Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Preview’

Video and Gallery: Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type unboxing and first impressions (P)Review

October 8, 2010 17 comments

Apologies guys, this post became larger than anticipated.

We have another package from WOMWorldNokia – this time the Nokia X3-02 – the newer X3 sporting TOUCH AND TYPE.

Click here for device details.

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx8Mr6iepQ8]

It arrived yesterday and I wouldn’t have known it was at the package centre but for some reason I made scenic route and was rewarded with a parcel notification.

In short – for first impression:

The X3-02 is a brilliant handset – solidly built, brushed aluminium at the back, ultra compact with a ridiculously sensitive resistive touch screen display – almost like a capacitive one. A video above and gallery is included.

CONTENTS


1. UNBOXING
2. Box Contents
3. Size Comparison with N900
4. General Handset Hardware Overview
5. Usability?

1. UNBOXING

This is the usual compact, green-friendly packaging from Nokia.

X3 doesn’t come with a see through screen protector so this had to come off. They’re useful instructions though on getting content to your X3 from the Ovi Store.

Back to the top

2. Box Contents


Box contents include:

  • Charger
  • Manual and Ovi Leaflets
  • Stereo headset
  • BL-4S 860mAh battery
  • Nokia X3-02

The X3-02 comes in Blue (Petrol Blue), Pink, Lilac, Black (Dark Metal) and White/silver. The back is brushed aluminium.

Back to the top

Size Comparison with N900

It’s very, very slim and fits perfectly in the hand. Having the N900 as a main device, x3-02 feels like I’m just holding the N900’s battery


Back to the top
4. GENERAL HANDSET HARDWARE OVERVIEW

Below: Alphanumeric text key layout with bottom row relocated on the right hand side. It does take a bit of getting used to but that you will. There’s a dedicated music button and messaging button. Pressing the music button brings up the music player controls in ANY menu.

The screen is QVGA 2.4″ and as mentioned, the most sensitive resistive display. Due to the touch screen, there are NO navigation buttons.

left side is clean, with only a button that’s mirrored on the right hand side to remove the battery cover when pushed simultaneously.

The right side with Volume Keys, Lock Button and corresponding button to unlock the back cover

5MP camera at the back – no LED flash. Out of interest this captures QVGA video at 20fps. Not a camera centric device at all. The brushed metal (brushed aluminium alloy ?) is stunning.

3.5mm jack for any headphones, micro USB connector point (can charge through micro USB too, nice touch) and standard 2mm Nokia charge port.

Very loud and clear speakers at the bottom

Two buttons either side simultaneously pressed removes the back cover for access to the battery, SIM, memory card and wrist strap.
The brushed aluminium back cover. It has two asymmetrical stubs. These are often the parts that break off first but being metal, this should be less likely to happen.
Back to the top
5. General Usability
Well, I haven’t really used it yet so I can’t comment on true usability.  Just some instant impressions: Menu is pretty quick, apps open pretty much instantly. I have already synced my contacts over from N97 to X3 (though initially from N900- long story. Wish contact transfer could be a more painless affair. Perhaps the centralised Ovi Account – that never worked for me). Camera very basic – no camera button. Zoom in gallery is surprisingly smooth though the photos aren’t too great (then again will have to try this outdoors at day time)

I’ll come back to this in a few days or a week. Any questions, feel free to comment below.

BTW, (Nokia N8 coming soon for testing :D)


Back to the top

MeeGo 1.1 Day 1 (MeeGo Phone UX)

June 30, 2010 12 comments

Today, the MeeGo project announced and presented their Day 1 release, a developers’ preview of their upcoming OS and UI for mobile devices.

The Day 1 release is the first taste that the community at large has to view, interact and provide feedback on the newest Linux-based OS to hit the block. Given that this isn’t even remotely close to a finished product there are quite a few bugs associated with the release that will obviously be dealt with in due course. I’ll reiterate that this isn’t something for Average Joe’s that just so happen to own the N900. You’ve been warned!

Those interested can download ROM images for the new OS for their Atom powered  netbooks and/or handsets or for their N900’s at the following link.

http://meego.com/downloads

There are a view screenshots of the  OS available  right now from the MeeGo blog itself and it’s expected that videos from persons that have downloaded and used the OS will obviously come along as time goes by.

An image taster and link to the MeeGo blog are provided below.

