Archive for October, 2010

Video: Nokia Vs Sony Ericsson Transformers Battle

October 31, 2010 6 comments

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen any Nokia Vs Sony Ericsson battles. Here’s a transformers themed one that just looks incredible. Especially being fan made (by repey815)

My new video experiment, based on Michael Bay’s Transformers, for you and myself))
This short film was shot in 2 hours. Edited in month=) For shooting I used my new camera Canon 550D (+ kit lens 18-55mm + 50mm 1.8) and a little bit my friend’s camera Nikon D5000 (+ kit lens 18-55mm). Thanks for Watching.

Yes, the thumbnail did make me double take too. Don’t worry, it is about transformers.

Is that an N73? I think in reality that would wipe the floor with whatever SE that happens to be :p.

Here’s the N900 as a transformer:

The original Nokia Transformer – N93(i) and N93. They actually did transform. Closed clamshell>Flip Phone>Video Camera>Lap Top

repey815 Via Cinema5D VIAkaroliinasalmin

Mega Gallery: Happy Halloween with the Nokia N8! Incredible Extreme Low Light performance for Nights Out!

October 31, 2010 19 comments

Happy Halloween folks! If you’re out and about tonight, perhaps in costume, you’ll certainly be wanting to save those memories. A phone won’t do right – you’ll have to bring your camera too.


One of the reasons the Nokia N82 has triumphed for so long is it’s undisputed performance in EXTREME low light – which is absolutely perfect for nights out. The last thing you want to worry about when you’ve had a few is your phone AND a camera (as well as your wallet/keys/cards/cash). Having one less thing to worry about is essential.

How does the new blood fare?Well whether in a pub, club (or in a London Film Premiere :p) the N8 does a bang up job and takes up the N82’s challenge successfully.


The Awesome:

  • Passes extreme low light tests with flying colours. Literally. Amply lights up people in the dark with the xenon flash without washing them out (too much). Colours do look better on N8 vs N82. Less washed out (w’ell, we’ll upload the comparisons we did a while back

  • Freezes any action. Your LED enabled camera phone may be able to light up a scene half as good as xenon, but it will inevitably suffer from movement blur. That’s not good because people – they are prone to moving. What also really helps is the very fast autofocus and very fast shutter upon pressing the camera shutter button. This is often taken for granted but my Samsung WB600 would wait a second after pressing. It doesn’t matter that the flash can freeze if the action is already over.

Pillow Fight. Frozenby N8

Pillow in the Air and Nokia N8 captures it.

Moving Foreground freeze with nice background blur.

Falling on the Na'Vi

  • Great for night portraits: Note- a lot of folk are wearing facepaint, and most of the girls in general not in face paint are wearing make up/foundation which shows up a little differently under flash than bare skin – e.g. check out arm/neck. (Hence why the faces of the guys look more natural)

  • Awesome for group shots

Same 9MP 16:9 in 12MP 4:3

  • The N8 was NOT fully charged yet managed to take well over 300 photos ALL WITH FLASH, 8 mins of video, 20 mins calls, 30 mins text and somehow report only 1 bar missing from 8pm to 3am. This maybe incorrect battery life reporting, but if so the N8 would not have lasted until 7pm the next day. (It got to about 4 bars by 9am – killing all background processes severely helped – and the N8 didn’t die. Once on 1 bar it went back on charge)
  • Note: N8 was on full brightness in normal mode. You could possibly extend the N8 battery life by pressing power button once and selecting “Activate power saving”. This will push your N8 to 2G, reduce screen brightness amongst other things..
  • The 3.5″ AMOLED screen makes a perfect view finder. Excellent viewing angle means you can still see your subject even if you place the cam at awkward angles.
  • Simple enough operation for other people to use. Other folk just assume it’s a camera.
  • not N8 specific feature – but the camera strap hole/strap is positioned at the right place for right handed folk – (not so with N900). Makes it easy to protect your N8 from dropping.

The not so good.

