How Usable are These Smartphones?

Even though they sent me a canned email about it, check out Perceptive Sciences’ article “Smartphone Shootout: Which phone is most usable?” Perceptive Science is a usability testing and research firm that did a quick study to see how certain smartphone models fared in five categories: navigation, ergonomics, look and feel, functionality, and overall usability. In their little shootout, they tested he Motorola Q, Palm Treo 700wx, BlackBerry 8800, and the Nokia E62.

Perceptive Sciences assigned a score from 1-4 for each phone.
Nokia E62
Score: 3.5/4
Pros – “quite satisfying”; good keypad; Symbian OS is a plus; solid usability
Cons – uses bottom tabs instead of the normal top tabs; slow performance aka LAG
Palm Treo 700wx:
Score: 3.5/4
Pros – same OS as the Q, but more customizable; intuitive stylus use
Cons – thickest device of the bunch, “retro, clunky, and big”
Motorola Q
Score: 3/4
Pros – “very slick, very thin”
Cons – not too usable; Windows Mobile 5.0 too similar to PC Windows (bad unless you’re a savvy PC user); Start menu only displays 2 rows of icons; “feels unfinished”
Blackberry 8800: 3/4 – small size; new trackball wheel scored high marks; less pre-installed applications than others, inconsistent look; poor icon file structure