Thursday, 20 March 2008

(Updated) Don't look an expensive mobile phone in the mouth

Fucking Samsung. I've come to the conclusion that they're just not serious about playing any sort of leadership role in the mobile phone arena.

Harsh, you say?


Ignoring for a moment that they can build a mega-power-user looking horizontal QWERTY touchscreen slider and install a hacked version of their old proprietary operating system on it instead of a property smartphone system like the Windows Mobile on their less-powerful Blackjack or the Symbian that they have chosen for their extremely tasty looking G810 5mega pixel 3x optical zoom cameraphone, they just don't sweat the details.

On my A701 the Java performance is inconsistent at best, stalls occasionally, and using predictive text in any Java app is an exercise in alpha-quality software. On my much older Sony-Ericsson, adding a word to the T9 dictionary would result in that word being the first solution offered from then on. On the Samsung, adding a word puts it to the back of the cue. It now takes three key presses to spell the short form of my girlfriend's name, and another three to select it from the available options.

And now I find this, about the recently released G800 camera phone:

"Compared to other
GSM-models, Samsung’s 3G handsets are somewhat better performers; however they aren’t too far ahead. Generally, Samsung is chasing the market on this front, for its devices come with slower CPUs and no full Java support. As it stands today, new applications can be uploaded only over the air (wap)." (Mobile Review)

Right there are three of my favourite gripes about the A701: They cut corners on the hardware, the Java support is sketchy and limiting, and the file system management options are rude to say the least.

It gets worse: On the G810, which comes with GPS (well, they can't really take on the Nokia N95 without it, can they?) you can only use this functionality if you install the maps yourself. Excuse me? Build a GPS receiver and leave it blank? What sort of customer service is that? And the application that it comes with is crippled anyway: No zooming in real-time? (Review also from Mobile Review). Oh yes, and you can't install a better application (other than Google Maps, which makes you pay for data downloaded whenever you use it) because it lacks security certificates - another thing I hate about the A701.

Once again I arrive back at the highly depressing conclusion that only Nokia, a maker of devices with all the design flair of fellow Scandinavians Volvo, are the only company able to competently make a complete phone.

(Edit): Do you have one of those mobiles that shows you the ID of the mobile tower that it's connected to? Well I just found out that I could tell mine to do that. And now I find that when it does the softkey that normally calls up the menu is renamed "View" to view the full message from the tower. What the? This now means that the menu is not accessible without hitting Cancel and then, within about two seconds, hitting the menu key. This is fucked. Once again, they have not sweated the details.

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