Posts Tagged ‘The Phones Show’

Video: The Phones Show Episode 100! Mythbusting special! (And a look at episode 1)

January 17, 2010 1 comment

Huge congratulations to AllAboutSymbian’s Steve Litchfield whose The Phones Show (aka The Smartphones Show) has reached episode 100. Here’s to 100 more!

The very first Smartphone show was released in 10th January 2006! Check out the Pilot Episode, Smartphones Show 1 . Though Steve was already a natural presenter, he’s really improved a lot since then. (Does anyone know when the first episode was shot on a phone? I know it’s been a feature since N93….?)

You’ll need quicktime player to view episode 1. His show didn’t get to YouTube until episode 21, Jan 07. In August 08, from episode 64, the Smartphones Show became The Phones Show. Who’d have thunk it, but we got into the Phones Show recently with Episode 96.

Episode 1

In the first episode, Steve explains what a smartphone is, how the best OS at the time was Series 60. Bluetooth and 3G were pretty new then too.

It’s a brilliant watch as it’s a great snapshot back in mobile-geek time. In just 4 years, look how much has changed from what we think a smartphone and a smartphone OS/UI should be. Looking at navigation on the 9500 was giving me headaches!

Steve looks pretty different tooo :p
Continue reading…

Video: The Phones Show – Episode 96 – mynokiablog have a cameo appearance with N900!

December 5, 2009 1 comment

I’m an eager fan of Steve Litchfield’s the Phone Show [aka The Smartphone Show] and was honoured to be asked to help out in Episode 96 where Steve gives an introduction to the wonderful N900 and Maemo 5.

There’s some Symbian news and top 10 apps for something called an iPhone – what is that?

See me from 07:25 onwards ^_^

As Steve points out, the N900 is an interim step (“Step 4 of 5”) showing where Nokia’s going with Maemo (and it’s the right direction btw!). The follow up is supposed to be coming spring 2010, with more polished hardware which Steve guesses will have capacitive (hurrah!) and slightly bigger touch screen.

We know already the new Maemo 6 device will be supporting multitouch and the OS is going to be even better than Maemo5 (note, N900 can be upgraded to Maemo6 – though it probably won’t be having multitouch as the N900’s screen doesn’t support it – supposedly).

I will rant till the cows come home, but please Nokia…Xenon Flash? It has given my N82 so much longevity and usability – XF will turn the N920 or whatever the N900’s successor is into a true all in one! Please, please, please, please, please? ^____^

via or

Video Review: Nokia N97 Mini Review – The Phones Show – Episode 94

November 10, 2009 1 comment

This episode by Steve Litchfield reviews Nokia’s N97 mini. The mini is the baby brother of the original N97, (seemingly) created to rectify to abysmal mistakes when Nokia succumed yet again poor compromises which rendered the original N97 somewhat ever so frustrating in general day to day use.

There are several positive notes that Steve makes, contrasting even the first Review of the mini by Mobile-Review’s Eldar and giving the keyboard a thumbs up.

via 3lib

In ‘summary’ plus some personal ranting:

  • +Better keyboard, better tactile feedback and layout

The N97 was the first Nseries to have a QWERTY keyboard and it somewhat failed miserably at it. The D-Pad which was only ever going to be useful for games consumed valuable space leaving users cramped keys.

The configuration of the secondary shortcuts were stupid, especially your standard, often used punctutation with full stops, apostrophes and commas all sharing the same button. Until firmware 2.0 and the longpress, this made it rather difficult unless you’d used the phone a while to get to these secondary functions.

Finally, possible the worst of it all, absolutely invisible tactile feedback of keys. With mine, I have to keep the keypad sounds ON to know I’ve pressed a button. I’ve noticed for some strange reason that the white N97’s had even worse keyboards, with keys not having even tactile feedback – some it didn’t even feel like you had pressed it at all!

The mini has No D-pad, improved layout of keys and better mechanical feedback.


  • +GPS very sensitive, very responsive and hasn’t let him down –

the original N97 has given several users issues with the GPS. As well as batch problems – some being better than others, some great some not even working! – , the design of the N97 itself meant that you just weren’t gonna get a 2009 standard reliable GPS ‘instant’/constant lock.

