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Connectivity Analyzer from Nokia Beta Labs!

November 28, 2010 7 comments

Hey all, it’s been a while since i’v properly blogged on “My Nokia Blog” but as I no longer have time to post as much as i’d like to on my own TheTekBlogger.com, I thought Jay wouldn’t mind me posting here!

One of the recent creations from the people over at Nokia Beta Labs yet again helps us to solve an issue that I’m sure we have all had at one point or another…”Why won’t my phone connect….AAAGGGHHHH”.

“Connectivity Analyzer” from Nokia Beta Labs does exactly what it says on the tin, it tries to figure out well (or not so well) your phone connects to either a Wireless LAN in your home or somewhere else, or Packet Data connections through the mobile network of your choice.

Here is what the developers have to say about it:

Read more…

Nokia N8 torture test

November 11, 2010 18 comments

Before Nokia phones get released they go to some tough torture test to make the sure they will survive in real world situations and here is a video from Nokia’s official blog showing tests of N8’s being tested. enjoy 😀

In addition to the drop test, there’s more than 200 other endurance tests that we put new models through to see if they pass muster. Some of the highlights include:

  • Extreme weather: We use special machines to expose them to extreme temperatures from around -40°C to +85°C, helping them to withstand conditions from the cold of the arctic circle to the heat of the Sahara desert.
  • Humidity: We also test for use in tropical and humid parts of the world by placing devices in a special chamber for several weeks where they will experience humidity levels as high as 95%.
  • Clothing: When we carry devices in our back pockets they may bend when we sit down or rub on trouser fibres. We simulate these effects with special machines that bend and twist the device, and one that uses a real pair of jeans to test friction and wear and tear.
  • Pockets: Devices are often in bags or pockets with other items like keys or coins, so we place devices in a special “shaker” machine with hard particles to see how resistant they are.
  • Buttons: People press the main keys on their device an average of 200-300 times every day. To ensure the keypads can respond to this level of use, we press the keys up to one million times in the lab.

via Nokia Conversations

Categories: Nokia, Symbian^3, Test

N8 browser another sneak peak

Here’s another short video of the browser on the N8 which is getting along nicely, seems like they still need to get the zooming sorted out though.

via fonearena

Categories: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian, Test, Video

FULL N900 Talktime Test (3G Connection)!

December 12, 2009 12 comments

Hey all,

I’m sure a lot of you have seen Nokia’s N900 talk time test with the talking clock? if not its below.

I thought that I would do my own test as Nokia’s one is only really half a test (it’s assuming that if the battery is showing half left that it will last 2 times the time is has already lasted, which is usually rubbish so I thought I’d use some of my unused free minutes to do a test of my own!

Nokia’s Battery Test

How long does Nokia say the battery will last?

This was really hard to find, Nokia’s specifications don’t seem to include it (only say it has a 1320mAh battery) and even gsmarena.com have just left it blank! but after searching around I found a post on the official Maemo forum which claims the following:

Operating Times
Always online: Up to 2-4 days (TCP/IP connected)
Talk time: Up to 5hrs WCDMA, 9hrs GSM
Active online usage: Up to 1+ day

We’ll soon see if these are even close!

My Battery Test

To make is more about the actual talk time rather than anything else I have set the phone up as follows:

  • Internet connection completely switched off
  • Any active desktop items disabled (i.e. RSS, weather, Facebook, etc)
  • Network signal: 3G
  • Called a landline number so I know I am not going to run out of battery on the other end!
  • Nothing done on the phone except screenshots every hour or so or when there is a significant change
  • Battery Fully charged

    N900 fully charged

    N900 fully charged

  • Start test immediately after disconnecting the charger

    N900 Call started

    N900 Call started

Ok now the call has started, I kept checking back on the phone to see how long it would last and noticed that after 2 hours (like the Nokia video) the battery level was about half but about reaching the 4 hour mark people where expecting, lets just see!

N900 Battery life

N900 Battery life

Ok so as you can see the battery started dropping a bit quicker after 2 hours were up. At about 3 hours and 18 minutes, the “Battery Low” warning showed up for the first time and the level turned red so I knew it was on its last legs!!

