All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 31-08-2009, 07:14 PM
bowman bowman is offline
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Nokia admits lens scratching & gps issues on N97

Hey all. Just spotted this on another symbian forum.

http://www.iltalehti.fi/digi/2009083010154551_du.shtml

It's in Finnish but the google translation reads as follows:

Nokia finally admits N97 has a structural defect

Evening Gazette received confirmation of Nokia's flagship phone problems.

Last week, the Evening Gazette reported the Nokia N97 model in relation to defects in the camera lens scratching. At that time, Nokia did not comment on the matter in any way. Now Nokia's fixed communications from defects in leaf. - It has come a number of cases in which the camera lens is scratched, for example, because of hiekanmurujen. We regret that this has occurred. In these cases, the user can contact Nokia customer service. - In some cases, the camera lens is mounted too close to the lens protective glass. In this case, the lens is inserted between the glass and too little room, for example, sand can cause scratches, multiplied by Nokia. When there were problems of communication advising the user to wipe the lens with a soft cloth. - If that does not work or if the problem persists, the phone can be exported for repair. There, the lens is exchanged and ensures that the lens and the space between the protective glass is sufficient. According to Nokia phone warranty covers defects. The number of faulty phones Nokia does not disclose detailed information. - This is not to know extent of the problem. We do not know how many countries, such problems have occurred.

Disruptions in the GPS navigation

IL-Digin readers have reported on the N97's GPS receiver problems. Feedback have been told that the phone loses the GPS signal several times and has been, in some cases, unusable. One reader writes of a case where the N97 lost the signal several times in the Turku motorway and fell to a new route to ten times within a short distance. Nokia for vetäneensä quietly Maps 3 software downloadable software from the list of observed problems. - Nokia Maps 3.0-door version of the touch screen devices have been temporarily withdrawn from the Nokia Software Update, and http://www.nokia.com/maps page, as it made adjustments to improve the navigation experience. - We do not do so unless the software had problems, communication will continue.

By: PAULI REINIKAINEN
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  #2  
Old 31-08-2009, 07:17 PM
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It's discussed at http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopi...t=40228&sid=39

I've joined, commented & linked to the petition... which now has 642 signatures btw...
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  #3  
Old 31-08-2009, 07:21 PM
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That's kind of good news in a way, well done to you and your campaigning, hope you manage to get your N97 sorted.
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  #4  
Old 31-08-2009, 07:56 PM
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Yes, partial good news in that they admit they have problems.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like they have any proper solutions at this time! The lens cover answer is the usual - "take it to Nokia care" - and the GPS issue is linked with Maps 3, which seems doubtful since other apps using the GPS (like Google Maps) experience the same problems on the N97.

Nokia world is only a day away... let's hope they have something better before we all start returning our handset en masse.

  #5  
Old 31-08-2009, 08:18 PM
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i guess it's possible that maps 3 could contain an updated driver for the n97 gps hardware that has a bug in it...

presumably, other software providers may not have access to something at as low a level as nokia might... so if the maps update screws the driver, the api available to other apps might be busted too...
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  #6  
Old 31-08-2009, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecozens View Post
i guess it's possible that maps 3 could contain an updated driver for the n97 gps hardware that has a bug in it...

presumably, other software providers may not have access to something at as low a level as nokia might... so if the maps update screws the driver, the api available to other apps might be busted too...
It's possible I guess, but how would you explain the fact that some N97 users have no problems with Maps 3 (unless Nokia have been really silly and shipped different GPS hardware in some devices)?

  #7  
Old 31-08-2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celios View Post
It's possible I guess, but how would you explain the fact that some N97 users have no problems with Maps 3 (unless Nokia have been really silly and shipped different GPS hardware in some devices)?
Maybe it's purely a firmware thing. When my N95 was my primary phone, I wasn't getting a fast lock on my GPS until I upgraded to v30, at which point it was lightning fast! Some people who had v20 and even v12 weren't experiencing the same problems.

My GPS has been perfectly fine on my N97 yet some others are having difficulty with theirs. Maybe v20 firmware (or higher) will fix this issue.
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  #8  
Old 31-08-2009, 09:10 PM
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that's a good point mind. if it's affecting arbitary firmware versions and not all instances of that version then it's probably hardware...

or clashing within something else installed on the phone....
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Old 31-08-2009, 10:52 PM
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I've not looked at the schematics etc for the n97 in detail, but what you say dave is possible (something else could be having an effect).

I'm dredging this info from the recesses of my mind, but I'm pretty sure it's roughly right:

The reason symbian nokias (n series) suddenly got wifi aswell as 3g, FM etc etc - all these different radios - was when the OS kernel became realtime with enough accuracy in timing to act as a software radio (wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio) - where basically you have generic receiving hardware, the appropriate antennae, and then the software handles the filtering and decoding of the signal. So you need less chips/components in the device, just better software. But if the software has bugs, you can reduce the effectiveness of your radios, or introduce errors. And better software filters can improve performance. It's not outwith the realms of possibility that the radio software is tuned to the particular RF characteristics of the different devices and antenna, so firmware improvements could indeed improve GPS reception.

Anyway, that's probably over techy for most, and possibly even plain wrong, I don't have time to re-check that I am right in thinking they use software radios etc.

  #10  
Old 31-08-2009, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_accidental View Post
I've not looked at the schematics etc for the n97 in detail, but what you say dave is possible (something else could be having an effect).

