Anyone remember the heady days of late 2010 and early 2011, when a rash of twenty or so 'HD' games appeared for the likes of the Nokia N8? Some great titles, many still listed on my Games Directory, with a few other classics arriving in 2012 and one or two in 2013 (e.g. Tennis in your Face and Undroid). However the release in the last few weeks of the appalling Monsters University tie-in from Gameloft has got me thinking - is Symbian gaming now effectively dead?
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A couple of days ago, I pitted the Nokia 808 against the new Lumia 1020 directly, concluding that the latter's images were more processed but did have the advantage of being more immediately attractive to non-purists. In addition, there was the flexibility of the 'live' photos (of which more in our dedicated AAWP review part). My gut feeling is that these devices from Nokia are some way ahead of the chasing pack, so why not put this to the test?
In advance of the rest of our Nokia Lumia 1020 review coverage, I wanted to deliver an answer to the question that just about all of our readers are asking. Specifically, can the Lumia 1020, with its slightly smaller (though BSI) sensor and image processing differences, deliver images that are as good as those from the existing Symbian-based Nokia 808?
Yes, an All About review series on the Nokia Lumia 1020 is coming in due course, but let me first squeeze in a quick four way imaging comparison, courtesy of sample shots from four relevant camera-centric smartphones from Matt Miller and his extensive Flickr gallery. As ever, I'll save you the trouble of downloading dozens of JPGs and working out which is which - see below for my crops from the Nokia 808 PureView, the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 925 and the HTC One.
Well, isn't this turning into a controversial mini series? Fascinated as I was to see a camera phone champion emerge from the Android world (albeit in something of a Frankenstein form factor), it's been even more fascinating watching the reaction of Nokia 808 fans. What most commenters seem to have forgotten is that I'm possibly the biggest Nokia 808 PureView fan in the world. My tests here remain pointed and objective, though at the end of this, part three of the feature, I do at last allow myself some more subjective opinions and conclusions.
File this under 'retro' or 'backfilling' if you must, but I realised that I'd never actually done a formal roundup of the best cases for the Nokia E6 communicator. Although not a definitive list, the cases reviewed below do represent a fair cross-section of the accessories available. See what you think. The E6 makes a super communications tool or backup smartphone and it's a great idea to protect it from damage, don't you think?
In the second (and main) part of my camera shootout between the established champion of the smartphone world, the Nokia 808 PureView, and the plucky rather odd challenger, the Frankenstein-esque Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, I apply the two devices to a wide range of (ten) test shots, designed largely to exercise varying degrees of 'zoom', looking for general light handling/coloration, and for detail, both as-is and when cropped in. Does the camera/phone hybrid manage to top the Nokia 808 overall? And what caveats need to be applied, either way? I'll be expanding on other aspects of the 'phone or camera' experience in the final part 3 of this feature, next week.
This, at least, will be a camera phone head to head like no other. The Nokia 808 PureView has regularly been ahead (or, infamously, tied) in every shoot-out I've done. But it's up against something that's even odder than itself for the very first time. And I don't mean its successor, the Lumia 1020, which is still a few weeks away, at least. Here I'm about to put the 808 up against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. But I need a few suggestions from you as to exactly how the test should be conducted!
The agony and the ecstasy. Unboxing a mint condition Nokia N95 8GB today, a device from 2007, I was struck by both how familiar it still seems - and, as I started setting it up (i.e. 'pimping' it!), how alien it is at the same time. It struck me that we've come a very, very long way in the Symbian world in just five years (counting up until the Nokia 808's release, the last Symbian launch).... Here are my top 10 observations (/annoyances) of the pain in going back to something of the N95 8GB's generation.
Long time AAS readers will remember a fairly well acclaimed article I did back in 2010, entitled: "There's a bookmark for that!" The idea was to highlight that, even though there weren't necessarily Symbian applications created for every service that iOS and Android boasted, the services were eminently usable with nothing more than a simple bookmark in Web. Consider this piece an update of that original piece, refining the idea and bringing the whole thing up to date. eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, IMDB, Google+, BBC Sport and much more, all now an icon on your homescreen and in your app menu - it's easy to set up, looks good and the concept really does help fill what would otherwise be an ever-widening 'gap' in the Symbian ecosystem.