It got to 3 hours and 30 minutes in and it was still going but then about 4 to 5 minutes later it switched off!

Note: I realised that I had a system monitor running which drains a lot of battery, so without that it should last a lot longer!

So if I factor in things like me constantly checking the phone to see the battery level, and taking screen shots, I think I could have squeezed about 5 or so more min out of it so I’d say talk time estimate to be about 3 hours and 40 minutes on 3G! (Much lower than the 5 hours I read on the Maemo forum)

If you run on 2G it should be about double this so around 7 hours 30 min to be optimistic! (Much lower than the 9 hours I read on the Maemo forum)

You have to note that in this test it is in best case scenario because if you have things going on in the back, i.e. texts, e-mails, etc the time will drop but at least now you know what you can stretch your N900 battery to!

Low light photo and flash test: Nokia N97 versus Nokia N900 versus Nokia N82

December 12, 2009 6 comments

Here’s some low light photo conditions with the N900; testing out its flash against the N97 and the king of flash, and over 2 years old (absolutely ancient in tech), the N82.

I know I harp on about Xenon, but these set of photos demonstrate yet again why it’s just so good! Real xenon flash as opposed to LED, gives you a higher percentage of good looking photos in a wider range of lighting situations. This is especially useful if you’re taking photos of people.

Nseries in general are fantastic in ample lighting conditions, but only the N82 has ever excelled in dark conditions. The N900 would have been fantastic with Xenon. [Note, good low light isn’t all about Xenon, but it gives it a mighty helping hand]

There are excuses of space, possibility of advantages of LED for video light (though you don’t have video light option in N900) – possibly the real reason is that the N900 is only stage 4/5 on the path to Maemo greatness. (I really don’t want the N87 to be the only xenon flash enabled phone in Nokia’s 2010 lineup)

In general day to day camera use, I prefer the N900 to the N97 (but N82 above N900)

The N900, though not photo centric does have some advantages on its side:

  • Camera interface is just so much easier to use!
  • 16:9 photo option
  • N900 remembers last saved photo settings
  • N900 low light without flash is better than N97/N82
  • N900 colours/white balance usually more accurate than N97
  • N900 doesn’t have the camera glass fault that some N97s do mucking up the photos when
  • N900 video absolutely superior with initial autofocus
  • Framing subjects much nicer on N900 with large, high res screen.

1. This first set is just a colour test: Under fluorescent lighting,  no flash, distance about 20cm. Beginning always with N97, N900 then N82.

2. Pitch black, flash on.

3. Light on, no flash, distance about 1 metre. Apologies for the messiness of the shelves.

Pitch black, flash on. Distance 1m

Note here: N900 has much sharper photo than N97

Light on, flash on, distance 1m

Pitch black, flash on, distance 2-3 metres.

Now just N900 vs N82

Low light, flash on.

Low light, flash on

Low light, no flash

A bad shot below by N82’s standards (got focus point wrong), but still more vibrant colours. Check out another photo set with N97 vs N82.

Note, in some situations (like macro – not shown) N82’s xenon can be too bright. I’m not a photography buff so I don’t know how it works, but some digital cameras I’ve tried (mostly the Fuji variety, Samsungs/Panasonics I’ve tried failed) they take excellent macro with xenon

Photos: Nights out with the Nokia N97 (with Nokia N82 comparison samples)

July 10, 2009 7 comments

YesteRday was my friends’ graduation. I knew that if I wanted some decent photos of the evening, I’d need to bring a proper camera (with real xenon flash) as dual LED has never cut it on previous occasions in really low light with the Nokia N97. Whilst not a dedicated point and shoot, I brought the N82 which was damn good enough to light up those moments which the N97 could not.

Unfortunately, not that many pictures from last night are going to make it on this post as I wasn’t really paying attention to making photo tests (they aren’t appropriate for a public blog – ha they’d kill me if I put some of these pictures up), but there are some from a different night. As expected in both occasions, the N82 was the downright winner – freezing every single shot, lighting up the scene in vivid bright colours, whereas the N97 just produced murky, often blurred pictures.

