Archive

Archive for December, 2009

Video: N900 vs iPhone video shootout

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Another test from James Burland places the 848X480 recording N900 against the 640X480 iPhone 3GS.

James notes that currently the N900 suffers from frame rate drops and at times confusion with exposure. The frame rate issue is supposedly going to be fixed in the next firmware update.

Nokia’s been producing phones with great video recording for yonks. The 3GS is Apple’s first official try at video. This is the first from Nokia (that I’m aware of) that suffer these issues.  Video is otherwise very good across the Nseries range.

via jamesburland

Categories: Nokia Tags: , , , , ,

10 minute video hands on with the Google Phone Nexus One. Please take some pointers, Nokia.

December 31, 2009 1 comment

Not really a Nokia post, but an intriguing watch nonetheless. Basically how a modern mobile OS should feel and how the UI should look. Nokia touch phones are often more functional [aka plain/boring] when it comes to the UI. Only recently with the N900 have Nokia users experienced eye candy UI out of the box. For me, I’m hungry for more as it just adds to the whole user experience made by a great OS and an alluring UI.

It doesn’t have to be style versus substance. Why not have both?

  • Animated and interactive wallpapers – gimmicky maybe but undeniably stunning. Wonder how this will affect its battery life
  • Very fast. Only a few minor hiccups here and there.
  • [Complete integration with google services]

Now imagine the quashed rumours of Nokia making an Android Handset were true? Nokia Aseries – with all other Nokia hardware excellence to boot.

Who’ll up the deliver 2010-level eye candy first? Maemo or Symbian?

from nowhereelse.fr via mobilementalism

James Burland’s N900 Video Sample Compilation

December 30, 2009 2 comments

James Burland of Nokia Creative [and MNB :)] has put together a beautiful video compilation he’s shot on his N900.

Quality wise the N900 is very good (I’m guessing youtube/video editor may have degraded slightly from original but it’s still very good).

As well as being the highest resolution video from Nokia at 848X480, it’s also Nokia’s first with autofocus video. James clearly demonstrates this in the video, getting subjects near and far (Seriously check out those squirrels nosing about the N900 at 2:30!)

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agEKT-A0c8I]

For other N900 video samples check out

via Jamesburland

Categories: Maemo, Nokia, Nseries, Video Tags: , , ,

Nokia Configuration Tool 5.0 Now Available!

December 30, 2009 5 comments

Hey all, just seen this and thought might be useful for some people (Personally this is the first time i’v heard of the app!!)

It’s basically a tool to configure some of the key thing for your device on your PC and then send them to either one or several devices! (things like contacts, e-mail address’s, etc)

Screenshot of Configuration Tool 5

Screenshot of Configuration Tool 5

Nokia’s blurb about the tool is that it’s mainly aimed at developers, but personally I think it’s also good from moving settings from an old phone to a new one, without having to search through all the menu’s! (Only downside right now is that is mostly works with the E-Series but others may be added as it also works with N97 (original and mini).

Nokia’s Description:

Simply manage the settings and policies of selected Nokia devices. With your PC and device connected through Nokia PC Suite and a USB cable, you can easily configure various settings on several devices at a one time, including:

  • Wireless LAN
  • VPN
  • VoIP
  • Email
  • Internet Access Points (IAP) on several devices at a one time
  • Also transfer files, contact cards, and applications

The Nokia Configuration Tool is designed for:

  • Deployment across mobile fleets that are of small and medium size
  • The testing and trial of Nokia devices prior to larger scale deployments

Currently supported devices:

Nokia E51, Nokia E52 PR 2.0 and newer, Nokia E55 PR 2.0 and newer, Nokia E60, Nokia E61, Nokia E61i, Nokia E62, Nokia E65, Nokia E66, Nokia E70, Nokia E71, Nokia E72, Nokia E75 PR 2.1 and newer, Nokia E90 Communicator, Nokia N97 and Nokia N97 mini.

Download from:

http://europe.nokia.com/support/download-software/nokia-configuration-tool/compatibility-and-download

N900 Document Applications (Walkthough/Review)

December 30, 2009 7 comments

Hey all, I thought I’d enlighten you about some of the document applications on the N900 including:

  • PDF Reader
  • Documents to Go:
    • Sheet to go
    • Slideshow to go
    • Word to go
  • Notes

I’m sure you have all seen the one from Nokia (I actually did my video before Nokia’s one came out but just been away so couldn’t upload / edit the video I made)

Nokia’s Video:

This is more  of a puff piece then anything else!

