Another in my little series of tech highlights (previously: BL-5K differences and EDoF gen2), ahead of my full review of the Nokia 701. This time looking at the display change for the 701, compared to the C7. The latter used the same AMOLED display as the N8, albeit hidden a little behind a slightly mirrored oleophobic coating, whereas the new 701 uses an IPS (In Plane Switching) LCD, similar to that introduced by Apple for the iPad and iPhone 4, plus Nokia's CBD system. How do the two displays compare in differing light conditions?
Recent Features - Symbian 3 - Page 29
Much criticism has been levelled at Nokia's ever-growing pantheon of EDoF-equipped smartphones. From the C6-01 to the E7 and E6, each device's camera has been criticised for not allowing close-up ('macro') photos, despite all the other advantages of Extended Depth of Field processing. Has Nokia listened? Yes. Can you now shoot macro photos? Not quite, though you can get closer to your subjects. You'll also see significantly better photos in all conditions - the EDoF camera (and associated electronics) in the new Nokia 701 effectively represents EDoF generation two.
Most of us have grown up with Symbian. Specifically, in the last five years, we've grown up with S60. Meaning a 'Menu' system of application shortcuts, neatly arranged into folders (a system that iOS and Android are only just now adopting - but that's a rant for another day), plus a homescreen system offering some live info and a handful of favourite shortcuts. Symbian^3 enhanced this by adding extra homescreens, but we now have Symbian Belle coming with a possible six homescreens and no application folders - how does this affect how we use our devices to best effect?
I've written about EDoF before, of course, explaining how it works and rationalising why it's used so much and who it's aimed at. Ten of the eleven Symbian^3/Anna/Belle smartphones use EDoF cameras, rather amazingly - Nokia has gone 'all-in' with the technology. But I wanted to come to a verdict once and for all - for me, this time: could I live with EDoF? Taking only the Nokia C7 with me for a whole weekend of family activities and leaving the N8 at home(!), just how good could my EDoF-taken snaps be? Or just how disappointing? We find out below in a truly image-tastic gallery, with comments.
The smartphone world moves, as they say, at a frantic pace. What is cutting edge one month is replaced six (or even three) months later. Making rather a mockery of typical 18 and 24 month phone contracts, but that's another rant for another day. More to the point, we've had a number of new Symbian handsets announced and then made available in the last few months (Nokia 603, 700, 701), all running Symbian Belle. Where on earth does this leave the original Symbian^3 handsets from 2010? On the shelf? Not likely....
NFC, widely touted to be one of the 'next big things' is here already in the Nokia C7, Google Nexus S and Blackberry Bold 9900, plus all the new Symbian Belle handsets have it built-in and other manufacturers and platforms are sure to follow. But what actually is Near Field Communications and how does it work? What can you do with it right now and what will it enable in the future? Here's a bookmark-able primer that should answer all your questions.
We've all been impressed by Apple's launch of their 'Siri' voice interrogation technology in the new iPhone 4S. But it should be borne in mind that something along the same lines (though admittedly nowhere near as adaptable) has been possible for ages on Symbian, even on extreme budget hardware. Just as a reminder, and with some comments on whether this is the way forward for smartphones generally, here's a demo of the free Vlingo in action on an old S60 3rd Edition handset.
One of the longest serving 'stars' in the Symbian software firmament has been Handy Safe Pro, working on every device from 2004 up to the present day. It's an encrypted database, of course, a way of keeping all your PINs, passwords, logins, reference numbers and much more, all safe from prying eyes. One key feature is that every entry can have a note and this can often run to dozens of extra lines. Which makes the tool very flexible, but how to get all of this information over to a new smartphone on another mobile platform? In this case, Windows Phone?
Amid all the anticipation and speculation surrounding Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you have to move with the times and give up your staunch Symbian sidekick. Don’t be in too much of a rush though; while Windows Phone will improve over time, things aren’t all that rosy on the Redmond side of the fence.
Both devices are now out and established, fighting for the title of 'Best Portrait Qwerty' - it's the Nokia E6 and Blackberry Bold 9900. Having now used both for a few weeks, here's my detailed head to head, comparing them blow for blow. Both devices have compromises, remarkably similar, both are from companies fighting to stay alive in the 2011 smartphone space - is there a winner and are either of them ultimately good enough?