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AAS Insight 134 - Nokia E5, Swype, Ovi, Samsung

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In All About Symbian Insight 134, we start with news of new, community created Samsung i8910 firmware, which leads to a discussion of Samsung's mobile platform choices. Rafe discusses the Ovi Files closure and talks about how the thinking behind Nokia's Ovi service strategy has evolved. David shares his PixelPipe Send and Share experiences, before bringing news of UK operator Orange's HD Voice service. Ewan talks about Swype, an alternative text input entry system, which is now available in beta. Finally, Steve gives his first opinion on the Nokia E5.

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Review: Nokia E5

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Nokia's mission for the forward-facing, messaging-centric QWERTY market (think Blackberry)? Take the best selling E71/E63/E72 concept, interpret it in 2010 design language, beef up the internals and try to sell it for as low a price as possible while making as few compromises as possible. The result of that tricky challenge is the E5, announced way back in April but, surprisingly, not available until now. Here's my full Nokia E5 review - grab a hot drink and settle down for a (hopefully) good read!

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Sports Tracker out and about around Edinburgh

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Steve has already taken an in-depth look at Polar Bit / Sports Tracker combination (see his review here), but now I’ve got my hands on the Bluetooth heart rate monitor so it can talk to my X6, it’s time for my opinions. But if you want the short answer, the Sports Tracker eco-system is growing and I’m loving every step they’ve taken. Read on...

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Nokia E5 Gallery

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To kick-off our coverage of Nokia's new budget QWERTY slate smartphone, the Nokia E5-00, we have our usual gallery, with commentary, showing off some of the key hardware features. In summary? The E5 has rock solid build quality, good design and a decent hardware specification, but there's are some budget-linked constraints to note. All-in-all though, it is an attractive entry into the mid tier smartphone market. 

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Charging hassle a real barrier to 'normobs'

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Having been a smartphone owner for longer than most, I suspect, as an All About Symbian reader, you'll be very used to the daily routines of charging and power management. Even with some of Nokia's S60 devices (think 6650, E71, E52, E55, E72) running happily for several days at a time on a charge, the reality is that (especially when talking about large screened touch-driven devices) most of us need to charge every night. Or suffer the consequences. Acceptable for us, this requirement is something of a deal breaker for many 'normobs', those for whom mobile technology is merely a tool and not something they're prepared to nurse maid through the week....

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How I tried to destroy my Nokia N97 - and how it almost came good in the end

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Heading out into the wilds of Devon a week ago, for my annual vacation, I wanted to try the smartphone equivalent of going 'commando' - travelling light, one device only, one SIM only, one chance to get it right for all my phone, communication and entertainment needs. No laptop, no iPad, just the smartphone. I had the choice of over 40 devices - and I ended up going with the much-maligned Nokia N97. Here's why the N97 is still almost good enough in its twilight years/months - and here's how it performed when put to the extremes of outdoor use. I wasn't trying to destroy it, per se, but it certainly survived some abuse. I'd trail the end of the tale here... but you can probably guess!

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Mobile web use now both function rich and looking to compete with the desktop

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One of the more interesting numbers I came across this weekend was in regards to the use of Facebook. With over 500 million members, some 30% of them are accessing the site through a mobile device. Which means that 150 million people are not using the desktop web interface for the social network site. How long until the majority of users around the world are from mobile handsets?

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AAS Insight 133 - Nokia 5250, 3D Lab, Ovi Music

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In All About Symbian Insight 133, we start with news of the Nokia 5250, Nokia's cheapest ever smartphone, following which, Steve shares some more detail from his recent reviews of Let's Golf and Mommax's Mains Battery Charger. Rafe talks about Nokia and Intel's new joint laboratory for 3D mobile user experiences. Finally Ewan gives us his commentary on the the re-branding of Nokia Music to Ovi Music. You can listen to AAS Insight 133 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.

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Application auto-update the way to go - as part of a two-pronged strategy?

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Applications are rarely completely static. Anything with a decent amount of functionality is bound to have either flaws - which then hopefully get fixed - or  planned improvements. The big question is how to best to get these new versions out to users. In this news editorial, I look at how application updates work for the three big smartphone platforms of the moment, Symbian, iPhone and Android. What can those in the Symbian world learn or implement?

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Nokia and Intel open joint lab for 3D mobile UX research

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Yesterday Nokia and Intel announced the establishment of a joint research centre, based at the University of Oulu (Finland). The lab, which will have around two dozen researchers, will focus on mobile user experiences, with a particular emphasis on 3D experiences and technology. Likely research areas include 3D virtual worlds, 3D user interfaces and immersive gaming. 

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AAS Insight 132 - Foursquare, V Festival, SugarSync

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In All About Symbian Insight 132, we start with a quick reminder that mobile data coverage is not universal, especially in rural areas. Rafe shares news of the V Festival application and the availability of the SugarSync client for Symbian. Ewan brings news of a new Foursquare client for Symbian, which leads to a broader discussion of location check-in services, Facebook Places and location availability. In the latter half of the podcast, David shares some final thoughts on the Nokia C6 and highlights the importance of battery life. You can listen to AAS Insight 132 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.

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Review: Let's Golf

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Another calendar quarter, another golf game, another chance for Steve to wallow in handheld golf nostalgia? Or maybe not, this time - let's keep this one a straight Ovi Gaming review. Let's Golf! has been well received on other platforms, notably on the iPhone and iPad, and here we have a Java version optimised for Symbian-powered touchscreens. How much of the experience has been compromised in the port to Java and is Let's Golf! (in the Ovi Store) actually any good?

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