Recent Features - How To - Page 8

Shock: Why 4G and 3.5G are completely irrelevant 99% of the time

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Well, in contravention of my headline, actually these data technologies and speed aren't totally irrelevant. But they are most of the time, as I'll explain below. In fact, the whole concept of needing ultrafast mobile data all the time is horribly flawed, but it turns out that such data is, at least in part, a kludge solution to something our intelligent smartphones are supposed to be doing for us all the time, when we're not actively using them...

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Fastest and newest Symbian - Belle FP2, in use for real in 2013

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We're well into 2013 now and I'm hearing anecdotes from round the world about how few Symbian-powered phones people are seeing on the streets. Regardless of where the estimated 100 million+ current users actually are, I still find my main SIM in the Nokia 808 and I know there are many other happy(ish) Symbian users still reading this site. Which brings me to how practical it is to use a Symbian device (let's go with Belle Feature Pack 2 phones like the Nokia 701 and 808, since they're the newest and fastest) in 2013, surrounded by 5"-screened, quad core Android monsters. Here, at least, is a slice of how I get by. Your comments welcome!

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The eternal battle between style and protection

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Forgive me for going all generic and chatty and, for once, abandoning technical details and platform specifics. For this topic is applicable to all phone of all prices and OS persuasions. Well, maybe not all prices, as you'll see. I'm, quite simply, intrigued by the eternal battle between style and protection. Let me explain...

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Speed testing: Symbian web browsers - is there a winner?

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It's often said how slow web browsing is on the Symbian platform, thanks mainly to under-investment from Nokia in keeping up with optimisations in javascript handling. But with new versions of Opera Mini and UC Browser in particular, and all tested on the speedy Nokia 808, I thought it appropriate to pitch the various browsing solutions on Symbian head to head - is there a clear winner in terms of speed? How's the health of web browsing on our platform?

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The N95 helps out a poorly 808 PureView(!)

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Look away if you have a nervous disposition(!) but below is a heart warming tale of how an ageing Nokia N95 classic came to the rescue of my ailing Nokia 808 PureView - and an observation that the N95's audio output could have been of even higher quality - but it was compromised by the need to fit such large speakers into the N95 slider form factor....

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Ten common objections to using Symbian - and my answers!

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It's all very well trying to defend your choice of a Symbian-powered handset to your friends and family in 2013 - and I'm sure you have your own arguments. But, in case you'd like a URL to point them to as well, here are the top 10 common objections to using Symbian - and my answers! This is no rah-rah fanboy piece, note - I've tried to be competely honest in my appraisal, as you'll see from the conclusion...

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Anatomy of a great photo

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I've published several 'how to' pieces in the past dishing out general smartphone photography tips, but for this 'how to' I wanted to take the example of a single great photo and put you inside my mind as I prepared for it and captured the moment. Hopefully some of the things I cover will help you take your own great photos, whatever smartphone  you own (the example here was captured on the Nokia Lumia 920, but there are several other phones with great photographic hardware).

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All was quiet on Christmas morn... then a FLASH OF LIGHT!

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Picture the scene.... The snow falls gently, settling around the cars and houses.... The fire is lit and the living room is nicely warm. Your nearest and dearest are gathered round, talking and giving presents and enjoying the day. Kids are playing, excitedly. When all of a sudden... FLASH! A sheet of white light, illuminating the whole room. Not, as it turns out, accompanied by angels singing, for this isn't a divine event but a clued up geek using his smartphone with Xenon flash. Yes, it's that time of the year again, a true Christmas tradition. It's time for Steve's Xenon rant. And with more impetus than ever this year, now that standalone cameras have been all but eliminated from homes across the world.

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Investigating the text input wars - which is fastest of all?

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You can't move in our corners of the Internet without some debate springing up about which is best: hardware keys, virtual keys, T9 or Swype. It's almost a religious thing, with devotees of one solution or another. So I thought I'd devote a little effort to a data point for each system, in my hands at least. Yes, personal preference will play a huge part in the solution you end up with. But which, from a statistical point of view, is fastest at the end of the day?

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