Jul 10, 2007

Just got a Qtek 9100 - Rant to symbian developers

Symbian and Nokia fans, don't scream tragedy! Yours truly is and will always be a Nokia fan and a Symbian addict, no matter what! I will always be amazed by how much I can do on these phones, that I never expected and that no one expects. By using my Nokia 3250, I feel like I'm carrying at least 10kgs equivalent of stuff: camera, phone, bible, answering machine, mp3 player, dictionnaries, books, games, calculator, watch,...

The Rant
However, the Symbian platform has its limitations. Don't get me wrong: for performing everyday tasks, symbian may be the best platform, since it allows very complex operations on very small and integrated devices. But the problem that you encounter with Symbian, is that despite the wide availability of applications, it's yet not regarded by developers as a "capable" platform, and that in comparison with windows mobile and palm for instance. Probably it's the lack of a touchscreen interface and the fact that symbian devices are considered more wide-public oriented, while windows mobile and palm platforms are more for professional usage. That was the view until a couple of months a go, but with the release of extremely powerful and pricey symbian devices, like the E90 or the N95, that conception is about to change.

Still, you will find that most professional-oriented applications have yet to be available for Symbian. At least that's the case in the medical field. I have wandered the web searching for medical applications for s60 3rd, and basically ended up with Oxford's medical dictionary, Merriam Webster's medical dictionary and Mobireader with the wide array of ebooks they offer. That's it. What about medical calculators, drug interaction suites, laboratory utilities, medical news updates,...? Nothing. It's almost a disaster. Are doctors, physians, nurses, pharmacists and all paramed professionals considered as wealthy persons that can afford high-end devices? And why can't they carry a small ordinary but powerful Nokia device while keeping the same functionnality and the same benefits?

Well, so many questions that have yet to be answered. Hopefully someone will step up and do something about it!

The Qtek 9100
Let's get back to my recent purchase now. I was thinking about getting a below 100$ second-hand iPaq, but that was basically impossible in lebanon. No mobile store has a new iPaq, let alone a used one, and most of them don't even know what an iPaq is. So after 3 months of desperate and vain search, I dumped the iPaq idea, and decided to go all-the-way with a 300$ second hand Qtek 9100 (bluetooth, IR, WiFi, Windows mobile 5, QWERTY, touchscreen, and all the medical goodies I can imagine). I got it yesterday.

My initial impressions
Worth the money. The Qwerty is amazing, and so is the huge touchscreen and the WiFi. Finally, I can enjoy internet mobile at my university, without having to carry around a laptop! MobiReader looks extremely nice, and so does iSilo. Screen rotation works smoothly and makes internet surfing a blast. Skyscape medical apps are more than available and from what I can see, some are extremely useful and they function really well.

Where do I stand between Nokia 3250 and Qtek 9100?
It's hard to choose between the 2. Very hard.
My solution: use both.

The Nokia 3250 will be my main phone: it will hold my sim card: calls and sms will have to be managed from there. It will go in my back pocket and will be the device I will take with me everywhere: from the toilet to the kitchen, to my friend's houses, to the grocery shop to the car,... It will also be my in-car music player, a function that it lost a while ago because I had to dump music from my memory card in favor of some medical books.

The Qtek 9100 will be my professional phone: it won't have a sim card, because tapping an sms or making a call on-the-go in the car can be very hazardous and dangerous. It will be used to surf the internet at uni or at any hotspot, to jot down Word notes (the Qwerty makes it easier), to read ebooks. It will also be my companion in my 2months laboratory training this summer and my 7months hospital internship next year. It will find place in my bag, safe from the world, ready to be used, but not as quickly available as my back pocket's Nokia 3250.

Unfortunately, that's what you have to do nowadays to keep everything you want, the way you want it. As I said, I hope someone will try to find the solution to the unavailability of medical apps (for Symbian.

This will be the case until I get sick of having 2 devices and decide to dump one of them. I wonder if that will happen, and what device will that be?


  1. hey...congrats on ur new purchase.

  2. Well, its a hard choice to make, Symbian have a nice side however.

    But I wondering this has been a long time since you wrote this post. How is the decision?


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