  • + camera glass has no shutter/lens cover –

though Nseries users have gotten used to having protective camera lens covers, the original N97’s was so appallingly made that it destroys itself with the grains of dirt it manages to accumulate whilst in your pocket, scraping over the lens area to completely wreck your photos!

For sometime I’ve somehow avoided that but I too have fallen prey and now have pretty much unusable photos especially when the flash is used.

  • + bulky plastic rear is now sleek and thin and stainless steel

the original N97 was meant to have a metal back, but as mentioned above with the poor GPS – this was due to the poor configuration of the GPS module which if the back were metal, N97 users would have gotten no use at all out of their GPS receivers at all!

  • + screen is brighter and more vivid
  • + oodles more phone [C:] memory for installation of apps.

A major problem in the original N97 meant that if you liked installing applications, you would soon run out of their microscopic initial 60MB of phone memory. [N-gage and the games were a major killer of C: ] This meant back in the days of 2003 when you had to uninstall one application to install another! What a slap in the face considering there’s 29.8GB there untapped. Even when applications are set to install in E: or memory card, some C: is still eaten up.

Overall effect of the changes is apparently stunning! But of course there are some shortcomings, but no where near a big of a showstopper as with the original N97 – well in Steve’s opinion anyway 😛

  • – smaller battery

    The mini is using a BL-4D, 1200mAh as opposed to 1500mAh with the original N97’s BP-4L. The smaller screen could have meant that your “online as it happens” N97 mini could have lasted even longer with active online apps on your mini’s homescreen but it MAY be just as similar if not worse (don’t take my word for it, I have not seen reviews yet about its battery life). Note, when you set the homescreen apps offline, particularly email, you can squeeze a proper full day of use out of the N97.

    You can of course, purchase spare batteries for extended use.

    • – no fm transmitter

      as well as for lack-of-space (and possibly interference from having a metal back somehow), this is an overall good compromise as here you’re loosing a feature in order to better one of the core features – GPS!

      • – smaller mass memory

        Instead of 32GB it’s massively reduced to just 8GB. I’m only half way through the memory, but then I’m only a few months into the N97. What I like is the potential of hardly ever having to remove any data from the phone, videos/pictures, to store elsewhere to save space. But the mini’s 8GB should suffice most users, particularly as its has much more mass market appeal given its smaller footprint and overall improved usability.

        If other than price, mass memory somehow affected other core functions, this is perhaps another good compromise.You can of course just purchase larger memory cards if you wanted the extra memory – 16GB/32GB.

        • – smaller screen

        Possibly the biggest difference if one is considering either the mini (3.2″, identical to 5800) of the original N97 (3.5″).  You can’t get over this like you can with the mass memory. Steve takes this positively in that he can now get his thumb across the smaller screen properly. Not that much of an issue for me as I’ve got big hands.

        I reckon it would have still been possible to fit 3.5″ into a much smaller phone than the original N97, it’s just that there are space wastages around the screen making the phone so much bigger.

        Cropped N97. via other blogspot

        Though it probably works out best for the mini as it can be made with a cheaper? screen which is essential for the reduced battery capacity. Plus you get that extra space for the keys.

        Overall, it seems if you can get over the screen size, the N97 mini should be the choice for you if you were so inclined to choosing either one of the N97 family.

        Ovi Store Rant: 7 things wrong with the Ovi Store

        September 26, 2009 8 comments

        I just watched Episode 91 of Steve Litchfield’s “The Phones Show” where in this episode, he covers Application Stores:

        • Apple’s App Store
        • Nokia’s Ovi Store
        • Google’s Android Market.

        The Ovi Store is supposed to be Nokia’s one stop shop for Applications, Games, and other content such as ringtones, videos, wallpapers and themes.

        I’ve been using the Ovi Store since the N97 came out. It’s good for what it does until you experience how stores work on other platforms- namely, App Store on the iPhone. Furthermore, there are annoyances in user experience that I would have had anyway were there no other app stores around.

