Some feedback from using the neo as a phone for a day
thomas at openedhand.com
Mon Oct 15 10:44:49 CEST 2007
It would be very useful if you could file your issues on the OpenMoko
bug tracker at http://bugzilla.openmoko.org. This would ensure your
issues are dealt with and you receive proper feedback from the
On Sun, 2007-10-14 at 22:38 -0400, Igor Foox wrote:
> Yesterday (and today) I used the neo as a phone for the first time,
> after gsm started mostly working out of the box. I'm really excited
> about this development and I think that it marks a huge milestone for
> the project. So congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this
> I've got a lot of feedback about my usage of the phone. Both minor
> points as well as bigger design issues. I'm going to post them here
> for discussion, in no particular order. But if there are better places
> where specific points should be redirected, I'll be happy to do that.
> A lot of the issues I'm going to raise are negative, but it's just
> constructive criticism from a user's point of view. :-)
> - There is a very strong amplification of background noise when in a
> voice call. If you are in a quiet room the sound is pretty good (and
> the volume is nice and loud). But when there is even mild background
> noise in your location it gets amplified, and both you and the other
> party barely hear anything.
> - I tried playing with sidetone in alsamixer but that didn't help,
> so I don't think that that's the problem.
> - I'm not sure in which component of the software stack this
> happens, but it seems to me that we might need to investigate some
> noise cancellation algorithms and apply those to the incoming sound
> when in a voice call. Does anyone have any experience with this, or
> does anyone at least know whether this is a common thing to do with
> cell phones?
> - The current keyboard is highly unusable. I know it's intended to be
> used with a stylus, and it's fine for that, but it's completely
> unreasonable to expect a user to have a stylus for activities like
> SMS, or entering a new contact. And even with pretty small fingers
> it's pretty hard for me to type on the keyboard.
> - In the Contacts application, it's impossible to enter a phone number
> (and maybe an email address) for a contact when the phone is not
> connected to the GSM network.
> - In the dialer application there's apparently a 'cursor' that you can
> move by clicking somewhere on the textfield displaying the current
> phone number. But there is no visual feedback for the cursor so if you
> accidentally place it in the middle of a number you're left thinking
> you will be very confused.
> - The scrolling is very cool, but it's often difficult to scroll when
> the items you're scrolling are clickable, because it incorrectly gets
> recognized as a click.
> - The dialer does not always "pop up" on an incoming call. So when the
> phone starts ringing you need to open the dialer application and then
> answer the call.
> - The dialer application has the "hangup" button on the top right of
> the screen when in a call. When you actually talk on the phone it's
> _really_ easy to touch that part of the screen with your face, which
> results in 3-4 accidental hangups per call. Oops. :-)
> - The "status" icons on the top tend to disappear once in a while.
> Sometimes a reboot gets them back. Sometimes it doesn't. But usually
> two or three reboots get them back. Very perplexing. :)
> I'm going to continue using the phone for the next few days and try to
> identify more issues. I think that the only major issue here is the
> background noise problem. If that is resolved we would be well on our
> way to having a phone ready to be tested by some real consumers.
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