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Archive for the ‘Versus’ Category

Gallery: Nokia N8 versus: Apple iPhone 4, iPad; BlackBerry Bold, Curve, Torch, Pearl; Dell Streak; HTC Legend, Desire, HD Mini; LG Viewty Smile, Optimus; Nokia X6, C3, E72, 5230; Palm Pre, Pixi; Samsung Galaxy S, Genio, Wave, Monte; Sony Ericsson X10, X10 mini, Zylo and Vivaz

October 23, 2010 31 comments

I was roaming the shops during lunch break the other day and thought I’d do a size comparison of the Nokia N8 with some of the current handsets available in the UK.

BlackBerry

 

BlackBerry Bold 9700

BlackBerry Torch 9800

BlackBerry Curve 9300

BlackBery PearlDell Streak

HTC LEGEND

HTC Desire

HTC HD Mini

LG Viewty Smile

LG Optimus GT540

Nokia X6

Nokia C3

Nokia 5230

Nokia E72

The N8 Bretherin

I was so shocked to see the N900 still on sale that I didn’t get a comparison photo.

Palm Pre

upside down

Palm Pixi

Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Genio

Samsung Monte

Samsung Wave

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini

Sony Ericsson Zylo

Sony Ericsson VivazSony Ericsson X10






Should Nokia just concentrate making camera phone’s ?

Tomi Ahonen is a Mobile consultant for handset manufacturers and is a really respected man with a good amount of knowledge  and of course I follow him on Twitter. Today he made some very interesting comments on Nokia and their success in making camera phones.  Its no secret that Nokia are in a sort of trouble regarding their position of the world’s largest with Samsung breathing down their necks a lot of people have been suggesting that Nokia don’t innovate. Well I disagree Nokia does innovate but at a much slower pace and in places that people might find not that important. One area is camera and I have an interesting proposition or an idea or whatever you want to call it.

Read more…

Video: HTC Evo 4G Vs Nokia N900 – WiFi Browsing Speed

June 12, 2010 4 comments

Here’s a video showing the Nokia N900 by Mi5t4k3 holding it’s own against the 1 year newer HTC Evo 4G at browsing web pages, finishing either at same time or only a few seconds after the Evo.

One thing I’m envying terribly on the Evo 4G – Those who love surfing the web within their browser (not via apps) will just love that mahoosive 4.3″ screen!

Big screens aren’t for everybody, but I’m definitely a big fan of the 4-4.3″ category.

Look how huge the keyboard is (and note that like N8, it doesn’t show the page you’re typing at behind it, instead showing a textbox). Must be amazing for video/photo viewing. :O

If only it had Nseries grade imaging.

via Mi5t4k3

There’s also another video showing Evo on 3G and N900 on 2G. That’s not even worth posting.

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

CNET’s Nokia Booklet 3G performance tests (versus Asus 1101HA, Dell Mini 10, HP Mini 311, Sony Vaio X and Sony Vaio W)

November 18, 2009 1 comment

Following CNET’s initial hands on of the Booklet 3G [$299 + 2year AT&T contract – Windows 7 Starter; 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 215MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 120GB Toshiba 4,200rpm] is a set of performance tests in comparison with:

  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA $380

Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 160GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

  • Dell Inspiron Mini 10 $480 – 640

  • Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 950; 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

  • HP Mini 311 $400 – 520

Windows XP Home SP3; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280; 1024MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 512MB (Shared) Nvidia Ion LE; 160GB Seagate 5,400rpm

  • Sony Vaio X (VPCX115KX/N) – $1500

Windows 7 Home Premium; 2.0GHz Intel ATOM Processor Z550; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 762MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 128GB Samsung SSD

  • Sony Vaio W $500

Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 950; 160GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

It’s not surprising that the highest spec’d, and most expensive ($1500) Vaio X tops every single performance aspect (except battery life). It would have been nice to seen some Acer and Samsung netbooks in the mix.

What does this all really mean? How does the Booklet 3G fare? What criteria went in these tests (for the latter, click here)

Well it doesn’t seem to be that good with multitasking – of similar performance here with a Dell Mini 10. At least based on CNET’s method of a simultanous QuickTime and iTunes conversion.

In terms of using Photoshop, (though who’d be using a netbook for this?) the booklet 3G ranks slowest for CS3 processing under a set of predefined automated actions.

The booklet 3G is of similar performance to the Vaio X at Jalbum photo conversion and fairly average for iTunes conversion.

In terms of battery life tests (CNET used video playback), the Booklet 3G has over 7 hours of video playback. The Vaio’s both struggle with just 2 hours. I’m not sure how this would translate to general net surfing and document editing (which is the main purpose of these netbooks). The Booklet 3G is supposed to achieve highs of up to 12 hour battery life on a single charge with its 16-cell battery.

