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BUG: Also Sony Ericsson's P900 has some serious Bluetooth problems
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 22.01.04 - 12:07:09 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 7963x
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infoSync World is reporting today about a thread on "My Symbian's Forum" where Bluetooth problems with Sony Ericsson's latest smart phone are discussed:

A body of users on the My-Symbian fora have discovered a widespread problem affecting the latest Symbian UIQ handheld from Sony Ericsson, the P900. The issue concerns the implementation of the Bluetooth wireless technology, which is ironically usually the strongpoint of many Sony Ericsson phones.

[...]

These issues relate to the support for Bluetooth headsets. Users report that even using Sony Ericsson branded headsets, as well as other popular models such as the Jabra BT250, the handheld would have problems detecting the headset, forwarding calls, managing voice-dialing and so on. The members at MySymbian have isolated the problem to the P900 by testing the headsets with other phones, including the P800, which preceded the P900.

Sad to see that Bluetooth causes so many trouble for the users, even on the phones of the initial inventor of Bluetooth. So it seems that not only the HTC Voyager and Himalaya (not to say my Sony Notebook) isn't bug free at all but also other smart phones like The P900.
Well, for sure Bluetooth isn't IrDA and as easy to use but I wonder why we run into such massive problems now? I hope the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) is working on improvements to make implementation easier and more useful on all platforms!

Cheers ~ Arne

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Comments
Posted by Uzer on 22.01.04 - 15:29:50

I guess if you decided not to talk about Symbian phone/PDSs on your site, then you should not talk about their problems. What's the use for an XDA II user who has Bluetooth problems to know that someone else is also having problems with another device. Does it make the issue less important? You are selling the XDA II, you are not selling the P900. SonyEricsson updates phone software much more often than Microsoft, which has put out a device with a half baked Bluetooth stack several months ago and had not addressed this problem at all. Other users had to hack it to make the Serial Port profile work and we didn't hear a word from Microsoft!

Posted by Arne Hess on 22.01.04 - 15:50:46

@Uzer! Thanks for your feedback but please stay cool and relax! Great to see you are defend your employer (maybe even your phone you are responsible?) and I'm not bashing Sony Ericsson for the Bluetooth problem (unlike I did with Sony for their weak Notebook Bluetooth implementation) but highlighted that - unfortunately - Bluetooth problems appears on other devices also we knew so far as the best in class Bluetooth devices.

That's a serious issue for the Bluetooth technology itself (less for Sony Ericsson because everything can be fixed with patches) because it takes the trust into this technology away - from the user point of view.

If a technology like Bluetooth still can not fulfill the requirements (the SIG gives itself) it might fails on mid-terms; unfortunately because I'm still a big fan of Bluetooth.

And you are right, there are several Bluetooth problems with Windows Mobile devices I also haven't cowered before (WEIRD: The E200 doesn't works as Bluetooth modem with PPCs but with Notebooks, THOUGHT: How much is Bluetooth a standard - if... , SOLUTION: Pocket Bluetooth Tools for the O2 xda II and the MDA II) so it's not about bashing the one or the other device/manufacture and highlighting the one or the other but about talking what happened and how to get it fixed.

So I don't see your point here why you are that aggressive?

Regarding your statement that Microsoft haven't fixed anything - they already did. It's still incomplete and I want to see more (I want to see the specs fulfilled, by you, by Microsoft, by Nokia, by Siemens) but there is a fix available for instance with the latest ROM update for the xda II (how you call it or i-Mate Phone Edition how I call it): UPDATE: HTC is working on a Bluetooth Serial fix for its Himalaya Phone Edition.

Please feel free to respond here or E-Mail me private.

Posted by Thomas on 22.01.04 - 17:27:02

I agree! Really sad to see that even the last bastion fails. :-(

Every time I upgrade my phone to a new one (SE or Nokia, so far no Microsoft phone) I wonder if I will be able to continue using my Bluetooth services I used so far.

Before with Irda I had this fears with Nokia phones only, you remember the 6150?

Posted by Filip Norrgård on 22.01.04 - 19:52:34

I agree with Arne's post above. There are too much problems with using Bluetooth that it doesn't seem useful to 'average' consumers (with average defined as first time Bluetooth users). I would like to know, why doesn't the SIG work together to get it more easier to use rather than work against themselves?

With Sony (and other members) locking out third party Bluetooth devices, it seems that they are destroying the brand Bluetooth that they themselves are part of. Granted, Rome wasn't built in a day but it could surly have been destroyed in one. If the Bluetooth SIG wants their technology to work then they need to work on their internal communication, cooperation and goals; not money, money and money.  sad

The fruit comes in the form of profits whenever (if ever) they have accompished to make Bluetooth a part of every household.

Or... can it be that the Viking Bluetooth (or "Blåtand") has risen from the dead and is creating havoc in the Bluetooth SIG...

Posted by Uzer on 22.01.04 - 22:49:54

Arne, the IP address from my previous post should have shown that I am not a SonyEricsson employee but an employee of a company that partially owns SE. So I have nothing to do with the P900 development and I don't even own one. I visit this site because of my interest in the wireless gadgets, not because I am paid for that. I just find it disturbing that Microsoft is not providing fixes for their awful Bluetooth stack (I don't count unofficially available software). I am glad my iPaq has a Widcomm stack and the fact that HP chose to disable the MS stack says quite a lot on the quality and the completeness of the implementation. One thing is having bugs in software (I am the P900 has a lot of them), one thing is to market Windows Mobile as a native Bluetooth platform when reality is so different.

