Nokia has been consistently at the top of the camera phone tree for a decade now, but many people were curious about Nokia's choice of using 5 megapixels as the default capture resolution for the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView. The claim is that the pixels themselves are 'pure' and that most people don't need more than 5mp, but I wanted to quantify the 808's claims in the best way I know possible - by comparing directly with Nokia's own 5mp Xenon-equipped imaging flagship from five years ago, the N82. Let the shoot out commence!
Recent Features - S60 3rd Edition - Page 3
File this under 'middle of the night musings', but it's a question I often ask myself. 'How far could I go back in Symbian history and still have a device which filled all my needs today in 2012?' After all, there are some functions which (e.g.) the 2007 Nokia N82 does a heck of a lot better than 90% of today's oh-so-droppable, oh-so-expensive touch-slab smartphones, albeit with a less obviously pleasing UI. But how far could I go back? At what point does the antiquity of the hardware and software get in the way?
Whichever smartphone you're currently rocking or aspiring to, the chances are that there will be a certain amount of extra hardware that you'll find helps you get through the day, enhancing what the phone does and helping it do it for longer. Here, in a somewhat personal, though fairly cross-platform selection, I pick my top dozen smartphone accessories. Don't sneer at the back, I bet you get grabbed by a few of these too....
I've commented before at length (and quoted below) on the pros and cons of having sealed batteries in our smartphones, i.e. batteries which can only be removed or changed at your manufacturer's designated service centre. My stated bullet points are all very well, but I've now had direct experience in the last month that strongly leads me to declare having a sealed battery as a showstopper, for me personally, at least. Below is my tale of woe and a handy table of which smartphones are vulnerable to potential disaster in this way.
Now, there's an element of guesswork in what follows, but I did want to address the issue of camera phone design, specifically the use of PureView 'phase 2' for the new Nokia Lumia 920, using Optical Image Stabilisation, large F2.0 lens and faster, brighter LED flash instead of simply using a proper 'Xenon' flash. Using back of envelope-style calculations, I try to draw some conclusions, though one thought keeps popping up in my head: if I was heading to a party or down the pub, I think I'd get better snaps from my 2007 Nokia N82 than the (late) 2012 Nokia Lumia 920. Controversial, me?
I've been over Nokia's greatest mistakes before, but there's another elephant in the room that needs addressing. It was a hot topic of debate back in the early days of Symbian and the ramifications of what was decided then worked themselves out in the following twelve or so years. Branding. I contend that Symbian as an OS has always been fighting a massive rearguard action - if the name itself had been allowed as much prominence as Android and iOS and Windows Phone have now, I suspect that Symbian's trajectory might have risen a lot higher and extended further.
I didn't have to think too hard about how to apostrophise the headline - after all, Nokia was using the term smartphone for its Symbian-powered devices a full five years before Apple and Android came along and the American tech press decided that the word needed reimagining. However, both approaches - which I've commented on before - are valid, and I thought it worth assessing where we've got to as we head towards the end of 2012. Was Nokia's definition right all along? Or is a modern 'smartphone' much smarter after all? I look at the two ultimate exponents of the two definitions, the Nokia 808 PureView and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
It's arguably one of the dirty little areas in the Nokia and Symbian world, something that you'll get burned by if you're not very careful. I've alluded to best practice several times in article comments but it's now time to spell things out loud and clear. I've ranted about the importance of having a replaceable battery before, but where on earth do you get a new battery from? There are so many charlatans wanting to sell you something cheap... here are a few pointers and rules.
Walking almost hand in hand with the age of Symbian (roughly 2000 to 2012), the term 'Nokia Communicator' is still a term that commands a degree of respect from many tech fans. But what did Nokia mean by this, which devices down the years have deserved the term, which was the last of the breed, and is the 'Communicator' now dead in the water?
Following our review series on the Nokia 808 PureView, here's the first in a series of brief tutorials, showing how to get the most out of the smartphone's stunning camera module. Here, I show how to shoot 'bokeh', photos enhanced through deliberate use of depth of field to ensure that part of the shot is out of focus, for artistic effect.