  • In Auto mode, suffers from MAJOR red eye. Helps on Halloween but possibly not any other night. There’s red eye reduction function but seriously – due to the annoying camera UI every time you restart the camera it forgets you set it on red eye. On the upside – I’d rather have red eye than shitty, blurry, dark LED lit photos. NOTE: In a pub (or elsewhere where it’s not virtually pitch black) red eye is less of a problem.

  • The uncovered camera glass means it will suffer greatly from smudging which will make focusing difficult if there’s crap on the camera glass. It also affects flash photos. You can just wipe it, but remembering is a task. Especially if someone else is taking your photos and aren’t aware of that problem.

I think this one was combined initial focus error and camera smudge. But I kinda like the effect.

Smudge and focus problem. Focus problem due to intoxication but smudge assists in not being able to autofocus as well as it could.

Focusing again - a little better but there's still smudgey stuff on the camera which I forgot to clean for this pic

All in all STELLAR job by the Nokia N8. Fantastic low light performance that surely would make N82 users proud. Full sized pics available in the gallery


Gallery: The Real Symbian^3 Portrait QWERTY keyboard demoed on the Nokia N8

October 31, 2010 69 comments

As promised alex68  has updated us on about the portrait QWERTY of the Nokia N8. This is the real one (mid development perhaps) and NOT the 3rd party QWERTY keyboard that we saw the other day.

Here’s the standard T9. Note how the text field is no longer separate. You can see exactly the app you’re typing in without being whisked away  into a separate text box.

The T9 on a touch screen has often been criticised as being outdated – but I think T9 is a great option to have. Folks can still type with one hand very easily like their own candybar T9 handsets. It helps if you have big hands. Some folk just prefer typing with T9. It’s good to have the option there – but even better were the QWERTY portait given also as an immediate option.

Well let’s quickly pop into settings: See QWERTY keyboard. Not bad – immediately visible without having to dig around the menu.

And Voila. The portrait QWERTY for Symbian^3.  Typing very responsive. Not sure about multitouch support. Not such a requirement when in portrait as you’ll be one handed.

The portrait QWERTY should mean future portrait QWERTY for Swype – for me, that’s what swype is made for. One handed thumb swyping. Portrait is ok but possibly not as convenient as a single thumb drag.

Note: This is NOT an English QWERTY keyboard. I don’t know how the button placements would appear were there to be fewer letters. Perhaps they would be not directly aligned and offset like a proper qwerty?

Numbers Button:

What do you think? What do you like about it? What could be improved?


Categories: Nokia, Nseries Tags: , , ,

Video: 15 minutes with MeeGo 1.1 on the Nokia N900

October 31, 2010 11 comments

amandahoic from has recorded a video demo of MeeGo 1.1 on the N900.

It’s not in English (but Cantonese) but you can still appreciate what’s going on in MeeGo. Note this is the basic Vanilla colour scheme of Vanilla MeeGo which will look different to Nokia’s MeeGo Handset (Harmattan)

