Nokia today announced the Nokia 603, a low cost Symbian Belle handset, which the company says is designed to appeal to first time smartphone users and those upgrading from older devices. Key features include a 1GHz processor, 3.5" ClearBlack Display touchscreen, durable design designed to "withstand the knocks of everyday life", and comprehensive connectivity options (pentaband 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC). The 603 is expected to start shipping this quarter at a cost of €200 before taxes and subsidies.
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As many people will know, the Apple iPhone 4S was announced last night, with one of the chief improvements being a better camera with better Back Side Illumination, wider aperture and an extra optical element. Leaving aside other elements of the iPhone 4S (which, interestingly, retained its 3.5" screen), such as the Siri voice control, I thought you might be interested in a comment or three on the 4S's camera, as it compares to some of Nokia's camera phone units.
Another week, another camera-toting smartphone comparison, this time from Hannah Bouckley of 'recombu', comparing the Nokia N8 to the Samsung Galaxy S II, the iPhone 4, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and (for some reason) the Samsung Omnia 7. Despite the author seemingly failing to understand how to use the N8 after dark*, the N8 was given the overall verdict of winner across the different test shots.
SanDisk just announced a new range of microSD cards, starting at a monstrous 64GB. Dubbed 'Mobile Ultra', these cards use the SDXC standard, which is why you shouldn't get too excited yet - no current or announced Symbian smartphones or firmwares support SDXC. Official compatibility will doubtless come in time, through 2012, which will also give time for the card to drop to sensible price levels. But hey, it's the future, so worth bearing in mind.
I was interested to see the starting of the "Near Field Connectivity Blog", under the auspices of Nokia's Developer program, along with some titbits about Nokia's plans for NFC and its devices. Read on for more links and quotes.
When it was announced, the Nokia Essence Bluetooth headset was overshadowed by the buzz surrounding the Symbian Belle devices. However, according to an interview with product manager Karolina Järvensivu over at Nokia Conversations, this unassuming headset warrants further attention. The most remarkable technology in this device is its active noise cancellation, optimised for specific frequencies. Not only is the speech microphone used to remove external noise, but there are microphones inside the earpieces to help reduce the noise of the blood flow inside your ears! Read on for more tidbits.
It's not the first time I've linked to an Alvin Wong article - he may be young but he's a great reviewer and with a mountain of Symbian expertise already. In this nicely illustrated piece he summarises his two weeks with the Nokia E6, concluding "It’s easily my second favourite Symbian^3 device after the N8, and one that I can recommend without reservation to anyone looking for a device of this form factor." Backing this up, he lists the reasons why the E6 is superior to the E7, interestingly. More quotes, links and a photo below.
As part of its Hong Kong press event today, Nokia announced the “Essence” Bluetooth stereo headset, to complement its latest release of Symbian Belle smartphones. While the headset will work with any Bluetooth device, the unique selling point is that easy pairing is possible via Near Field Communications (NFC), which Nokia’s 600, 700, 701, C7-00 and N9, are all equipped with. Read on for specifications and more.
Nokia, as part of a trio of new Symbian Belle devices, has announced the Nokia 700, its smallest ever smartphone with a volume of just 50 cubic centimetres. The materials in the device are a combination of glass, plastics and aluminium, giving a sleek and stylish finish. Other key features include a 3.2" AMOLED ClearBlack display, NFC, 5MP EDoF camera with LED flash (also supporting 720p HD video recording), GPS, WiFi and pentaband 3G. The Nokia 700 will ship in Q3 at a cost of €270 before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia today announced the Nokia 600, a new Symbian Belle-powered smartphone. "Built with music and radio in mind", the mid-tier device features an internal FM radio, FM transmitter (Play by Radio) and the loudest speaker in any Nokia smartphone (106 'Phons'). Also on board is NFC, a 1GHz processor, a 5 megapixel full-focus (EDoF) camera, GPS, WiFi and pentaband 3G. The Nokia 600 will be available in four colours (Black, White, Pink and Lime) later this quarter at a cost of €180 before taxes and subsidies.
At the Try Something New event in Hong Kong today, the Nokia 701 was announced. This new Symbian Belle smartphone is based on the design of the Nokia C7-00, but has an upgraded 1GHz processor and an improved display (IPS LCD, ClearBlack), which Nokia says is the brightest screen available on any smartphone. Other key features include NFC, active noise cancellation in calls, FM transmitter (Play via Radio), an 8MP EDoF camera, GPS, WiFi, pentaband 3G and 8GB of internal memory. The Nokia 701 will be available in Q3 2011 at a cost of €290 before taxes and subsidies.
When it comes to comparing smartphone cameras, I've got a bit of a reputation. But so has my counterpart in the States, Myriam Joire, and she's just put up her review of the latest and greatest Android phone being marketed over in the USA with the (manufacturer's) tagline "the most advanced camera of any smartphone". I mention all this because, Myriam being Myriam, she naturally did a detailed set of head to heads with other leading smartphone cameras, plus a standalone specialist device. Including our beloved Nokia N8. And she's one tech reviewer whow knows about subtleties like... keeping the phone steady as the shutter comes down! Links, examples and comments below.
Nokia has launched a new Symbian Anna-powered mass market smartphone, the Nokia 500, at 150 Euros (plus taxes) all-in, with 1 GHz processor, interchangeable back covers, 3.2" capacitive nHD touchscreen, pentaband 3G, WiFi, GPS, 5 megapixel camera (EDoF) and 2GB of internal memory plus microSD expansion. Impressively, the Nokia 500 only weighs 93g, making it the lightest Symbian^3 device so far. The device will be available in retail channel within the next 60 days.
Phones Show 144 is out this morning - and I mention it only because the main feature is my hands-on video review of the Nokia E6. Rolling in all my thoughts on this device into one easily-digested nine minute chunk of your time. Summary: it's the best built phone I've ever handled - yet I still can't recommend it to everybody. See below for the embedded video and salient links.
Months after you thought the Samsung i8910 modding scene had finally died, out comes arch-modder 'faenil', curator of 'faenil's pit', with a major new firmware release, 'n2o5', bringing an all-singing, all-dancing graphical interface to a wealth of i8910 system settings (browser user agents, camera tweaks, kinetic UI tweaks, and much more), compatibility certificates, Qt runtimes, and more. See below for warnings and links.