Throughout the history of PDAs and smartphones (so we're talking 20 years), one particular design battle has been raging, seemingly without a victor. From which you have to conclude that the battle is quite evenly matched. Yet I disagree, arguing that, from the user's point of view, there's a very definite winner, while manufacturers have a different preference and slant on this particular aspect of design.
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As part of recording Phones Show Chat 180, I took the chance of meeting up with three other longtime smartphone users, spending a happy evening chatting about all things tech. Although I did note a certain self-selecting bias amongst our choice of hardware, the discrepancy between our own 'picks' and the current sales charts/marketshare did take even me by surprise. Is there a point to be made below? Perhaps that Nokia really was crazy to phase out Symbian and Meego quite so hastily? Perhaps that these platforms remain interesting and challenging, perhaps more so now then ever?
You may recall seeing some pointed comments by me in the recent mini-review of Checkers Deluxe, with a load of opportunities in the game to tap a button to fire off premium SMS to buy such and such a function? The overuse of this mechanism has in fact inspired me to put finger to keyboard in full 'rant' mode. This is all with a Symbian perspective, though elements of my complaints will of course apply to other mobile platforms.
With a flurry of updates for the Symbian Belle FP2 platform recently and even some for the Symbian Belle Refresh generation, Nokia's (ok, mainly Accenture's) remaining Symbian programmers are on something of a roll. Who'd have thought that we'd still be getting new features a full year after the last Symbian phone's announcement? And implemented in exactly the most accessible way too. By the way, yes, I'm going back to putting the Symbian name in front of "Belle' again, now that there's no Nokia marketing team who might get offended(!)
With the arrival of the HTC One for Phones Show review, and with its imaging pretensions ("ultrapixels"!), what better opportunity than to put it up against the best camera-toting smartphones on both Symbian and Windows Phone? In the shape of the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 920. Oh yes, and, by popular request, I introduce an imposter from 2007 to the competition, the Nokia N95 classic, the world's first smartphone with a decent camera (and sensor size and megapixel quotient that's still comparable). How will that fare against the class of 2012 and 2013?
PocketNow seems to be the first major web site to get both a Nokia Lumia 920 and a HTC One (both with optical image stabilisation and imaging pretensions) in the same place at the same time and take some meaningful low light photo examples. We have our own HTC One (running Android, you may remember) arriving tomorrow, so do watch this space for more detailed comparisons in due course, including against the Nokia 808 PureView. In the meantime, here's my analysis of three of the example photos, chosen for the ease of comparing detail...
You'll remember the 'Scroll and Select' days of S60, hopefully. Smartphones driven by a navigational d-pad with central 'OK' button. Now look in your hand to see Symbian in Belle Refresh or Belle FP2 form and there's very little similarity. How did we get from one to the other and could things have happened differently? I say yes.
It has to be said that the very fact that you're reading this site means that you're a bit of a phone geek. But exactly how much? Is your life well balanced or are you a true blue mobile fanatic? Not that I could pass judgement, you understand, I already stand condemned(!) as an über-geek! However, with my light hearted and handy quiz below, you can establish your smartphone geek credentials once and for all...
You may have seen my recent stills shootout between the elderly Nokia N8 and the new Sony Xperia Z? What I hinted at in that text was that I took the same shots with the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 920 as well, i.e. the best and fastest of Symbian with the generally-considered Windows Phone flagship. This being a camera result comparison, I'm expecting the Nokia 808 to win, of course, it's far more camera-centric than the other two and has a relatively huge sensor (plus proper flash), but I'm interested in the margin of victory and also as to how the best camera phone on Windows Phone matches up to (more or less) the best on Android, given that the sensor sizes are the same. Read on!
'Nokia N8 day' continues here on AAS with a camera shootout. Released in 2010, the Nokia N8 wasn't the first 12 megapixel/Xenon-flash camera-toting smartphone (the Sony Ericsson Satio would contend that honour), but it was the best and by far the biggest selling. And the N8 is still loved and used by millions, even today, getting on for 3 years later. The competition are claiming to have caught up with Nokia though - Sony's latest smartphone flagship is the Xperia Z, seen here, with 13 megapixel next-gen Exmor RS sensor. How does it compare to the camera in Nokia's 2010 masterpiece?