A long while ago, I once thought that the ultimate stage of the mobile phone would be the complete integration with the human body, via the use of nanotechnology. No physical handset; screenless integrated vision through your eyes, biosensing of health and mood and features controlled by thought. Perhaps that was one to many Sci-Fi shows watched then huh?
But even at the speed that nanotechnology is growing at, I’d be hard pressed to see that level of advancement in my lifetime.
However, Cambridge University and Nokia Research Center feel that perhaps nanotech could be the way to go in the future of mobilephones. This concept video shows the versatility of Morph. Fold it, bend it, wear it; it’s super dirt replant and can even ‘smell’ things. I’m not sure what exactly I’d be using the latter feature for. Perfume buying for events such as this Sunday’s mother’s day? (I haven’t got anything yet…)
Prices start at $1,000,000 and will ship next quarter. J/k.
Since it’s just a concept video, they should have pushed on the features. Apart from charging by illumination what about by movement? Or molding to any shape, i.e. something gaming friendly should N-gage still be alive by then.
Reading some of the vdeo comments, I find it a little funny how some iPhone haters are already crowning this phone as it’s like “the only way Nokia can really attract the iPhone crowd is with a phone we won’t see for a long long time”.
As you may or may not know I’ve been using the N95-8GB for a couple of days now from WOM and, although its only been a couple of days, I’ve fallen in love with it. I think, apart from the N96, it would be THE only phone that I would ever seriously consider using instead of the N82. I got to thinking, what is it that makes its such a nicer handset then the N95?
Ok, there are obvious things like the bigger screen, the shiny black finish etc, but, it was more then that. The first thing I noticed was it felt more sturdy then my old N95. I was unfortunate enough to have one of the first N95s with the wobbly slider, so obviously that makes a huge difference. I also noticed that it felt more square and solid in your hand, simply because they made the slider wider by about 1mm either side.
As you can see from the picture (its something ive never even noticed or thought about before) but the slider on the front of the N95 is actually slightly smaller then the back, where as on the 8GB, the slider takes up the whole of the front of the device.
Notice that on the N95 you can see the back of the device from just looking directly at the front, with the sides of the slider being the main body of the device, if you can see what I mean. After noticing this, it actually shows that the N95 feels more solid in your hands, and, you can get a better grip on it.
Another thing is the keys. Now we all notice that the key area on the 8GB is alot smaller then the N95 to accommodate the screen size, however there was something different I couldn’t put my finger on (no pun intended!) After all, its not really something a lot of people take huge notice of. When I actually looked at them, I noticed that the D-pad was slightly more cured and sticking out on the 8GB, where as on the original N95, although still slightly curved, its more flat. As well as that, the D-pad on the 8GB is a shiny finish as opposed to the Matte finish on the N95.
The Menu button and the interactive menu button on the 8GB are also more rounded then on the original N95, are for some reason, I prefer that. Its probably due to the smaller keys, but its nice.
AS well as these changes, there is also other small changes that have occurred, such as the movement of the main nokia logo, which is now in the centre of the phone, which I think makes it look better.
Although these changes are all positive, there are a few things, again, subtle things, which I would have quite like to see. For Example, I would have liked to see the headphone jack on the top of the phone as opposed to on the side. It makes it very awkward to chuck the phone in your pocket when your walking along, as it has to constantly be at an angle and adds another 3-4 cm onto the width of the phone when headphones are plugged in. There is also the obvious one of the card slot, but I wont go into that again! Having said that, the N96 seems to have fixed those issues, with the card slot and the headphone jack, which is now on the top! Ive said it before and ill say it again. The 8GB has shown me that its not just an “Updated” N95, but its a whole new phone in itself. It brings a touch of class to the N95, and its what the N95 should have been. I will be disappointed when I will have to part with it.
Michael Oryl, Editor of MobileBurn gets a live demonstration of S60 touch.
Personally, I’m somewhat embarrassed to be a Nokia fan. Since the dawn of the “iPhone phenomenon”, we knew that once S60 touch is unveiled, it would be immediately compared to the iPhone. I felt that the only way Nokia could make an impact into the new paradigm of a touch UI if they could to replicate something similar to their concept video of Nokia Touch UI as seen some years ago. I had a lot of expectations.
But there’s nothing new about it. It’s just S60 with a touch screen. Yes, I know it’s barely ready hence the UI not even being shown on a handset instead emulated on a pc via external tablet display, but I really didn’t expect it to be this underwhelming. What is up with the photo viewing? The current S60 scroll was really nice, good enough to fool people into thinking it was from the iPhone in the video below.
