OK, there's a slight element of interpolation in this head to head in that one of the devices (the Lumia 920) isn't publicly available yet, but the press has had hands-on time, at least. In any case, with the iPhone 5 now available across the world, it's the perfect time to produce a full head-to-head, trying to assess areas of each smartphone, with one flagship from each of the four major mobile operating systems, which win out.
Recent Features - Page 22
Looking at the Nokia 808 PureView in my hand and writing up a big multi-platform comparison piece for next week, it struck me that the look and dimensions (camera hump aside) of the 808 and iPhone 5's hardware aren't that far apart, in comparison to the jump to the 4.8"-screened Android flagships. In this feature, I look at what the 808 and iPhone 5 have in common, provide an honest appraisal of how they differ and explain why, against conventional High Street wisdom, I'd pick the 808 over the iPhone 5 even if prices were identical (they're not - the Apple phone is quite a bit more expensive)....
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!
I've been over Nokia's greatest mistakes before, but there's another elephant in the room that needs addressing. It was a hot topic of debate back in the early days of Symbian and the ramifications of what was decided then worked themselves out in the following twelve or so years. Branding. I contend that Symbian as an OS has always been fighting a massive rearguard action - if the name itself had been allowed as much prominence as Android and iOS and Windows Phone have now, I suspect that Symbian's trajectory might have risen a lot higher and extended further.
I didn't have to think too hard about how to apostrophise the headline - after all, Nokia was using the term smartphone for its Symbian-powered devices a full five years before Apple and Android came along and the American tech press decided that the word needed reimagining. However, both approaches - which I've commented on before - are valid, and I thought it worth assessing where we've got to as we head towards the end of 2012. Was Nokia's definition right all along? Or is a modern 'smartphone' much smarter after all? I look at the two ultimate exponents of the two definitions, the Nokia 808 PureView and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
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.
Walking almost hand in hand with the age of Symbian (roughly 2000 to 2012), the term 'Nokia Communicator' is still a term that commands a degree of respect from many tech fans. But what did Nokia mean by this, which devices down the years have deserved the term, which was the last of the breed, and is the 'Communicator' now dead in the water?
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.
Yes, the Nokia 808 is undoubtedly the most powerful and feature-packed Symbian handset ever created, I'm not disputing that and I love mine to bits. And, in a straight fight, the 808 tops its predecessor under most criteria. Yet I also wanted to acknowledge that the N8 also has a place, even in the modern smartphone world of 2012, that it offers ten things that the 808 does not, and that the typical '808 vs N8' comparison is not all one way traffic...