However, the EEE PC in this battery test pushes the Booklet 3G to second place video as 1101HA gets over 8 hours (nearly 9) of video playback.

Check out CNET’s review of the booklet 3G

Video: Nokia N97 vs Nokia N97 Mini

September 23, 2009 3 comments

To the average consumer, the N97 and N97 mini are practically the same phone. (Heck, that’s understandable when some people I know can’t even differentiate between manufacturers). Appearance wise, they might as well be. But there are some minor visible differences.

  • The N97 mini looks fractionally smaller than the N97 (for me, not enough to warrant the “mini” in the title)
  • The N97 mini’s tilt is less than the N97
  • The keyboard on the N97 mini may be better arranged, plus D-pad replaced by 4-arrow keys (Eldar didn’t like mini’s keyboard that much in his preview – I got used to my N97’s configuration and I think the N97 mini’s maybe superior for typing)
  • The N97 mini’s 3.2″ screen is smaller than the N97’s 3.5″
  • The N97 mini has a metal battery cover and the N97 is plastic
  • The N97 mini has a less symmetrical call/end layout
  • The N97 mini has no lens cover (with flash slightly further apart from lens)

Internally they’re pretty much the same except that notably,  the mini only has 8GB mass memory as opposed to the N97’s 32GB.

Here’s another N97 mini hands on with the N97 for comparison

Comparison photos: Nokia N900 vs N97 vs N95(1) vs N800 vs N82 vs a proporta charger.

September 15, 2009 7 comments

N900 5

OK, did not have the best conditions, either lighting/situation (in middle of a talk)/timing (had to rush). This post is just to give you an idea of how the N900 sizes up in comparison to some classic Nseries handsets, the N800, the N82, N97 and of course the N95.

The N800 looks gigantic and the N95 looks so thick! N900 is nearing the optimum size for a smartphone. Of course current technology dictates the minimum area is defined by screen size. There’s still room to shave off either side of the screen, and the thickness could be greatly reduced. Although it is thicker than many phones at 18mm, because of it’s squareness, it looks a lot thicker than it actually is (and of course, you are getting a really good QWERTY keyboard in the mix). In the hand, the N900 very comfortable to hold and use. It’s also quite pocketable – (feels like the N97 in my pocket)

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Nokia N97 Mini (NXX/N97i/N97 Lite?) coming Q4 2009?

August 2, 2009 4 comments

Back in mid-June, rumours had started to trickle around about the “N97 Mini” coming to our shores soon via Vodafone. No images or details were given, except that it was apparently going to be “competitively priced” and could be available later this year.

Recently, photos have been circulating of that supposed N97 Mini, yet it seems no one is either sure if they’re real or what the exact specifications are.

n97-mini

N97 Mini features the same slick flick-tilt-slide of the N97; this feature has never failed to impress friends/family, particularly when they don’t know about that hidden keyboard and then suddenly discover it, “ooh, it looks like a tiny laptop!“. Their only concern was the size and the price – May have been deal breakers for other potential N97 owners, possibly something the N97 mini will fix?

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Image from blog-n97.fr via engadget

This device is only fractionally smaller than the original N97 itself, but with smaller display, missing D-Pad, an E-series like back and a missing lens cover.

N97 Mini Specifications.

Official full specification is unknown.

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via blogn97.fr

Gleaned from the specs bar, the specification of the N97 Mini/NXX is pretty much the same as the N97.

  • Slide/Tilt form factor (Same as N97)
  • 8GB internal memory (N97 has 32GB)
  • 5MP Auto Focus Carl Zeiss Lens, no lens cover (N97 has possibly same 5MP camera, but with lens cover)
  • nHD 3.2″ touch screen (N97 has nHD – (640×360), but at 3.5″)
  • A-GPS (Same as N97)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (Same as N97)
  • 3G HSDPA (Same as N97)
  • USB 2.0 (Same as N97)
  • FM RDS  (Same as N97)
  • QWERTY keyboard (N97 has QWERTY keyboard also, but different arrangement)
  • Battery capacity unconfirmed (N97 has 1500 mAh)
  • Compass feature unconfirmed(N97 has compass)
  • Micro SD slot unconfirmed (N97 has microSD slot for expansion under the battery cover)
  • CPU unconfirmed (N97 has single CPU 434Mhz Arm 11)
  • RAM unconfirmed (N97 has 128MB RAM, around 40MB at startup)
  • OS unconfirmed – (possibly still Symbian S60 5th Edition like N97)

If you’re considering whether to either get the N97 or the N97 Mini, the biggest deciding factor could be whether the N97 Mini will have a faster CPU and more RAM than current N97.

