Recent Features - Page 22

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.

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Flagship head to head: Nokia 808 vs iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

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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.

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Why I'd take an Nokia 808 PureView over an Apple iPhone 5: two flagships compared

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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)....

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Drawing a line in the sand: N97 owners can have useable firmware or Qt - but not both!

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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!

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The Branding issue: was Symbian always doomed?

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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.

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Symbian versus Android, Smartphone vs 'Smartphone'

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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.

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How to: Buy a replacement battery

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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.

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