This article is more than 1 year old

The Revenge of the BlackBerry killers?

Putting the Nokia E61i and Motorola Q9H head to head

Calendar and Tasks

It's at this stage of the comparison that I had to pinch myself I wasn't in the Philip K Dick novel, where time goes backwards. Was the E61i's S60 Feature Pack 1 really the most modern PDA software Nokia could manage? Here the control device came in useful as a reality check. On the 9300i, it was a breeze to setup multiple to do lists. You can colour-code tasks and appointments, and set the place where you want your tasks to go in your daily calender view - a great feature.

On the Motorola, it wasn't immediately clear that one could create tasks at all - although they can be assigned to pre-defined categories. The one-handed UI made filtering cumbersome, while the E61i's creaky tasks facility doesn't even allow you to do this at all.

Motorola Q9 users should arm themselves with AgendaOne or Papyrus (I preferred the speed and clarity of the former). E61i owners can buy a port of Papyrus that I found too slow to be usable, and a dysfunctional application called Aqua Calender.

Overall, both are sorry apologies for a real PDA, although the Windows device offers the most. To Nokia's shame the E61i requires the end user who isn't attached to a corporate mail system to go out and buy their own messaging application and calender. While lacking a "Today" screen, the 9300i wins this part of the comparison hands down.

Nokia E61i

Which is remarkable, considering the software hasn't really been touched since 2001. And it shouldn't even be here in our round-up. Maybe time really is going backwards?

: Motorola 5/10; Nokia 2/10; Ye Olde Communicator: 9/10

Document handling

One of the smartest decisions Motorola made in the Q9 was licensing the best applications available for the phone, rather than Microsoft's default bundle. This means Opera is the standard browser (with its dedicated browser key), and DataViz's Documents To Go is the default office documents application.

Since last year, Nokia has dropped the old Psion software which it failed to invest in so it was up to date, in favour of QuickOffice. Documents To Go is far richer, while E61i owners are invited to upgrade (ie, hand over more dosh) for a version of QuickOffice that matches the DataViz suite. On opening an RTF file, last year's Nokia E61 sends you to the Notepad, where in a massive font you can view something that looks like ...

{\rtf\mac\ansicpg10000\cocart824\cocoasubrtf410 {fonttbl\f0 ...

... you get the picture.

To be honest, working with attachments in each of these isn't very nice, because that one handed UI makes editing a chore. The word processor forces you to switch between select mode and edit mode, which is incredibly tedious. And it's the rich UI that saves the ancient word processor in the Communicator from a low mark for compatibility.

Motorola 7/10; Nokia 5/10; Ye Olde Communicator: 7/10

Next page: The Web

More about

More about

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like