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News

Coming From Symbian to Android

Kieron Howard has been a Symbiam smartphone junkie since 2003. Then he went cold turkey after scoring an HTC Desire - see how he's getting on now...

In 2003 I purchased my first smartphone  – A Nokia 6600. Featuring a 104MHz processor and VGA camera it was light year ahead of any other phone I had owned. Nokia used Symbian Series 60 on this phone and I loved it. Multitasking was good, the phone ran quickly and it was like a mini laptop in my pocket.

I took no hesitation in sticking with Nokia and Symbian for the next few years, why would I change? There was nothing else on the market that came close to the features that Symbian offered. Symbian for a while was a great OS, offering lots of apps while being fairly robust and tweakable.

In 2006 after the contract ran out on my trusty 6630 I bought its successor, the N70. This is where things started to go wrong for me, the phone was slow, Symbian felt like it hadn’t really been updated in years and to top it all off, the phone got wet a few months later and then failed to turn on.

Fast forward to the start of 2010 and I purchased my first Android phone, I’d been following the development of Android closely, its more open nature and proper accessible file system  – similar to Symbian – appealed over iOS. I was impressed by the HTC Hero, but the Nexus One announcement caught my eye.

I bought a HTC Desire pretty much on release day after trying to get my hands on a Nexus One and then realising that the Desire was essentially the same phone but cheaper.

Browsing the web was probably the best thing about the phone, great resolution screen with colours that burst out of the screen compared to my other phones and a snappy response to inputs. On my old Symbian based phones internet surfing was a bit of a chore, the browser was based and lacked support for modern web technologies, but with Android it was nearly identical to a desktop experience.

The only thing I miss about my old Nokias is battery life. I’d consider myself a heavy user and usually have between 40% and 60% of juice left at the end of the day, where as with Symbian I’d get 3 or 4 days out of it. That’s the price you pay though for large screens and fast CPUs.

Overall I’ve been hugely impressed by my first outing with Android , and will be defiantly sticking with it for my next phone.  As for Symbian, with Nokia recent announcement that they are switching to Windows Phone 7, it looks like it’s the end of the road.

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