Note these two pictures below. (Big thanks to the random guy who took the photo – they were taken about 5 minutes in between each other as he didn’t know how to work either phones).

Nokia N97 (below) V11 firmware

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Nokia N82

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Nights out make up a significant bulk of my albums on facebook (as well as my friends’ albums). It’s the most convenient place for me to share my photos with the people that matter to me. The Nokia N82 has been a trooper in bringing back some quality pictures of the night before, to the point that I’ve rarely had to bring a separate camera (of which was brought out only when I forgot to charge the N82).

I love that I the N82’s camera with xenon flash is sufficiently good enough that I don’t have to bring out a phone AND a camera when I’m going out. It means less bulky pockets and more importantly, less of a chance that I’ll lose/drop/break, particularly as the alcohol consumption goes up and the concentration goes rapidly down. (And even so, the N82 has dealt with the drops, scrapes, scratches and even being dunked in Guiness remarkably. The only thing that’s hampered it is debranding to get the v31 firmware – a lesson I’ve learned NEVER to do again)20090709362_2

Bleak and murky, by N97

It’s annoying to think that I can’t have the same reliance for low-lit-people shots with the N97. Yeah, it’ll capture it, but never how it could have been, had Nokia included Xenon Flash.

It’s a shame particularly with the integration of facebook on the N97, and even being called the facebook phone, you’d think it’s the perfect marriage for the whole “connecting people” theme.

I know that not everyone’s pictures consist predominantly of indoor/nights out. In fact, with the summer, proportions of outdoor sunny holiday snaps are increasing (at least that’s how it’s appearning on my FB news feeds).

My perceptions maybe skewed as a (UK) student, but whenever people congregate and photos are being taken, that’s often almost always taken indoors where the lighting isn’t always the best it could be. The only N97 shot of the night out I was happy with was the macro below.

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N97 – macro – low light – flash on

These are though the harshest of lighting conditions. The N97 does perform alright when there’s sufficient lighting. Here’s an indoor shot taken earlier on in the evening during a meal at Harvester. There was still some sunlight poking through the windows.

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I was actually surprised when I checked that this had actually come from the N97 as shot by the N82 came out blurry (though this maybe a focusing error on my part and not the phone)

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N82 – focus got locked to the white shirts at the back.

Here’s a set of comparisons of the N97 (firmware V10) against the N82 when I went to see my mate’s band at Barfly. Sometimes, when the N97’s flash is turned off (and there’s already some illumination in the scene), the colours look more natural than with the N82 with the xenon flash on. But head to head, xenon always wins against dual led. Note that the N97 shot is (at least I think it is) the first of each pair.

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In terms of photos, and people in low light, and flash on, the Nokia N82 wins hands down. I haven’t tested the Nokia N86, the supposed imaging flagship by Nokia, but I’m hazarding an informed guess (based on early low light review sample) that even with the N86’s improved dual LED and better sensor, the N82 simply with xenon will still win the very low light/people test.

The only use I have for the dual LED is in the torch application (and I actually find this genuinely really useful). It doesn’t help that much in video, unless you set night mode on. This lights up the scene considerably, although frame rate is reduced and the video becomes very jerky.

Another area the N82 wins at is transferring pictures to the computer.

N82 >

  1. Gallery button >
  2. Hold “#” >
  3. press left on the dpad, quickly selecting several photos/videos at once >
  4. – send via bluetooth

N97 >

  1. Homescreen/menu >
  2. Photos >
  3. Captured>
  4. tick icon >
  5. tap tap tap …or drag finger across screen
  6. send via bluetooth

For my criteria of low light/people shots, the Nokia N97 doesn’t cut it. But is that enough reason not to get it? Unless all you’re looking to get is a clubbing phone that upgrades on the N82, the answer is NO . There are still plenty of reasons to choose the N97.

