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Posts Tagged ‘Touch Screen’

The New Nokia C6 – the best keyboard from a Nokia touch/QWERTY hybrid?

March 14, 2010 6 comments

3.2" touch screen, 640x360. 4 row QWERTY keyboard.

On Friday, a touch-qwerty hybrid from Nokia’s Cseries surfaced. The Nokia C6.

I wasn’t expecting anything like this from the core series. I thought they’d at least be non-touch like the recent C5.

The C6 seems like a QWERTY/Touch hybrid for the masses. This is exactly the reason why Nokia’s range of smartphones might have a significant proportion that’s technically ‘underpowered’ compared to the competition. (I’m assuming it doesn’t have 1GHz processor)

NOT because they are helplessly lagging behind as Ovum’s recent “report” suggested.

But because Nokia is catering for mid-low end consumers who may want a piece of the smartphone pie but can’t or don’t want to pay high end prices. (Eventually those high end features trickle down, take the 5800 – Nseries grade circa 2008). This might be big if it hits 150-240GBP range.

Superficially, the C6 appears to be one of Nokia’s 5800 with a side slider QWERTY keyboard. However, it has the tiled homescreen interface reserved for Nokia’s N97/mini/future Symbian^3 devices.

  • Is it Symbian^3? It’s using the Symbian^3 style theme/wallpaper (and some other slight changes).
  • But to have Symbian^3, it would need to have processing power much higher than the N97/mini right? (If not, great news for N97 users if it means you might get S^3).
  • So could this be the first 600MHz Symbian touch phone from Nokia and NOT the fabled X10?
  • That dialpad is more reminiscent of S60 5th Edition rather than having those “dot indicators” of which homescreen you’re in.
  • Most likely, it is S60 5th.

Anyway, onto the keyboard. It seems a standard Nokia fare at first but there are some marked improvements.

THE KEYBOARD

  • Love it or hate it, the C6 has a D-Pad which eats a lot of space that could have been better served by having more keys. (Potentially 8 more – see crude paint job below)
  • I don’t know what Nokia has against having a dedicated numbers row.
    • When they have a 3-row, an extra row would bring numbers row with secondary symbols as standard keyboard layout, but no.
  • However, Ignoring the dpad/arrows, C6 has the most buttons on a Nokia touch/QWERTY hybrid keyboard.
    • More than the N97 (33), N97 mini (34) and N900 (34) as C6 has 39 buttons!
  • It has two shift buttons for toggling caps lock, one on the left, the other on the right.
  • It retains the symbols button to get additional symbols (easier than maemo 5’s silly 2 button combination)
  • There’s a Control button. It seems it can also put the phone into silent mode. Control might be for easier copy and paste.
  • Function button. The diagonal arrow suggests this is for secondary keys (like N900).
  • Basic punctuation keys have dedicated buttons so you won’t need to press a button first to activate full-stop, comma or apostrophe .,’ This was a silly flaw in the N97, slowly improving with the N900/N97 mini (though it was still stupid to have apostrophe on the M)
  • The Spacebar is in the middle (technically) when you’re holding the C6 (again see crude paint job below)

The only uncertain thing is the tactile feedback which I can’t glean from images alone. But if it’s on the same level as the N97 mini or N900 (fingers crossed, better) the C6 might potentially have the best keyboard from a Nokia Touch/QWERTY hybrid.

That’s not to say it’s the best out there (hello Touch Pro 2). Nokia is slowly getting the idea that if it’s worth putting a QWERTY keyboard, there should be investment in making a really good one (as opposed to just ticking a box). Ideally I’d have something like the N920 concept keyboardor this N900/n92o keyboard mashup but that’s just me.

Not shown as it would take too much time...A dedicated numbers row could be achieved if the QWERTY shifted one key to the right (like N900) so you have Function/Control/Symbols on one side, freeing up the bottom row to take the z-m row of letters. The spacebar would then move to the right like Nokia likes.

Two thumb typing on the Nokia N97 (or lack of)

The Nokia N97, if you take the time to get accustomed to it, has a pretty decent physical QWERTY keyboard. However, there are times that I need to use the onscreen alphanumeric keypad, like when I’ve only got one free hand or if I simply just want to text with the phone closed.

The latter of “two handed T9” I cannot do because the screen keyboard only registers single keypresses. If you have your finger on one key, it locks out all the others.

This means I cannot type as fast in T9 mode with two hands on the N97 as I can with a traditional physical keypad. This is an issue already raised by 5800 users. But it’s not like the screen itself cannot register multiple keypresses. A video a while back of an app on the 5800 shows what appears to be “multitouch”.

It’s no iPhone, but it’s a start.

I can’t find the download link for that game, but you can sort of try it out “multiple-touch” for yourself – go to the menu and a grid full of apps. With one thumb at one corner and another at the opposite end, you’ll see that the screen registers both keypresses. Depending on the ‘pressure’, you can also control which icon is highlighted (see video below).

it’s not multitouch, I’m just wondering if there could be a workaround, like in the first video, to somehow get multiple keypresses registered onto the on screen keypad? Or is that just not possible and the most we’d ever get is selecting the key inbetween the intitial two key presses? (AAS’ Steve Litchfield has already proposed such for the 5800’s QWERTY).

I don’t really know how it works or the limitations imposed – perhaps at least for the N97 it’s in Nokia’s best interest to keep two handed use for the QWERTY and one handed for T9.

What I do know is what I want, and that’s for the next flagship touchscreen device from Nokia to have native support for multitouch and finger gestures.

Also worth noting is the video (from this same post) with versatile multitouch on a resistive screen – until they get to the same feather pressure sensitivity as capacitive, Nokia really needs to switch to capacitive.

