Unless you've (literally) had your head under a rock for the last 3 years, you'll have noticed that 'thin' is 'in' in the phone world. The thinner the better and the lighter the better - the aim seems to be to create a phone that's nearly all screen and never mind its other attributes. Playing devil's advocate, I present five reasons why thinner is not necessarily better.
Recent Features - Symbian 3 - Page 29
With the news that Nokia is closing the door on its Ovi Adventure, reported yesterday here on AAS by Rafe, this is a good time to look at Nokia's marketing message for the rest of the year, into 2012 and beyond. With the Microsoft partnership in the wings, it'll need to make sure that the Nokia message stays in the minds of the consumers. All it needs to do now is work out what that message is - and communicate it effectively.
Why the N8? It's a question I get asked a lot. Not just in the Symbian world, either (i.e. which is my pick of the current devices?), but out of the dozens of current smartphones that I've tested, borrowed or bought, why the heck am I still using the N8, a whopping seven months after I got it? After all, the OS is supposedly 'dead', the interface is 'unintuitive' and the screen on the small side for a 2011 champion phone. The answer, surprisingly, is not just all about the camera....
It's all very well Symbian having typing auto-correction, iPhone-style these days. But many devices are shipping with the defaults set 'off', so that only geeks are benefitting from the correction, which is utterly crazy. In case you, or (more likely) a new user or friend is struggling with typing on their new N8 or C6-01 smartphone, here are the small tweaks you need to point them towards. (The C7, if you were wondering, shipped with the auto-correction correctly activated - and the E7 has the full physical keyboard!)
So I'm at the Eurovision Song Contest... and I know the idea of attending all the rehearsals, parties hosted by each country singing, welcome receptions by the Mayor of Dusseldorf, and generally immersing yourself in one of the biggest live TV shows of the year would strike terror and fear into the hearts and minds of many of you, but bear with me. I want to talk more about using the Nokia N8 at an event like Eurovision.
The new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc has been long awaited by many in the Android community who wanted a challenger to the all-conquering Nokia N8 in the camera department. With its back-illuminated EXMOR R sensor, Sony Ericsson have been claiming extremely good low light performance. So, with the Arc in hand, I decided to put the two head to head for still photos under various conditions.
Nokia Beta Labs produces some of the most creative mobile apps we've seen, but they are called 'Beta' for a reason! Yes, even though we all might like to roll with the latest cutting edge software, the projects on Beta Labs are, by definition, incomplete products. Therefore, things can go wrong. With current Symbian devices, the Qt libraries are the most likely point of failiure. This type of misadventure is exactly what happened to me and my C7 recently. Here's my story, and how I fixed the problem without resorting to the dreaded three finger salute!
You may remember Nokia's rather thought-provoking video promo "Welcome to the Fourth Screen", embedded below? It was part of the launch of N-Gage 2.0 and devices like the N96 and, yes, it's now somewhat dated, in terms of specifics. But the central concept remains inspiring: that with a smartphone in our pocket we can go out into the world, rather than being cooped up in our homes and offices, plugged into broadband and desktop computers. Into the world, with its knocks and shocks, with rain, with extremes of sun and cold. Good thing that my smartphone tools of choice can take it. Here's some evidence...
Following on from comments in this week's Insight podcast, I thought it might be useful to work through some of the most common 'mistakes' beginners make when snapping away with a camera phone. These apply specifically here to Nokia's devices, which tend to have cameras of reasonable (and sometimes excellent) quality, but also more generically to those from other manufacturers to greater or lesser degrees. If you're a beginner with camera phones then read on to see what you can do to improve your casual snaps.
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?