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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile browserssymbianmobile phonesNokiasmartphones

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?