From Symbian to Android: Managing Expectations

Symbian-to-Android

There have been two very good posts on Mobility Blog in the last two weeks about the switch experience from Symbian as a mobile platform to Android. Here are some other few things to keep in mind when switching…

Contrary to popular belief, we at PlirisMobile are not all evil anti-Popular-Name-Brand techies. We are also everyday people who get to use devices in everyday situations for basic stuff.

I have always been a fan of a certain Finnish product. One of my personal rules is to always own at least one Nokia phone. Presently, I have an N900 and an E72 in my drawer at home and a faulty N8 in my bag. (N8 got damaged and Nokia Nigeria told me since it was bought in the UK I should forget about it. I was very angry, but I digress).

This is not a Symbian-is-Better-than-Android or vice versa post. It is just about preparing your mind before the switch. Symbian (God rest her soul), supported C++ programming. It was because of its high Java support that gaming was the ultimate experience here.

Most times, end users go through culture shock when they switch from other platforms to Android devices in general. Today we will be talking about Android adopters coming from Symbian.

  • You will need more internet data: Unlike on Symbian OS where you could survive on the networks’ 10MB donation for recharging your account, you need to consider getting a data plan. For standard WhatsApp, browsing, tweeting and emailing at least a 200MB plan will be ideal for a month.
  • You will need a Google Account: A Google Account is the official way to get things done on an Android phone, you can do without it but you will be like a deaf man at a very entertaining movie.
  • Camera is different: The way both OSes handle pictures is different. There is a lot of debate on whose system is better and more realistic; the truth though is that pictures from a 5 MP Nokia camera look completely different from a 5 MP pic on any Android phone. (this is also a function of lenses)
  • Always-on Clock: this is a minor thing but a big deal to a lot of people. On Symbian by default your standby screen is always showing a clock. On Android, you need to press the Power button for the Lock Screen to show up to take a peek at the time.
  • Battery Usage: This is another touchy subject as Android users are very defensive about the consumption to utilization ratio. They will tell you a Symbian phone is not doing much so the battery should last longer. However it is important to point out that if you are migrating to Android, phones normally come with a 1500mAH battery but you can get a replacement with higher rating. A 3500mAH Power Capsule or a replacement battery are good for getting about two extra days of power
  • Maps Versus Satnav things:  Unfortunately you need to wave goodbye to this. Google Maps is better than Nokia/Bing Maps but turn-by-turn navigation is not Available on Google Maps anywhere except the US.  You can buy Sygic which works, but Nokia Maps is free
  • You will need to adjust your web browsing habits:  you will enjoy the Android Web Browser. It provides a faster, multi-tabbed  and more stable browsing experience. Symbian’s default browser can download only one file at a time. However there is now support for multi-window browsing through the Symbian web browser.
Also read:  Moto G5 Specifications & Price

That’s my 50 kobo’s worth. Hopefully these tips will help make your transition from Symbian to Android a less shocking experience. I will be delighted to answer any questions that you may have on this subject.

0 thoughts on “From Symbian to Android: Managing Expectations”

  1. Thanks for the info but i have a question: how do you move your contacts, messages (sms&mms), notes and calender from a Symbian to an Android phone?
    I have been transferring all these from my 1st Symbian (Sendo X) in 2005 to my present Nokia 701; and the transition has gone through 8 Symbians (Sendo X – Nokia 3650 – 6600 – 5800 – N95 – E75 – E5 – 701) . I still have sms from 2005 and i don’t want to loose them them<, hence the reason I've stuck with Symbian.

  2. actually the new symbian browser beats gingerbread hands down visit html5 to confirm and yes symbian has flash lite 4 another name for flash 10. I have been streaming HD videos all night. Oh and it was we are young by fun and then glee and then alex goot and many others and it impressed me. So about browser the new symbian is up to par and if u still are not happy install opera mobile rhe best mobile browser currently.

    As for maps please that is nokia’s territory no arguments can i get a hallelujah someone.

    Just thought i’d clear things up

    1. good,

      The writer did say that this article is not an “Android-is-better-than-Symbian” work. It is not like you can migrate to Android and keep the Belle browser or Nokia Maps. He gave tips for those who choose to migrate to Android 😉

  3. Two things that discourage me from android are
    1. To get a good android phone you need at least 40k, Nokia phones are cheaper than this.
    2. Batter life. Why dont manufacturers of android phones put in 3500mah batteries by default? Just like motorola did wìth razr maxx but at an affordable price?
    Lets face it, android is as expensive as blackberry, it just has more belles and whistles. Written from my cheap Nokia C5.

  4. …On Android, you need to press the Power button for the Lock Screen to show up to take a peek at the time.