Note that these pictures are of a concept device.

http://meego.com/devices/handset/handset-screenshots

http://meego.com/community/blogs/valhalla/2010/meego-handset-project-day-1-here

Gallery: Silver N8 – Blog-N8’s first impressions

June 9, 2010 17 comments

Yesterday, Camb078 has some facetime(badaboom, oh dear…) with the Nokia N8 and today has posted his first impressions as well as a stunning photo galleryon blog-n8.fr.  Though it’s the same silver N8, it hasn’t looked as good as in these photos.

Some interesting points from Camb078:

  • Excellent manufacturing quality. The top and bottom is made of high quality plastic.
  • The menu button does not need a lot of pressure (hopefully much less than the N97 – something akin to camera shutter when pressed halfway – capacitive keys next time please Nokia)
  • Rather bright screen, very responsive
  • Being on later firmware, this N8 is very fluid, and no lags
  • All widgets running on N97/N97 mini will work on N8
  • Cambo mentions something about a transition effect (I don’t know if he’s referring to the exceedingly DULL fade in fade out – FIX THIS NOKIA!)
  • HDMI demo of TRON was excellent
  • Confirming Ahmed360’s comments N8 plays DivX videos – (hurray! Perfect combination! No need for 3rd party players, like N900 this turns your N8 into a portable video player. Hook up your N8 VIA USB to go to access your DivX library without the need to transfer over to N8, then connect N8 to TV via HDMI out!)

With the interface, apparently Nokia asked Cambo to blur them out! Here’s a few pics but head over to Cambo’s blog for more.

via blog-n8.fr

Related Posts

8 Reasons to love the Nokia N8

Nokia N8 hands on (P)Review with lots of live photos!

April 29, 2010 14 comments

Look at this photo at the back - another N8 has been disassembled.

Meant to post this when I first saw it but had to finish up some other non-nokia projects first.

Tweakers.net posts some photos and a hands on preview of the NEW Nokia N8.

Note, this is a PROTO as it still says C0 on the phone.

There may still be much changes to the software that will overall improve the user experience when it becomes consumer grade.

  • tapered design to make the phone look thinner; some find it ugly, others find it beautiful. A colleague compared it to a futuristic spaceship [THAT’S exactly what I thought the first time I saw one. It looked odd, something very scifi/futuristic about it]
  • theoretically the most powerful camera phone on the market. Nokia takes even better pictures that the N8 is’ than most compact cameras.[On paper there are too many good things, 12MP, Huge sensor bigger than even compact digicams and 300EUR pocket cams, 28mm wide angle. 720P HD video is also stunning and even promises some amazing Stereo audio recording!] and the photo samples speak for themselves already.
  • The scrolling through photos now runs effortlessly and gallery shows thumbnails seamlessly side by side.
  • Unecessary connection notifications [the ones that keep asking you to connect] are now gone
  • Menu all single click – [no stupid 1 click/2click confusion]
  • menus are also provided with graphical effects such as a smooth bounce effect at the end of a list.
  • Browser is same as N97 – refreshed but no major changes
  • Pinch zoom works well


Huge Nokia N900 and Maemo 5 (P)Review by My-Symbian

September 30, 2009 1 comment

Michael Jerz from MySymbian has been testing the Nokia N900 for several weeks and has published a monster of a (p)review. This is, btw, of a Proto N900, so some findings may or may (have) change(d) with actual final production N900.

n900_18

[N900: Positively small compared to its ancestors]

Skimming through the first page and it’s a fantastic hardware review already, but then there are 4 pages in total to more than satisfy your curiosity for the N900

Some interesting keypoints:

