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Anyone still using Symbian?


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Since we've already got a topic about Windows Mobile (albeit PDA focused), I thought I'd start one on Symbian.

I stayed on Symbian longer than most people, until mid 2019 as my only phone system with a Nokia 808.  But I must admit I don't really use it anymore.  One of the major problems was that it wasn't charging as reliably (the connector being the problem), but its UI performance also leaves something to be desired once you've used a mid-2010s phone with a much faster processor.

Still, it has some advantages over my iPhone.  The OLED screen was really nice, including some great screensavers that have hardly any impact on battery life.  Theoretically better picture quality thanks to its sensor, tied only by the Lumia 1020, although in practice software improvements since 2012 mean newer phones are better in many situations.  An easily swappable battery.  And some of the software was nice; the notes on the home screen were great to-do reminders, and I haven't yet found an iOS music player that I like as well as QuasarMX (which released an update for all platforms, including Symbian, last year, if you happen to need a maintained Symbian music player).

Every so often I still fire it up to enjoy the OLED screensavers, and I wonder if it might have resulted in some better pictures when traveling in the mountains this year; my point-and-shoot beat the iPhone in situations with zoom, and the PureView system and larger lens might have too.  But it's hard to justify taking it along as an additional device just for the pictures when I could take a dedicated camera for pictures.

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I always wanted a Sony Ericsson P900/P910/P990. 

 

I had a P800 back in the day. 

 

Also looking for Lumia 950 XL to enjoy the latest windows phone 

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Oooh, Sony Ericsson.  All my dumbphones were Sony Ericsson, the last being the K800i.  Never had a Symbian Sony Ericsson though.

Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" Processor | 20 GB DDR3 | RX 480 8 GB | 850 Evo + Several HDDs | 8.1 Pro

Laptops: MSI GL63, Dell Inspiron 1520

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Sony Ericsson had excellent Symbian devices in the P800, P900 and P910i but it went downhill with the P990i (64 MB RAM paired with Symbian 9.1 gave 18 MB available for applications and memory leaks made multitasking problematic). P1i had 128 MB RAM and worked pretty well but didn't get GPS or a faster CPU, which were major letdowns; those issues eventually led to the downfall of the system (the last major hardware revision was the 208 MHz P990i and they kept using the very same CPU until the end in 2008/2009 with the G700/G900). 

Symbian OS was excellent and very much a preferred option over Android (8.x and especially 9.x and newer) or iOS. It is ironic but I still very much prefer a P910i software wise over any smartphone released after 2016 and the same applies to Windows Mobile 6.x. I have given up on smartphones, though since the regression of the operating systems and "apps" are too much for me. 

Symbian Series 80 is another favorite - excellent system and interface. I still miss the system,

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Now that's a platform I haven't heard anyone mention in a long, long time.  Do Symbian devices even still work on modern networks?

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It depends on how you define modern networks.  I don't believe there are any 4G Symbian devices, so as 3G is phased out, they will stop working on modern cellular networks.  From the WiFi front, my 808 supports 802.11n, which is still widely supported, although definitely not the newest anymore.

In the U.S., 3G phase-out is this year, in February for AT&T, March for Sprint, July for T-Mobile, and December 31 for Verizon.  So right now the answer to whether they still work on current networks is, "yes", but a year from now it will be "no".

Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" Processor | 20 GB DDR3 | RX 480 8 GB | 850 Evo + Several HDDs | 8.1 Pro

Laptops: MSI GL63, Dell Inspiron 1520

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I actually thought AT&T had already shut down their 3G network.  I should probably also mention that I have AT&T as my cellular provider.

Mobile Tech: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro, Late 2021) | Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Cellular (AT&T), 2020) | Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max | Samsung Galaxy Z Flip | Apple Watch SE
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Automotive: 2010 Honda Accord EX-L with Navigation (2.4L) | 1992 Chevrolet C1500 Silverado (Crate 305)
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I'd still use my 809 PureView if it weren't dead.  But none of the batteries I have will get it to work, so I suspect it's a bigger issue.

It's a shame.  Symbian was such an efficient OS.  Sure, they didn't manage to get it to work with multicore SoCs.

And it's a shame that what was supposed to be an alternative in Maemo/Meego is now Sailfish which doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere significant.

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  • 8 months later...

In 2020 I used an N-GAGE Classic (the taco) for about a month or more, because I broke my then main phone. I also have another N-GAGE, as well as 2 N-GAGE QDs (one silver edition), N93 and N95 8GB. As for network, 2G is still a thing around here, can't tell for how long though.

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