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embed 04-22-2010 05:04 AM

I want to buy a new smartphone
Main purposes are note taking(to-do), audio streaming, voip(SIP) and coding on the go(python, c++, bash)
I want some device with a convenient keyboards(obviously). My current candidates are Nokia n900 and Motorola milestone(droid). I was considering Geeksphone but saw that their drivers are closed too(actually their manufacturer is violating GPL).
Another option is, I already own this baby so I can get something slim without a keyboard and carry the BT keyboard with me.

To the point: can you tell about your experiences with smartphone qwerty keyboards?

PS: Waiting for the Pandora might be an alternative to smartphones.

Hangdog42 04-22-2010 07:59 AM

I know the Milestone/Droid keyboard has had a monumental amount of criticism, but to be honest, I've found it to be acceptable. Of course that may say more about how bad my previous phones were as opposed to anything about the Droid. However, I don't do much keyboard-heavy work on my phone. To-do's are fine and audio streaming is good (I generally use Pandora radio) but I haven't tried anything even remotely like coding or editing text files. I think the screen is kind of small for that and would do it on my netbook rather than my phone.

dunix 04-26-2010 09:11 PM

The keyboard on the Droid is pretty good compared to the other phones I have used (Pre and Voyger to name a few). However, the on screen keyboard works so well I never use the slide out keyboard. Also the speech to text is awesome, and usually what I use for long texts and such.

Smophos 07-16-2010 05:26 AM

The Motorola Cliq (the model below the Milestone/Droid) has the best keyboard I have used on any smartphone and note taking is an absolute breeze and the speed which audio streams and the browser loads is lovely together with the fact I have a small data package on Orange, UK. The Android Market can provide for all of your other needs however I don't know anything about coding on-the-fly as I have never done this.

In terms of performance the Cliq is about equal to the HTC Hero, I've found it the best handset I've ever owned/tried out but of course this is very subjective.

I hope you find what you are looking for :)


embed 07-17-2010 03:02 AM

Thank you for your comments, I decided to buy a N900. Not really satisfied with the software but the hardware is quiet solid.

storkus 08-14-2010 10:32 PM

Hey Embed, now that you've had it for a bit (I hope), what do you think of it? I'm thinking of getting one myself, but I keep reading that Nokia has all but quit officially supporting it already, so I'm a bit shy...

embed 08-17-2010 10:22 AM


Originally Posted by storkus (Post 4066596)
Hey Embed, now that you've had it for a bit (I hope), what do you think of it? I'm thinking of getting one myself, but I keep reading that Nokia has all but quit officially supporting it already, so I'm a bit shy...

Summary: Good hardware, mediocre vendor software/supprt, good community software/support, poor battery life. Very flexible, but ugly out of the box. Needs some tweaking for the full potential.

Read on for the long answer.

Here are my experiences so far:
The keyboard is as comfortable as such a board gets. The keys look small but their shape is good enough to give you the feeling. The LCD panel is translective hybrid, it is readable even under brightest sunlight. I didn't have any problems with the 3G modem or wi-fi. It has USB host support but didn't test that yet.

Now, let's get to the software. Maemo(currently 1.2) feels like a desktop rather than a smartphone interface(it is called an "internet tablet" after all.) but still usable, although occasionally you will need both of your hands free. It has support for Skype, Googletalk(im only), Jabber and SIP, and there is a third-party plugin for libpurple protocols(and you have Pidgin).
For some reason, VoIP support was always problematic for me, both Skype and SIP. My old E65 had excellent SIP quality on 3G(Vodafone NL) but N900 sucks on the same provider and the same server.

As for applications, Nokia's store is almost totally useless, the number of apps is small and finding them is even harder. Most of my applications are provided by the community, and they are good. I use Pidgin for IM and Mappero for navigation. There are also lots of different packages in extras repository and also in some personal repositories.

There is a Debian chroot environment which is(told to be) easy to install and provides a huge repository of Debian-ARM software.

Finally, I charge the 1320mAh battery everyday but it can survive for two days(maybe more) of standby. Iam OK with this(I own a Freerunner) but not anybody is amused by this.

storkus 08-19-2010 12:36 AM

Thanks for the reply! The VoIP and battery problems are well known and have been written about since the thing was released, though I would have thought they'd be a little better by now: this seems to tell me the problem may be in hardware (the WiFi most likely?). Ditto for Nokia's "store".

Did you have any problems with the USB port? I'm not sure if they recalled the ones they didn't sell to RMA the problem, but everything I read says that dealing with Nokia for a warranty issue is a major hassle and they will do everything they can to weasel out of it; this is another problem that makes me jittery.

Unfortunately, I may be out of a job shortly so buying this (or anything else) will have to hold for a bit until I know what's going to happen. From what I've been reading, that may be a good thing (to wait for the next generation). I just wish someone else would make a phone that didn't need to be rooted (sometimes constantly).

Thanks again!

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