Nokia’s Third Touch Screen Phone! The New Nokia 5530 Xpress Music!

June 15, 2009 7 comments

Ignoring the 7700 and 7710, here’s the third and latest touch screen phone from Nokia; the 5530 Xpress Music.

nokia5530xm_blue_right_lean

Looks better here than in the live video demo. Image via Nokia Conversation

It may look familiar to you – because it has surfaced once as a possibly successor to the 5800. But then it was deemed as a poor Chinese knock-off of the 5800 instead of actually being a new device.

Features

  • Slim Design
  • Stainless Steel Finish
  • Full Touch Screen, 640×360 (2.9″) – is it still resistive or has Nokia made the move to capacitive?
  • Similar contacts bar of the 5800, but now horizontally scrollable with up to 20 contacts.
  • 3.2MP camera + LED Flash
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Hot Swap Micro SD (4GB included)
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, EDGE (what about 3G?)
  • 199 Euros – 3rd Quarter 2009

Here’s a live demo video of the 5530 by Nokia Conversation with the 5800

Although a very short demo, it looks pretty snappy.

Via Nokia Conversations

This is a demo of the 5530 homescreen.

I like this darker version better (hopefully it’s not the same one in different lighting). I’m not too keen on the silver/black/white combination on the 5530 (it looks slightly like a 5800 gone wrong – the rectangular black plastic  bluntly bordered in silver). Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Via Nokia Conversations

nokia5530xm_land_front_red

Deceptively, it looks the the face of the 5530 is flat and smooth, but it's not the case as you can see from the live demo video, the bezel (-_-) and screen are not all flush with each other.

nokia5530xm_red_front_hero

More Details here

Free S60 5th Edition Game: Quickblock

April 24, 2009 1 comment

quickblockpromoHere’s a freeware arcade game, where you avoid hitting the green blocks to survive. Sounds slightly crappy but its simplicity is actually quite addictive and for the price of 0.00, it’s a worthwhile click and install for those moments where you just need to pass the time.

Download it here.

Via My-Symbian

If you still don’t know what it’s about, you can get the jist of the game from this version on UIQ3

You should expect an improved version to play on your 5800 or whatever S60 5th edition you’re using.

Free S60 5th edition game: World Snooker Championship 09 3D

April 21, 2009 4 comments

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Here’s a Freebie game for  your Nokia 5800, (Nokia N97, Samsung i8910 HD) and other 5th edition S60 devices: World Snooker Chamption 09 3D .Click to download.

Via Symbianworld.org.

Cloning Labs cross an Apple iPhone with a Nokia N96. Result: the NokiPhone N3000i

April 19, 2009 1 comment

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Here’s a transgenic, chimeric, phone clone, complete with aesthetics of the iPhone and even the dual sliding mechanism of the N96 (at least that’s the Nseries it most resembles).

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Host of features include your uninspiring but seemingly value for money: 3.2″ 16:9 widescreen touch screen, 2mp camera (which is apparently equivelant to 5 PIXES; yes pixes.), Dual speakers, Dual Sim, MP4/Avi/MP3 playback.

You can pick up this chimeric handset for $129.99 at chinagragger.com.

chinagragger.com via PMPtoday

For a REAL Nokia combined with iPhone deal, you could look closer to the N97. 😛

3076052827_9e02637399

More Nokia Touchscreens!? What’s the Nokia Nautilus?

April 13, 2009 3 comments

Apparently there’ll be three slim touch screens coming out from Nokia as early as fall. By Christmas, there maybe an addition to the internet tablet family with a new device musch like the N810, sporting 4.2″ touch screen and hidden slide out keyboard.nokia-eco-sensor

[Concept Nokia Phone – I’m loving the screen realty here – no space wated top or bottom]

The most exciting is the codenamed Nautilus. This is a very slim device with sensor activated ultrathin slideout keyboard featuring buttons that rise up for easier typing. According to Pocket-lint, the keyboard maybe extended through gesture based input.

nautilus

[Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen]

In “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, the Nautilus submarine is a masterpiece of technology, described by Jules Verne to as  “a masterpiece containing masterpieces”.  Is Nokia’s project Nautilus the ultimate convergence device ever to be made by Nokia, containing everything great they’ve been able to put in previous handsets so far?

Or is it just another living fossil of old handsets, with touch piggybacked onto button directed UI?

nautilus2

[Nautilus – living fossil]

Maybe Nautilus is all about Linux? Nautilus file manager/Gnome/Linux?

The latter is most comprehensible as it looks like it won’t be sporting S60, instead having a radically different UI. There’s hints that Nokia is pushing S60 to the mid-range/mass market devices, moving to Linux for the premium Nseries.

Based on Eldar’Murtazin’s blog/podcasts via  unwiredview:

  1. Nokia is committing very serious resources to the development of it’s own new Linux platform (originating from Maemo but significantly rewritten and much more advanced). It will be launching the new type of mobile devices/computers/communicators based on it later this year.
  2. These Linux based devices will  start the new Nokia high end product line, which will take place of the current N-Series. Nokia S60/Symbian devices will be moving from the top of the line to the mid tier/mass market segment of Nokia inventory.
  3. The new Linux platform and devices most likely will be unveiled in late summer/early fall  at a big launch event in Germany

This makes some sense since S60 is amazing for traditional keypad handsets, but suffers in terms of touch. Take the 5800 – it doesn’t feel completely optimised for touch input. Some reviewers and consumers have already wished Nokia to start from scratch for an entirely touch driven UI. Perhaps, through Linux, will we finally a Nokia touch UI optimused for finger gestures/strokes? Or can the N97 show that S60 touch is more than capable?