My Video:

I’d like to just apologise about the quality of the video and if you notice jolts, etc as the only thing i had to record this was a digital camera but at max resolution it only lets me record 30 seconds at a time to had to keep hitting the record button!

Ow and I might have said “ummm” and “errrrr” a few hundred times so sorry in advance!!

Let me know what you think and hopefully this will be one of many videos from me…anyone want to donate a decent video camera to me!!!

p.s. should have a X6 in a few days so expect something about that from me soon!

10 phones that defined a decade: Brief look at Mobiles and Nokia domination in the noughties

December 29, 2009 2 comments

[Forgive the length of this post. This was originally an extremely short post to show that out of Techradar’s “10 phones that defined a decade, 5 were Nokia handsets]

On Friday, it will have been a whole decade since we entered the new millennium. 10 years since 2000? How did that happen so quickly?

What’s really surprising is how fast and far technology in our mobile phones have come. In this decade we went from:

  • monochrome to colour
  • cameras and music players built in
  • keypad to touch
  • WAP to mobile broadband
  • Phone for calls and text to pocket computers that could make phone calls.

In their inception, each new feature was touted by pessimists as gimmicky – something that would not catch on. Who would want a colour screen? Who would take pictures with a phone? Why would you want a blue tooth? Who on earth would want a phone with no buttons? Who on earth wants email/web browsing on a phone?

Yet now, we take these pretty much for granted as a basic necessity for phones. In 2005, analysts saw that high tech advanced mobile phones were complicated, expensive and hadn’t caught the industry as hoped.

Other transitions we saw:

  • Infra Red to Bluetooth
  • Phones that could display photos!
  • Phones that could play videos!
  • Phones with WiFi connectivity!
  • Phones with GPS mapping!
  • random PC proprietary connectivity to pretty much universal microUSB.
  • 5kb phone memory to having 32GB phone memory
  • large variety of gigantic memory cards to pretty much just microSD
  • Screens being a 10% of the phone’s face to pretty much the whole footprint of the phone.
  • pixelated QVGA cameras to cameras with megapixels, boasting up to 12mp (some with xenon/optical zoom/wide angle/carl zeiss optics)
  • jittery blocky tinny sounding 3GP videos to bliss 720p HD videos.
  • Plain monochrome snake game to fully immersive 3D games

I could go on. The evolution of mobile phones in this decade has been quite remarkable. Could we expect similar revolutionary changes in the next 10 years?

As well as new technologies, we saw players come (E.G. Apple, Sony Ericsson) and go (e.g. Siemens) or slip (Motorola). There’s been reshuffling in the ranks but since 1998, Nokia have maintained the lead as number one phone manufacturer. In this decade, Nokia were the biggest camera manufacturer and biggest mp3 player manufacturer.

Nokia in the Noughties

For pretty much 75% of this decade, Nokia unquestionably dominated the phone market. Surprisingly, one of their main strengths was their simple, logical and easily comprehensible UI. Where Samsung and Motorola left you in a maze, you could swiftly navigate your Nokia. At the high end, their main challenger was the newly formed Sony Ericsson and their Symbian based UIQ. Another surprising strength was Nokia’s bountiful apps – hardware aside, 3rd party software became reasons to buy Nokia and their Series S60 smartphones. 

With their budget handsets, striking fashion phones and young fresh smartphones, though accused of being too slow to react, Nokia saw off Motorola’s V3 flip/clamshell attack. Nokia, Symbian, and S60 was unequivocally dominant in the mobile scene.

As cameraphones piqued intrigue, the only real competitors here for best picture quality were Nokia and Sony Ericsson. The battle had been fierce, full fledged smartphones with great imaging capabilities vs your average “dumbphone”. With their first megapixel 7610 in 2004, Nokia showed a future in high quality camera phones.

Birth of Nseries

In 2005, Nokia launched the premium cream of technological crop – Nseries Multimedia computers. Versatile Symbian OS paired with excellent hardware making them the best in their field of multimedia creation and consumption.

Returning to imaging, with the N90 we saw Nokia’s partnership with Carl Zeiss to deliver high quality optics to mobile phones. The N73 gave a hint of phones realistically replacing point and shoots. With the N82, Nokia produced a Xenon equipped camera phone that could happily take the place of a point and shoot camera. Since 2006, Nokia has won the TIPA best mobile imaging awards; first with the N80, continuing to do so with the N95 in 2007, N82 in 2008 and N86 in 2009.

