In the second (and main) part of my camera shootout between the established champion of the smartphone world, the Nokia 808 PureView, and the plucky rather odd challenger, the Frankenstein-esque Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, I apply the two devices to a wide range of (ten) test shots, designed largely to exercise varying degrees of 'zoom', looking for general light handling/coloration, and for detail, both as-is and when cropped in. Does the camera/phone hybrid manage to top the Nokia 808 overall? And what caveats need to be applied, either way? I'll be expanding on other aspects of the 'phone or camera' experience in the final part 3 of this feature, next week.
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This, at least, will be a camera phone head to head like no other. The Nokia 808 PureView has regularly been ahead (or, infamously, tied) in every shoot-out I've done. But it's up against something that's even odder than itself for the very first time. And I don't mean its successor, the Lumia 1020, which is still a few weeks away, at least. Here I'm about to put the 808 up against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. But I need a few suggestions from you as to exactly how the test should be conducted!
The agony and the ecstasy. Unboxing a mint condition Nokia N95 8GB today, a device from 2007, I was struck by both how familiar it still seems - and, as I started setting it up (i.e. 'pimping' it!), how alien it is at the same time. It struck me that we've come a very, very long way in the Symbian world in just five years (counting up until the Nokia 808's release, the last Symbian launch).... Here are my top 10 observations (/annoyances) of the pain in going back to something of the N95 8GB's generation.
As part of our review coverage of the Nokia Lumia 928 over on All About Windows Phone, I've been testing the phone's camera, with Xenon flash, of course - Nokia's first Xenon-equipped smartphone in a year, since the Symbian-powered 808. With less than a fortnight to go until the unveiling of the 808's equivalent in the Windows Phone world (July 11th, In New York), I was still curious as to how the Xenon flash in the Lumia 928 would match up to that in the 808.
With updates appearing thick and fast for all mobile OS, the landscape is ever-changing. In this update to my older 'Showstoppers' article, I look at the potential obstacles to moving (in this case from Symbian) to Windows Phone 8 or Android. There's an admittedly personal slant to my long list of possible showstoppers, but as a power user I suspect I'm fairly typical of the breed and that you'll be needing most of these things too. The original piece just looked at moving to Windows Phone, but I've included parallel information about making your destination Android too, in the interests of fairness.
It has been fascinating watching the wider smartphone world - away from the Nokia 808, my smartphone core, we've seen phone screen sizes going up and up, with Sony announcing a smartphone with 6.4" screen in the last 24 hours, the Xperia Z Ultra. There's even been a new word, 'phablet' (phone/tablet hybrid) created - OK, noone likes the term, but until someone comes up with a better alternative... It got me thinking, though - how far would Symbian have gone down this direction if the OS hadn't been sidelined and EOLed back in February 2011? Would we now have a Symbian phablet?
In conversation with Engadget's tnkgrl, I postulated that Nokia had spoiled the Symbian world rotten with the launch of the 808 PureView. As the technology poster girl for the next-gen PureView camera technology, the 808 made it into production through (no doubt) gritted teeth inside parts of Nokia. Unwittingly providing users of the Symbian OS with a massive shot in the arm in terms of hardware to take them through one or two extra years. What if the 808 hadn't made it into production at all? What would we be using right now?
One of the staples in the Symbian world since the days of 'Series 60' has been Epocware's Handy Safe Pro - the original encrypted database of private info, synced happily between multiple Symbian devices and a Windows desktop. Heck, many of us still use it, despite a few availability glitches (cough: E6, Mac desktop), but the way forward when the time comes to move away from Symbian isn't completely clear cut. In this feature, I explore some of the options available, including SBSH's SafeWallet.
I find it absolutely fascinating to reflect that, having owned or reviewed the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the Blackberry Z10 and every other top handset of 2013, and despite recognising that their functions and features win out overall, for many users, my SIM card keeps making its way back into the Nokia 808 PureView. Yes, the great camera is one reason, of course, but I can think of nine others, in direct contravention of the wisdom of the age. Why not see how many of these ring a bell with you...?
Now this should be a really interesting fight. I've compared the Nokia E6 to several QWERTY candybars from the Android world in the past, but it's been a bit of a mismatch in terms of overall quality, in favour of the Symbian device. The Blackberry Q10, on the other hand, is much more cutting edge in terms of specs, is brand new, and is also priced at a premium. As a result, it should present a very serious challenge to the 2011 Symbian-powered E6.