I am the proud owner of a 3G mobile smartphone which does everything imaginable except make good phone calls.
One of the design principles I was taught as a young software engineer was to maximise cohesion and minimise coupling.
In layman’s terms this is the same as saying that a lawnmower with a built in MP3 player and microwave oven is unlikely to be easy to use and an absolute nightmare to maintain.
For more on good design for portable electronic devices see Design Killer Applications.
In a moment of gadgetry induced madness about 6 months ago I acquired an SPV M5000 – a 3G smartphone which is really a mini laptop.
I had owned its predecessor the SPV C500 which I loved and which I waxed lyrical on in The Virtual Road Warriors Mobile Phone
I am afraid that the M5000 is brilliant at everything apart from making phone calls – for starters:
- the touch screen is very hard to use as a phone keyboard – you WILL kill yourself if you ever try to dial a number whilst driving the car
- if you forget to fold the phone up before you put it in your pocket it will take on a life of its own and make calls and browse the internet racking up horrendous costs (and some social damage) as it goes
- the ringer volume is inadequate and cannot be heard when the phone is closed
- the sound quality is lousy
My next move will probably be to buy a very simple phone and get my SIM card ‘cloned’ (e.g. Orange provide a service called single number) so that I can use the M5000 when I need to do email and the internet and a cheap and nasty phone when I just want to make and receive calls. Single number tries to keep the two SIM cards in synch.
More is still less on today’s mobiles phones – be clear is it a phone you want or a laptop – you can’t yet have both!
I have a colleague who sold his M5000 on ebay after a month so its not just me - like me he loved it for its features but hated it for its usability!
So the SPV M5000 might be the best mini-laptop in the world but for me its also the worst designed mobile phone in the world!
Interesting article from here