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.
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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....
Battery technology underpins all of our mobile devices, yet we take it for granted. Matters are made worse for the curious souls who try to find out more because the information available online about Lithium Ion based batteries is vague at best. If you're curious about Lithium Ion batteries and the difference between them and Lithium Polymer, here's our guide on how they work and how they differ.
Herewith a cautionary and hopefully interesting tale. I loved the possibilities of the Nokia N97 form factor, back in the day (2009). Huge swappable battery, FM transmitter, full QWERTY keyboard, transflective screen, camera lens cover, full-face touch, and so on. But the system disk and RAM size were problems, of course. Showstopping problems, as it turned out. So I've been experimenting with custom firmware for the N97 and it turns out that there's a big sting in the tail... followed by a real 'line in the sand' choice that, viewed askance, still ends moderately happily!
It's arguably one of the dirty little areas in the Nokia and Symbian world, something that you'll get burned by if you're not very careful. I've alluded to best practice several times in article comments but it's now time to spell things out loud and clear. I've ranted about the importance of having a replaceable battery before, but where on earth do you get a new battery from? There are so many charlatans wanting to sell you something cheap... here are a few pointers and rules.
It's a fair cop - that's one heck of a provocative headline. More accurately, this feature should be called 'How to use Google services with your Symbian smartphone', but that sounds a hundred times more boring! We all love our Nokia hardware and probably a fair number of great Symbian applications, but the lure of Android and the seamless Google integration becomes stronger and stronger each year. Yet there are things you can do to bring a lot of this Google goodness to Symbian - today.
As I mentioned briefly back in my review (part 2c) of the Nokia 808 PureView, the Camera interface has been completely rewritten - amidst the changes are a wider selection of Scene modes and for the casual user I really do think they bring the best out of the 808's camera hardware, giving access to a massive amount of flexibility with zero danger of messing anything up. Here's my guide to the options available.