HARDWARE PAGE 1

  • Keyboard – Michael confirms my initial impressions, N900 does indeed have much better tactile feedback, even goes as far as saying The tactile feedback seems to be better also compared to the E90 keyboard, which feels softer.”
  • Processor – extremely positive here: There’s really NOTHING one could complain about when it comes to performance and functionality offered by N900’s processor, not only when it comes to the offered “raw speed” but also graphics, video and imaging acceleration.”
  • RAM –  Yes we already know about the 256MB physical RAM and 768MB virtual. According to Michael, the N900 ends up with 50MB after boot, but hold your horses there. Michael explains that unlike Symbian, free RAM is half as important, as with virtual RAM you’ve got about 800MB free which means you won’t get to see out of memory errors. I tried opening up all the apps on the N900 myself and it handled them so smoothly. Don’t expect to see any “Out of memory” errors on this machine. I tried really hard to get one, and I ended up having over TWO DOZEN of applications running at once and multiple browser windows open,”Performance does decrease slightly though as virtual RAM is being used instead of actual physical RAM (Michael says about 20%). Hmm…could N97 users also get some of this virtual memory love please?
  • The tilt on Michael’s proto unit is the same as the N97’s angle, but oddly was lower on final production N900 we used at onedotzero. Hopefully I you can set different angles and we just didn’t manage to do that.
  • The Camera quality is the same as N97 (Though I think it’s nice to have 16:9 option, even if it reduces to about 3mp).
  • The dual LED is weak as I expected. Boo. Oh well…I hope someone makes a torch app for it as that’s the most use I get out of my N97’s dual LED.
  • Build Quality – Solid as ever, except perhaps the tilt stand.
  • InfraRed – Michael wonders whether it will stay in final production handsets – it better had! The ones we tested were final production N900s and apparently they still had their infra red – plus videos have apparently demoed N900 controlling a TV via IR, so they they can’t just tease us with a feature they’re going to take out. They might as well have shown N900 with XENON flash!
  • Audio loudspeaker quality – Michael notes subjectivity here. I found N900 speakers to be quite loud, and clear. Definitely better than N97, I think some long time N900 users have noted it’s better than N95 (which was the benchmark of Nokia phone loudspeakers – though nothing yet has surpassed the N800 – Booklet 3G doesn’t count)
  • GPS – considerably faster than say N97 (When N97 behaves it gets a fast GPS lock – but it can have problems maintaining it if you’re in a vehicle)
  • Compass – Michael says “apparently missing” – interestingly, N900 recognizes direction within a couple of metres. I’ve always thought that would be the easiest solution – just work out direction of movement (like google maps, note how it shows you the arrow pointing in direction of movement) but then possibly orientate the map in the direction you’re going, thus aligning with with your surroundings similar to what a digital compass attempts.
  • Battery life…hmmm?

N900 hugs N97…”there, there, I maybe the flagship you should have been…but you’ve still got an interesting flip!”

n900_19

These were some interesting points I found after a quick glance (have a 9AM lecture to go to in a sec)

SOFTWARE PAGE 2

  • True Linux openness – you do what you want to do with your device. You can do whatever you want, just like on a Linux desktop”
  • S60 applications of course aren’t compatible with N900, BUT, There is a much bigger developer base that are familiar with Linux than Symbian OS. You’ll have better quality apps than S60 and ultimately have the potential to run apps as good, if not better than what’s available for Apple’s iPhone.
  • Mostly a general description of applications/features on N900. Check it out here.
  • Switching between windows/closing windows is effortless. Although many say multitasking is being able to do several things at once, another angle of thought is that multitasking should be being able to switch easily and prioritise quickly the between selected applications. The N900 does this in spades.

SOFTWARE PAGE 3

  • Only grid view option available currently for N900. I don’t really mind as I don’t use list view in S60.
  • You cannot move or reorder icons or put them in folders! Noooooooooooooooooooo! (Well for now anyway. Nokia should really think about being able to SAVE menu layouts and distribute those type of menu layouts for other people to enjoy, so either the user themselves will NOT have to reorder all their icons and their friends or other people can enjoy the same layout without also having to reorder the menu)
  • Web – The reason my N800 is still with me to this day, and in occasional use. Beautifully done with Maemo’s 800X480 pixel screen. Not only can pages be easily fixed to fit width of the screen (so you don’t have to ever scroll left/right), you can also optionally view pages as they are (if you did want to be scrolling left/right). At the end of the year, there’ll be FireFox for N900 too so even better browsing!
  • Volume buttons can be used to resize pages (as does double tapping and that odd but very functional spiral motion)
  • Multiple windows – internet tablets have always had multiple windows but the N900 goes a step further by improving their management and stability. Possibly the best phone for surfing the web with the expectations of desktop experience?
  • Music: Supports management by album covers. Good codec support, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, M4A, MP3, WAV, and WMA.
  • Video Playback – simply OUTSTANDING,… playback is 100% smooth, without a single frame drop (tested with e.g. 800×480 5000 kbps content) I wonder how it will handle my DivX library. I didn’t get the chance to pop in one for testing – N800 also had smooth playback of my files (except faster action ones) but only via MPlayer. It had difficulty playing other files. Supposedly good news for N900, “Supported formats include 3GPP (H.263), AVI (including DivX/XviD etc.), Flash Video, H.264/AVC, MPEG-4 and WMV.”
  • There’s much more to go but I’m heading out now

SOFTWARE PAGE 4 (and conclusion)

  • Looks at the camera UI and other applications again, file manager, RSS Reader (very good one on N900/tablets) and games
  • Fantastic performance and stability, even for a PROTOTYPE (prototype hardware/unfinished software)
  • Beautiful and ADVANCED User Interface
  • Symbian OS phones can only get one answer: they just DON’T compare. N900 is a wholy different league.If any of the existing mobile devices can be (honestly) called a mobile computer then the N900 deserves such a name in the first place.
  • Check out the last page for the conclusion!

