The current wave of all-singing, all dancing capacitive touchscreen Symbian phones have their attractions, surely. But we shouldn't write off some of the classic S60 3rd Edition FP2 phones, some of which still have world beating characteristics and, with a little tweaking here and there, make a smartphone to be reckoned with. As evidence of this, here's the latest in my 'Pimping' series of tutorials: Pimping the Nokia E55. As you might expect, virtually all of this also applies to its sister device, the E52.
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A smartphone with a dead battery isn't very smart, I think we'd all agree. Constantly overlooked by many of the world's smartphone manufacturers, battery capacity and the efficiency with which it is used is often shoved to the back of the priority pile, behind exciting bullet points like 1GHz processors and 4.3" screens. In this feature, I quote an old rant and embellish the point, before launching into a passionate plea to the guys behind Nokia Social Networking - and then, for fun, I list my top 5 battery champions of the Symbian smartphone world in the last 10 years.
While “global” apps, such as Foursquare app and games such as Hero of Sparta HD, grab the headlines, local apps and services play a significant role in Nokia’s future. The new local app focus was revealed at Nokia World in September. Last week I got the opportunity to see how it’s starting to play out at the grass roots, in the form of the inaugural Forum Nokia developer breakfast in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Nokia N8 and C7 have arrived with a flurry of new games to Symbian in the Ovi Store. Is this going to lead to a resurgence of gaming on our smartphones, or will it go the way of the N-Gage QD (i.e. nice hardware that the public never really accepted)? Ewan stops playing the games for a while to explain why the future, in his eyes, looks better than ever for mobile gaming.
Nokia World 2010 played host to a number of mini exhibitions, including the inspiring and fun hacking competition, Nokia Push, which now includes the N8 alongside the N900. As well as ingenious and geeky N900 hacks, kite and skateboard mountings for both the N900 and N8 were on display. The latter were built to be given out to film makers so that they could use these Nokia handsets to obtain otherwise unobtainable camera angles. Read on for photos and more information.
I've written before about most people only needing a handful of really good applications on their smartphone, but I've also cheerfully acknowledged that it's good to have a reasonable choice as well. Having watched Nokia's Download! get neglected and then Apple's iPhone App Store grow, with Nokia's new Ovi Store also now reasonable mature, it occurs to me that the latter is now at something of an optimal size and growth rate. Which is all the more reason why Nokia need to pay attention to some of the other expectations and gripes from their Ovi Store users...
Alongside Steve and Rafe’s clinical and extensive review of the Nokia N8 (see parts #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5) I’ve been looking at the N8 in the real world – or as much as I can replicate while filming. How will the latest handset cope when asked the sort of questions the man in the street would ask? It’s time for a real world video review of the Nokia N8.
Last week Nokia announced a focus on Qt as its sole developer framework across both MeeGo and Symbian and that Symbian would move to a continuous improvement model, with Nokia building future applications and user interface in Qt. Developers were promised that there would be no binary compatibility break and consumers were told that many future improvements would be compatible with, and available for, existing Symbian^3 devices. In this feature article we look at some of the technical details, which explain how some of this will work.
Somewhere the gods are looking down and laughing. You might recall a piece I wrote previously on how networks need to take care what they add to a handset – what could easily be considered a “value-add differentiator package” by head office could be seen as crapware by the end user. Steve and Rafe have handled the native hardware and software of the generic 'world' N8 package – now it’s time to look at what the UK retail variant of the N8 has had added to it.
You'll remember from three months ago that I explored, in some depth, peoples' various definitions of what makes a phone a 'smartphone'. I also tested some of these with a concrete example. Musing on the apparent huge divide between the excellent and dismissive reviews of the Nokia N8, it hit me that one of the original tenets of smartphone-ness is utterly personified in the N8 and yet almost totally ignored by tech-mainstream reviewers. They are indeed working to a totally different definition of the word - and this split in meaning for this now oh-so-common word threatens to not only confuse the casual reader but also split the smartphone world apart. Can't we bring the best of each world together and give peace a chance?