With Nokia already putting NFC into all its Symbian smartphones and with RIM and Samsung also launching some models with the technology, plus HTC, Apple and others planning NFC into their roadmaps, Digitimes is reporting that Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers are estimating 50% penetration of NFC within two to three years. From my own observations this seems about right, though I'd put it at 80% for smartphones away from the budget end.
Recent News - Hardware - Page 2
Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
The Indian branch of PCWorld has posted a favourable review of the Nokia 701. PCWorld thought the phone’s best features were its bright IPS TFT screen, Symbian Belle operating system, and classy design inherited from the Nokia C7. You might want to compare the review to our own 701 coverage. PCWorld rates 701’s battery life as “good”, thanks to the new BL–5K battery. The review goes on to make a big point of complaining about the 701’s EDoF camera though. Readers should note that the 701 has a much improved EDoF system than found in other Symbian devices, see our feature on EDoF2.
When the Nokia 701 was announced, I leapt up on its specification with my editor's hat firmly in place. "BL-5K battery, 1300mAh" read the press release. Having owned the Nokia N86 and having played with the C7 and X7, all with the same battery, "that's got to be a typo" I asserted and insisted that Rafe fix it to "1200mAh" for our news story. As it turns out, the Nokia 701 ships with a new 'variant' of the BL-5K that we haven't seen before, rated at "1300mAh". Have there been chemical tweaks inside?
The truly venerable Nokia X6, Nokia's first ever capacitive-screened touch-driven smartphone and with monstrous stereo speakers, running S60 5th Edition, has received a major firmware update, a whopping 9MB over-the-air upgrade. It installs neatly in place and gives the old phone much the same browser as is found in Symbian Anna, plus the fairly recent Ovi Maps 3.6, itself a big upgrade on previous shipping versions. In addition, there are the usual performance tweaks and bug fixes.
Firmware updates are currently rolling out to the venerable Nokia E72, bringing it up to version 81. As usual, there is little information about what the 1.3MB update actually contains, but it is safe to say there will be bug fixes and various optimisations. Web has been upgraded too, to version 188.8.131.52. Only one of the resident E72's in the All About Symbian office has received the update, so your mileage may vary to when the update is available to you too. Read on for more details.
The Nokia 600, which was announced in late August, will not be "shipped to markets", effectively meaning the device has been cancelled. Nokia notes that "we are constantly continuing to refine our portfolio to bring consumers the best possible range of devices to meet their diverse needs". A combination of narrow portfolio placement, most notably with the Nokia 500 and Nokia 603, resulting in a lack of operator interest is the most likely underlying cause.
A free exhibition is currently running at the London Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1), entitled, 'People Made - Nokia products that changed the world' and tells the 'inside story of Nokia - past, present and future'. The exhibition is free to enter, but is only running from October 28th to November 2nd, leaving you three days to go along and take a look.
Here's an interesting one that's going to raise some eyebrows - it's an interactive multimedia preview of the Lumia 800, so you can get a tiny taster of the Metro UI on your Symbian device. While a number of die-hard Symbian fans are going to be very upset at the slightest hint of a possibility of a transition, it's another smart move from the marketing teams working on the Lumia launch.
The focus at Nokia World 2011 was, of course, very much on the launch of Nokia's first Windows Phone devices (Lumia 800 and 710), but there was plenty of Symbian Anna and Belle goodness across the various booths and stands too. To give you a flavour of the Symbian presence at the event, here's a virtual tour of (some of) what was on display.
Nokia announced a new hardware partnership with Monster on the stage of Nokia World today. Known for high-performance audio (in the same way that Carl Zeiss are known for high performance lenses), the relationship promises to be both long-term and exclusive with Nokia. The first collaborative product is the Purity range of HD stereo headsets.
Being rolled out with only a day or so to spare before Nokia World hits is a 'service pack' for Symbian Anna, claimed to bring performance and usability benefits, plus faster email and messaging, quicker GPS fixes and a mysterious 'more' (presumably including minor bug fixes). So far we've only seen this (today) for our Nokia N8s, though I'd expect other Anna devices to also get offered this fairly soon. What's not to like?
The latest firmware for both the 5800 and 5530 are now rolling out and are available for over the air (OTA) update. The updates take the 5800 to version 60, and the 5530 to version 40. The update is mostly for performance improvements and bug fixing. However, Web has received a big update, taking it from version 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11. This is only a few iterations behind the Symbian Anna browser, which is reflected in the updated user interface. Read on for screenshots and more details.
You've heard of top of the line smartphones costing over £500, you've heard of the original Nokia Communicator coming in near £1000 back in the day, but today's launch of the Vertu Constellation sees a Symbian smartphone in the "£4,000 to £10,000" region, according to the Telegraph. Or, as I like to put it, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford it" territory.
Our editorial Symbian^3 phones just got v25 firmware updates over the air (OTA), a 1MB download that installed quickly and cleanly. The previous firmware for each was v22 and it's not entirely clear what's changed - I suspect merely small bug fixes and under-the-hood stability tweaks. Please comment below if you can help build a changelog.