Recent Features - Page 47

The best of Nokia's Symbian^1 line-up: picking a 'flagship'

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"So what's the best Symbian touchscreen phone to get these days?" is a question I get asked quite a bit. The person asking is unlikely to be a fellow geek so I can't usually say the Samsung i8910 - and the Sony Ericsson phones are something of a mess in terms of usability. Which leaves good 'ol Nokia, famously plagued by problems producing a really high end S60 5th Edition smartphone (remember that the N8 is still - amazingly - still a month away), but who offer a pretty decent line up of add-ons, from Maps to Ovi Store to Music. After not a lot of thought, I'd whittled Nokia's current line-up down to two...

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Streamlining the upgrade to custom firmwares on the Samsung i8910 HD

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Stuart Clark and Steve Litchfield detail a couple of possible workflows for minimising the downtime when upgrading HX firmwares on the Samsung i8910 HD - nearly everything gets wiped, so it's best to be well prepared. We show you how we do it... Our record is 38 minutes, from spotting an update to finishing re-installing the last core application. No pain, no gain, I know, but at least this way you can be methodical about it!

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Ideal keyboard design in smartphones - looking at Aspect Ratios

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David Gilson has a theory. It concerns correlating the aspect ratio of a smartphone's virtual or physical qwerty keyboard with text entry speed, on the grounds that one's thumbs have more (or less) work to do, depending on form factor. Read on for his data and the theory in detail - and see if you can help produce more data points with your own device(s).

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The sadly flawed Symbian world top-end line-up

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In this feature, I've been taking a long hard look at the top-end smartphones in the Symbian powered world over the last three years, pointing out their flaws and frailties, and - where appropriate - pointing out what should have been done to fix things up. Yes, Symbian has been cracking along at record momentum in the mid-tier, with Nokia trouncing the iPhones, Blackberries and Android phones in terms of raw unit sales, but as many others have pointed out, Symbian's partners have been scoring rather a lot of own goals in recent times. And what of the 2010 Symbian^3 crop - will these suffer a similar fate?

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Never too old for a wedding - a Day in the Life of the Nokia N82

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David Gilson turns blogger in this Day in the Life of the Nokia N82, bought by him for camera duties and becoming his tool of choice for an all day wedding event. Read on for his impressions of this three year old device and its Xenon flash, sample photos and even a battery report - it seems that rumours of the N82's demise have been greatly exagerated...

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Defining the Smartphone - part 2 (testing the definition, head to head)

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As mentioned in part one of my Defining the Smartphone feature from earlier in the week, the very word now encompasses a surprising range of hardware, with some claiming that the older phone-like devices are outdated when compared to the modern capacitive touch slabs and that the former shouldn't even be called smartphones. In this, part two, I attempt to quantify the various attributes of two of the extremes from the smartphone world, I take the latest evolution of Nokia's classic S60 slider form factor, the N86, and pitch it head to head with the current highest rated Android smartphone in the UK, the HTC Desire. Will my own smartphone definition hold water?

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Does Symbian have a service layer gap?

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Spurred on by his reviews of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro and Samsung i8910 HD, David Gilson looks at the huge investment Nokia has made into providing an Ovi service layer - it seems that, whatever Ovi's detractors might say, the absence of this service layer on non-Nokia hardware is desperately noticeable. He also wonders whatever became of Symbian's Horizon project - as good a starting point as any for getting applications out to all Symbian smartphones.

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