I have been using the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic for close to two years now. This is one device that I have used to near destruction. It is packed full of really useful applications that I use on a day-to-day basis. Some of these applications I would not want to do without. It is the primary reason I have tenaciously hung on to Symbian (s60V5) for so long.
While I could almost keep using this particular phone for eternity (it meets my mobile needs), it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to get the kind of functionality that I crave from the device.
True; I have as divergent an array of functional applications as a man could wish for on Symbian, but – and this is the big but – the limited onboard memory of the Nokia 5800 is finally beginning to cramp my style.
I have always embraced the principle of having as few background tasks as possible running. This is to ensure minimal battery consumption, enhance system stability and make judicious use of my lean memory.
However, I am beginning to hit a brick wall.
I am unable to make use of some applications (e.g. Opera Mobile and SPB Mobile Shell) without having to shut down ALL other running apps! The problem here is that there some apps I am unwilling to EVER shut down!
These apps run in the background and are essential for me. As such, they must remain in memory at ALL times. I list them below:
- SPB WireLess Monitor – This app monitors data traffic usage other things). It warns me when I hit a predetermined (by me) data consumption level.
- JBak TaskManager – Manages processes and task switching on the phone (among other things)
- SmartLight – perpetually keeps the screen display ‘on’ – except when on the the ‘Home Screen’. Great while reading an ebook, or browsing the web.
- SBSH PocketLock – Has rendered the physical screenlock switch superfluous and redundant.
- Handy BlackList – allows me to keep unwanted calls / callers off my phone
- Total ReCall – automatically record conversations on the phone
- Smartbian AutoHangUp – automatically disconnect a call after a specified duration
- Virtual KeyBoard – allows you run most apps designed for ‘physical keypadded’ devices on your touchScreen
- Magic Message Manager – automatically categorizes smss into defined folders (among other things) – as they arrive / as they are sent.
- Youlu Address Book – an awesome contacts management (among other things)
I have mentioned about ten apps up there – apps that have to remain perpetually in memory to be useful.
There are others I would love to have running (Handy alarm, Handy Profile, PlanTask, Emoze, Nimbuzz, WhatsApp, SmartSettings), but as can be seen, this will quickly get the phone hitting its threshold on memory!
Thus, getting the best out of this ‘memory-starved device’ entails perpetually having to keep exiting and restarting applications to free memory.
It would therefore seem that the amount of memory available after booting up a device is critical (where swapping-to-disk as you have on PCs is not as refined).
When I eventually dump this Nokia 5800, the volume of available memory will be the first feature I will look for).
Will I jump to another platform? Not likely! I am not willing to ‘gamble’ on any platform that has ‘immature’ / pseudo-multitasking abilities. iOS and Android come to mind.
I will, of course, stick to Symbian devices until Symbian is killed, dies, or the other immature OSes ‘grow up’ on more efficient resource management.