Via My-Symbian

Nokia N900 Review: First Impressions of Nokia’s Mobile Computer (Hardware Preview + Live Pics inside!)

September 14, 2009 45 comments

Nokia N900 Preview-Review

Jay

This is a quick hardware preview-review of the Nokia N900’s hardware, which is a final production grade. The N900s we were using in London had pre-production firmware. Annoyances if any could still be solved, not that we played long enough to check everything out sufficiently for even a preview. Unfortunately, we had the impression we’d have the N900s for the whole day (thus paying more attention to other things going on in event, meeting other bloggers/Nokia peeps), but last minute changes meant they had to go back to Helsinki pretty quickly with Jussi.

This meant that we didn’t get a change to get a decent set of photos. When we realised the N900s were going home, we had the Q&A and a Dev talk to pay attention to, and in an obviously dark cinema – I hope that this random mix will do for now. Oh, and 90% of everything written below was written with the N97’s keyboard on the way home.

  1. Quick tour of the N900
  2. Screen
  3. Keyboard
  4. Camera Related Aspects
  5. Status Light
  6. Stereo Loudspeakers
  7. Access to the back
  8. Appearance/(Build)
  9. Maemo 5 UI
  10. Conclusion

1. QUICK TOUR OF THE N900

Before we start, let’s just quickly through where’s what on the N900 in terms of ports/silos/buttons. I’ll discuss them a bit more later on in this preview. Note: This N900 was being used on the Rolodex demonstration (hence the microUSB being fuzzed out) and are the only set of photos I got with decent lighting.

N900 3

From left to right you’ve got an infra red port :), camera shutter button, power/quick settings button and volume buttons.

n900 2

Here’s where you push to slide the QWERTY and also the stylus silo.N900 5

The three row QWERTY keyboard

N900 4

Back of the N900, with the camera lens cover and tilt stand.

N900

From left to right, stylus silo, microphone, 3.5mm jack, screen lock and right stereo speaker

MNB 4from left to right: left stereo speaker, miscro USB slot, slot for a wrist strap.

Note also the front of the screen – light sensor, front camera, proximity sensor, main call speaker and LED status light.

2. The screen

MNB 2

Unlike the “leaked” pictures of the Nokia N900 that we saw, the screen of the N900 is not reflective to the point that it hides the presence of a screen when the baklight is off. (perhaps that reflectiveness was due to the screen protector?) I guess in a functional sense not being reflective improves readability in sunlight.

The 3.5″ WVGA is vibrant and absolutely pin sharp, and at this pixel density they’re pretty much invisible to the naked eye. Some internet tablet users accustomed to the 4.13 inches might not like the “step down” to a smaller 3.5″ screen but it’s sufficient for me. Because of the ratio and 800×480 resolution, it just seems much bigger than the N97’s screen as much more information can be displayed at one time. Obviously there’s minimal advantage to microscopic text sizes, but it does mean that no matter how small text/images are resized, they’ll appear crystal clear on the N900. This makes it even better for watching DVD videos, particularly if you hook it up via TV out where all those extra pixels can be even more appreciated (I think it does at least 800×480 TV out? I’m not sure – but the demos of the N900 via TV showing fine lines were very clearly visible.MNB 3

The resistive screen is very responsive, much more so than the N97 and all the previous Nokia tablets. Not going to go on a resistive/capacitive debate but being resistive, you do need more pressure on the screen than capacitive. As a comparison, normally just minimal contact and barely the weight of my finger on a HTC Hero/iPhone’s screen is sufficient to get it to do something on screen. You can’t do that with the N900’s resistive screen but on resistive standard, it is really good (but please, no more!). Perhaps also worth noting is how Maemo (5) is vastly superior to S60 5th edition’s main UI in that it’s completely intended for touch, thus having much more optimizations for intuitive touch interaction.

Stylus

Long slim stylus that hides away in N900.

Back to being resistive – I guess, for some being able to use the stylus is an advantage. When Gary Birkett demonstrated how notes could be taken on the device, that actually seemed like a practical function. Together with the high res 800×480 and pen friendly resistive screen, Gary could write a note which could be shrunk to something like a calendar – and you could still read the writing in “month view”. I’ll upload that video, most likely tomorrow as I have to figure out where to put videos >11 minutes.