        The problems are listed with increasing hindrance to user experience as you decend the topics. (Hmm, for some reason, most of my list posts coincidentally end up having 7 items)

        7. Inability to update the client within the app

        Unless I go to the browser version of the Ovi Store and attempt to redownload Ovi Store for my N97, there’s no way for me to find out what version of the Ovi Store I’m using, let alone update it directly from the client itself. This is highly annoying since, with the stability issues (see next point), I need to know if there’s a new update that might improve my user experience of the Ovi Store so I won’t experience stupid error messages.

        6. Stability issues

        – on every update of the Ovi Store application, I have received annoying error messages that I’m not in fact signed in and Ovi Store refuses further navigation or download of applications.  At times it gets so frustrating that I use the browser version of Ovi Store.Fortunately, these error messages occur less frequently, but it’s annoying that it still happens.

        Whislt writing this post, Ovi Store crashed my N97.

        5. Poor Searching

        – Searching for an application by name is almost impossible. The best option is to describe it. E.G. instead of looking for “tweet60/tweet 60” (which comes up with NO results) , I have to search “Twitter”. At the moment, the search function seems to be completely broken as it comes out with nothing for twitter

        4. Poor, inconsistent preview style of apps before downloads.

        The very first hurdle of the app store is getting a consumer to download an app. That’s the best way to really find out how good an app is. Good descriptions and previews help a lot if you’re unfamiliar with an application.

        In Ovi Store, you get a short description, perhaps a thumbnail icon and if you’re lucky, a cropped screenshot of the app itself. In Apple’s App Store, the description varies, but it can get very detailed, lengthy and informative, whereas it’ll only ever be a short summary in Ovi Store. Also, you’ll get actual screenshots from the iPhone app.

        Although the added information makes browsing for apps slower on the iPhone, the added detail in information makes it worth it (especially if you’re going to be forking over money!). Yes you could just find a dedicated review for that app, but it’s just so much more convenient to have that sort of detail within the app store itself.

        not a n97

        Ovi Store, Web Version. Small descriptions, cropped screenshot. Demonstrates what google shows as an N97 but that's NOT the N97. That's not even a REAL PHONE for goodness sakes. Who filters the Ovi Store submissions?

        3. Poor Navigation

        On the N97, you’ve got a huge 3.5″ 640X360 screen, but as with most S60 5th edition apps, Ovi Store does not take full advantage of all the available space. Instead, Ovi Store opts to bury things within options that should be easily viewable at all times.

        • Categories
        • Most Recent
        • Most Popular (time scale please…today, this week, this month? etc)
        • Filter paid/freeware
        • Search

        In Ovi Store you have a switch thing at the top so change from “Recommended downloads, applications, games, audio/video and personalization”. Then there’s a bar for search. Categories/most popular etc are hidden two clicks away (one click for options, another to select) in options.

        MNB4000017Why couldn’t the additional be set up simply as icons? Simple, easily visible, just one click away.


        Navigating both browser and mobile version of Ovi Store feels so unintuitive after using the App Store on either PC or iPhone. With the App Store in iTunes, it takes advantage of the bigger screen, displaying more apps, several categories/lists, different layouts of app description etc. Ovi Store on the browser has the same limited feel of the mobile app. Perhaps this is because Ovi Store doesn’t have a dedicated PC counterpart like iTunes and is just basically a browser version that’s also friendly to mobile browsers. But why can’t Ovi Store users have an improved PC version too?

        Maybe more apps are just being downloaded directly from the mobile app? If so, then Nokia really need to invest in improving its user interface.

        2. Lack of Content

        …Both in quantity and quality. Launched late May 09 – so slightly understandable then for the lack of content at launch. 4 months on, there are few worthwhile additions for an N97 (or S60 5th edition) user looking for some great applications.

        The Ovi Store attempts to cater for a lot of devices on Nokia’s various platforms, and not just in terms of applications but also audio and video customizations.

        This fragmentation leads to a diluted content of applications with only

        • 565 compatible applications for the N97 …with several variants, e.g. English dictionary, Spanish Dictionary and several other reference dictionaries, several eBook titles (which should really be just 1 eBook app, with separate eBook purchase within the app). I reckon under 10% of the paid apps on the Ovi Store are anywhere near worth their price label.
        • 211 Games on the Ovi Store.
        • The bulk content for the N97 are audio/video and personalization with rank up 227+718 pieces respectively.

