Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2009

The iPhone 3 GS strikes back

As I already mentioned when comparing the iPhone 3G to the Nokia 5800, there are some changes to come. In the meantime, Nokia launched the Ovi Store and now my brand ne iPhone 3 GS ist here. So it is time to check the ratings, here is what has changed:



On my first test, I found the displays quite comparable. But now summer is there and I found that the 5800's display is nearly unreadable in sunlight which will result in 1 point penalty.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 5


As I presumed, the iPhone's camera did now match the one of the 5800 with 3 megapixel, auto focus and video recording. Both do not match the N95 (which I would rate 4 points) or the N86 (5 points).
Rating: 5800: 3, iPhone: 3


The sound of the iPhone's speaker just blew me away. I can't tell, if I have been dumb when I tested them the first time, or Apple did improve them for the 3GS. These speakers a definitely at the same level like the 5800's.
Rating: 5800: 5, iPhone: 5

Battery Life

Though still the weak point of the iPhone, Apple has improved it on the 3 GS, so it will gain a second point.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 2

System Software

Operating System

Though the iPhone still does not offer multi tasking, it now has the notification service, which might be enough for many use cases. It still has no user accessible file system, but on the other hand this takes away a huge amount of complexity from the average user. And with the new mobile me iDisk application, Apple has created an easy way of accessing any kind of files with the built in viewers. With 3rd Party software, these files will also be editable. Apple still does not support SD cards, but with 32GB the iPhone offers enough memory on board, even more then the 5800 offers with the largest supported SDHC-card which is 16 GB.
On the other hand, S60 5th Ed. showed up to be more inconsistent then the iPhone OS. This did not come to my eye when I first used it because I was so much used to S60. But for someone who will use a smartphone for the first time, the iPhone is the much easier choice.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 4

Phone Application

Now the iPhone has a fast search application, making it much more easy and faster to call a contact from the home screen. The 3GS is faster, so it is no delay anymore after the phone is taken from the ear, so waiting for the hangup button to arrive is no more an issue. And double clicking the button can be configured to get to the phone (this could also be done on the 3G, I forgot to mention). The iPhone with OS 3 became a very effective phone, so it now gains the full 5 pts.
Rating: 5800: 5, iPhone: 5

On Screen Keyboard

The iPhone now got a landscape mode for the keyboard, which has been my main complaint with the 3G. On the other hand, the 5800's keyboard showed up to be slower when turning it into landscape and it is less responsive. But it still has tactile feedback and German Umlats.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 4

UI Navigation

The iPhone OS 3 now comes with Spotlight search when flipping left from the first app launcher screen. And that changes everything. To start an app on the 11th launcher screen, you now could also flip left to Spotlight, type the first 2 or 3 letters and run the app from there. So there is no more need for flipping 10 pages in worst case.
The iPhone also learned cut, copy and paste. And it is built Apple like in a very lovely and usable way. The iPhone still does not allow multi tasking, but working with several apps is now easier than before. And on the other hand, the simple UI of the iPhone is easy to use for everyone, even people who have never used a smartphone before.
S60 5h Ed. has more choices, but also more complexity. I now prefer the iPhone's UI for it's speed and simplicity, but someone who looks for more customization might prefer S60.
It now takes about the same number of steps to get things done on both phones, so it is more a matter of taste. The iPhone lacks multi tasking for user apps, S60 lacks the ease of use and consistency. Overall, it is a draw now.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 4


The 5800 is still more customizable. But in fact, I really never used it. I never used profiles, exept for the silent profile. The iPhone has a mute button just like my good old Palm Treo. What is a number of different color, font & icon schemes worth, if you don't like any and are just looking for a clean look like the iPhone's.
For me, this is not an issue anymore, so I delete this from my list.

