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hordeman's Avatar
Posts: 698 | Thanked: 128 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ CA
#1
Last month, T-Mobile gave me a free G2. Since then, I've been using it "religiously", and in fact, I comfortably used it in China for two weeks (i.e., no N810 or laptop). And believe me, I felt that I was taking a MAJOR risk by traveling without my NIT. In the end, it was a great way to realize what I was missing by not having it there as well as learning what the G2 offered.

That said, I'll do my best to do a personal usage comparison in this post as I continue to use the G2.
  • Green favors G2
  • Red favors the N810
  • Blue is neutral

Firefox
This became my primary use for the N810. The G2 now has it, and in fact has a much newer version. Also, because of the CPU speed difference, FF is also much faster on the G2.

USB Host
Usable on the N810. I also understand that it is possible on the G2, but there has been no progress made. So, sharing files via USB stick on the N810 gets the upper hand.

Ethernet
On that same note, without USB host, there is no ethernet. The N810 was a wonderful companion when staying in hotels that offered only ethernet internet. One of the hotels in China offered lobby Wifi (super slow), but superfast ethernet in rooms. I couldn't use my G2 in rooms.

Skype
Hands down, much better on the G2. Not only is the UI up-to-date, but given the form factor of the G2, using Skype is as easy as making a non-VOIP phone call. On the N810, it was not as user-friendly making private calls because I could not hold the N810 like a normal phone.

Video Calls
N810 loses again. I tried for so so so so long to get this working on the N810 (NIT to PC). I finally got AMSN to work, but the delay was about 30 seconds in video. The G2 has Yahoo! messenger video chat, and while buggy sometimes, it works! Skype video is also coming to android soon. The only advantage the N810 has is its front-side camera.

MP3 Playback
Canola was and still is awesome on the N810. However, the G2 now has Winamp which, once I got used to the UI, was a nice replacement for Canola. Hardware wise, there is also a headphone jack.

Video Playback
The winner here is the G2. For the N810, I had to do video conversion. With the G2, I just drop the file in there and use RockPlayer with either a Hardware or Software playback option. No recoding necessary. VLC is also on its way later this year.

OpenOffice
Easy Debian and Open Office have saved me more times than I can count. Ubuntu (full desktop) can be installed on Android, but I have not tried this out yet. Until then, the N810 wins!

Battery Life
The two are about the same.

PDFs
With evince, the N810 has a much improved PDF experience. However, every so often, I experienced some compatibility problems. Adobe reader on the G2 offers a similar evince experience, but is much faster and no compatibility issues. (Also includes text search.)

Screen Size
This was always my complaint about the N900 vs. N810. However, the G2 is slightly larger at 3.7" vs. the N900's 3.5". Given what it offers, I'm okay with this.

Keyboard
I've since changed my mind on this and have gotten use to the keyboard. The N810 wins just slightly. I can't put my finger on it, but alting-into numbers on the G2 is very annoying... even though I did the same on the N810. Also, the N810 has a ctrl key which allows for some secret Firefox shortcuts. There is no ctrl key on the G2.

Physical Interface
I still love the use of the stylus; it just seems so much more accurate. While the finger input is cool, I miss the ability to easily highlight text. Pushing my finger into the G2 screen, I can only swipe. So, my personal preference goes to the N810 stylus input.

Durability
The N810 wins. I accidentally dropped my G2 and while it still works, it lost a piece of the slider arm. I dropped my N810 once while running to the train (fell out of my pocket onto concrete); it took the hit, got chipped, but still felt as durable as before. The G2, however, no longer feels as snug when the keyboard is exposed.

Speakers
Hands down, N810 is in the lead. While the speakers are not phenomenal by any means, they do have the advantage in that they are positioned just right to provide that stereo effect. The G2 only has one speaker (from what I can hear).

Kickstand
The N810 wins again. The G2 has no kickstand; I wish it did. This is useful for everyday things like cooking. Yes, I would bring up a recipe on my N810, prop it up with the kickstand, and review it as I cooked.

Speed
The G2 is the clear winner. The CPU is twice as fast as the N810s. 800mhz vs. 400mhz.

Touchpad/ Directional Input
I really have gotten to like the G2's teeny-tiny touchpad. In many ways it is superior to the button-directional pad on the N810. For example, swiping does the trick to move in the right direction and pushing the button is the "mouse click".

Tethering
To be fair, the N810 was never meant to tether and instead was a tetheree. That said, the G2 is capable of wifi and usb tethering out-of-the-box for Windows, Mac and Linux (I tested with Ubuntu). No rooting or drivers needed.

So, as I mentioned before, I will update as new things come up. For now, I hope to root my phone soon to get Ubuntu (and OpenOffice), and I will keep an eye out for USB host support. Until then, I can live with everything else. Thanks!

Last edited by hordeman; 2011-02-21 at 02:31.
 

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speculatrix's Avatar
Posts: 880 | Thanked: 263 times | Joined on Feb 2007 @ Cambridge, UK
#2
N900 vs Desire Z (aka G2)

I had a G2 aka Desire Z ("DZ") for nearly 6 months, on loan from employer, and I had to give it back recently. I've been able to borrow an n900 for a few weeks to see what it's like, I've never had a n900 before, only a 770 and n800.

I rooted the DZ and installed Virtuous Unity, an excellent custom ROM offering the very latest HTC packages on gingerbread, repackaged for the DZ.


So a few thoughts.

I found the capacitive screen on the DZ very responsive, sometimes too easy to accidentally brush it, and it took a little while to not touch it accidentally.

I tried a capacitive stylus on the DZ but it was basically like a pencil eraser and wasn't really all that useable, it simply wasn't accurate enough to use the DZ for drawing or sketching, whereas the n900 makes this effortless. I'd be interested to try the HTC Flyer tablet and its magic pen to see if that works.

Both devices have very useable keyboards, lacking a number row. I prefer cursor keys on the n900 to the touchpad thingy on the DZ as they're more precise.

The slider on the n900 seems more robust than the DZ, but I didn't actually have any problems with it.

The DZ has a sharper brighter screen, but doesn't work well in direct sunlight at all, I haven't tried the n900 yet as the weather's not been good enough!

The DZ's speaker is very poor, noticeably a lot worse than my Nokia E71, just about useful for a telephone call or a podcast, but is not loud enough, if you install a volume booster you can make it usefully louder but then it distorts!

The DZ's headphone output was very low, it seems to be a design fault, I had to install a volume booster app which overrides the system default limits on the sound mixer!

The DZ allows tethering in various ways, to use the DZ over wifi or usb to share its 3G, or, to use the PC as an internet connection.

The DZ's CPU is clearly much faster than the n900's; the accelerated graphics make it feel slick and responsive.

The DZ has no kickstand, I did find a place in the USA which sells cases for it with a kickstand, but they wouldn't ship outside the USA.

The DZ's camera is not too bad, but nothing like as good as the n900. However, android made it trivial to push photos into picasa, and upload videos to youtube.

The DZ's GPS was pretty good, and google maps was excellent, a recent update allowing local storage of map squares solves a lot of problems when not in good 3G coverage.

Whilst Android has linux components, there's actually not much real linux there. So I made a debian linux disk image and loopback-mounted it then chrooted into it on the DZ, and it became a useful command-line hackers tool. However, to use graphical interfaces you had to use a vnc server in debian, and then vnc viewer in android, so not that great. I did managed to fire up firefox, albeit slowly! This would have been far far easier on the n900 with its x11 display.

Once rooted, I could use openvpn on the DZ, but had to do some interesting stuff with linux routing tables, and I had to use the debian shell for that. This would have been relatively effortless on the n900.

There's a huge variety of apps for the DZ, but then there's a very large community, as well as Google's development team. I think if Nokia had put even 30% of the resources of Symbian team into Maemo, it would have been far far better.

Google as a back-end service provider makes Nokia seem very poor. With mail, calendaring, mapping, chat/IM, contacts, video sharing, picture sharing, document sharing etc they offer a comprehensive service. Whilst Nokia/Ovi have offered many of these services, sometimes shutting them down, they didn't seem to have a coherent strategy or sufficient overarching vision to join it all up. Nokia/OVI never really understood that a smartphone needs more than good hardware, it needs a proper suite of apps and a proper online service "cloud" behind it, all integrated nicely. I think Nokia understand it now, too late, and they are hoping that Microsoft will provide that.

So, the n900 wins in versatility, but the DZ wins as being more modern with better performance, better choice of apps, better online service.
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Posts: 249 | Thanked: 351 times | Joined on Sep 2010
#3
For some reason DesireZ seems to have absolutely awful touchscreen. It is not only imprecise, it is badly calibrated too, with no recalibration option. After 6 months I still can't get accustomed to it, as I use N900 daily and my brain doesn't get rewired to putting my finger slightly next to the items I want to choose on the screen.
Calibration is also more off on the right side of the screen than left.

Many of the numerous other out of the box problems can be circumvented, eg. you can add missing cursor keys by mapping dpad to unused keys (requires layout file editing as well as hex editing character binary file, so not a simplest of tasks), but not touchscreen calibration. If somebody knows how to do it, please tell.

I've tested couple of DesireZ models in stores at the time, and they did exhibit the same problem. Could be a bad batch as I didn't notice much wailing about the issue when the phone was released. Not all phone models with capacitive screens were as imprecise as DZ such as Samsung GS1. Too bad DZ was only Android model with hw keyboard available here.

Also one of my friends got rash in his hands from metal parts. The phone may have nickel in it's backplate or other parts, and there are people allergic to that.
 
speculatrix's Avatar
Posts: 880 | Thanked: 263 times | Joined on Feb 2007 @ Cambridge, UK
#4
I'm sure I came across a calibrate screen function somewhere in the settings, but not in an obvious place

like I recall finding the setting to enable/disable haptic feedback for the touch screen under language or something.

I've been using an n900 for a week and I find it's very useful to navigate some web sites with a pixel-accurate stylus. There was a whole thread about resistive touchscreens here on t.m.o. a while back so I won't rehash.

I'm very interested in the new Galaxy Note and its pen input... kind of a mini HTC Flyer.
 
speculatrix's Avatar
Posts: 880 | Thanked: 263 times | Joined on Feb 2007 @ Cambridge, UK
#5
I had to have my desireZ repaired and it came back flashed with Gingerbread, so harder to root. I'm waiting to see what happens with ICS and VirtuousUnity, so I've not rooted it yet, but I still wanted to use a full debian/arm-linux on it. I wrote up the results here: http://www.zaurus.org.uk/desirez.html
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Fujitsu U820, HTC Vision/G2/DesireZ, Nokia N800 770 E71, Zaurus 6000, Palm T3, Zaurus C3100 - stolen
 
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