        This does not account for the several hundred apps available for S60 5th edition, or the abundant themes which are yet (if at all) to make it on the Ovi Store.

        [Fragmentation within the Nokia OSes means that there are more great apps for S60 that just never got ported over to 3rd/5th edition so will just be resigned to the history books]

        1. Poor Pricing

        One of my biggest loves for Apple’s App Store is not only the fantastic quality and vast numbers of applications available but the relatively cheap prices for paid applications. A lot of applications on the App Store are priced around $1/£0.59.

        59 pence – that’s enough for what, 1 donut in Greggs (UK bakery). That price is so low, I wouldn’t even consider price as a factor in the purchase. Just whether it’s interesting enough for me to click and download it.

        This makes it easy to make spontaneous purchases on applications that generate a slight interest.  That’s great for both the consumer (as we don’t pay that much for an app) and even more so for the developer as lots of people can make quick purchases which adds up! (1USD x 300,000 > 25GBP X 30).

        One of the biggest faults (and hindrances for me anyway) on the Ovi Store is pricing. When you price an application high enough that I have to consider whether it’s worth it, almost always, I won’t buy it.

        If I were to allocate myself £10 monthly app purchases, I’d easily spend that on 16 x £0.59 great applications, possibly more. But the moment prices creep up to £3, £4, £8, to £26, instead of making that spontaneous purchase, I reflect on whether the app is worth it, and just don’t bother buying.

        It’s not simply the price but the value for money. £1.50, £3 or even £6 is a lot for an app that I may just use on a rare occasion, but more than worth it for apps I’d be using frequently, maybe on a daily basis like Gravity or are simply just very good quality applications like SmartMovie. Unfortunately, going back to content, there are few paid apps on Ovi Store that (I think) are worth the what they’ve valued themselves to be. Content quality and price go hand in hand. If some of the crappier apps on Ovi Store were priced cheaply, I think I’d take a punt and buy them because they would be cheap enough. But they aren’t.

        Sell great apps for cheap/great value > make lots of sales and lots of money > attract other developers to make other fantastic apps > sell fantastic apps for cheap/great value > make lots of sales and lots of money > attract other developers to make other amazing apps > etc etc etc.

        Poor pricing acts as a block to this cycle.

        (There are additional factors involved such as ease of making apps and distribution base – I’ve just over simplified it)

        I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong and Nokia and the developers are making megabucks with Ovi Store as it is.

        Video: The Phones Show – Episode 89: E52 and E55 review

        September 6, 2009 Leave a comment

        In The Phones Show – Episode 89, Eseries-‘sisters’ E52 and E55 take centre stage.

        You may have seen previous E55 video reviews before, (this one by Rafe or this one from mobileburn), but is another you must watch as Steve Litchfield demonstrates the new EDOF camera that Rafe initially talked about, as well as general opinions on general usage and features of the devices.

        At the start as always there are the news:

        • Nokia phone launches –  Maemo 5 handset N900, N97 Mini  (and X6 and X3 too) as well as the new  firmware for the N97.
        • Samsung launches – Andoid handset – Galaxy
        • Nokia’s smartphone line continues to outsell Apple, RIM, HTC and Fujitsu combined
        • Symbian OS also maintains top spot, but down 6% to 51%

        via Thephonesshow

        The Phones Show: Episode 88

        August 23, 2009 Leave a comment

        In episode 88, Steve Litchfield covers the following topics:

        • Quick mini review of the HTC Magic – Android powered phone
        • There’s a debate as to whether Touch or Keyboard is the way to go – Why not have both? N97/ Touch Pro 2/G1 /(oh and N900/N97 MINI)? Although Steve is right in that these hybrids tend to be larger and more expensive, this form factor can continue to get smaller and cheaper so size and price will be less of an issue.
        • Hands on with the LG KS360 – Like the Nokia E75, it’s a side slider phone that reveals a full QWERTY. The E75’s dual form factor is much more useful, when it’s QWERTY is hidden away, it appears deceptively to just be a normal candybar. The LG KS360 does have a touch screen, but you can’t use it for anything other than the main dialler. Seriously?. Well, what can you expect for 80GBP?