I'm dredging this info from the recesses of my mind, but I'm pretty sure it's roughly right:

The reason symbian nokias (n series) suddenly got wifi aswell as 3g, FM etc etc - all these different radios - was when the OS kernel became realtime with enough accuracy in timing to act as a software radio (wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio) - where basically you have generic receiving hardware, the appropriate antennae, and then the software handles the filtering and decoding of the signal. So you need less chips/components in the device, just better software. But if the software has bugs, you can reduce the effectiveness of your radios, or introduce errors. And better software filters can improve performance. It's not outwith the realms of possibility that the radio software is tuned to the particular RF characteristics of the different devices and antenna, so firmware improvements could indeed improve GPS reception.

Anyway, that's probably over techy for most, and possibly even plain wrong, I don't have time to re-check that I am right in thinking they use software radios etc.
Makes sense to me, especially for a mobile device where size is an important factor. Hardware can be huge, but these days we can fit up to 32Gb of data on a memory card the size of a thumbnail, so software (physical size-wise) could be a better choice.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2009, 05:40 AM
ltomovski ltomovski is offline
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First of all it's not only ovi Maps 3 .. (the problem is seen with 3rd party apps like Garmin Mobile XT , Gmaps etc) but most important it is seen on Applications - Location - GPS Data
An embedded app that shows the Position showing coordinates and satelite status
2. N95 Did not had that issue .. up until v20 the lock was slow coz there was no AGPS functionality .. at v20 This was introduced and the locking become faster .. the problem with N97 as I see it (and it is proven by GPS fix when adding antena) is the poor signal .. I got the lock .. but is very weak .. and when a little interfierence appears the unit loses signal = wrong coordinates = jumping over the map .. from one street to another ...
So I am a sceptic that the GPS issue can be fixed via Firmware update ..
and still think this is a design/factory fault ..
So I am waiting till Nokia World too see if there will be some comments about the faulty GPS and self scrathing camera lens .. and probably will return my phone for repair/exchange it for a new one that does not have theese issues

Last edited by ltomovski; 01-09-2009 at 05:43 AM. Reason: add text

  #12  
Old 01-09-2009, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltomovski View Post
2. N95 Did not had that issue .. up until v20 the lock was slow coz there was no AGPS functionality .. at v20 This was introduced and the locking become faster .. the problem with N97 as I see it (and it is proven by GPS fix when adding antena) is the poor signal .. I got the lock .. but is very weak .. and when a little interfierence appears the unit loses signal = wrong coordinates = jumping over the map .. from one street to another ...
Yes A-GPS was introduced in v20 but as I wrote previously, mine wouldn't work properly until I got v30 and some people weren't reporting a problem even on early firmware like v12.

So... the N95 did, in fact, have that issue. I should know. I had one.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_accidental View Post
I've not looked at the schematics etc for the n97 in detail, but what you say dave is possible (something else could be having an effect).

I'm dredging this info from the recesses of my mind, but I'm pretty sure it's roughly right:

The reason symbian nokias (n series) suddenly got wifi aswell as 3g, FM etc etc - all these different radios - was when the OS kernel became realtime with enough accuracy in timing to act as a software radio (wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio) - where basically you have generic receiving hardware, the appropriate antennae, and then the software handles the filtering and decoding of the signal. So you need less chips/components in the device, just better software. But if the software has bugs, you can reduce the effectiveness of your radios, or introduce errors. And better software filters can improve performance. It's not outwith the realms of possibility that the radio software is tuned to the particular RF characteristics of the different devices and antenna, so firmware improvements could indeed improve GPS reception.

Anyway, that's probably over techy for most, and possibly even plain wrong, I don't have time to re-check that I am right in thinking they use software radios etc.
If it was firmware related, why would people on the same firmware (and product code) have different experiences?

Very interesting about the radios BTW. Although GPS is a radio signal, it needs a different aerial I think. My guess is that the design of the aerial in the N97 is (like the lens cover) too sensitive to manufacturing defects (that Nokia did then not detect).

Strike two Nokia!

Last edited by celios; 01-09-2009 at 08:58 AM.

  #14  
Old 01-09-2009, 10:15 AM
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Just fired off the following (excerpted) email to Nokia press office: -
...
There has been an article published in Finnish at
http://www.iltalehti.fi/digi/2009083010154551_du.shtml regarding known
issues with the N97.

The context of the article suggests that Nokia corporately agree that there
are generic hardware issues relating to the N97 GPS Receiver and the N97
Sliding Lens Cover that have affected an undisclosed number of N97 devices.
The article also states that affected devices will be repaired under
warranty as required.

At this time, do Nokia have any further comment to make regarding a long
term solution to these ongoing issues - since currently (for example)
replacing the lens cover on the N97 via a Nokia Care Point is a short term
solution only - the lens cover soon causes fresh scratches on affected
devices.

A petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/N97lens/petition.html has
gathered nearly 700 signatures in a 2 week period so this issue is
certainly not affecting low numbers of devices - as a low percentage of N97
users will even be aware of the petition in question. And of course,
financially, 700 N97 owners equates to somewhere in the region of £350,000
retail value.

Please advise...
I'll let you know if I get any response...
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2009, 10:36 AM
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Re: the GPS issue (which I haven't experienced yet), I notice this morning that Maps 3.1 is now showing as available via the N87 SW Update app.
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