Ranting again on cellphone memory

Today we went to Cingular’s shop in San Mateo, and as usual I played a bit with their new models.

Apparently, their Samsung D807 runs out of memory when trying to render osnews’ 28 kb (code+data). This is a supposedly middle-end feature phone and it should have managed such a page rendering without a problem. On the other hand, the very low-end Pantech C300 had no problem rendering osnews (it was running the Obigo browser).

The conclusion is that manufacturers just don’t pay attention on the browsers and how memory they need to put in there. By buying a high-end phone does NOT guarantee that you will be able to render real world web pages or even some mobile pages. You in fact might be luckier with a lower-end phone (just out of luck). Again, the conclusion is the same as before: buy a smartphone that runs a real OS in it and has proper memory management.

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Ludovic Hirlimann wrote on July 31st, 2006 at 8:40 AM PST:

Maybe the midlle-end/high don’t pay attention on provided browser because they think that people will install oprea mobile or other available commercial browsers.

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Eugenia wrote on July 31st, 2006 at 9:05 AM PST:

No, they don’t think that. Opera Mini is the only browser that matters and can run on non-smartphones today, and some of these non-smartphones would even make it hard to some users to install java apps (especially samsung, they won’t let you install a java app that was bluetooth’ed over, they only accept the ones downloaded directly from a WAP site).

They just don’t want to provide a good experience because it costs them extra money. Refer to my previous post a few weeks ago about the same issue.

Remember, the problem only exists on non-smartphones, because these phones run on true embedded OSes with limited memory and primitive abilities. Even if a phone sounds super-high-end with a 3 MP camera, QVGA+ screen, Bluetooth 2.0 etc etc, does not mean shit in terms of memory management and true abilities of the underlying operating system (compared to a real smartphone). Only phones running Palmos, windows, linux, symbian and in some cases Blackberry and HipTop can manage difficult memory cases simply because they actually run a real OS underneath and they come with lots of memory. For example, the M600i that runs Symbian/UIQ comes with 64 MBs of RAM. Same goes for most Windows Mobile phones today. There’s enough available RAM to manage rendering a big website, plus the OS itself knows how to manage memory.

But when you have to deal with phones that only have 4 or 8 MBs of RAM total and they pre-allocate memory to their apps (instead of letting them use as much is currently free), the fact that this phone might have a 15 MP camera, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11n and a SVGA screen does not change the fact that it’s still a PRIMITIVE device (software-wise).

That’s why I will never, ever, use a normal phone and I will only use smartphones. Because at the end, even if the hardware might not be the latest in technology, the software is what matters and what makes the difference in usability.

memson wrote on August 1st, 2006 at 2:43 AM PST:

RE: bluetooth… so, essentially, you want your phone to be bluejacked?

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Eugenia wrote on August 1st, 2006 at 6:51 AM PST:

What the heck are you talking about memson?

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