009, I sold my I8910 and bought a Nexus One from Google, and I’ve been keeping myself really busy with work and my new life in the city. Because of this, my interest in writing anything about Symbian declined to absolute zero. That said, I find it only fair to detail what the experience has been like transitioning from a hardcore Symbian fan to an avid Android user and to give this site a proper farewell. So without further ado, here is why I left Symbian, and why I will most likely never buy another Symbian device again.

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Written by Jonathan

October 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

Just so we’re clear…

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YES, it works on AT&T 3G in the US. Read this.

Written by Jonathan

August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

There is NO 1GHz i8910HD, Updated

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Update: If some research and a dab of common sense weren’t enough, Samsung India has taken down the 1GHz line from the product description and replaced it with the proper specifications listed below.

Recently, a lot of mobile blogs and forums have worked themselves into a tizzy over Samsung India posting the specs of the 16gb i8910HD with an added line that reads “1GHz CPU Powering Innovative 3D UI” and jumping to the conclusion that Samsung put in a newer, faster processor for this release. For those that bothered to look into the actual CPU hardware used in the Samsung i8910HD, you might have noticed this line:

OMAP3430 – 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Paying attention to the bolded numbers, neither of them come close to 1GHz. It’s only when you add the clockspeeds of the main CPU and the DSP that you get 1030MHz, or 1GHz. That’s all well and good, but NO other mobile CPU is clocked in the same manner. If they were, then that means the N97 is running at 694MHz, the N95 is clocked at 552MHz, and the Palm Pre is clocked over 1GHz.

It also means that EVERY i8910HD on the market has a 1GHz CPU as well.

TechRadar’s post regarding the same topic digs a bit deeper and reminds of Samsung’s previous history with errors on their own website. I’m reminded of Nokia copying and pasting information from the Euro device specifications onto the NAM device pages without bothering to change even the frequencies.

Still don’t believe me? Consider the contrary. Pretending Samsung DID change the processor  it would be a production miracle if Samsung was able to…

A-1. place an order for X,000 (or more) new Qualcomm chipsets (including all of the licensing and purchasing details from TI), OR
A-2. rush their own 1GHz Hummingbird CPU into production a few weeks after it was announced,
B. re-write the drivers necessary for the hardware and operating system to work properly with the new chipset,
C. re-manufacture the next batch of i8910HD’s with this new chipset, and
D. do it all within the 2-3 months the original has been available.

There is NO 1GHz i8910HD. Or, if you like, ALL i8910HD’s are 1GHz. You decide. Either way,

it’s the same device.

Written by Jonathan

August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Word Mobi!!!!!11!!1!1!!

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Last night I faced stability issues with my main N97 that required me to switch to the backup and also required I reinstall all of my apps. Apparently I found an older version of WordMobi and only realized it after it failed to save my nearly finished (and very long) blog post about our adventures in Chicago thus far.

Rather than rewrite it this late, I only have time to post what’s important for tomorrow, and that happens to be our final Mobile Camp at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the Armour Room between 10am and 4pm. Just like our previous Mobile Camps, there will be food, drink, and everyone gets a free T-shirt. If you’re in the area and like anything mobile, swing by, hang out, and join in some of the mobile discussion. We’d love to have you! The signup link is in several of my previous posts, but you can just show up if you’d like too. You can find the signup page here .

Though my original post was lost, I will at least post that I did reach the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower today with all three of the required images, winning the city race challenge. I’ll leave you with one of the many breathtaking shots I took at the top.

07172009033.jpg

Posted by Wordmobi

AT&T 3G and YOU!

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There seems to be a lot of confusion recently regarding a “NAM i8910” which includes the UMTS 850 and 1900 frequencies used by AT&T and the frequencies supported by the current i8910. Please read ahead and allow me to clear up this confusion.

1. There is no “NAM i8910” and there probably never will be.

The current Samsung i8910 supports quadband GSM (voice and EDGE data) and triband 900/1900/2100 UMTS (for 3G voice and HSDPA data). Samsung has not made any mention of plans to release a second i8910 with the 850 UMTS frequency for use on AT&T’s 3G network.

