.The Symbian Guru, Ricky Cadden has written a six page comprehensive review of all you ever need to know about the QWERTY slider, E75 over at MobileBurn.com. This is a very classy, high end 3rd Edition Feature pack 2, s60 device designed for enterprise and efficiency in mind.
There’s also a video hands on review.
The guys at Phone-Arena have been a final version of one of the HOTTEST phones of 2009, the Samsung i8910 (Omnia HD). It’s our beloved Symbian S60, synonymous with Nokia, packaged in excellent Samsung hardware, with a glorious 3.7″ AMOLED capacitive touch screen, 8MP camera, hd video recording at 720p and S60 5th Edition.
With the news of the N97’s somewhat lacklustre processor and RAM, some Symbian fans have jumped ship to Samsung’s more powerful offering. But does it deliver?
This doesn’t seem to work with me, but maybe you can get some fun out of it.
“The outcome of the war lies in your hands. You decide which units are sent to the front lines, and when to unleash the reserves. Your mission objectives range from defending strategically vital locations to simply destroying all enemy forces in the area. Protect supply convoys or raid enemy facilities to uncover technological secrets or fill your storage bays so you can repair damaged units or build new ones in your own factories. Lead your troops to victory!
Crimson Fields is a turn-based tactical war game. It can be played against a human opponent in hot-seat mode in front of the same machine, over a network, or via e-mail, or against the computer.
The game comes with tools for creating custom maps and campaigns, and a converter for maps from the classic games Battle Isle and History Line.”
Today I picked up a little package sent from Hong Kong. It was a couple of Fake dummy N97; one black one white. Why? Well, I wanted the N97 so badly, this was the only of getting little fix without spending too much on actual N97 clones. This is really a toy version – not even the dummy you will soon find in shops as it’s basically just a shell of the N97 – the buttons don’t move, neither do the unlock switch/volume/shutter/menu.
(Fake/dummy N97 unboxing – check out the 5800 homescreen! haha)
What does work is the slide. Even though it’s a fake dummy phone, playing with it made me realise how I had actually forgot and overlooked how well implemented the QWERTY keyboard and slide are, and how useful this entire combination would be for me as an end user.
The dimensions are identical to a real N97, and side by side, it’s not much bigger than the N82, but then has a 3.5″ touch screen and a whopping great keyboard. It’s so frikkin practical! No need for an onscreen keyboard to use up all the screen space; if I have to type a relatively long text message, I can see it all in its entirety. But if I need to text one handed, for what ever reason, T9 in portrait mode works well too, as shown in the 5800. It’s nice to have both options.
(this one does seem to be on fast forward, but you get the gist)
While it’s not setting new bars on the imaging front, Nokia have hit the balance extremely well with the list features on this phone (just make sure the price is reasonable!). Although not exactly the traditional or expected flagship, with the focus on user experience, particularly with Ovi, it could just be a recipe for commercial success.
The latest episode of the Phone Show covers:
- The E75
- Xenon Flash Photography
- Top 10 iPhone games
- Interview with Rafe about the N97
Aah, Steve Litchfield – one of the very few people I could battle in a moan and groan about the importance of XENON in mobile phone photography. I agree whole heartedly with Steve: Nights out with the N82 (given that I’m not drunk enough) means a lot of memories frozen to be remembered forever (whether you like it or not) on TEH facebook. Xenon isn’t just for nights out, it’s for most indoor/poor lighting situations. With LED flash, your best hope is poor colours and definite blurs – not very good when your subjects are people.
This does spark a lot of jealousy in my Nokia orientated mind. Remember just before the N93 was released, we saw videos of what we were told we should expect from these new Nseries N-Gage platforms?
Alas we saw nothing come close to that ever for Nokia. In comparison, look at everything coming to iPhone/iPod Touch – the 3D games are very well implemented, the graphics and gameplay are both very impressive.
