Usability tests: iPhone trounces Nokia N95, HTC Touch in all categories except...

According to testers from research lab Perceptive Sciences, the Apple iPhone pretty much trounces the Nokia N95 and the HTC Touch.Performed by Perceptive Sciences senior research scientist Tom Thornton and research scientist Tim Ballew, these results are cited by David Haskin, a mobile device specialist and freelancer for Computerworld magazine.

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According to testers from research lab Perceptive Sciences, the Apple iPhone pretty much trounces the Nokia N95 and the HTC Touch.

Performed by Perceptive Sciences senior research scientist Tom Thornton and research scientist Tim Ballew, these results are cited by David Haskin, a mobile device specialist and freelancer for Computerworld magazine.

The tests consisted of 10 users, who were pre-selected for unfamiliarity with any of these three devices.

As Haskin notes, each of the ten testers was asked to perform various functions on each, including the time needed to find and use the on/off switch, setting the phone to vibrate, making a call, saving a phone number to the contact list, sending a short e-mail, taking a photo and finding a Web site using the device's built-in browser.

A final score for each task and each device was computed by combining time-to-successful-completion (when relevant) with Thornton and Ballews's observations of the testers working with each task.

iPhone's overall score in the usability tests was 4.6 out of 5, while the HTC Touch came in at 3.4 and the Nokia N95 racked up a 3.2.

"Testers were [typically] about twice as fast doing specific tasks on the iPhone, which is pretty remarkable," Thornton told Haskin.

Test results highlights:

Global Navigation- iPhone 5; HTC Touch 4; Nokia N95 2.5.

Usability/Information Architecture- iPhone 5; HTC Touch 3; Nokia N95 2.

Ergonomics- iPhone 4.5; HTC Touch 3.5; Nokia N95 3.

Look and Feel- iPhone 5; Nokia N95 4.5; HTC Touch 3.

Functionality- Nokia N95 4.5; iPhone 3.5; HTC Touch 3.5.

So why the iPhone's not-excellent Functionality score? Ballew criticized the iPhone camera functionality as "pretty basic," and the third party apps as Web-based and some "aren't very good.

Thornton did like iPhone's Safari browser, and its speed accessing and rendering Web pages.

"The bottom line in this category is that there often are trade-offs between the feature-richness and usability," Haskin writes that Thornton told him.

What do you think, readers?

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