3. KeyboardN900 5

The slide isn’t spring loaded, meaning you’ll have to put a little bit more force to push it open. There’s a definite click when it locks into position. The slide seems solid enough when used normally but when in transition you can force the slide to wobble from side to side a little.

The keys themselves have somewhat of a rubbery feel about them which is perfect for a physical thumboard. The keyboard has lots of tactile feedback which is even throughout all the keys. The N900 has much more tactile feedback than N97 and comparable to the E71, possibly much better because the N900’s keys are way bigger. There’s no mistaking when you’ve pressed the button, and the learning curve will be much quicker. Having been used the N97’s keyboard, it’s fair for me to say that new keyboard layouts/feel takes time to adjust to, but you will. As a testament to the N97’s keyboard, I actually typed at least 90% of the text in this post on the train home. What more with the superior keyboard on the N900? After a few minutes of readjustment, I could pump out some pretty long sentences on the N900 pretty quickly – possibly even faster after using the device for a long while.

Another neat thing about the keyboard is that it’s paired with a good word prediction software (much better than the N97 where it’s plainly unusable). I haven’t tested it completely but I like how it predicts previously typed words without having to manually add them again. e.g. instead of having to press N, then 9, 0, 0 it suggests N900 with the 900 highlighted in blue. Pressing the right arrow key inserts the word. Basic punctuation is now a breeze to use.

12092009227

Text input options

I didn’t like how the N900 had a 3-row QWERTY (as opposed to a 4-row with dedicated numbers row) and doesn’t even use half of the space available.

According to Jussi, it wasn’t so much about how much they could fit in – there’s a functionality aspect about it. It seems, in the opinion of Nokia, because of the flat slide design and the intended integrated “Physical keys and touch input combination input” (made easier by the N97’s tilted screen), having a 4-row keyboard would apparently make that “touch and key combination” harder to achieve.

However because of the flat slide design, and the intended integrated physical and touch input, according to Jussi, having 4 row would apparently make the touch and key combination harder to achieve. Whilst I buy into that reason slightly, I don’t think the compromise was worth it to prevent what could have been an amazing keyboard. When you consider the point of the physical QWERTY is to enhance text input, the whole action of sliding out the QWERTY indicates you want to focus your input now on the physical keys. Touch then becomes the secondary form of input so improving access to the touch should not have had that much consideration as to affect physical QWERTY keyboard’s design.

[as a side note, here’s a 4-row keyboard ms paint job which attempts to fit within the space contraints]

4. Camera related aspects

N900 3

The shutter button has a really springy feel. You can definitely feel the difference when you’ve pressed halfway to lock and when you’ve pressed all the way to take the photo.

mnb 5

Lens cover won't make scratches over the camera glass. But this whole portion of the N900 is a major DUST TRAP. See tilt-stand photo.

The camera slide cover, though appearing similar to N97 cannot scratch the screen because there’s a significant gap between the cover(notably comes off with the back cover) and the glass over the camera lens. It also means it’s much harder to smudge!

The camera appears to be quite good.. I didn’t test it exhaustively but the one I used produced really good pictures in good lighting conditions. Flash is only Dual LED, not a proper xenon. In the Q&A with Jussi, he did say that Nokia were happy with the performance of the dual LED.  They’re going to see how the market takes it, what people will use it for, and that of course they will work to make things better. I’ll leave a xenon flash rant out – in this case, it isn’t as necessary as in the N97 for me because the N900 has so much more going for it in other departments to compensate.  20090102_002

I like how the photos are 16:9 and thus occupies much more of the screen when used as a view finder and when viewing photos (instead of wasting it in N97). The original photo above is 2576×1488 – only about 3.7MP. I’m not sure if that’s the highest resolution for 16:9. The full 5mp is 2584 × 1938. No touch focus yet though.cAM

Video is great, the highest resolution ever on a nokia (848X480 at 25FPS) and much higher than nearly all other mobiles except the 720p i8910. It’s fantastic in all light conditions, plays fluidly on the N900 itself, though it did have some conversion problems in uploading to youtube/vimeo. I didn’t get a chance to see if video was fixed focus, however, it isn’t stupidly set in the distance like the N97 so you can actually take videos of people, pets and video blogs of yourself should you want to.

Camera ui is simple, but much easier to access. I don’t think I managed to open all the settings as I don’t have a shot to set other photo settings like white balance, sharpness etc. I think below maybe the view when you press the video/camera icon (changes according to your mode). If you’re in video, pressing that button shows you the screen below, and you immediately switch to camera in auto or macro or landscape etc.