  • 01:43 – Dialler/call page (actions like loudspeaker/hold/mute don’t seem to have icons yet. I’d love to see Symbian’s contact search on MeeGo whereby you just type numbers on the dialler and either a number from your phone book comes up (based on the typed name) or you can go ahead and call a new number.
  • 02:53 – The tabbed interface makes it easy to switch to recent calls/phone book/favourites (or whatever that star is). I HOPE MeeGo accepts swipe gestures and NOT just button pressing of those tabs.
  • 03:15 – App icons are fewer this time and the design has changed again.
  • – Apps are oddly taking much longer to open.
  • 03:30- Short look at SMS/Calendar
  • 04:40 – Video Gallery. I like the alphabet at the top to make it easy to just slide on over to whatever the video name is without having to type-search it.
  • 05:40 – Photoviewer (taking longer than usual to generate thumbnails). I like the connected thumbnails as opposed to having gaps.
  • 06:46 – Music player – interesting interface – the music buttons are always visible even if you’re searching music. I like that. Album art (if any) and album track listing appears at selection. It would be nice to have some clickable breadcrumbs/tabs to go back at certain points without having to press back again and again. Or just persistent tabs in general. Artist/Album/Song
  • 07:12 Multitasker – Big Symbian^3 esque windows/cards. But Maemo Esque in that these are LIVE active windows. Not static images (or worse, a shitty icon). Note that you have notification at the top of the location of your window (with dots/hollow dots). Bottom navigation bar still visible. I like that. Note that if multitouch were possible you could pinch and have the grid view.
  • 07:34 – Multitasker in portrait. Check out that live music player window and how it’s still moving. (Even the photo viewer tries to regenerate thumbnails – though why is another issue) I really love that aspect in Maemo 5. It feels like you’re truly multitasking and it’s also very practical in that you know exactly what’s happening in that window/what you’re multitasking.
  • 07:47 – cleaner rotate from portrait to landscape. We’ve seen it performed faster before. I much prefer having a rotate animation than a subtle “bang” im another orientation. We would expect iPad like rotation in that as soon as you move a little it turns. No more wait after a second or even half a second. Especially for 2011 when this is announced/released.
  • 08:25 – Web Browser. N900 – vanguard of desktop class browsing on a mobile phone. There’s firefox mobile. I hope it gets pinch and zoom by release. (or failing that, give us MicroB)
  • 11:20 – Xterminal – for the Linux Pros amongst you.
  • 11:45 – People / Contacts app.
  • 12:50 – Chat – facebook chat, google talk etc.
  • 13:25 – Settings – That’s the right most button on the navigation bar.  Pretty empty at the moment.
  • 14:15 – Battery indicator view says how many minutes in addition to the visual indicator. (Like old internet tablets 770/N800)


amandahoic in Technorati’s top 100 Gadget Blogs

October 30, 2010 3 comments

Here’s something odd and most definitely a short term fluke thing. On technorati – huge search engine for blogs which categorizes and ranks blogs has put in the top 100 gadgets. I don’t really understand what these ranking means. But to be in the top 100 of anyone’s gadget blog list, be it technorati or any random person (and even if for a temporary blip) means a lot.

So it lists us as number 74. I don’t count the ranking as meaning anything as bigger sites like Gizmodo (which is number 2 overall, beating Engadget (6) which is top in the Gadget category) and TheNokiaBlog are lower down in the list. There’s obviously something wrong with how this thing is ranked.

Megablogs Gizmodo – based on the name and their general presence, why the heck is it all the way to 94? As much as Nokia fans who have known Gizmodo’s unrelenting hate for Nokia would love it – Gizmodo would be expected to be right next to Engadget (top 10 consist of Engadget, BGR, Slashgear, Mashable, gigaOM, Tech Crunch, Apple Insider, Android Phone Fans, Unwired View and T-MoNews)

I suspect this temporary blip is due to alex68’s post on the new browser/homescreen which has been linked back by quite a few sites surprisingly (even GSM Arena).

Unfortunately that video (as positive as it was) was pulled from our youtube account for violating Nokia Corporation’s copyright. Apologies Nokia – thought it was something that would help push confidence into the current ratty browser by giving users something to look forward to. Hey there’s the New Native Symbian Opera Mini 5.1 now whilst we wait?

Major kudos to you guys too on your tips [] your news and Nokia findings are really helping grow (thanks to MNB crew too!). We’ll post views for October on Nov 1 which has been totally down to you guys. Thanks! [apologies if we miss any – we try to get through as many of them as possible!]

Categories: Nokia Tags: , ,

Video: Nokia N8 Camera/Film School – Hollywood Lighting tips

October 30, 2010 1 comment

Latest in the series – something often overlooked though being rather crucial – lighting.

  • Really great tip: Set N8 Video to black and white – not for recording but optimising the light source. This is so you won’t get distracted by the colours.
  • 3 point lighting – backlight, keylight and fill light. This is what makes these video blogs much more professional looking than your standard in-room lighting.


Previous videos

Similar Post:

Video: Ixonos Smartphone UI Concept – compatible with MeeGo

October 30, 2010 2 comments

I don’t know how old this video is. Some aspects of it look similar to the Qt UI layer on Moblin that was shown on the Aava Mobile reference design phone a back in Jan/Feb. The video even says compatibility for Moblin (and MeeGo).