    If your device has some of the common standard physical buttons: Menu, Home, Back and Search buttons, then you can always use any of them which is more handy than the power button. Of course if your device has only capacitive buttons or no buttons except the power button, then that’s when the power button becomes the only option.

    @Ajadi Jamiu Olalekan:

    Thanks for the info but i have a question: how do you move your contacts, messages (sms & mms ), notes and calender from a Symbian to an Android phone?…

    I know Symbian can back up you contacts either in the internal storage or the memory card. Normally your contacts would be saved as individual files in a particular folder. Locate this folder and if it is not on your memory card, copy or move it to your memory card and insert the memory card in the new Android device and use the Android contact app to import them to the phones contact.

    For your SMS and MMS look for an app that can export those in XML format in the OVI Store. Move the XML file in a folder named “SmsContactsBackup” in the root directory of your SDCard. Insert in your Android phone and download SuperBackup from the Google Play Store and use this app to import your SMS MMS to your Android phone. Just launch the app and select the SMS tab and then import SMS, it will locate the backed up file and present it for your confirmation. It can handle contacts and call logs.

  5. @Mark:

    To get a good android phone you need at least 40 k, Nokia phones are cheaper than this.

    …Written from my cheap Nokia C5.

    Do you consider your cheap Nokia C5 good? If you do, then there are a good number of android phones that will beat your cheap Nokia C5 in every department except maybe battery life but going for less than half the price you quoted here, ie 40K. So maybe, the problem is not price but rather ignorance.

    Going by specs currently, Nokia phones are generally more expensive than Android phones.

  6. An informative article. Great. I may join the Android bandwagon later on in the year, and I find this Piliris mobile’s article and Harry Echemco’s take particularly informative.

    Thanks, guys!

  7. I don’t have any problem with Android, wait a minute!….Did I just type that?

    I have just one tiny bitty problem with Android. ? HIGH DATA CONSUMPTION

    The way it guzzles data is quite of a big problem to me. I’ll be moving to the Android platform soon and I would love if our network operators had created AIS (Android Internet Service) by then.

    ~ via my ? 5230

  8. Do you consider your cheap Nokia C5 good? If you do, then there are a good number of android phones that will beat your cheap Nokia C5 in every department except maybe battery life but going for less than half the price you quoted here, ie 40K. So maybe, the problem is not price but rather ignorance. Going by specs currently, Nokia phones are generally more expensive than Android phones.

    Yea. Android has lots of cheap non durable phones. How on earth am i to type on a 2.8inch screen? Thank God you mention battery, dont 4get that most apps on android are meant for bigger screens with higher resolutions, show me a 3.5inch android phone that costs less than 23k or has normal keypad. My guy am not ignorant, google has taught me all about android and i say android is still too expensive.

  9. @Mark:

    show me a 3 .5 inch android phone that costs less than 23k or has normal keypad. My guy am not ignorant, google has taught me all about android and i say android is still too expensive.

    Tecno T1 is a 3.5″ Android phone that goes for about 18K and beats your Nokia C5. Your problem is still ignorance, Google or no Google.

  10. But I think Nokia was right about not repairing your phone cos warranties are country specific. They will repair it in uk though. Nokia even encourages us to send a short sms code to confirm the warranty status of any purchased phone in Nigeria.

  11. How on earth am i to type on a 2.8inch screen?

    Dead easy. Ridiculously so. install TouchPal, SwiftKey,.or the sublime latest SwiftKey keyboard app, and you will not be a Thomas.

    I guarantee you.

    For you folks scared of data guzzling, I can confirm it is GROSSly overstated.

    Get an ICS powered phone to curtail that. if not possible, invest in getting “Onavo Extend”, “Ad Network Detector” or ~ the ultimate solution, ” Permission Remover” (the no_root solution to modifying Android app permissions)

    The same data guzzling curtailment measure also solves the supposed shortbatterylife of Android (not Xperienced on my Xperia Pro, though)

    1. EyeBeeKay,

      I beg to disagree. It may be “dead easy” and “ridiculously so” for you, but not necesarilly for others.

      Till date, I have NEVER been able to type comfortably, not to mention easilly on any display less than 3.5″ in size regardless of the software option deployed.

    2. EyeBeeKay,

      For you folks scared of data guzzling, I can confirm it is GROSSly overstated.

      That’s easy to say for someone who started out with Android having hunted down every data management app in the wild. Shall I suggest that you use your Android smartphone without any of those apps and workarounds you have implemented, so that you can experience how “grossly overstated” it is?

      If it is grossly overstated, why have you bothered with all those data management apps and workarounds?

      Objectivity suddenly thrown to the dogs. But then you’re human.

  12. Eye.Bee.Kay just switched from Symbian platform to Android and in less than 3 weeks, he has succeeded in taming the Android data guzzling issue that has been subject of discussion in too many occasions. Doesn’t that tell you something? If you have ever used a Symbian device and use have used Bluetooth on it then you are qualified to manage data consumption on Android.

