As part of our review coverage of the Nokia Lumia 928 over on All About Windows Phone, I've been testing the phone's camera, with Xenon flash, of course - Nokia's first Xenon-equipped smartphone in a year, since the Symbian-powered 808. With less than a fortnight to go until the unveiling of the 808's equivalent in the Windows Phone world (July 11th, In New York), I was still curious as to how the Xenon flash in the Lumia 928 would match up to that in the 808.
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With updates appearing thick and fast for all mobile OS, the landscape is ever-changing. In this update to my older 'Showstoppers' article, I look at the potential obstacles to moving (in this case from Symbian) to Windows Phone 8 or Android. There's an admittedly personal slant to my long list of possible showstoppers, but as a power user I suspect I'm fairly typical of the breed and that you'll be needing most of these things too. The original piece just looked at moving to Windows Phone, but I've included parallel information about making your destination Android too, in the interests of fairness.
It has been fascinating watching the wider smartphone world - away from the Nokia 808, my smartphone core, we've seen phone screen sizes going up and up, with Sony announcing a smartphone with 6.4" screen in the last 24 hours, the Xperia Z Ultra. There's even been a new word, 'phablet' (phone/tablet hybrid) created - OK, noone likes the term, but until someone comes up with a better alternative... It got me thinking, though - how far would Symbian have gone down this direction if the OS hadn't been sidelined and EOLed back in February 2011? Would we now have a Symbian phablet?
In conversation with Engadget's tnkgrl, I postulated that Nokia had spoiled the Symbian world rotten with the launch of the 808 PureView. As the technology poster girl for the next-gen PureView camera technology, the 808 made it into production through (no doubt) gritted teeth inside parts of Nokia. Unwittingly providing users of the Symbian OS with a massive shot in the arm in terms of hardware to take them through one or two extra years. What if the 808 hadn't made it into production at all? What would we be using right now?
One of the staples in the Symbian world since the days of 'Series 60' has been Epocware's Handy Safe Pro - the original encrypted database of private info, synced happily between multiple Symbian devices and a Windows desktop. Heck, many of us still use it, despite a few availability glitches (cough: E6, Mac desktop), but the way forward when the time comes to move away from Symbian isn't completely clear cut. In this feature, I explore some of the options available, including SBSH's SafeWallet.
I find it absolutely fascinating to reflect that, having owned or reviewed the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the Blackberry Z10 and every other top handset of 2013, and despite recognising that their functions and features win out overall, for many users, my SIM card keeps making its way back into the Nokia 808 PureView. Yes, the great camera is one reason, of course, but I can think of nine others, in direct contravention of the wisdom of the age. Why not see how many of these ring a bell with you...?
Now this should be a really interesting fight. I've compared the Nokia E6 to several QWERTY candybars from the Android world in the past, but it's been a bit of a mismatch in terms of overall quality, in favour of the Symbian device. The Blackberry Q10, on the other hand, is much more cutting edge in terms of specs, is brand new, and is also priced at a premium. As a result, it should present a very serious challenge to the 2011 Symbian-powered E6.
2013 should see, somewhat belatedly, a feature that has been standard on Nokia's Symbian since 2009 (and also on Meego) finally make it onto Windows Phone. Admittedly, there are some technical considerations here, since the feature only works if the devices have an AMOLED screen (most of the Symbian smartphones do/did), but there have also been issues of OS support, I suggest. What I'm talking about is, of course, the 'always on clock', about which I eulogise below, along with gratuitous shots of owls and leaves....
In this feature, guest writer Ow Kah Leong rounds up a year of the Nokia 808 PureView as his principal phone, smartphone, camera and travel companion. While acknowledging areas in which Symbian may have slipped behind, it seems as if the 808's build quality, camera and yes, even, the applications available, have kept it as the top of Ow Kah Leong's tree. Here's his report from Singapore...
In fact, ignore the title, because I've included no less than five top camera-toting smartphones in this group test. In addition to the big three, the Nokia 808 PureView (still reckoned to be champion by most people), the Nokia Lumia 920 (the flagship Windows Phone until tomorrow!) and the Samsung Galaxy S4 (brand new and top-rated), I also wanted to include the 2010 Nokia N8, since its sensor's megapixel count and performance should be a close match for the SGS4, plus last year's Galaxy S III, so we can see how much of a difference Samsung have made in terms of their camera tech. Let the fight rage!