There are some interesting and neat UI experiences here (some familiar drop down stuff from Android).

  • Sky and Earth panel – Sky Panel contains the contacts and earth panel contains the applications. I like how there’s no need for a button – just slide up.
  • I like the thumbnail contacts – neat change from just names with a thumbnail. Thumbnail here takes greater precedence.
  • Contacts have double sided application cards. Swipe up and the contact swivels to reveal additional info. I must say I prefer gestures instead of buttons in this case. Swipe left to right or drag to pull the corner of the page (with effect) seems to make more sense. I think the future of UI is to be as much gesture driven as possible (at least in eyes of media and joe average) as it’s a complete paradigm shift from button pressing. It might not be immediately as functional as pressing a button (even virtual one) but dang, it does look cooler.
  • Homescreen – not a fan of this particular homescreen. I prefer the maemo and S^3 experience (in that order).
  • Photoflow app developed by scalado


Categories: MeeGo Tags: ,

Channel 5’s The Gadget Show reviews the Nokia N8

October 30, 2010 14 comments

The Gadget Show is a very popular tech show in the UK that’s broadcast on Channel 5 (One of the original 5 terrestrial channels) and also on catchup at YouTube. This is reviewed by Jon Bentley of which the transcript is pretty much below and is accompanied by my own rants (agreeing with Jon and clearing things up on different circumstances)

  • Like many N8 fans, Jon was also a user of the beloved Xenon wielding N82 and has been very keenly awaiting he N8 to replace it.
  • On paper looks very impressive – camera very impressive. Sensor larger than most mobile phones (I think all? – and even many compact digital cameras no? I think Nokia should have stressed this more as this is one of the nice verbatim phrases folk regurgitate)
  • Great colours even in dark condtions – it has a proper xenon flash unlike the ones you get on the IPHONE 4 so you don’t get that lurid, horror movie look to your night shots.
  • You do get a virulent dose of red eye (yup, I get that so often in night shots. Mostly green eyes actually – but would rather this than shitty LED lit night shots) Jon says in camera editing software manages to deal with this very effectively.
  • Video camera pretty good too. With very good stereo sound. Not as good as the stills. (Nokia should have made the whole “The Commuter” thing more prominent)
  • However, it is only a phone camera – I don’t think it’s a replacement for a decent compact camera – lacking optical zoom (video digital zoom is just as good as optical. Another thing Nokia SHOULD have pointed out), shutter speed read out (I don’t really use that – I doubt most digital camera users do and probably just point and shoot). It doesn’t remember when you switch the camera off and back again whether you’ve left flash on (my major annoyance with the N8 camera is the frustrating unimproved camera UI. I like that it’s feature packed. But. Why the hell does it NOT remember any of my previous settings. It doesn’t even remember that I’ve left it in either video or stills)
  • Movie editor not a patch on iMovie app for iPhone (well it is free)
  • Enough of the complaints – it is the best camera I’ve ever seen on a phone.
  • That’s not the only good thing about the N8 – The styling is refreshingly different.
  • Very well made – dropped accidentally on a hard surface and not only does it still work – there’s not a scratch on it.
  • HDMI out with high quality audio (first ever Dolby Digital plus please)
  • Battery life is excellent for a smartphone – 2 days without a problem
  • Very good FM radio
  • BIG BUT with the N8 – the user experience (oh noes…I hear should be like Android/iPhone comments approaching. BTW User experience is NOT just UI, It’s the hardware combined. User experience is great. I have my always excellent media capabilities and decent smartphone features. UI could see improvement in certain areas, but overall User Experience – no major problem)
  • Nokia have improved the Symbian Operating System but haven’t improved Symbian by much.
  • If you’re going from N97 to N8 you’ll notice the improvements and will be quite pleased.
  • But if you’re coming from one of the better Android phones or an iPhone you’re gonna feel as though you’ve stepped back in time (Note in terms of UI – In terms of features,  iPhone took a step back in time to 2006 to grab video calling, folders, 5mp camera with flash, an attempt at multitasking and wallpapers. And yet Symbian is still more feature packed. Fortunately for now, Nokia, the majority of people are not coming from iPhone or Android so there’s time to fix the UI to give it that superficial eye candy modern folk love and expect)
  • For all sorts of reasons – one of which is the keyboard – in portrait mode you just get this alphanumeric thing – (not so in upcoming firmware) – and you do have Swype.
  • In both landscape and portrait kb cases, you’re divorced from the application which you’re typing in. (Not so in upcoming firmware – man it annoys me that the delay in N8 was supposed to NOT make us wait for the next firmware so soon)
  • Whole thing feels slow and unresponsive – not sure if it’s the relatively slow 680 MHz processor  (oh dear, no realization of GPU driven UI and the powerful GPU – annoyingly there’s poor design in N8 UI that makes things appear slower than what they can be, e.g. homescreen swipe which is gonna be fixed in upcoming fw. Rotation speed could be faster please Nokia.) – the software or the screen – not quite sure
  • Whole thing makes the phone unFUN to use.
  • Web browsing is OK but not as convenient as  the best.
  • Of course you’ll be short of apps compared to Android and iOS and the ones you do have probably won’t be as easy to use. Perhaps that’s why Nokia have supplied a rather eccentric collection of apps with our N8 (oh dear, Spark beta. I uninstalled that days after trying it. It autostarts and just annoys- yes beta I know – has potential)
  • All of which makes it very hard to recommend the N8 unless you’re very, very keen on one of its particularly good features – camera or battery life.
  • This gives Nokia a problem in that it still doesn’t have a competitive top flight smartphone.
  • Leaves Jon with the problem that he doesn’t think N8 is good enough to be his next phone.