It’s not just a numbers game – faster CPU will give the device legs to run for the long term, i.e. 434Mhz may be enough for the N97 when it was released, but what about several months down the line when there are more resource intensive applications?e.g. for when it can be upgraded to Symbian^2?

Additionally, for true multitasking, we need adequate amounts of RAM. It’s no good having to manually close one app just to run a new one. Let users close the apps in their own time, not as a RAM limitation

Just what is the “N97 mini” trying to be?

  • A smaller N97? Current N97 may be a tad large for some.
  • A cheaper N97? QWERTY Nseries for the masses? Smaller screen, “only” 8GB mass memory
  • An improved N97? Fix previous hardware niggles, capacitive display, faster CPU, more RAM, better speakers?

Smaller Screen, no D-Pad, no lens cover.

The move from 3.5″ to 3.2″ has not given the “N97 Mini” the reduction the rumoured name implies. Side to side, they look pretty identical, with any actual size loss requiring scrutiny with a ruler. (Width maybe slightly more obvious and overall, the accumulated reduction may prove a more comfortable fit in the hand)

n97 side

image via blog-n97.fr

Unless the “N97 mini” is sporting a capacitive display, the reduction in screen size indicates an attempt to cut down on production cost. In terms of screen usability, the move “down” to 3.2 may not be too terrible. The 5800 has an identical size, and the Palm Pre seems to have an acceptable 3.1″ touch display. If Nokia were looking to just condense the N97, they could have kept the 3.5″ screen but scraped off some space wastage left and right of the screen, removed the D-Pad and centred the QWERTY (and thus spacebar too). Check out this crude MS-Paint job below.

Nokia n97iIn addition to a smaller screen, the “mini” also has lost the D-pad and lens cover. On this instance, such removal might actually have been necessary.

  • D-pad was never taken advantage of in the N97, (the only real use could have been in gaming), in every other situation, having to use the D-Pad hindered the progress of the touch UI. e.g. for precision web browsing, as fingers often wrongly clicked links. However, we do still get a more traditional 4-button arrow keys placed on the right hand side.
  • Lens Cover – usually I would never condone removal of one, but too many N97 users have reported self harming/self-scratching N97 lens covers so this may provide a solution for them. Even if it never scratched one single N97, that slide mechanism needed improvement anyway, as it looses it’s springiness as it gathers dust, eventually becoming a pain to open/close. There are plenty of camera phones without lens covers, so this probably won’t even be considered as missing. Anything other than a complete alteration to the lens cover would have been inadequate.

On another note, no lens cover = torch app becomes easier to use. Also, with the Dual LED moved further away from the lens, you should be less likely to see light bleeding washing out your low light pictures.

Keyboard Rearrangement

The culprit for why the N97 Mini is still long, despite having a smaller screen is the QWERTY keyboard. Although the Mini does away with the D-Pad, it doesn’t just shift the remaining QWERTY to the left. Instead of having 11 keys on a row, now there’s 13. (38 buttons in total, compared to 34 in the original N97)

  • The D-Pad becomes traditional arrow keys, placed on the right for more convenient use with just your right hand.
  • Number shift key has moved to the left
  • Symbols key moved to the left
  • An additional dedicated buttons for full stop. Apostrophe and comma have been also separated! They should have never been put on the same button in the original N97 in the first place!
  • Certain secondary function symbols have been moved around, e.g. “:” is now with “.” instead of K. Quotation marks are with L instead of B, etc.

N97i keyboard

Hopefully, these keys have much better tactile feedback than what many N97 users are reporting. Although some fault maybe due to poor batches (black N97 perhaps better or Finland made N97 better?), we need to know the keys have been pressed. Right now, the only solution for me is to have keypad tones turned on – something I’ve always turned off in every other phone I have ever owned.

Expectations

The N97 mini is not at all what I had imagined. I thought the next iteration of the N97 bloodline would either have been the keyboardless, faster, slimmer N97 with same 3.5″ screen, same internal features, possibly with xenon flash and improved camera, as seen in a video interview with Nokia Designer Axel Meyer.

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Nokia and touch UI fully realised?

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Super Slim N97, hehe.

Perhaps the mini isn’t so much a successor, but a quick fix. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised really. We all guessed that Nokia would potentially release an “i” version (or Mini in this case), which basically attempts to address issues that should have been sorted out in the first place. Maybe it was a good idea to have smaller screen/less mass memory so it isn’t completely superior to the original N97.

When will it be officially announced – Nokia World in Sept 2nd 09 maybe the right timing. Announce and release the mini early and ride the media attention created for the N97.

