OK, I promise this will be my last piece on EDoF (Extended Depth of Field). Following on from my treatise on why Nokia has gone with EDoF for most phones in 2011, I had the idea of giving the technology an ultimate 'real world' challenge. I took an average standalone camera owner, armed in this case with a Olympus FE-5035 (14 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, cost just under £100) and shot some typical 'normob' scenes with him. Me on the EDoF-equipped E7, he with his dedicated camera (with which he was very familiar). Could Nokia's EDoF hardware get remotely close, in terms of results, to the Olympus?
Recent Features - Symbian 3 - Page 29
Lots of interesting items came out of the various tech conferences that seemed to be in the news last week (including the announcement of Angry Birds Magic), but the one that caught my eye was a Qt-based demo of a service called Poken. Leveraging an NFC-enabled Symbian^3 device, the Poken ecosystem, built around social networking in the real world, has been around for a while, and has now found another route to the mainstream. It’s one that many smaller companies, both in hardware and software, should be paying attention to.
Spanning a massive twelve years of mobile development, and largely for fun, I wanted to pitch an old favourite of mine, the Psion Series 5mx, against the current Nokia E7. With surprisingly similar form factor and use case, the comparison is pretty apt, even if the march of technology is very evident in some areas. And the regress of technology in others...?
Nokia's seemingly massive push behind EDoF ("Full focus") cameras has been a mystery to many onlookers. Though to be fair, the reviewers and users doing the complaining are the very 1% of users who need more than EDoF in a smartphone. And there still seems to be huge confusion over what EDoF is whether it's a showstopping limitation or not. In this feature, I want to summarise the technology and its use cases. Why has Nokia gone all out for EDoF in the face of auto-focus from every other manufacturer?
For the second time, I find myself comparing a flagship device from Nokia's current smartphone OS line up to one (from HTC) that runs an early version of Nokia's 'new' smartphone OS. In this case, it's more than about the OS though, since we have evenly matched form factors with identical aims - and each sports a high spec camera and - wait for it - Xenon flash. Read on for my blow by blow verdict.
If you have a touchscreen Symbian phone then there's a good chance that you've never even tried Nokia Internet Radio, since it was omitted from device firmwares for S60 5th Edition onwards. However, first for these phones and then for Symbian^3, it has appeared in the Ovi Store and is a highly recommended (and completely free) install. But the sheer number of genres and stations (tens of thousand) is overwhelming. I reckon you might need a little help finding your way round.
My trip to SXSW earlier this month illustrates another hard truth that’s important not just for Symbian, but for any mobile platform and application developers looking to make any headway in the socially networked online world. People need to be able to work with their online friends as quickly as possible.
Way back in time, around 2007(!), after he first tried the Apple iPhone, long time Nokia camera-fan James Burland confidently stated that he'd seen the future and that physical keypads and keyboards were a thing of the past. And in the main he was right, as demonstrated by many recent phone designs, as I'll explain below. But there's a holistic aspect to a particular QWERTY form factor that's missing from this analysis, and it helps explain why all of us on the All About Symbian have a bit of a soft spot for the E7 and its predecessors, despite logic, specifications and prevailing popular opinion.
You'll have read my review parts here for the Nokia E7 and here for the N8, of course. But, reading those standalone and viewing the separate sample clips, it's hard to get a feeling for how the two devices capture video relative to each other. What's needed here is one of those fancy split-screen 'live' comparisons - I've had my first go, embedded below, and will be interested in your comments.
[Updated to just a two device head to head, by popular request, with a new summary] Whether the QWERTY-equipped top end models on each mobile platform are indeed 'flagships' in the true sense of the word is debatable, but it's interesting that we now have two such devices, on Android and Symbian, duking it out for essentially the same professional market. After several requests to put the Nokia E7 and HTC Desire Z head to head, both of which I've used quite a bit, I thought I'd do just that.