    If you have ever configured APN on a Symbian device and you knew what you were doing, then your knowledge is overkill for managing data consumption on Android. Here is Eye.Bee.Kay that was vehemently defending Symbian now declaring that most features on Symbian platform and those I implemented on apps in the Symbian platform are rather too rudimentary when compared with what obtains on Android.

    If you started with a manual automobile and have not tasted automatic one, you just may believe manual automobiles are the best thing there is until you try the other side. Remember you may experience a mobile/platform culture shock at your first attempt because you are always reaching for the gear lever or always trying to make use of your left leg for the clutch or simply using too much power for everything.

    It happened to Eye.Bee.Kay. Initially he thought that capacitive touchscreens are unusable because he was expecting to apply some really pressure on the screen as he was used to on Symbian device, causing him to make too many error. But now he has realized that the money he paid for the device is so that software can follow his gesticulation and accomplish whatever he wanted.

    Eye.Bee.Kay’s problem was ignorance engendered by symbian indoctrination that simply brainwashed him with the notion that if it is not Symbian, then don’t try it because it cannot be good enough. A kind of religious block, something akin to that of Saul in the Bible.

  13. @Harry, …loopholes…

    Yes, the data_guzzling reputation of Android is over-stated.

    Without using thirdparty apps to circum_navigate the data issue, these are some things ANY layman can do:

    1) Always turn off ‘background data’. Inexorably. I ONLY temporarily turn this on when Google Play prompts me to~ when downloading from the Market.

    2) For all apps you installed, turn off ‘auto-update’, if it has that feature

    3) Do your ‘data syncs’ manually

    You may additionally turn off ‘mobile data. when not specifically connecting to the internet.

    Eschew push notification, IF YOU CAN (I can)

    Now – that is NOT rocket science.

    These steps wil make it abundantly clear how exagerrated the_data guzzling reputation is.

  14. Thank you all for your comments.
    @Ajadi Jamiu Olalekan Check Mr Mo’s article here http://mobility.com.ng/2012/07/04/how-to-manage-your-contacts-across-devices-with-google-mail/ on how to move your contacts, I was going to write a Symbian series 60 step by step but thats fine.

    Messages are a bit harder, I personally just keep my Nokia backups cos I have over 3000 sms from 2005 too. However if you seriously need them you can follow thee steps outlined by Harry Above.

    On good Cheap Devices, read Mr Mo’s Past reviews of the Gaga and the Pocket. If however you want a world class dual sim phone at a bargain? You know who to ask 🙂

  15. someone tell harry to stop spilling bile about symbian. When he uses the nokia 701,603 or 700 then he should speak. How can u use 5800 as a yardstick for symbian that phone was dead before it was even released but no he wont let us hear. Please and please use a NEW symbian and nope N8 is old. Good after that we can talk.

  16. someone tell harry to stop spilling bile about symbian. When he uses the nokia 701,603 or 700 then he should speak. How can u use 5800 as a yardstick for symbian that phone was dead before it was even released but no he wont let us hear. Please and please use a NEW symbian and nope N8 is old. Good after that we can talk.

    ps i did not beef android

  17. Good, e ma binu. We are only talking about Symbian not Belle.

    Remember Mr. Mo’s article: Symbian Is Dead: Long Live Belle. The idea is that Symbian and Belle are not the same thing. Even Belle is still playing some catch up. I’m not a false prophet. Remember I once told Eye.Bee.Kay that if he should give Android a try, he will be singing a new song. We all know the story now. And now, verily verily I say unto you, if you give Android a try, You will fell in love with Android and maybe also. …

  18. me android yes possible i am not blind to that possibility. As for belle catching up make no mistake it trumps Gb. The catch up game is with ICS and already fp2 is on its way. But still try using a belle device and you will be wowed.

  19. I agree with eyebeekay. The data guzzling is usually down to individual browsing pattern. When I just got my phone, I was downloading apps for phone. Worse still, I was updating them as soon as a new updates comes out. I barely went through a month with 1GB of data and that is even when I had onavo installed. Last month I uninstalled onavo, cut down on my excessive web surfing and voila, I am struggling to exhaust my 1GB data plan. New users are usuallly carried away with, hence they download and download until they learn the hardway. Eyebeekay took his time and was well informed hence, when he got on the android bandwagon, he could boldly state that android’s data guzzling is over-stated. This is even more significant when you consider the fact that eyebeekay was the ring leader in criticizing android for “data guzzling”

  20. @Harry, I use MTN’s 1GB bundle, its #3,500. However, I know someone that uses Airtel BIS complete plan for his Galaxy S phone. The Airtel BB complete plan works for other smartphone brands. Its #1,400. I d try to get the codes

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