Android has always been ahead of Symbian in terms of User Interface as well as availability of apps, but it still lagged behind Symbian in terms of features. But the recent releases of Android 2.1 (Eclair) & 2.2 (FroYo) have suddenly made Symbian fans sit up & take notice as Android phones no longer miss out basic features which Symbian phones have since long. Symbian users now find Android as a possible option to jump ship to because they can migrate to a better Android UI & use countless Android apps without sacrificing basic features.

So which are the features which were previously missing in Android phones which are present in Symbian since long and now have been included in Android phones via Eclair or FroYo or otherwise?

Android 2.1 Eclair

  • Bluetooth File Transfers: Users can now transfer files such as music, videos & pictures to other Bluetooth enabled phones. Moreover, Android 2.2 further enables contact transfers & voice dialing over Bluetooth.

Android 2.2 FroYo

  • App Storage on memory card: Earlier, users could only install apps on the phone’s internal memory restricting the number of apps or games that could be installed. This limitation has now been done away with allowing apps to be installed on memory card once the internal memory is full.
  • USB Tethering: An Android phone can finally be used as a broadband modem for a computer.
  • WiFi Hotspot: Symbian users have been using the Joikuspot app for long which allows a phone to be used as a WiFi router. Android now includes portable hotspot functionality to do just that out of the box!
  • Flash Support: Adobe Flash is not that evil even though Apple may want everyone to believe so, and its still used on numerous websites on the internet. Android now supports Flash 10.1.
  • Speed: Symbian devices are never known for their speed but that is more to do with the hardware configuration rather than a deficiency of Symbian OS.  Still, the fact that the Nexus One runs 450% faster on Android 2.2 as compared to Android 2.1 does make it sound very good.

Hardware Improvements on Android Phones:

  • Camera: Most Android phones released so far do not have a camera as capable as the ones found on high end Nokia phones running Symbian. The upcoming Nokia N8 has further raised the bar for camera phones. However things seem to be changing in the Android world with the likes of Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 which has a very good camera.
  • FM Radio: Android 2.2 is supposed to have better support for FM Radio. Nevertheless, manufacturers such as HTC have already started equipping their phones such as HTC Desire & HTC Legend with FM Radio through their Sense UI.
  • Video Calling: Android phones do not have proper support for video calling. But manufacturers seem to have found a way to support video calling & are fitting front facing cameras on upcoming devices such as Samsung Galaxy S and Dell Streak.

So how many of you Symbian users out there plan to jump ship to Android? Or will you hold back to check out Symbian^3 which will be launched very soon & then make your decision? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Why is Android Becoming Attractive to Symbian Users?
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  • suyog

    @Nikhil, I had almost guessed that you would put such post 🙂
    I just wonder why it took Android so long time to have basic features in. USB tethering is feature??? Come on !!! same for BT transfer, Goos to see these basics coming
    But what about pricing? I can hardly see any Androids with same specs/features as Symbian smartphones

  • Agree that the new additions to Android are not “features”. But that's exactly the objective of this post. We could not even think of Android in its older form since it didn't have many things which we have come to expect by default in Symbian. Now that Android has filled in the gaps, its become on par with Symbian in basic things. Now its upto each individual what they choose best for them. And we can expect cheaper Androids very soon. Just wait & watch 🙂

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  • Harsha

    @suyog
    Infact there are cheaper than 5800, android phones available here, like Samsung Galaxy, Spica and soon to join X10 Mini, Samsung I5800,I5500, HTC Wildfire. But the point to be noted is, all of them have double the specs when compared to Nokia phones at same price point. All of them have good firmware support unlike Nokia, I for one was one of the early adopters of 5800, paid 20K for it and yet I don't get v31,v40 & v50 updates. Where as people who paid 13.8K for the price cut models have those updates readily available. I did update it by changing product code, but that's another thing.
    Thankfully i have moved to android and I'm quite happy with the support from both Google and Phone manufacturers when it comes to firmware support.

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  • all of them have double the specs when compared to Nokia phones at same price point. All of them have good firmware support unlike Nokia,

  • manu

    symbian is still best considering the strong apps it has andriod is having only nimby poo apps good for nothing

  • Androman

    Symbian Sucks….. Dont hesitate to say the truth….. Android Rulez!!!