I’ve grown really attached to the homescreen and live information from my social networks and email. The keyboard, though not the best, I’ve also grown slightly accustomed to – maybe more due to the actual laptop looking/slide out form factor than actual usability of the keyboard itself.

For a lot of other users, as aforementioned, good performance in low light isn’t important at all. The camera is quite decent in better lighting conditions, and certainly performs better than most other smartphones, some of which don’t even have a flash (*cough*iPhone).

– This post is way too long now, I’m way too tired, wanted to talk about the Sony Ericsson Satio a bit, but I’m going straight to bed now.

___________________

There were videos taken from the gig too, but I’ll upload those another time. I’m too knackered right now. Verdict was surprising on the video as on a previous initial test, the N82 won on low light video, but it wasn’t so clear cut this time. When set at the right angle, the N97 handles contrasts between low light and bright stage lights better, producing more natural colours, whereas the N82 continually provides well lit video, no matter where it’s pointed, although this does mean the videos appear bleached with light. e.g. The N97 could pick out the writing on the shirts – but the background is blacked out. On  the N82 just shows the shirts as plain white but you can still watch the background.

In sufficient lighting – the video is very good. It does seem less jerky than the N82, although the far focus is annoying when filming people.

Video: Nokia N97 Startup time (V10.0.009 and V10.0.012)

June 26, 2009 5 comments

This was just to test the startup time of the N97 (RM-505) on:

  • V10.0.009, 12-05-2009
  • V10.0.012, 15-05-2009

From pressing the button and getting the vibrate buzz to switching to the visible homescreen it’s about 28 seconds (and that’s pretty much the same over 3 repeats, on both firmware).

V 10.0.009, 12-05-2009

V 10.0.012, 15-05-2009

As for comparison, CNET did a test of the Palm Pre, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS start up times:

  1. First is iPhone 3GS at 19 seconds
  2. Second is iPhone 3G at 48 seconds
  3. Third/last is the Pre at a painful 1 minute 46 seconds! Imagine being in an emergency and needing to turn it on?

The N97 did ok at 28 seconds. Previous S60 3rd edition phones (N93) were capable of sub 19 seconds on certain firmware. Fingers crossed we’ll see improvements in the next major firmware upgrade (V11.0.021) in terms of:

  • faster startup
  • bug fixes
  • new “features”/UI tweaks.

Videos and Photos: Nokia N97 vs Nokia N82 in low light.

June 26, 2009 8 comments

[Sidenote: This test was done with pre-release early edition firmware V10.0.009, and not the “final” firmware V10.0.012]

Just before we went to see “The Hangover”, we went to the pub for a quick drink. Here were three shots I took with the N97 and the N82 in your average moderate/low lighting pub.

Preferably, for a comparison, I would have actually tested it on a proper night out in a club (like the collection here with the N82)- with much less light and a little more thought into certain making the tests fair.

Nevertheless, here’s what I managed with 5 minutes to spare – some “real world” testing of the N97 and the N82 in low lighting conditions (with flash).

N97 (and dual LED Flash)

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N82 (And Xenon Flash)

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N97

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N82

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N97

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N82

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For me – I prefer what the N82 produces. Crisp, non blurry, well lit images as opposed to the N97 under low lighting appears to be taking pictures through a murky muddy bottle.

Video

Supposedly – the LED light is meant to help, but as you can see – the N82 manages fine without it (seen in first few seconds of N82 video, thereafter “assisted” by N97). But the focus is blurry, the video is grainy and overall poor. I guess if it was pitch black then the N97 may have won slightly by having the LED light to give your face a slight gray halloween tint.

Sample from a Nokia N97

Sample from a Nokia N82

I really want to get the N97, but it kills me that for something so important to me (people photos – nights out – I am a student :p) there’s a lot I’ll have to sacrifice in terms of no longer being able to carry just one device again. Unless that is, I go and wait for the Satio. Hmm. It’s early days yet. I’ve not even had the N97 for half a day.

(Note though, it’s not all bad, the N97 performs well in optimum conditions – i.e. bright sunlight – something of a rarity in Wales)