Posted by Arne Hess on 23.01.04 - 12:37:04

@Uzer: Nope, I don't see which kind or Ericsson company you are but just see Ericsson... ;-)

Anyway - now you are bashing against Microsoft here which isn't the subject of the thread as others also identified it (see the other comments).

Again, it's about Bluetooth fails on a SE phone because I never thought it would fail on a (Sony) Ericsson phone. I'm a long time BT user and started with the R520m which I got as a sample from Ericsson these days.

So I'm more then unhappy to see that Bluetooth, with its complexity, also fails on a device of the inventor of Bluetooth!

Regarding the Widcomm stack I have a different opinion: keep in mind that (Compaq) HP introduced a Bluetooth enabled device long time before it was supported by the CE platform itself and therefore I can not comment why or why not HP is using Widcomm stack. Maybe it's because of long term contracts but maybe it's also the experience with the BT stack. However, HTC who develops both devices - the iPAQ and the Himalaya - seems to decided to use the CE BT stack for the xda II for any reason.

Regarding your answer that you "don't count unofficially available software" I don't know what you mean? The link with the BT update I provided above is a link to the latest released HTC Himalaya ROM and unlike Sony Ericsson, Microsoft isn't releasing the ROMs but the OEMs/ODMs so it's not an unofficial software but an official!

Again, to make it clear the last time: I'm unhappy with the Bluetooth compatibility and functionality in general - doesn't matter on which platform and I always recommended SE cell phones to users who wanted to use GPRS via Bluetooth with their Pocket PCs and that's the reason why it afraid me to see that even a P900 fails today. Okay, so far the headset is reported only but the point is I'm sure the "My Symbian" users haven't tested Pocket PCs with the P900.

But maybe you can find a colleague who has a P900 and test it with several Pocket PCs if GPRS dial-up via Bluetooth works? I can't - unfortunately.

Posted by APA on 23.01.04 - 15:58:05

I'm glad Arne posted the message. I was doing an evaluation of my future phone between the E200, P900 and the XDA II. The bad part of the story is that ALL of these devices the best support and true (no marketing lying) answers are found on enthusiast websites rather than on the companies websites or support areas. In general I hope one day there will be a law that will punish companies for lying to consumers. If they advertise a phone that has bluetooth then I expect bluetooth to work. POINT. I don't care about the technical difficulties. If there are then put a label on the product "Might work, Might not work" But don't have a big mouth on features that are only partially (if lucky) working.

I don't wanna mention individual companies since basically all do this professional lying to customers (a.k.a marketing).

Partially the problem why people are slow with adapting technologies is due to past bad experiences. I had a R520m before, it took me at least 5-6 firmware updates until GPRS did what it was supposed to do. I'm aware that there are several players involved to make or break things. However I think this is not the consumers problem. As much as you don't care if the waitress doesn't know how to operate the coffee machine when you go in a restaurant and just want a coffee.

Over and over we hear the companies complain that consumers are slow to catch up with the new technologies, however looking at the tons of faults that are thrown on the market every day it is clearly no wonder.

I mean 95% of the people who visit websites like http://www.ppcw.net are advanced users and more willing to take faults and mostly motivated to be beta testers. However look at other people around you.

So I fell it is more than ok to report about problems. I even hope one day there will be a website that blacklists companies. I know it's just a wish, but maybe then the quality of products would increase.

btw:

I do have now QTEK 2020(I love the form of the P900, but the software did turn me off), also ran into several problems and I'm not shy to point them out to people who ask me if its a great device or not.

Posted by jayson on 27.01.04 - 01:44:52

Here's what I think, Bluetooth sure is great.  But it's complexity is getting in the way of becoming a true standard.  Many devices use Bluetooth and many profiles have to be made... and as more and more profiles come out (which are not standard but basically on a per-device basis at this point as I see it) our Bluetooth devices would need endless updates. 

The good this about IRDA and it's sucess in becoming a standard is it's simplicity.

Posted by richardsk on 10.02.04 - 08:56:26

I had had a number of configuraqtion issues with my P900 and trying to use GPRS from my laptop over Bluetooth. I do not think it is the Bluetooth stack that is the problem - but the interaction between the Phone Monitor and the allocation of COM ports. I have my GPRS running fine by disabling all the COM ports used by the Phone Monitor (right click the black "connection line" to go to the properties page and uncheck all ports (except the USB port if you use USB sync). But you also need to dusable all com ports in the phone monitor apoplication itslef - right click the black phone icon and go to the COM Ports tab and disable ALL ports when you want to use GPRS over Bluetooth. It seems that even disabling the search ports in the black line icon by itself does not stop the phone monitor searching. It is slightly inconvenient to do this but it seems to solve any unreliable GPRS over Bluetooth connection issues.

I also use AVG Anti Virus (V 7.0 - the paid version) with MS Outlook. When sync (over USB or Bluetooth) I kept getting an error message about the anti virus plug in .dll file not being found which effectively stopped the sync. I fixed this by going to Tools>Options>Other>Advanced Options>Add-in manager and unchecking the Anti Virus Plug In  for the duration of the sync. Again this is slightly inconvenient but a small price to pay for a relaible sync and keeping a virus checker. (I kept getting a similar message with Norton AV but never tried this fix - as I now have a working system I don't want to tinker with it! Maybe someone else who has a similar problem can trey this fix and report back)

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