It was interesting to see various sites round the web today linking to dial-a-phone's comparison of the camera results from the new Sony Xperia S and the Nokia N8, especially given the conclusion that the newcomer is the 'clear winner'. However, such comparisons are more than a little misleading - there's far more to testing out a phone camera than shots of still subjects in bright....
Recent News - Hardware - Page 2
The roll-out of Nokia Belle (i.e. Symbian Belle) for existing Symbian^3/Anna devices has started across the world, with most devices (here's the official Nokia Belle rollout status checker) getting an update via Nokia Suite to firmware v111.030. There's no OTA (over the air) update available this time because of the complexity and size of the update, which means the latest Nokia Suite on a Windows PC is required. Nokia is enabling the update, product code by product code, across the world. (Story updated again, with list of known issues).
When Nokia introduced CBD (ClearBlack Display) at Nokia World 2010, for the C6-01 and E7 models, there was an element of uncertainty involved as to how this technology worked. Certainly it was incredibly effective at cutting out reflections from ambient light, but noone seemed to know the full details. After much digging, we established it was something to do with polarising layers, but only now do we see a clear depiction of how CBD works.
In the spirit of my own cardboard (DT-29 copy) phone stand, Aliqudsi, over on My Nokia Blog, has had a brain wave and used two bulldog/binder clips to create a four legged, stable stand for his N8, though it will also work for any other similar device, ostensibly for holding the camera phone up for stable filming, without worrying that it will fall over. Clever stuff...
Designed exclusively for China's TD-SCDMA 3G network, Nokia has announced a new Symbian-powered smartphone, the 801T, described as 'a special design for business-focussed elite high-end users'. It's notable for being the 'industry's first stainless steel unibody smartphone' and has a 4" CBD display, NFC, an 8 megapixel EDoF camera with dual-LED flash, 720p HD video recording and built-in CMMB mobile TV (with antenna). More below.
Yes, yes, Phones Show 155 is out later today, but that's all Android and Windows Phone-focussed. But, with the formal All About Symbian review of the Belle-running Nokia 701 now finished (part 1 - part 2) and with all the technology highlights out of the way, I though it worth reminding people of Phones Show 154, which was Symbian all the way. In case you hadn't watched it yet, it had my video review of the 701, plus a humourous view from the future, one in which Nokia and (cough) a dismembered N86 play a part...
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.
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 18.104.22.168. 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.