Not invented here syndrome

I own a Samsung A717 phone. It has a superb camera on it. It takes really nice pictures. That didn’t quite come across right – it has the ability to take really nice pictures…

If you’re going to make a device that includes a camera, you would think it might be sensible to spend a moment looking at the conventions of the makers of … cameras. For instance, take the all important trigger – the button you press to take your picture.

Camera manufacturers put this on the top of the camera: you click down with your index finger and stabilize against the click with your thumb, a very easy motion. My last two cell-phones at least had the button on the sides.

But no, amongst it’s many sins (sucky and slow operating system and software, annoying menus and after-the-fact ok prompts) is the fact that to take your picture you have to click a button in the center of the back of the phone – pushing the phone in the air with your thumb against your index finger introducing a lot of shake.

Then there is a 1-2 second pause while the phone loads the “shutter sound”, then it plays the sound, and then a moment later it takes the picture.

The whacked out timing, the odd delays and the long pause after taking the picture before you can see your image (some times) aside … It’s the worst possible design for a camera because pictures invariably come out like this (which was going to be a col picture of part of the live game server cluster, but instead is a blurry picture of various lights).

If you use the timer to take a picture so the camera is stationery, the picture quality is pretty damn excellent. But it’s incredibly hard getting a non-fuzzy picture when holding the camera and the actual timing of taking a picture so wildly inaccurate that you rarely capture what you think you’re going to capture.

Then there is the navigation button. The round dial in the middle of the phone is a four-way button/navigation dial with a twist. The little AT&T logo in the middle is the button that executes the least desirable function in any given menu. Did I mention that it was right in the middle of the 4-way navigation ring, or that the navigation buttons are little more than a tilt switch and that failure to press them at exactly the right points counts as pressing the central button? Oh, and it’s default behavior is to start the browser and connect to the Internet, costing you money if you’re not on an unlimited plan.

Lastly, it seems this finger is designed for people with dainty fingers or long nails. The notch along the sides of the phone is long but ridiculously narrow. It takes me, and everyone else I’ve handed the thing to, two hands to open the phone, and usually a fumble.

So lets see if I can summarize this phone:

. Hard to operate,
. Slow,
. Irksome menu hierachies,
. Quality pictures are very good quality,

 

I’ve given this phone 3 months – or maybe it’s only 1 but it feels like three. Nope. Time to get another.

6 Comments

Get an iphone. I will be. :)

Live servers aren’t built arround a blade infraestructure?.
Which Dell model are you using?.

I’m just curious.

Well, it’s better than the previous version of the same phone (which I have). Camera button is in the middle of the thin side. And there is no way to disable it – so while sitting in an arena seat, or in the car, etc., you hear the phone merrily snapping away taking pictures of the inside of you pocket. I have several hundred of these now.

Poweredges … Can’t remember the model number … Twin Dual-Core Xeon 3.0Ghz with 2Gb of RAM.

Avoid the Nokia N95. I bought one of these recently and I have to be honest, initially I thought it was brilliant.

But after using it for several months I wish I’d bought something else. The N95’s battery life is extremely poor. There’s 1001 applications on there of which I use three – the phone, text and camera. The rest I could dump. Why does it have a barcode reader?

The camera! Well, it’s the same as the Samsung. Press the shutter button and two seconds later it takes a picture. By that time people or objects have moved and it’s not what I wanted. However, the picture quality’s very good.

I’m tempted by the iPhone but as I have a iPod Touch much of it wouldn’t be needed.

Think I’ll go for the most basic and cheapest phone I can find, one where the battery lasts for more than a day!

I could be misremembering, but isn’t that stupid non-overrideable sound clip a legal requirement due to cellphone cameras being used in changing rooms and such?

The logical thing (to me) on a required sound would be to build the damn thing in to the hardware. No need for load times then.

I agree on the ergonomics… almost never makes any sense, and with the teeny tiny lens in every cell phone, you’re guaranteed a crap picture. That’s one of the reasons I just want a cell phone to be a phone. I’ll carry around a camera to take good pictures, thanks.

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