2. This may not matter, depending on where you are.

AT&T currently uses both UMTS 850 and 1900 frequencies to make up its 3G network in the US. Fortunately, the 1900 UMTS frequency is used primarily in their current infrastructure for most of their 3G coverage. That means depending on where you are, you may be able to access AT&T’s 3G network with only the UMTS 1900 frequency in the i8910 just as you would a phone that supports both frequencies. Aside from AT&T’s 3G data, the i8910 will work on ANY GSM network for voice and EDGE data due to the quadband GSM frequencies.

(Note: All further improvements to AT&T’s network is being done by adding UMTS 850 towers. If you don’t currently have 3G coverage in your area, and AT&T drops a notice on your door that they’re expanding their coverage, your brand new i8910 probably won’t be able to access the 3G data from the towers they just added.)

3. How do I find out what frequency is being used in my area?

Aside from the dozens of platforms and applications that can be used to find out which UMTS tower your phone is connected to, the easiest way is to give AT&T a call. If you can get connected to a technician who knows what he/she’s doing, they should be able to identify which frequency your phone is using in your area.

As a disclaimer, I do not take any responsibility if you buy an i8910 and it does not access AT&T’s 3G network, so please do not email me with complaints if this happens. The point to this post is that given the state of AT&T’s 3G network, there is a very good chance that the UMTS 1900 frequency will work just as well with the i8910 in its current state without a NAM version necessary. I can tell you from my own personal experience that both the Atlanta and Chicago metropolitan areas are heavily covered by UMTS 1900. Anywhere else will be up to you to find out.

Please drop a comment or an email if you have any further questions. Inspiration for the title of this post.

Written by Jonathan

May 25, 2009 at 1:31 am

The Trouble With Resistive

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I came across this picture the other day and was amazed at how well it visually captured everything I hate about resistive touch screens (the phone is the HTC Touch Diamond 2).

Notice the “waves” of the top layer of plastic that’s going to make contact with the user’s stylus and fingers. Having used several touch screens with this type of screen recently, the one thing I’ve noticed is that this top thin layer is anything but durable. Those “waves” will shift as you use the screen over time and even with normal usage or a screen protector applied, tiny skids and lines will start to appear over the surface. And you can absolutely forget about putting this phone in your pocket with keys. I’m not one to do such a thing (usually my phone has its own dedicated pocket), but I know there are people who do.

Comparing that experience to the durability of a capacitive screen with tempered glass is part of the reason I’m so geared up on using the i8910. I never found too much difficulty in normal usage or in clarity as I’ve heard other people complain about on phones like the 5800XM. My biggest gripe was how the screen felt like it was simply going to fall apart if I kept the phone any longer and seeing how quickly it developed a noticeable amount of wear after very little abuse. What I don’t understand is why this type of screen is still being used when thicker plastic layers have been used over resistive screens on other devices and have held up much better.

Check out these videos to see how much tempered glass makes a difference.

Written by Jonathan

May 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

If you really want to gauge the US cell phone market…

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Take a look at the Cell Phones & Plans sections on Yahoo! Answers.


When you take a look at the wide variety of questions that a ton of different people ask about their mobiles and their plans every few seconds, it really kida puts things into perspective. That’s not to make fun of anyone in the US. I’m just trying to show that there are a lot more people in the US who have absolutely NO idea what’s out there or even how to use the free phone they just picked up from AT&T. Hell, a lot of them don’t even know how to find the information they’re looking for (other than to ask it on Yahoo! Answers). It makes me wonder how many people out there without computers are struggling as much or harder.

How are companies going to reach these people? And not just the big name hardware manufacturers, what about all of the software developers both big and small who have a killer application for their phone that’s either free or well worth the money? It makes me feel like Apple has made some very huge accomplishments in reaching out to those people, and they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

I don’t care what you think of the iPhone; these companies need to take a page out of Apple’s books.

Written by Jonathan

May 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm