Upon arrival in Australia, I’ve decided to make my new Keon my Australian phone, keeping my Italian SIM in my SGS2. After a week of usage, here are my first impressions (I’m using the 1.2 branch).
The overall quality of the software is good, it does almost anything you’d expect a smartphone to do, plus the battery life is really really good. The only thing I’ve noticed is that tap precision is not really good, but I can’t say if this is a software or a hardware issue.
The mail program is the shittiest part of the whole OS. Since it doesn’t accept neither non-TLS/SSL servers nor ones with a self-signed certificate, it basically prevented me from using all of my email accounts. I really hope this problem will be addressed in the future as it really damage the experience.
The phonebook is quite good, with plenty of fields to write to. The only downside is that it takes a lot of taps to actually manage to call someone compared to the “swipe and call” behaviour of Android’s phonebook.
Calls and messages
Nothing to report here so far. They both work pretty well.
The browser is not exactly bad, but it’s still well behind Firefox for Android. Two main missings: reader mode and the fact that you can’t store login form data in the browser and you have to type them every single time. Considering that a good password is usually complex, it takes ages every time to log in a website.
The marketplace is really good, straightforward and easy to use. The only drawback I’ve noticed so far is that there’s no way to tell if your installed app is up-to-date or if it needs to be updated, and how the update is done (automatically (always/on wifi), manually, whatever).
Data usage measurement
It either doesn’t work, or my provider can’t count. My provider in fact rounds up used data big time (it has 1 MB increments per session, so if you use only 50 kB in one session it still charge 1 MB), but despite that data usage reported by the phone was always quite higher than the one reported by my carrier.
I know that phone screen sizes are relatively small, but the keyboard is still quite poor. I would have expected at least to be able to type a number by holding a first-row key instead of switching every time to the number and symbols keyboard. Moreover, word replacement with the first suggested is turned on by default and it drives you nuts as it misses the word you want to type 50% if the time and you end up writing shit. I’ve disabled it and all’s fine now, but it really should be off by default.
This is another quite crappy thing, as the only way to position the cursor where you want is to tap in the position you want it to go and hope for the best, as 70% of the time it won’t go where you want. Would it be so difficult to implement a cursor handler as Android has, so that if you put the cursor in the wrong position with the first tap it’ll be easier to then move it to the right place? This is of paramount importance if you want to put the cursor at the end of a line, e.g. at the end of a long url or of a message line, because usually the Go or Send button is pretty close to the end of the text and if you’re not extra-careful (or have extra-thin fingers), you’ll probably end up touching the send button instead of positioning the cursor at the end of the string.
My workaround until now is to put the cursor not exactly at the end, delete text I still need to shift the end of the string to the left until there’s enough space to safely put the cursor at the end of the string and start deleting/adding from the end.
The wifi hotspot works pretty well, while the usb tethering doesn’t. I have my kernel set up right, with all the drivers loaded, but when I connect the phone to use it with usb tethering the connection stays up for less than a minute then the phone is disconnected and the net card associated with it (usually usb0) doesn’t appear anymore.
Plus, from time to time, instead of opening a website it gives a “(104) Connection reset by peer” and it won’t open that website anymore until I reboot the phone. It doesn’t happen with all websites, and they also vary from time to time.
As I said, the overall experience is good, but there’s surely a lot of room for improvement almost everywhere. I’m pretty sure there are bugs opened for all (or almost all) the issues I’ve reported, but I haven’t got the time to check yet.