        Via 3lib

        Video: The Phones Show – Episode 87 – Your favourite phone at the moment?

        August 10, 2009 1 comment

        Episode 87 takes a break from Steve’s news and reviews of the phone world, instead shifting the limelight to his PhonesShow viewing audience as they reveal which phone they’re using right now, and why they love it.

        It’s a strong Nokia showing, but then again, Steve is from All About Symbian :).

        via 3lib

        My favourite phone of the moment?


        [N97 from 97 images of the N97 – 5000 tiles]

        I was using a Nokia N97 but that has returned to the World of WOM after a lengthy trial. Thanks guys!

        Despite it’s shortcomings (low RAM, bugs, some further improvements required via future firmware upgrades) it worked for 90% of the things I needed it for really well.

        • Really good messaging device – the keyboard took some getting used to. It wasn’t as tactile as I’d hoped, but eventually, I was able to type without looking at the keyboard. Makes text messaging/facebooking/emailing (push!)/instant messaging really fast, fun and convenient.
        • Great media player. Stacks of Memory means I can pile on my music and my videos. Though I could have done with dedicated music buttons, the included remote helps sort that out. 3.5″ screen great for viewing BBCi Player videos and my movies. TV out turns it into a media centre.
        • Never getting lost with Navigation – either by car or on foot. GPS sorts itself out pretty quick – network gets your general position within about 5 seconds, and GPS lock around 15 seconds. Ovi Maps is a really good navigation solution but Google Maps is also a really good alternative too. I did have an issue with the GPS not working but managed to sort that out after a hard reset.
        • Pretty good Web browser. I switch between 3 browsers, Opera, native S60 and digia. When Digia @Web comes out of beta and becomes a lot more stable and a bit faster, then I’d be really happy with surfing the web on the N97.
        • Apps – they’re slowly coming along to Ovi Store. There’s a lot of content now to download, and quite a few of them are free. (still needs more content and slight reorganization – still a lot of great apps that aren’t on Ovi Store).
        • Video – not perfect, not in HD nor is there an adequate focus point. However, the video recording is surprisingly good on this device. I’ve found it to be really stable – it doesn’t do that jelly wobbling effect that most phones do when you move the camera about. It’s even better if you can mount it on a tripod. Sound recording is also really good.
        • Calling – with O2, not had a problem with reception. Call quality is excellent on both ends.

        -Not really a feature but I like knowing that upgrades will come; that perhaps after collective ranting, it might get the push necessary for firmware team to take a look.

        Major gripe is taking still pictures with the camera. I’ve been used to the N82 always being able to capture photos in any condition, snap photos of friends/family/friends – always being glad to have such reliability to capture great quality photos as I always have my phone with me – and also never regretting not taking a dedicated digital camera with me as the N82 captures what I need it to capture really well. N97 only takes good photos in optimal lighting. Everything else is bleh.

        Overall, I had a really positive experience with the N97. Out of the box, it wasn’t all that. A couple of firmware upgrades, reorganizing of the menu/settings, installation of my favourite apps, finding out about some new apps, learning some quick hints and tips – the N97 grew up to be the phone I needed it to be and that’s why I love it. (note “needed”, not “wanted”. If it had Xenon/more RAM…etc etc :p)



        I’m FINALLY gonna be getting MY OWN N97 after Friday… waiting a few more days as I have an exam to do that I missed the first time round. I know I won’t be able to concentrate, playing with a “new” toy (and sorting out any problems :p).

        via 3lib

        Video: The Phones Show – Episode 86 – Samsung Omnia HD/i8910 Review

        In Episode 86, as shot on the Nokia N86, Mr Litchfield focuses his attention on his long awaited Samsung Omnia HD…I mean i8910. But before that

