Recent Features - Page 22

How to: use T9-style keypad input on Belle Feature Pack 2

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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.

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A real world comparison of offline, data-free maps when heading abroad

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Not quite what you think when I say 'data-free' - we're talking completely data-free, as in not allowing mobile data at all because of prohibitive roaming charges. Specifically guest writer Alan Richey, heading to a driving holiday abroad, trying out a Nokia C7 and Apple iPhone 4, with data disabled on each. Could a third party, free navigation app on the iPhone do a better job than the much-famed Nokia Drive/Maps? Possibly, though it should be borne in mind that the creators of every mobile application usually assume some data use, even if it's only getting the few kilobytes of assisted GPS almanac data. Take away even this and the playing field gets muddied somewhat!

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The Sealed Battery showstopper: Heroes and Villians

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I've commented before at length (and quoted below) on the pros and cons of having sealed batteries in our smartphones, i.e. batteries which can only be removed or changed at your manufacturer's designated service centre. My stated bullet points are all very well, but I've now had direct experience in the last month that strongly leads me to declare having a sealed battery as a showstopper, for me personally, at least. Below is my tale of woe and a handy table of which smartphones are vulnerable to potential disaster in this way.

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Head to head: a week with Nokia 808 PureView and Apple iPhone 5

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A few weeks ago, pre-iPhone 5 availability, I put up a detailed comparison of the flagships from the main four mobile operating systems, based partly on specifications and partly on experience. The iPhone 5 was the former, obviously, but now that I've had a full week of day to day use with the Apple iPhone 5 and with my trusty Nokia 808 by my side as well, now running Belle FP2 officially, I thought a more detailed comparison, with real world observations, might be appropriate. And yes, my informal scoring system tries its best to pick a winner...!

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(Yet another) Reason why NFC isn't taking off as quickly as hoped?

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This is going to sound somewhat trivial, but I was struck today by the reality of NFC (Near Field Communications - what do you mean, you haven't read my NFC primer?) antenna position and how many manufacturers are missing a trick. Nokia got it right for the C7/701 and 700 but got it wrong (in my opinion) for the 808 PureView, while almost every single Android phone maker hasn't even considered the issue. 

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Nokia Drive compared on both Symbian (N8) and Windows Phone (Lumia 800)

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Guest writer Mark Johnson has been deep in real world test territory, trying out the Symbian and Windows Phone versions of Nokia Drive, both in planning, execution and on the road over an identical 110 mile journey. Here's his report. Although the latter version ends up a little less mature than its predecessor, it's worth noting that Nokia Drive and Maps and set for a big overhaul for Windows Phone 8, due out in a month's time. It'll be interesting to see Mark revisit his article in the New Year, perhaps?

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Pitching F2.0, Optical Image Stabilisation and 'faster, brighter' LED flash against Xenon

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Now, there's an element of guesswork in what follows, but I did want to address the issue of camera phone design, specifically the use of PureView 'phase 2' for the new Nokia Lumia 920, using Optical Image Stabilisation, large F2.0 lens and faster, brighter LED flash instead of simply using a proper 'Xenon' flash. Using back of envelope-style calculations, I try to draw some conclusions, though one thought keeps popping up in my head: if I was heading to a party or down the pub, I think I'd get better snaps from my 2007 Nokia N82 than the (late) 2012 Nokia Lumia 920. Controversial, me?

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How to: Pimping the Nokia E6 Communicator

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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....

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Don't Supersize my Smartphone

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Supersizing is the new trend in the mobile world. The adage of 'bigger is better' seems to be the guiding principle in this era of phone design. The Android market has seen larger and larger devices, resulting in the likes of the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Note. Apple isn't immune either; with the release of its iPhone 5, we see the familiar iPhone 4 design stretched to accommodate a four inch screen. The current crop of Windows Phone 8 announcements have all been four inch or greater displays too. Isn't there a need for smaller devices too?

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Li-Ion vs Li-Poly, plus how do Lithium batteries work anyway?

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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.

# Posted by David in Features || Comments

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