Cam 2

5. Tilt Stand

There’s a slight springiness once the hinge is perpendicular. I’m a bit concerned about how much of a dust magnet these crevices are going to be after extended use.

tilt12092009222

Unless your chair is significantly higher than the table you’re placing the N900 on, for me the angle provided by the stand is insufficient.. The angle is somewhat similar if you open a Nokia N97 upside down. You maybe able to adjust the angle slightly but I’m not sure it would stay that way for long.

ts

6. Stereo Loudspeakers

Now, I cannot demonstrate this to you, but the loudspeakers did seem loud and had a bit more bass than the N97 – perhaps even slightly comparable to the N95 but still, no other device from Nokia’s portfolio (not including the booklet 3g) has surpassed the stereo speakers of the N800. This needs much further testing  to confirm.

What I do like are the placement of the loudspeakers. Finally, they have returned to where they should always have been, as demonstrated in the Nokia N73 – they are at the top and bottom when held in portrait.. This is the best position to not only exploit the stereo speakers but is also the most symmetrical orientation for listening to the loudspeakers in either landscape or portrait.

MNB 4MNB 4

7. Status light

I’ve been a fan of the LED status light on a phone ever since the Sony Ericsson t68. A bit of a novelty for some; for me it’s both. This status light changes into at least 3 different colours, white, yellow and blue. Now I don’t know for which situation they would do that, or how many other colours are available, but I really appreciate how that could come in useful for me to know certain notifications/activities without requiring to hear it, or to turn the screen on.

12092009226

8. Access to the back

Back cover

Entire lens cover mechanism comes away with the back. I'm not sure if that single clip at the top is going to be sturdy enough.

The back cover removal is similar to n97. Just get a slight fingernail into the gap and pull with. Easy access to the battery.

Bat

Smaller than the 1500mAh BP-4L, the BL-5J stands at 1320mAh. How much will this affect battery life in such a powerful phone?

12092009084

The memory card unfortunately has to be accessed via the back and not simply via a memory card door. It’s easier to get to than the fiddly one on N97.

memocar

It’s a book-hinge mechanism like the sim slot (behind the battery). Slide back to unlock and swing open. Put card in, swing closed and push back up to lock.

As aforementioned, along with the 3.5mm jack and right speaker, there’s an unlock switch at the bottom which feels much less flimsy than the one on n97.

MNB 4

Traditionally, the 3.5mm jack  would be at the top of a phone when it’s held in portrait. Perhaps it makes sense in that if you think about how you hold your phone (in portrait) if you’re also using headphones? It makes it slightly easier when 3.5mm is placed  at the bottom of the phone particularly when putting the phone back in your pocket as you don’t have to turn it 180 degrees so that the cable faces out properly. I’m not sure what the exact reason was.

pwr

The power button acts to let you change profile, lock the device with or without a code and of course turn the phone on or off.
Also quite neat is when the phone is locked, you can also unlock it using the power button. Press it once and the screen will say swipe to unlock. There, you have iphone slide to unlock.

swipe

9. Appearance/(Build)

I’ve left this more or less last as it’s the most subjective part of the hardware review.

12092009216120920092171209200921812092009220


The N900 shares a lot of the aesthetic qualities of the Nokia N97. The N900 is beautiful in it’s glossy piano black front enclosed in a gun metal frame. It would have looked slightly better if the metal rim was flush with the rest of the phone.

The rest of the matte black looks alright on the sides and back of the N900, but I would have preferred the entire thing to be glossy piano black.

As aforementioned, the face of the N900 does not have that reflective appearance about it that hides the screen underneath when the light is off. This may have been changed to improve readability or the the reflectiveness is owed to the screen protector. For me, I would have preferred the reflective look – I hope someone brings out such a screen protector to do that (not as reflective as mirror screen protectors, just subtle enough to hide the screen.

If some N97 reviewers have said the N97 was built like a tank, then the N900 even more so. Apart from that slight wobble that you can force out from the hinge, this is that tank, Mark 2.0. Everything is solid, nothing creaks.

Although pretty thick by today’s standards at thick at 18mm, it looks much thicker than it actually is because it’s wider, as opposed to the more elongated N97 (though the N97 is thinner than the N900). Despite that thickness surprisingly quite comfortable to hold, and I can more than forgive it’s size given the power and potential this “mobile computer” has compared with any other Nokia device.

10. Maemo 5 UI

This should be just as detailed if not more than the hardware portion of the preview but unfortunately, we didn’t test out the OS as much as we thought we were going to have much more time with it during the evening but our ‘personal’ N900 had to go back to Finland.