        • News: Surge in the States, HTC and 3.5mm jack, Ovi Files now free, Symbian Horizon, Nokia’s Q2 09 results
        • QWERTY Keyboard Rant
        • Discovering Real/Usable Digital Zoom on the N86
        • Unparalled 3.7″ screen
        • Blindingly fast at almost everything
        • DivX playback – Native !!!!!! (Nokia, helloooooooooooo?!)
        • 154MB free RAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Nokia! Power User Multitasking!!!) Never ever an out of memory message?! Jeez!
        • No Software support for Nokia Centric apps
        • Widget homescreen is utter Gimmick – no live info like N97

        Via 3lib

        Video: The Phones Show – Episode 85 – James Burland on the iPhone 3GS (and Nokia Rant)

        July 9, 2009 2 comments

        Episode 85 of the Phones Show focuses on the new iPhone 3GS, with James Burland of NokiaCreative giving us a tour of its new features.

        But before that, Steve also briefly takes a look at:

        • HTC Hero – Android Smartphone which interestingly has full adobe flash
        • New Firmware updates of recent Nokia phones, notably N97, N96 and E71
        • Ovi Maps 3.0

        The star of the show is Apple’s iPhone 3GS.  I am really overwhelmed at what Apple’s been able to do with the iPhone. It is extremely impressive on the visuals and execution of these new features. Something as simple as being able to switch between video and photo at a single tap.  Nokia – why did you take that out of the N97/5800? Though it wasn’t the best interface with S60 3rd edition, at least with initial start up of the camera, the first option within one click is to switch between photo/video. Ideally though, it would be a hardware switch – so that you can immediately start in the prefered mode without having to wait to switch.

        At times when my friends ask me about Nokia things and I get a little rant started, my only excuse for those shortcomings is to suggest some sort of saboteur at the helm ofcontrols, slowly passing off undoubtedly crap decisions as something good for Nokia. The blogosphere is screaming to Nokia what they should be doing. Their suggestions aren’t risky fantasies as you see those suggestions for Nokia becoming standard features amongst its competitors.

        However, Steve is quick to point out (and cool my 3GS amazement) that:

        1. “there are still no background third party applications. So that means waiting for each game to start up again after each interruption. Though the extra speed does indeed help here. Also this means no background streaming radio and no background social media applications keeping track of your life.
        2. iPhone’s safari still has no Flash
        3. iPhone’s camera still doesn’t have LED flash
        4. Battery life still rather poor
        5. No user accessible file system.

        All Nokia fans can do now is wait in hope that Nokia have something brilliant up their sleeves; that it’s taking them so long to put out because it will be truly mind blowing, something overwhelmingly unexpected, bringing a new breed of device(s) that symbolize Nokia’s worthiness in being the number 1 phone manufacturer in the world. Ultimate hardware, advanced yet user friendly software and streamlined services – from Nokia? Or will it forever be just a dream?

        In the mean time, we’ll get these interim(a.k.a. half-assed) solutions to keep interests in Nokia devices and services (though at the same time frustrating them, tarnishing the Nokia reputation with the confusingly poor compromises being taken).

        Via 3lib

        Video: The Phones Show: Episode 83 (Nokia N97 vs HTC Touch Pro2) and unboxing videos.

        This episode of “The Phones Show” concentrates on the comparison of the HTC Touch Pro2 with the Nokia N97, going over aspects such as:

        • Screen
        • Keyboard
        • Form Factor (Slide tilt)
        • Battery
        • Camera
        • Video Recording
        • OS/UI

        Steve Litchfield says the Pro2 is the best Windows Mobile handset to date (I love the keyboard), but concludes that the N97 wins on both hardware and software in comparison.

        This episode also sees Steve getting a tour of the Proporta HQ, the mobile phones accessory company. You’ll get to see demonstrations of the cases, cable tidies and see some other products that you might ind useful. I have a few accessories from them myself, my fav being the old iPod-esque portable charger, brilliant when I’m out and about and am no where near a plug.

        Via 3lib

        Here’s an unboxing of the N97 – which is later also compared to the HTC Touch Pro2

        And lastly, another unboxing by John Mortimer of the White N97. John’s pretty excited about the N97, and reckons the white N97 looks so much better in person than it does via the camera.