So I'm at the Eurovision Song Contest... and I know the idea of attending all the rehearsals, parties hosted by each country singing, welcome receptions by the Mayor of Dusseldorf, and generally immersing yourself in one of the biggest live TV shows of the year would strike terror and fear into the hearts and minds of many of you, but bear with me. I want to talk more about using the Nokia N8 at an event like Eurovision.
Recent Features - Page 33
The new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc has been long awaited by many in the Android community who wanted a challenger to the all-conquering Nokia N8 in the camera department. With its back-illuminated EXMOR R sensor, Sony Ericsson have been claiming extremely good low light performance. So, with the Arc in hand, I decided to put the two head to head for still photos under various conditions.
Nokia Beta Labs produces some of the most creative mobile apps we've seen, but they are called 'Beta' for a reason! Yes, even though we all might like to roll with the latest cutting edge software, the projects on Beta Labs are, by definition, incomplete products. Therefore, things can go wrong. With current Symbian devices, the Qt libraries are the most likely point of failiure. This type of misadventure is exactly what happened to me and my C7 recently. Here's my story, and how I fixed the problem without resorting to the dreaded three finger salute!
You may remember Nokia's rather thought-provoking video promo "Welcome to the Fourth Screen", embedded below? It was part of the launch of N-Gage 2.0 and devices like the N96 and, yes, it's now somewhat dated, in terms of specifics. But the central concept remains inspiring: that with a smartphone in our pocket we can go out into the world, rather than being cooped up in our homes and offices, plugged into broadband and desktop computers. Into the world, with its knocks and shocks, with rain, with extremes of sun and cold. Good thing that my smartphone tools of choice can take it. Here's some evidence...
Following on from comments in this week's Insight podcast, I thought it might be useful to work through some of the most common 'mistakes' beginners make when snapping away with a camera phone. These apply specifically here to Nokia's devices, which tend to have cameras of reasonable (and sometimes excellent) quality, but also more generically to those from other manufacturers to greater or lesser degrees. If you're a beginner with camera phones then read on to see what you can do to improve your casual snaps.
OK, I promise this will be my last piece on EDoF (Extended Depth of Field). Following on from my treatise on why Nokia has gone with EDoF for most phones in 2011, I had the idea of giving the technology an ultimate 'real world' challenge. I took an average standalone camera owner, armed in this case with a Olympus FE-5035 (14 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, cost just under £100) and shot some typical 'normob' scenes with him. Me on the EDoF-equipped E7, he with his dedicated camera (with which he was very familiar). Could Nokia's EDoF hardware get remotely close, in terms of results, to the Olympus?
You'll recall that last year I wrote about 'pimping' the Nokia E55 (and E52), in terms of the software needed to bring them up to 2011 standards? Quite a bit of this feature is also relevant to their qwerty candbar cousin, the E72, but I thought that, in the light of my recent hardware pimping of the editorial E72, it would be handy to bring the feature right up to date and to explicitly talk about what works and what doesn't work on the landscape screen and different form factor.
Lots of interesting items came out of the various tech conferences that seemed to be in the news last week (including the announcement of Angry Birds Magic), but the one that caught my eye was a Qt-based demo of a service called Poken. Leveraging an NFC-enabled Symbian^3 device, the Poken ecosystem, built around social networking in the real world, has been around for a while, and has now found another route to the mainstream. It’s one that many smaller companies, both in hardware and software, should be paying attention to.
How do you compare mobile phones? Are you being as efficient as you could be? Are other factors distracting you to follow the crowd or to not recognise what you genuinely use your phone for? It’s important to remember that the smartphone is a personal device, surely that that means how you use your phone in real life is the most important criteria?
Spanning a massive twelve years of mobile development, and largely for fun, I wanted to pitch an old favourite of mine, the Psion Series 5mx, against the current Nokia E7. With surprisingly similar form factor and use case, the comparison is pretty apt, even if the march of technology is very evident in some areas. And the regress of technology in others...?