Of what I did manage to see in Maemo5, it looks great. The ui is smooth, fast, and with some pretty slick, subtle eye candy. It’s a small addition, but extremely long awaited and for me, very worthwhile. It makes the OS appear like it belongs in this century. I did notice some lag with animations in one N900 but it wasn’t present in the other two N900s.

Of course it’s going to take some getting used to. Some things don’t come naturally, but that’s not because it isn’t as easy to use as say, an iPhone. I mean, without the video ads to basically teach you how to use the JebusPhone, would you be pinching in and out to zoom?

Web is very fast, renders page appearance not only accurately, but you can interact with everything just like as iff you were browsing on the desktop! Zoom tap is nice, it centres in to where you tapped. Circular zoom is good for gradually adjusting, such as gradually changing text size. Did not manage to test tabbed browsing.  Unfortunately, no screenshots of the web browser but you’re most likely familiar with it, having seen the videos, no? Long time user and developer on the N900, Gary Birkett, says the N900 has an outstanding web browser. The browser is Mozilla’s Fennec Fox MicroB, but in future, users will have the options to use firefox on their N900.

Panoramic desktop with 4 individual desktop is one of my favourite features on the N900. I love my instant access, always online homescreen on the N97 and this could be a step up from it. In our N900s, they had seamless wallpaper using 4 different images. I’m not sure whether the user can make a long “360 degree” interconnecting wallpaper automatically or if those were just special wallpapers. Most users will most likely prefer to have a different background for each desktop. E.G. one for work, one for home, one for the gym, and one for travelling.

Ovi Maps – I did not get a chance to use this at all, just long enough to snap northern Europe.

12092009088

In 3D view

12092009089

12092009090

Note the compass which isn’t listed in the official specs (neither was infrared – TV/DVD Remote applications again ^_^)Update: There’s no compass.

To get the the icon menu, click the top left. Much better than pressing that tough menu button (i.e. N97) or a physical button for that matter.

I don’t know if i can move icon folders around or whether i can organize into folders. Apps in excess of the page must be accessed by clicking ‘more’ instead of scrolling. Hmm – think I’d prefer side swiping for more icons.

12092009050

To go back, I think I just clicked a space around the icon (12092009051

Multitasking is phenominal. I opened every application and it did not bat an eyelid. Switching between apps is so easy. What’s great is that you don’t get an icon of the active app, but the actual live app window so you know exactly which window to get back to. Great if you’ve got multiple browser windows open.

What’s also really nice is that the active apps windows change size to accomodate the number of open apps. This is really useful because you won’t be excessively scrolling (I’m not sure what the limit is)

12092009092

12092009049

As a glimpse into the future, you may already be aware that Maemo 6 Harmattan, will be compatible on the N900. So there’s longevity for you. The only thing you may miss is multitouch, which is a hardware issue. Future Maemo 6 handsets will have multitouch capable screens. Not sure about the final Maemo 7 but that’s surely won’t be appearing any time soon.

11. Conclusion:

As I have not had enough time with either software or hardware of the N900, I cannot give an adequate conclusion rather than an extremely positive first impression of the device. But knowing that the hardware inside the N900 is similar internally to the iPhone, it’s very reassuring that it has been proved to be powerful enough for even the most demanding of iPhone users. Even more so because of the flexibility that Maemo 5 offers in terms of software development and multitasking, as demonstrated by Maemo developers.

In terms of design the N900 is the sleek, robust evolution of the N97. Everything from the ‘new’ keyboard, the improved placement of ports/buttons/speakers to the more professional streamlined design combines to make the N900 just that extra bit more attractive to use from day to day.

Being picky, there’s still room for improvement, such as having a memory card door, perhaps a 4-row keyboard, and possibly even an active slide as I did miss that satisflying “snip” then “snap” that the N97’s screen performs each time it effortlessly reveals the QWERTY and later hides it.

The only potential weaknesses of the N900 could be an unstable firmware or an appalling battery life (neither of which I experienced due to lack of play time). With more or less the same 3.5″ screen and a weaker 1320mAh battery, there may be valid concerns for battery life. However, without knowing how much software can optimize battery life, all we can do is wait and hope.The N900’s in our use were not final production software and there’s still room to improve the quoted “4 hour battery life”. Eldar in his proto N900 said he got about 6h. Neither really a full day’s work, but again, neither were final firmware.

The star of the show really should be the OS itself and how the UI delivers it to give an intuitive user experience. This will need much more time to test out and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that for the preview review.

