From a Symbian enthusiast's point of view, the scare stories over availability of spare parts for repair and the ever-dwindling stock of new hardware across the world are something of a wake up call. Yes, no doubt all of us are still keeping an eye on developments elsewhere in the smartphone world, but until someone else comes up with hardware as good as Nokia's Symbian flagships and with an OS that's as flexible and feature-packed, there's a very valid case for keeping a look out for a 'spare' for your 808 or E7 or E6, or whichever Symbian-powered device you're currently depending on.
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Having done a number of real world photo comparisons between Nokia's new Lumia 1020 and various competitors, including its own 'predecessor', the Nokia 808 on Symbian, I wanted to break down the word 'oversampling' and try to demonstrate what is - and, particularly - what isn't going on inside each of these camera-toting smartphones and their applications. Where do the photo pixels come from and does it matter which application captures them?
I've handled a broad strokes comparison of the two 41 megapixel camera flagships of the smartphone world before, notably here (when I declared them roughly equal in merit though with very different processing pros/cons) and here (as part of a four way test, but with very similar conclusions), but what I wanted to do here was to push them both to the limits in real world low light situations. Would the benefits of Optical Image Stabilisation outweigh that of a larger sensor? Would a BSI sensor compensate for a smaller Xenon flash? Is the hardware oversampling engine from the Nokia 808 missed on the Lumia 1020?
It seems that Tuesday's news of Microsoft buying Nokia's devices arm, lock, stock and barrel, generated something of a storm of comment, mostly on conspiracy lines. But, this being All About Symbian, I wanted to address the question of whether the news will have an direct impact on the Symbian world. Read on for my thoughts.
You know, the more the world centres in on large touch-only smartphones, the more I continue to appreciate the genuinely different hardware we've had in the modern age in the Symbian world. Yes, the OS is effectively now frozen in stone (though, despite yesterday's buy-out news, Accenture will still hopefully be under contract to provide support/patches etc. for another two years at least), but there's really very little in the smartphone world that can compete with the 2011 Nokia E6, with its 'QWERTY candybar' form factor. Here then, for your consideration (and celebration) are five under-appreciated design features, over and above the highlights we've covered before. And perhaps extra reasons why you might like to buy up an E6, even if as a backup smartphone or for your 'collection'(!)
As a regular compiler of smartphone 'top 5's in The Phones Show, I find myself regularly finding myself happiest at least one generation from the current bleeding edge of technology, somewhat oddly. Causing me to stop and muse - what you might not have considered is that there are far more benefits than disadvantages in doing this, not least of all in helping your wallet out a little.
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?
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.