I’m not sure whether to feel content on the whole “better than nothing” mentality. I have at times prodded the N82/N95’s screen absent mindedly thinking it would activate like the N800 I was browsing on. At times like that, I guess I would have welcomed this touch UI. If Nokia are trying to tempt the iPhone crowd away from their Jebus phone, this UI isn’t going to do it. They want the snapy, sparkly, eye candy finger flicking within a simple menu structure. This just seemed everything but that.
Good luck to Miss Jen btw who’s getting stuck in to Sports Tracker and bringing us some wonderful pictures of her travels for the Nseries Urbanista Website. I had a post ready to tell you guys about the great Jenifer Hanen that I met in Chennai but I’ve just been dead with extreme Jet Lag. I’m like waking up at 3am and sleeping at 5pm, the time in between filled with lectures and research. I’ll get that up some time this afternoon.
Ok, Now I know it’s not the newest handset in the range, however I received the N95-8GB from WOM today for 2 weeks. At the moment, im currently using a N82. I have to admit, for some reason, I dont get the same “kick” out of the N82 as I do out of the N95-8GB. When I got the package, I opened it , I got a nice warm feeling in my stomach. Its not that I haven’t seen a N95-8GB before, because I have, many times, its just when you get your own to play with for a couple of weeks, its always better.
I started using it and I just felt at home. The big screen, the nice keys, the well build casing. I was sat at my desk using it, and I thought to myself, this phone sums up Nokia completely. Its what Nokia do best. Its why I love Nokia phones and why I would never buy a Sony Ericsson or a LG again. Its just a Joy to use. Ok Its not perfect. The transfer speed is slow when using the computer, no MicroSD card slot (I have a 8GB card, so I usually just slot it into the phone and I automatically have all my info on it) and the camera isnt the best due to the poor flash (well compared to the N82 anyway) but I think this is just about as near to perfect as a phone can get. Seriously, so far, I have very very few things to fault about it, and the faults are not really faults, they are just things that could do with improving (eg the card slot issue and the LCD flash). The screen is one of the nicest screens I have seen on a phone, and from using my N82 to the 8GB, its a huge difference in size. Every time I pick up my N82 after using the 8GB for a short time, I feel like im staring into a small hole. Its so dark and, well, lifeless compared to the 8GB.
Now your probably wondering where this is going. Well, for a start its got me ALOT more exited about the N96. I know I said the things below about the N96, but after using the 8GB for only a day, I CANT WAIT to get my hands firmly on the N96 and compare them. Hopefully, if I ask them kind enough, WOM would let me Beta test the N96 if they need some people and I can get my grubby mits on it soon :). In fact, I love the N95-8GB so much, Im starting to think about getting one to replace my N82. I’m very pleasantly surprised with N95-8GB. I didnt think it would be a huge improvement to the original N95. OH how wrong I was….
Also, Im going to try and arrange another podcast with Jay and maybe James Burland from Nokia Creative soon to discuss the new Nokia Launches. Hopefully it will be a bit better and more professional then the last one, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Well, im sure your all aware of Nokias recent announcements this morning. If you have been living under a rock and missed it all then they released 2 new Nseries phones, the new flagship N96, and the N73 successor, the N78.
Personally, I cant wait to get the N96 in my hands. It looks very similar to the N81 which ive recently had from WOM which I thought was a really nice handset. Hopefully, the N96 will be well built like the N81. The N96 has a 5MP camera with 2 LED lights, a 950mAh battery, GPS and DVB-H.
My main concern is the lack of Xenon flash, which is one of the primary reasons I own a N82. The flash is so useful on it I use it as my main digital camera now. I personally feel that not putting a Xenon flash in it is a bit of a step backwards rather then forwards. In the discussion with the N96 product manager which took part earlier today, the question was raised about the Xenon flash. This was the reply:
It has a dual-LED flash and video light, with auto-focus assist beam.
While the Xenon-flash can output more light over shorter period of time, we felt that the video light for video recording is the better feature for this device.
Now personally, I feel that isn’t good enough. It feels like they are compromising a little when you compare it to other manufacturers, for example Sony Ericsson. When you take the K850, they have managed to put 3 LED lights in for video recording, as well as a Xenon flash, as well as keeping the phone reasonably small. Nokia have seemed to compromise in one or the other, which there is no need to do. They take up such a small space in the phone, there is no need to.