Today/Standby Screen

A standby screen with more information like upcoming dates is still on my wishlist. At least, Apple added the Option to show notifications on the application icon, thus gaining one additional point
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 2

Audio Player

Apple made only sligth, but effective changes to the iPod application in OS 3.0. It is now possible to change the speed of scrolling through a title by moving the finger up or down. When I hear an audio book, which could be some hours long, it has been nearly impossible to scroll back a minute. I often need this, e.g. when I hear an audio book in the car and a traffic situation required my attention so I missed a minute or so. This was easier on a click wheel iPod, which I prefered until OS 3.0 came out. Now an iPhone (or iPod Touch) is a full replacement for a click wheel iPod. The only drawback, that remains, is that music can only be synced from one computer. If you are using a different computer and have some audio files on it, you can't get them onto your iPhone without erasing all songs on it.
On the other hand, I found that the podcasting app on the 5800 is a complete mess. It does not memorize the last position, it does forget which podcast has been heard. If you hear a podcast on the 5800 until the end, it will mark it as heard. But if you delete it afterwards, which is what most people do, it will be shown as a new episode. This will cost a point.
Rating: 5800: 2, iPhone: 4


In iPhone OS 3.0, Apple seemed to have fixed the sync problems with Outlook. Though still not as fast as Nokia's PC-Sync, and it does not give a detailed report, it works now. And it has learned how to sync notes with Outlook. So the iPhone is on par with the 5800 now. It also has the possibility of Syncing with GTD apps on the Mac, like Things or OmniFocus. There is no GTD app with sync client for any platform.
So the 5800 has still a faster Outlook sync and gives detailed information, but still lacks calendar categories. The iPhone has GTD apps with desktop sync. Overall it is - again - a draw now.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 4

Email client

Nokias new mail client did not become as good as expected, and even ProfiMail is not as good in rendering complex html formatted mails like the iPhone's mail app. And the iPhone now has learned to type mails in landscape. So the iPhone will get the full 5 points now. As the 5800's mail client is not that good and the new Nokia mail is sluggish, I will rate it down to 4 points.
Rating: 5800: 4, iPhone: 5


Application Support

Apple's AppStore just became 1 year old and it is without doubt the best application store in the world. The number of high quality apps for the iPhone is just gigantic. On the other hand, Nokia's Ovi store could not keep up with the expectations at all. It is slow and between all the color schemes, background images and music, the apps are hard to find. There does not seem to be anything like the community of iPhone developers and only a small number of 5800 apps came out in the last month. And most of them could not keep up with the quality of the iPhone apps, though there are some like the Twitter client Gravity.
Rating: 5800: 3, iPhone: 5

Car Integration

As expected, the iPhone now supports turn-by-turn navigation, starting with one of my favorite System from Navigon and TomTom to come later this year. Nokia on the other hand upgraded their Nokia Maps to 3.0, giving a better map display with 3D buildings. But it's main issue, the fiddly usage, has not been improved.


Hardware 5800 Iphone
Display 4 5
Camera 3 3
Speakers 5 5
Battery 4 2
Build Quality 3 5
∑ Hardware 19 20

System Software

System features 4 4
Phone App 5 5
Ringtones 5 2
On Screen keyboard 4 4
UI Navigation 4 4
Today Screen 4 2
Audio Player 2 4
Video player 5 4
PIM 4 4
Web Browser 4 4
Email 4 5
∑ System Software 45 42


Application Support 3 5
Development Environment 3 4
Car Integration 3 5
Itunes integration 3 5
Online Services 3 3
Newsreader sync. 4 5
Apple TV integr. 0 5
∑ Ecosystem 19 32

Value for money

Price 5 1
Add On's 5 1
∑ Value for money 10 2

Summary 5800 IPhone
Hardware Total 19 20
Software Total 45 42
Ecosystem Total 19 32
Value Total 10 2
93 96

All other aspects, which I did not mention in this test update did not change, so you could use the old version below. Overall, iPhone OS 3.0 and the iPhone 3 GS have many improvements. The first iPhone was just an interesting concept, but could not compete with the established Smartphones. The iPhone 3G and OS 2.x closed up in many aspects, but not all, so the 5800 became the winner of my last comparision. But Nokia has been lazy, all they did was building the N97, which is an improvement in some areas, but a step back in others. And the software is the same in nearly all aspects, exept for the new standby screen. Wow, a new standby screen, useless for anyone not using Facebook, it seems. The iPhone got all these little improvements, which make up a mature platform. For me, it is now the best smartphone in the world.

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