Another major strength we saw in Nokia was high quality video with decent audio. Whilst everyone else was producing blocky tinny videos, Nokia’s N90 was shoulders above the rest, and even more so when Nokia came up with the “DVD-like” cam corder looking, 3X optical zoom with STEREO sound N93.

Nokia got busy churning out phone after phone. (To date, since the 3310, there have been 267 GSM Nokia phones.) In Q4 2006, 50% of phone shipments were from Nokia, with 67% of the smartphone market being Symbian based. Nokia and Nseries brand image was sky high, and epitomized by the marvel that was the N95. 5MP camera with flash, GPS, Dual slider with music keys, microSD slot and 3.5mm jack with TV out . Convergence was in.

Nokia showed everyone that if you wanted the best mobile gadget, you had to come to Nokia. Samsung were fluttering about with slider fashion phones (and when they did push high tech, it was damn ugly), Sony Ericsson couldn’t keep up, god knows what everyone else was doing.

Then stepped in Apple with a then laughable buttonless phone. They changed the perception and acceptance by the masses to high end devices. Smartphones didn’t have to be slow and complicated. It could be fast, responsive and as simple as pick up and play. The market reacted quickly, but Nokia were inexplicably slow to produce a touch screen experience that could rival iPhone or simply keep up with the trend.

S60 was deemed outdated, non finger touch friendly and in need desperate need of an overhaul. Hardware wise, apart from the touch screens, the flagship Nseries were pretty much still the same. Only in June this year did we see Nokia improving on the 5MP camera we first saw back with the N95 with the N86.

Although Nokia are still number one in terms of sales, their grip on the market isn’t as mighty. In the UK, for the past two months, Samsung now have the top market share. Worldwide, Apple’s iPhone was supposed to be more profitable than Nokia in Q3 but it seems reports misconstrued numbers and that they were Apple total profits vs Nokia (and that doesn’t include Nokia’s major losses via Nokia-Siemens)

In the last few gasps of this decade, there was a glimmer of hope for Nokia again as the Nokia’s Maemo tablet range of experimental devices blossomed. We got a taste of the power of Maemo 5 and the potential of the mobile computer in your pocket. The future could possibly be very bright for Nokia with the more mature and mass market aimed Maemo 6, as well as the release of revamped, clutter free, slick Symbian^4.

Will Nokia still be number one in 10 years time? Will they still continue to set trends rather than follow them? Who knows. To have held the top spot ( for much of it so comfortably for this long) and have set so many bars already is quite a remarkable feat.

Make the action not the reaction

From the view of a fan, in 2010 and onwards Nokia’s devices and services need to feel like they belong in that era, instead of feeling like they need to catch up. Nokia needs to make drastic changes so that they continue to set trends and not just follow them. If anyone knows about adaptability, evolution and change, it’s the once Paper-Mill, come Rubber Works, come cable works come Number one mobile phone manufacturer in the world, Nokia.

This was just a brief look at Nokia in this decade. There are too many key points to include (e.g. introduction/death of N-gage, Eseries, Xseries, Nokia as a sotware/internet services company with Ovi, Nokia dipping toes into laptop market)

Oh, and the 10 phones that defined this decade?

  1. Nokia 7110
  2. Nokia 3310
  3. Vertu
  4. S.E. W800i
  5. Nokia 7650 (2002)
  6. Motorola RAZR (2004)
  7. Nokia N95 (2007)
  8. HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1
  9. RIM BlackBerry
  10. Apple iPhone

Via Tech Radar

Categories: Nokia, Nseries Tags:

N900 Mer UI – Portrait, New task switcher and dock.

December 28, 2009 2 comments

Andrew Zhilin brings us his concept of Mer User Interface for the N900. What is Mer?

“Mer is an outgrowth of Nokia’s Maemo environment, designed to flesh out the tablet-centric operating system into a full-fledged Linux distribution suitable for embedded and desktop systems of all description.”

via lwn.net see also Mer

  • Works in landscape. “only” 3X4 grid of apps, plus note, a dock of customizable quick launch apps (15 TOTAL – extras views other window of apps).
  • Works in portrait – note how it scales to portrait. Apps still in same configuration. In portrait you get to view more apps, up to 24 in 6×4 grid plus the dock. 27 APP TOTAL.

  • Finally we have the app switcher. One of my fave things on the N900. I like that I can get to “extras” menu from app switcher because most of the time, I already have quick access to menu apps on my homescreen.

I like Andrew’s concept, especially the maximisation of apps in view when in portrait. It would be interesting to see how it handles longer lists of apps. Would it be scrollable like the first screenshot suggests or in pages?

Via tablet UI