Another thing that i’m slightly disappointed about is the design. I was hoping for something breathtaking, unique and original. When I first saw the leaked pictures of it, I was very disappointed. I was kind of hoping they had been faked. Ok fair enough its a very nice design, but it seems like Nokia couldn’t be bothered and just got the same team of designers who designed the N81, and they just made it a bit more rounded. Its a nice design, its just that now, since the N81 has been out for a fair while, I associate the look of the N81/N96 with a lower end device, not their flagship phone. If you think in the past Nokia have been very creative with their designs. The N95 with the duel slide, the N90/N93 with its twist screen. It just seems like they have got the N95, tweaked a few things, and stuck a new cover with a new name on it. Heck, it could even be called the N95-16gb, because essentially thats what it is!
His reply when asked about the low power battery was:
Instead of putting in a bigger battery than the N95, we optimized power usage of key functions, in particular those related to multimedia and entertainment. For example, video playback time is up to 5 hours and music playback time is up to 14 hours, which we achieved through hardware accelerators and other optimizations.
Now I guess thats a little better, but it will be very hard to judge until we actually get out hands on the N96, but will be interesting to actually compare the difference in battery life between the N95 and N96, and also the N95-8gb. Again, it seems like a step backwards after bringing out an updated N95, and then the successor to the N95 goes back to the poor battery everyone moaned about!
As for the N78, again, it seems like the N73 with a new cover on, however this one was a little more unexpected. I mean its got a similar camera, still no 30 fps video, . It seems like its a N73 with a new cover and HSDPA/wifi/GPS built in. Although it seems more of an improvement then the N96 does against the N95, in my else, I would have liked to see a better camera and at least 30 fps video. One thing that worries me about it is the keypad. It looks awfully fiddly and, well, small and cheap. Havent said that I thought the same with the N82, but I love that.
Having had a small moan about both handsets, the story will hopefully change once I get one in my hands. Its always the same when your just looking at a picture of one and reading specs off the screen, however with the N95, I knew it would be my next handset, but with the N96, it just doesnt feel the same. I cant wait to hold one and see how it feels in my hand and get a chance to use it, but for now, to say the least, im pretty disappointed. Chaslam
Haha. In Chennai, India on the way to hotel. I love how straight outside the airport there were herds of cows on the road, pram wheel version of tuk tuks and enforced in all the roads…make your own lane where ever there’s space.
I’m just grinning from ear to ear as that’s exactly what mates from India have told me to expect, and it all appears 5 minutes into getting on the road.
Today’s my last day until the hand over tomo. I want to get those pics of the palace and the huge reclining bhudda up and then see what there’s to see in my final city before heading home.
Can’t believe it’s been two weeks already.
On the phone side, I’m using sports (not tracker) setting on the camera when on the move. Seems ok enough, especially since photos aren’t going to be published in full size. It helps kill the still relatively sluggish autofocus time that you’ll get in auto.
If you were to pull out ¹strand of hair per each unit minute of frustration from sports tracker and uploading to the web, in a two week usage, you’d have taken out enough hair to replace all the blades of grass at a football pitch.
Yet again, we encounter another upload problem. It was uploading fine but I decided to cancel the upload just in case my signal would be interrupted (moving through buildings) and cause an error.
One “workout” later to the airport and an attempt at restarting upload gives me”cannot upload to service, invalid data”. 2 hours attempting at reuploading and no luck. Looks like my first 3 hours in Chennai will be spent in an internet cafe again.
Urgh, so very annoying!
So, I’m assuming that the Nseries Urabanista widgets will become personalised for each Sports Tracker user in the future, to put into blogs and online community profiles as this has and will for the urbanista people. I don’t really see the whole Sports Tracker community (on the site itself) taking off the way it is now. Too cumbersome to navigate, and way too slow, and that’s not even the uploading/editing of workouts portion.
Although slow, I’ve taken for granted that I’ve always got readily available internet connection so I can upload workouts and pictures whenever i’ve got signal. Back in the UK when I’ll be using my own sim, i’ll be limited to certain upload locations (ie open/legit wifi spots) as data rates are still so shockingly expensive.
That said, if the sportstracker guys can iron out the bugs and streamline the site and the widgets, I can see myself using it outside of the nseries urbanista project. Again, just to state, application in Beta, site in alpha stage, i.e. Thankfully nokia acknowledges that there’s a lot more work to go before both are set out into the public.
At the waiting lounge now for Chennai. Will be meeting miss Jen tomo, then to Wales, home on Sunday. Missing everyone, oh and broadband, and of course my laptop. Haha, sad.