Dealing with accusations of bias is a sad, annoying truth when you make a living reviewing *anything* for a living. While I'd be the first to tell you that I have my personal preferences when it comes to mobile devices and applications, I also do my very best to remain as objective as possible - and to view products from multiple perspectives - when reviewing a phone, accessory, or service.
That said, I'm stealing that gaming editor's idea here by offering a run-down of what I love and hate about the major smartphone platforms we've been spending so much time covering this Summer at PhoneDog. Take it for what you will, but I'm tellin' ya, there are things I love and hate about every device out there, and I really mean it when I say that just because I like a particular phone doesn't mean you will, or should, as well.
Now if only I could get YouTube commenters to stop yelling at each other (and me) for a minute and come read my blog ...
Nokia and Symbian OS (S60 and S40 - Note that Symbian runs on some non-Nokia phones, as well)
- I love how Nokia does hardware. RF/Voice quality, battery life, and (usually) build quality are top-notch.
- I hate how Nokia does software - user interfaces, in particular. So many features and applications, so unintuitive to use, especially for the novice.
- I love how Nokia is devoted to open platforms, open betas, social networking, "conversations" sites, and all of that hippie crowd-sourced tech stuff.
- I hate how Nokia touts how open their devices are as a way of avoiding how there's no way a first-time smartphone user could ever figure out how an S60 phone works.
- I love the sleek metal body and QWERTY board of the E71/E72, the tricked out camera of the N85/N86, and the over the top slider mechanism and storage capacity of the N97.
- I hate that it took Nokia about five lifetimes to figure out how to position the A and the Z on a keyboard, and how the battery cover on their $700 flagship phone is a cheap plastic POS that broke the first time I tried to replace it.
- I love how innovative the N95 was.
- I hate how un-innovative the N96 was.
- I love what the E71 and E75 do for typing.
- I hate what the 5800 and N97 do for touching.
- I love how Nokia rules Europe.
- I hate how Nokia has failed in the United States.
- I love that Symbian OS has long handled multitasking like a champ, had a true HTML Web browser years before any other mobile platform did, and lets its users create, consume, distribute and share music, video, photos, podcasts, and other media without silly business-driven restrictions.
- I hate that Nokia and Symbian rested on their laurels for so long that the S60 UI, the Web Browser, and the media player now feel hopelessly out of date when compared to their competitors. Seriously, Nokia, you call the 5800 and N97 "Touch Optimized" devices? Have you SEEN a Pre, Touch Pro2, or iPhone lately?
- I love that Nokia E- and N- Series devices come equipped with standard headphone jacks and above-average cameras. And that many of them come with exotic in-box accessories like TV-out cables.
- I hate that Nokia headphone jacks don't play nice with BlackBerry and iPhone-compatible headsets and their in-line remote controls.
- I love that the lowly 5310 XpressMusic is super slim, has an Active Standby home screen, and sounds great as an iPod-clone when used with quality earphones.
- I hate that I couldn't get myself to use the 5310 as my personal phone for more than a month before I missed having a larger screen, good Web browser, WiFi, 3G, etc, etc.
- I love that Nokia is the number one cell phone maker in the world and that they rule when it comes to churning out low-end phones that reliably make and receive calls with battery life to spare.
- I hate that I haven't really liked a high-end Nokia in a few years now. Save the E75, which I sort of love. Except that I'll never carry one around because I can't stand S60 anymore.
Wow, felt good to get that off my chest. And I'm sure I missed some stuff. How about you? What do you love and hate about Nokias and Symbian?
You fill up the comments and in the meantime, I think I'll pick another platform and do this all over again ...