Fortunately for Symbian fans and new Symbian OS owners, you’ll be getting the UI refreshments of the what was then Symbian^4.

Categories: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Video Tags: , , ,

Official Video: Behind the scenes of The Commuter Premiere: What would celebs film if they had the Nokia N8?

October 29, 2010 7 comments

Here’s a behind the scenes look of The Commuter Premiere in London filmed by the Nokia Crew. Towards the end the Nokia folk interview some celebs, asking them what they would do if they had the Nokia N8. Pamela Anderson says not to ask her that question as it gets her into loads of trouble. Haha!


Official Gallery: The Commuter Premiere in London – Film shot entirely on the Nokia N8

October 29, 2010 2 comments

Pamela Anderson. Incredible being literally a few inches away from her.

On Monday I had the privilege of going to the Premiere of the Nokia N8 McHenry Brothers Movie, The Commiter. (Thanks for the invite Kwai Chi!)

Here are a selection of official Nokia UK photos from the Premiere of The Commuter London from Flickr. More and larger images are available on Nokia UK’s flickr set. There seems to be some photos missing (Brian Friedman, Storm Lee, a model whose name I was not aware of and 7-foot exclusive Premiere attendee, Pandemonia – yeah google her.)

Charles Dance, OBE – English actor, screen writer and director.

Charles with Artist and Wife, Eleanor Boorman

Here’s Brazilian Model, Alice Dellal and Fashion designer, Pam Hogg.

UK Band, Fightstar.Jermain Jackson – total surprise to surprise to see Jermain there.

Model Noelle Reno

Immodesty Blaize, British Burlesque dancer, Miss Exotic World 2007,

Daily Mirror columnist, Zoe Griffin

Footballer’s wives actress Sarah Barrand, Male Model and MTV presenter Ash Stymest and MTV europe presenter Laura Whitmore

TV Presenter with Lizzie Cundy and Ash

110 metre hurdler Andy TurnerMr Hudson, British R&B/pop artist. Has collaborated with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Dizzie Rascal, N-Dubz, Tinie Tempah and Kid CuDi

Ed Westwick – Gossip Girl Actor. He wasn’t there at the Premiere due to filming in US (Dev Patel not there either) but it was attached to the Nokia UK stream. I don’t watch gossip girl, but every time I mention his name to girls they go all giggly.

Categories: Nokia Tags: , , , ,