Otherwise, this N900 is phone so full of potential. The N900 is a phone you can push to its limits and be impressed at how high you’ve reached. The N900 is an Nseries that delivers the promise of multimedia computer, mobile computer, computer in your pocket and whatever jargon Nokia have used to hype up their devices. The N900 is the flagship worthy of the title and the Nokia device that will U-turn the negative opinion that Nokia have more or less been inflicting on themselves with their less than adequate offerings since scoring big with the N95.

I’ll leave you with a few more images of the N900. I was going to include comparison pics with some classic Ns but this post is already taking very long and image heavy, so I’ll put it in another post.

12092009034

12092009035

12092009037

6 Page Preview of the Sony Ericsson Satio (Idou)

June 6, 2009 5 comments

When the N97 was launched, the 3.5″ 16:9 touchscreen, with S60 5th Edition were two features that I thought would remain unique to Nokia for a little while. I was certain it would be my next phone.

But so soon, we saw the Omnia HD (now i8910) from Samsung packing a bigger 3.7″ 16:9 AMOLED touchscreen, S60 5th edition with 720p HD video recording.

To make decision making worse, Sony Ericsson then informed us of the Idou (now Satio) with 3.5″ 16:9 TFT touchscreen, with Symbian Foundation (basically S60 5th edition) and 12MP with XENON flash.

gsmarena_033

Here’s GSM Arena’s preview of the Sony Ericsson Satio – (some key points below)

  • Made entirely of plastic, but very high quality
  • Screen has stunning picture quality and contrast (for a TFT)
  • NO 3.5mm jack
  • 1000mAh battery
  • S60 5th Edtition UI with Sony Ericsson Tweaks
  • Under the “stylish” lens cover are 12MP goodness with Xenon flash for stills and LED for video – Camera is nothing short of impressive

gsmarena_035

  • You can capture photos in 16:9 (at 9MP)
  • “Better” than the Samsung INNOV8 (though marginally) – there’s only two pairs of comparison shots though to judge it myself.
  • VGA video is “Splendid” even though their test version could not handle the 30FPS frame rate. Not sure if it reords in 16:9 though.
  • Improved browser in comparison to the 5800
Availability is around October 09.
Via GSM Arena
___________

For me, my only two options would really be down to the Satio or N97.

  • Satio purely for the Xenon – it meets my low light photography needs – the only phone out of the three that could force my N82 into retirement – also the additional 7megapixels don’t hurt – definitely more useful when copying out chapters of a text book for Uni  (quicker than scanning – cheaper than photocopying)
  • N97 for the form factor – I love the “flick” sliding screen that reveals that QWERTY keyboard, which for me, is preferable when entering text. There’s also that 32GB in built memory so it can immediately hold a  significant proportion of my music library with space for several movies to spare – and it’s further expandable with memory card. Finally the “homescreen” experience – I didn’t think much of this the first time I saw it, but now I see it has a lot of potential and usability.

HD Video: Tech65’s Nokia N97 video preview

May 23, 2009 3 comments

If you’ve been following the Nokia N97, then the video below won’t tell you anything new about it. However, it’s still nice to watch, and certainly made me want to get the N97 (Black) even more now. Click HD for extra shiny goodness.

  • They seem to love playing with the slide mechanism of the N97. I know, even when I got a couple of fake dummy N97s, (which are no where near the stability of the real N97) the slide mechanism of that was also surprisingly solid – the keyboard flicks out instantly with minimum effort, opening only if you push from the left side, so it won’t randomly open in your pocket.
  • One important thing they do note is that since the focus of this device is INTERNET and social networking, you really need to have an excellent data plan to take full advantage of online services anywhere and anytime.  I’ll be using the WiFi whenever I’m at home or Uni or other locations with Free WiFi, but for the peace of mind of  always being connected, I’m going to get an unlimited data plan (O2 and vodafone offer “unlimited” internet for about £5)
  • Tech 65 guys say they don’t think the N97 can browse flash – Don’y worry,  it can. Although you can choose to disable it if you know the websites you’re going to be visiting will just be using flash for ads, otherwise, flash websites like YouTube will play fine on the N97 browser like they would on your desktop.

Tech65 via spaziocellulare

HD Video: Nokia N97 preview

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

If you’re a fan of the Nokia N97, you already know what it offers, but every new video about the N97 is still an irresistable watch.

Here’s a high-def preview  of the up and coming N97, showing off its sleek black shininess and some different homescreen widgets. I really like how detailed these live widgets are; maximising the higher pixel count of the nHD screen to offer users more information.

[Click the HD button!]

It looks stunning in high-def goodness! Also check out that Nokia plastic screen protector – oh the newness! June cannot come any sooner. [I don’t want to even think about any delays]