Rafe Blandford and the N97
The ultimate Symbian genius, Rafe talks about the strengths and shortcomings of the N97. Wisely very cautious, Rafe is hesitant to judge whether the N97 will be a success amongst the geeks/technology leaders out there given its relatively disappointing specifications, but reckons the N97 will be a commercial success, as it’s a different Nseries experience with a lot of backing from Nokia and Ovi services.
I do seem to ignore the E-series, but this phone does have an excellent form factor. What with iPhone making everyone touch orientated, buttons seem like a whole new invention as QWERTY keyboard start becoming popular. I like how the E75 looks like a convincing normal candybar then has a QWERTY keyboard (not like E90/N9300i which were obviously too fat to be a normal candybar), and love the build quality and the excellent materials used.
Here’s the Nokia N97 being demoed at the developer summit. Here it is again, if you so wish, at another angle.
There’s nothing to be gained from either video except the noticing the gradual growth of the N97’s UI. I still hate the wasteful menu of S60 5th edition – at least for phones with screens as big physically and pixel wise as the N97 (and 5800!). I don’t know if we’ll ever get a more decent 4×5 grid, and leave the back button to the red button (with long press to exit fully) or have the options bar autohide in the menu! Urgh! It just wastes so much space, dammit!!
The kinetic scrolling is nicely demonstrated again in the twitter application; changing in speed to the level of drag. Pity we don’t see this in the menu, where scrolling is quite painful to watch.
Transition from Landscape(Qwerty) mode to portrait(candybar) takes the N97 an excruciating 3 seconds with no animation. By launch this better be instant or close to that! It needs to feel more fluid! Take a look at how relatively quickly the Nokia Photobrowser from Nokia Beta Labs changes from portrait to landscape. The wait, if any, between screen orientation should be so minimal, you don’t notice that the computer is processing such changes, instead appearing to be in natural sync with the motion of your hand. Like moving a spirit bubble.
During the video, the guy mentions that “the N97 is very efficient on power and computational ability“. Is that marketing speak for “it has to do the best it can, given that the processor isn’t as powerful as it actually needs to be“?. The guy does point out that this is “a rough version of the software and that the teams are working hard“.
The N97 may be able to pull it off when it’s officially available in June/July, but how will it’s endurance/longevity be when users start filling it up with applications/videos/photos and developers produce more power hungry applications? Will potential buyers have to look for a rehashed “i” version or another quick replacement flagship? Will that be the keyboardless and super slim N97?
With about a month or two to go, is there time for any pleasant surprises from the N97, or are all the cards already on the table and all Nokia has are a couple of jokers?
…in Nokia’s portfolio.
The 5800 had sold 1,000,000 within a couple of months (3 million now), compared with T-Mobile’s G1 which has sold around 100,000 since October.
With every feature the 5800 has ( 3.2″ Touch screen, excellent loud speakers, 3.2mp Carl Zeiss Lens, excellent music player, GPS Navigation, decent web browser with Flash support for things like YouTube – being the phone in the Dark Knight movie :p) and the price which Nokia have set it at, it’s not surprising it has sold so well. Accounting for 20% of touch screen handsets worldwide, the 5800 had an amazing start with UK contracts, being on O2 and now T-Mobile at a base start price of £15, 100 minutes and unlimited text or around £200 on pay as you go (which is always unlocked in Carphone Warehouse – no I’m not being paid to say this).
Although its an XpressMusic handset, denoting that it shouldn’t be worth anywhere near what Nokia asks from their Nseries, it is more than a rival when put side by side against Nokia’s top end devices. Suffice to say, the 5800 is a bargain, and so it’s understandable why Nokia would think it may become one of their most successful handsets.
So will a knock down price be the key also, for ensuring the upcoming N97 is also a winner? I’m not even going to begin at how the N97 is more of a tugboat for the next flagship instead of being the flagship itself, so the N97 (with its relatively non new features ) should arrive to our shores at a relatively reasonable price. Or at least fall in price sharply after a couple of weeks. That or doom it to failure as everyone else goes for seemingly better specification-wise alternatives at possibly cheaper prices (…Samsung i8910 – Omnia HD, Sony Ericsson Idou, Palm Pre, 3rd Gen iPhone)