Nokia S60 touch browser needs too many touches

The Palm Pre, iPhone, and Android browsers were designed specifically for touchscreen phones. In contrast, the S60 browser that Nokia's touchscreen phones use goes back to an older S60 interface that did not focus on touchscreen use.

The Palm Pre, iPhone, and Android browsers were designed specifically for touchscreen phones. In contrast, the S60 browser that Nokia's touchscreen phones use goes back to an older S60 interface that did not focus on touchscreen use. This fact may explain some of the S60 browser's lingering limitations.

Nokia's Series 60 is open-source user-interface software that runs on the Symbian smart phone operating system from Symbian. The S60 browser lets you to set up a preferred home page, similar to the way desktop browsers do; but this arrangement requires you to take additional steps before you can start browsing. To enter an address, you must press the center Go button and then enter the URL; since the URL you typed will appear overlaid on the home page, you'll have to press Go To to navigate to your desired page. The page-loading progress bar appears at the top of the screen, along with a notation about the amount of data being used while the page is loading.

Two rows of persistent buttons occupy the bottom of the browser. The first row constitutes a contextual menu with options for bookmarks, a direct link to your homepage, keyword search (as with Android), and page reloading, among others. The plus sign button at the right lets you zoom in or out on the page. The second row consists of two buttons--one that displays more options, and one that returns you to the previous page. Enabling full-screen mode hides these two rows of buttons.

Unlike the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Android browsers, the Nokia S60 browser doesn't automatically resize a loaded page to fit the width of the screen (either in portrait mode or in landscape mode). Instead, it presents you with a full-resolution shot of the upper left corner of the page you just loaded. To view the whole page fitted to the screen's width, you have to go to the options menu and press Overview. From there, you use a red rectangle on the screen to select the area of the page that you want to zoom in on.

To switch between open browser windows/tabs, you press the option button and then select the 'Switch Window' function. Opening a new tab on an S60 browser isn't as easy as on an iPhone, Palm Pre, or Android device; usually, Web sites that automatically open in another window trigger this command.

Saving an image with a Nokia S60 browser can be tedious. First you have to select 'Options', 'Display Options', 'View Images'; then the page will display a list of the images (with thumbnails). After you select the image that you want to save, a larger preview appears and you must press 'Options' (in the bottom left of the screen), 'Save', 'Select phone or memory card', and 'OK'. Pressing 'Back' three times will take you back to the page. In comparison, on an iPhone you simply tap and hold an image, and then press 'Save Image'.

Despite its clumsiness, the Nokia S60 touch browser offers (limited) Adobe Flash support. And the browser can integrate with RSS feeds, a feature unavailable on iPhone, Palm Pre, and Android browsers except through third-party applications.­­­

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesNokiasymbianmobile phonesmobile browsers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?