With light levels going down every day, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, it's perhaps only natural to start experimenting with some of the Nokia 808's and Lumia 920's 'Creative' controls for getting better photos despite the absence of strong light. But what effect does fiddling with 'ISO' have? In part 1 of a two part feature, I look at how ISO adjustment works, with the aid of some extreme low light photos from Siraj Hassan Mohideen....
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We've all thought it at one time or another. Faced with a Symbian smartphone which is coping, but not quite as lightning fast as when we first had it, faced with a system disk (C:) which is edging the wrong side of 50MB free, and feeling guilty for the dozens of freeware and trial applications you installed to try out (and then removed again), the temptation is to think "What would I gain in performance and resources if I were to factory reset and then sync my data back on?". Other valid questions are "Is it more efficient to completely re-lay the firmware rather than simply resetting?". And, most drastically, "if I were to perform (gulp) the emergency hard reset sequence to wipe C: completely, would I lose important modules and be up the proverbial creek without a paddle?" All of which I, hopefully, answer below, along with a healthy caveat or three!
Of course, the very title is somewhat contradictory - if you're a fan of something then why would you switch? But there's a question that's been on all our minds for a year or two now: "Given what we currently do with our Symbian-powered smartphones, if we had to jump mobile platform then which one would suit us best?" Now, there may well be hardware-focussed reasons for buying a phone on another platform (Nokia's cameras spring to mind), but - purely on the strength of the software itself - which of iOS 6, Android 4.1 and Windows Phone 8 is the best fit? In other words, which provides the most improvements and least number of omissions? I focus on ten key areas below.
Ah yes, 'Play via Radio', or 'FM transmitter' as it used to be called. Getting your phone's audio onto your car radio wirelessly. A fabulous utility in a smartphone, as I've waxed lyrical before, albeit a bit troublesome in an urban environment. Which is a slinky link to the mini-tutorial below, in which I share a discovery that sees me happily skipping about between FM frequencies in 'crowded' airwaves, making it much quicker to find a band that's not too congested.
You'll already have seen how I'd been experimenting with battery swapping by putting the N8's BL-4D cell into the Nokia 808 as a spare for the BV-4D that the 808 comes with? I suggested at the time that the reverse might be a good idea, i.e. putting the higher capacity, higher (nominal) voltage BV-4D into the N8, as an ultimate battery upgrade, perhaps replacing an ailing, 2 year old cell with one that has more juice than the original did when new. Here, I show how to do exactly that and report on any stats and caveats I notice along the way.
The complete rewrite of Symbian's input mechanisms for Belle Feature Pack 2 has brought both bouquets and brick-bats from users. The multitouch QWERTY keyboard is undoubtedly a step forwards, though the lack of true auto-correct still rankles (a step backwards). But it's the 'phone keypad' option that has got a lot of people hot under the collar. Let me explain why, let me also explain why they're mostly too harsh and finally let me share a few tips for getting the most out of this input system for the latest version of Symbian/Belle.
Whichever smartphone you're currently rocking or aspiring to, the chances are that there will be a certain amount of extra hardware that you'll find helps you get through the day, enhancing what the phone does and helping it do it for longer. Here, in a somewhat personal, though fairly cross-platform selection, I pick my top dozen smartphone accessories. Don't sneer at the back, I bet you get grabbed by a few of these too....
Getting email and other personal information management (PIM) services running on Symbian has, historically, been a tricky prospect at times. Things have improved in recent years thanks to the proliferation of Mail for Exchange services. This guide goes through how to get Mail for Exchange, which additionally offers contact and calendar sync, from Google, Microsoft, and even Yahoo!
One oddity about the upgrade to Belle FP2 for the Nokia 808, 701 and so on, was that the only keyboard offered seemed to be the QWERTY one. Yes, the latter was much improved, but for many one-handed uses, 'T9'/'Numeric' input can still prove very useful. And, indeed, is still available, if you know where to find the setting. It's in the cellar, down some broken stairs, with no light, in a toilet with a sign saying 'Beware of the leopard'... oh, ok, that's from HHGTTG. The setting you need is actually in the Settings hierarchy, as shown below.
Yes, yes, I just used the 'C' word to describe the Nokia E6... In the latest in my 'pimping' series, here's how to get the very most from Nokia's only qwerty candybar of the modern Symbian generation, the quirky but rather unique Nokia E6. From full-screen browser to homescreen widgets to fonts and applications, now that it's running 'Belle Refresh', here's my summary of making the most of the form factor....