|« Some thoughts about the leaked HTC WM phones||What is a smartphone? »|
Problems with the Nokia E72Symbian
I have now reported on the firmware update provided by Nokia, and general impressions of the E72 after 3 months of use.
I mentioned in my "preview" of the E72 that opening and switching between programs was slow, partly due to the animations, and that I would not buy one until that was sorted out.
Well, I read that the animations could be disabled, so I tried that and sure enough all the lag completely disappeared.
Thus, I now own an E72.
It is a great device, but I have discovered a few problems with the the current version of the firmware, some of them quite serious.
- A2DP is virtually non-functional on the E72.
I say "virtually" because it works right after I reset the phone, but after the headset has been used in a phone call A2DP stops working all together.
- Much worse though is that the regular Bluetooth connection is extremely unstable. I have had a couple of disconnects during phone calls, and it often disconnects and then reconnects from my headset in standby mode for no apparent reason.
At best, the BT connection is very unreliable, and the E72 is by far the worst performing phone I have owned in this regard (a title that has been held by the Treo 650 until now, which was notorious for its lousy BT).
- RAM memory is only about 40 MB after a soft reset, compared to the 80 MB that was reported on many sites, including on some of Nokia's own sites.
Now some sites that had reviewed a "preview" version of the E72 stated that their phones only had 40MB but attributed this to their phones not having the final version of the firmware yet; this means that either A) they were in fact using the final version of the firmware or B) the phones that Nokia has sold to us so far are still running the "preview" version of the software.
You be the judge.
Since the BT connection is very unreliable, I tried to put some calls on the speaker instead. But I immediately received complaints about the awful quality: it turns out that there is a very bad echo for the person on the other end.
So to see for myself what was happening I asked my girlfriend to call me up from my E72 through the speaker, and the call quality on my end was indeed very bad. I could clearly hear my own voice repeating everything I was saying. A very unpleasant experience, and which unfortunately reduces the usefulness of the E72 as a phone even more.
This phone has huge potential: the overall speed of the device, the dedicated application keys and the keyboard makes for an extremely efficient device. And to be fair, the effects of the low RAM can only seen when you open a heavy website in the browser and it starts to shut down apps in the background. The rest of the time you can easily run +20 apps simultaneously with no performance hit (again, whoever said multitasking makes your device slow?).
But the Bluetooth issues are real and have already been reported on Nokia's discussion forums (here, here and here). Not even Nokia's own headsets guarantee a reliable connection, which just proves how badly it performs.
I would consider this to be a fatal bug on any phone, but on a business phone it is completely unacceptable. That is why I am very surprised by Nokia's reply that someone reported in one of the threads, where Nokia simply blames this on incompatible BT stacks and leaves it at that.
Consumers do not care about the technical mumbo-jumbo, they simply want a solution that works, just as it has with all the other phones and headsets they have used prior to their new E72. And if, as implied by Nokia's reply, Nokia considers this normal and that consumers should not expect the same kind of BT performance from their E72, then Nokia had better be completely open about this and disclose this to all potential customers.
Either that, or do what any professional company does: openly admit that they have a problem and that they are working on a solution for it, and provide a new firmware sooner rather than later.
So which is it going to be, Nokia?
I contacted Nokia's support center regarding these problems a couple of weeks ago, and received this reply from them a few days later:
I have sent your questions and the links you gave me to the developers.
They will investigate and return to me with results, as soon as they return i will contact you again.
When I receive that reply I will post it here.