For Nokia’s sake, I hope this is one of those interim solutions to maintain buzz on Nokia whilst they prepare something insanely good for 2010. Revved up N900/Rover anyone?

Image via Blog-N97.fr (I can’t seem to find the actual post)

Video: Nokia N97 vs HTC Touch Pro2

July 16, 2009 4 comments

The Nokia N97 and the HTC Touch Pro2 are two similar looking devices with very similar array of features. I was very impressed with the spec sheet of the Touch Pro2, and back in April felt that it’s what the N97 should have been, at least in terms of being having a better QWERTY keyboard, higher resolution screen, and winning at the numbers game in terms of CPU and RAM.

Tekno Review have put together an excellent video comparing 12 aspects of both devices.

  • Design – Apples and oranges – personal preference issue. It’s a draw at 8 a piece. For me though, he black N97 wins by miles. If it was a continuous glossy piano black, smooth edge/rim gun metal it would have been almost aesthetically perfect.
  • Build Quality – Robust mechanism on the N97 edges out the Pro2, 9 to 8
  • Slide out keyboard – The HTC device is setting a standard for how QWERTY keyboards should be on tiny mobile devices. The N97’s keyboard is great once you get used to it, but the HTC Pro2’s keyboard is fantastic. N97 looses out, 7 to 9
  • Screen – higher resolution and better contrast on the Pro2 means the N97 looses again, 7 to 8
  • Touch Screen sensitivity – N97 isn’t Nokia’s second touch screen device btw. Although both devices use resistive touch screens, the Pro2 requires a little less pressure – so the N97 looses out again – 6 to 8
  • User Interface – I was cringing here for S60. There were some surprising good points, such as the widget homescreen and Ovi, but the overall experience for tekno review means it looses to the Pro2 7 to 9. 9 though for Pro2? Maybe S60 is so bad it makes everything else look so good?
  • Browser –  it’s another draw here – if the N97 had slightly beefier hardware, though the browser is slightly dated, it would have beaten the Pro2.
  • Camera- Here’s where the N97 gains back some ground – “Refined” 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens beats the Pro2’S simple 3MP camera, 9 to 6
  • Video Playback –  I cannot believe we still do not have DivX player/playback for S60 5th Edition.  DivX for 3rd edition works, (and dvd clips look stunning on the N97) but unfortunately is choppy.The Pro2 also needs a third party app, Core Player so the N97 looses, 6 to 9. A bit harsh imo since out of the box neither would play such files. But I understand the frustration. Thank God for BBC iPlayer to fill my N97 up with movies/tv shows.
  • Music Playback – The N97 has inferior speakers to the Touch Pro2. It’s a shame really, as big as it is. Even the ancient N95 has better/louder sound. The best stereo speakers on a Nokia device to date still rests on the N800. Fortunately though, this test also takes into account the 3.5mm audio/visual jack, which the Touch Pro2 lacks, and so the N97 wins here 8 to 7.
  • Battery life – identical capacity batteries – not necessarily identical battery life but a draw here. 7 all. I’m still charging my N97 daily – but I am using it an awful lot.
  • Price and Value –  The slightly more expensive N97 does have a whopping 32GB memory (expandable with microSD) and a better camera – so it’s a draw here at 7 all.

Final Score – Nokia N97 with 86 points, the HTC Touch Pro2 with 94.

It’s not bad for the N97 –  8 point difference.

Could have and should have…

It frustrates me to know Nokia could have and should have done so much more with the N97. These flagships are more than just something to make money with – they bring confidence to the brand. The latter has repercussions on other products, which by the sheer amount of compromises (perceivably to cut costs), brings down the N97 from what could have been a force to be reckoned with to just another higher end smartphone.

Compromising on features to save money is good if we see those price cuts trickle down to the consumer. E.G. the Nokia 5800 – great features, though lots of room for improvement was bang on for the price and was extremely awesome  value for money.

However, when you’re setting an opening price of £500, you set an extremely high bar of expectations. Something as simple as providing sufficient RAM so handle heavy multi tasking? That was not worth the price cut. It’s like having a 2 carat diamond ring set in plated silver. In for a penny in for a pound.

In the meantime, consumers are voting with their wallet and opting for devices which are delivering what Nokia could have and should have.

Having vented out those frustrations, I have to say that I do love the N97 . The N97 is a marvellous phone outright.

Being a fan of Nokia and S60 devices for a long time, watching the growth from the 7650, it’s kinda like pushy parent syndrome. Even when they achieve something that’s really good by most standards, when you know they are capable of getting 100% but got 90% , you need to voice  your disappointment and push for continuous improvement.

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)