Nokia today announced the X7, a Symbian smartphone with an entertainment focus and premium design. It features a four inch AMOLED touchscreen, well suited for video playback and gaming, an 8 megapixel EDoF camera, comprehensive connectivity options and a full range of social and entertainment software. It has a premium design, which mixes glass and stainless steel, to give a distinctive style with diagonally inset corners and a gently curved back. The X7 will be available in Q2 at a cost of €380 (£335/$548) before taxes and subsidies.
Along with the Nokia E6, it will be one of the first devices to ship with the Symbian 'Anna' software update. This update brings enhanced text entry capabilities (portrait QWERTY and split screen text entry), an improved browser, a fresh icon set and numerous other performance and usability improvements.
Proving, perhaps, that S60 3rd Edition isn't dead, Nokia has just completed its update of the diminutive qwerty-based E72 to v54 firmware (from v52). For non-network locked phones, anyway. It's an over-the-air update, just over 1MB in size (though this varies according to region), and is listed as containing "performance and usability improvements". Comments welcome if you can elaborate on our brief changelog below after updating your E72.
All things come to they that wait. In this case the Nokia E7, finally available to buy now in the Nokia UK web store at a substantial £499 inc VAT, though this comes down to £469 if you buy it with a pay-as-you-go SIM and is in fact completely free on a £35/month/2-year contract, so that does seem to be the way to go if you were planning on serious voice and data use anyway.
More than likely completing the PR 1.2 roll-out on Symbian^3 devices, the AAS C6-01 has received its v14.002 firmware update. Taking care of some smaller issues such as Mail for Exchange, and keeping the various Ovi applications up to date (including Ovi Maps and Ovi Store), this isn’t the big PR 2.0 update that’s been long promised, but is still a recommended download.
I was interested to see that the Nokia N8 made number three in ZDNet's "My top 5 smartphones", as listed by Matt Miller in his regular column. It's an American site, of course, so the number one pick is something we've never even seen in the UK, the HTC Thunderbolt, while numbers two and five aren't exactly widely available. But the N8 slots in quite happily at three, with the iPhone 4 at four.
“Rafe!” I asked, “can I look at the flying French Quadricopter for Friday?” A subdued nod over Skype was forthcoming, and I headed to the Ovi Store to grab the free Qt download for the AR.Drone. This is Parrot’s Wi-fi enabled, live webcam streaming, computer stabilised, helicopter-esque, flying peripheral – and it’s time for a brief video review. Did I forget to mention that the actual AR.Drone isn’t a free download...
As a hardened (and probably wizened) AAS reader, you've been with us through the ups and downs of the last decade, of course. And I was interested to read Alvin Wong's 'Symbian Story', taking him through many of the devices that we too have loved and hated over the years - it's a good read. And yet, here's the kicker, Alvin is still only 17. Which means that he started his Symbian Story when he was only 12, incredibly.
Nokia is continuing to push the photo capture abilities of the Nokia N8. In the HD Horizons project, sponsored by Nokia, Jason Hawkes, who has specialised in taking aerial photographs for twenty years, has been capturing UK landscapes and landmarks from the air. We've got access to some of the early images, which offer a remarkable demonstration of the N8's capabilities.
The Nokia E7 is now available for pre-order in the UK through Nokia's online store, at a cost of £499, with delivery expected at the end of April. You can also buy the phone on PAYG (£469) or a contract (free from £35 per month). It will also be available through operators (O2, Vodafone, 3) and other online retailers. The E7 is already shipping in select markets, but is expected to become more widely available over the next month or so.
Released for UK product codes of Symbian^3 devices is a "DRM DLA iPlayer plugin", apparently to solve a problem acquiring licensed for downloaded TV programmes. It's only a tiny update, 12k and installs in seconds. Photo proof below. Comments welcome if this solves a problem for you!
Every year Ewan disappears to South by South West (SXSW) in Texas with his podcaster's hat on - and every year we give him something interesting to road test. This year, the kilted road warrior is taking his turn with the Nokia E7 Communicator and in this final video in the series (embedded below), he is reunited with Emu and he chats about DM and Email being aimed at different communities, plus he relates how the Americans were wowed by the E7 (no, really) and he summarises his time with the device.
Rolling out today (story updated) for the Nokia N8-00, C7-00 and C6-01, as well as the E7-00, is a minor firmware update, available over-the-air, which fixes a Mail for Exchange sync issue and adds in latest versions of Ovi Maps and Ovi Store, plus some other minor bug fixes. Some FAQ about this update were posted officially on the Nokia Discussions board here (and partially reproduced below). The update is for SIM-free devices in some markets, while some (and most network-locked variants) will have to wait for the big PR 2.0 update, now scheduled for "the summer".
With the tag sentence "Inspired by U.S. consumers who want an affordable smartphone that offers a simplified user experience and on-the-go entertainment", Nokia and T-Mobile USA have launched the C7 as the Astound, complete with much of the PR 2.0 software (including new web browser, portrait QWERTY etc) from day one, plus some extras, including Swype. We've got some quotes from the official press release and the Conversations blog post below, with relevant links.
Joy unbounded. It seems that the mythical, legendary, v22 firmware for the Vodafone-locked Nokia N97 has just become available. A mere eight months after SIM-free N97 classics received the update. If ever there was an example of why you should buy SIM-free smartphones where possible then this is it - network variants have to be approved by the network in question and it can take.... ages. Anyway, as shown in the screenshot below, my Vodafone-locked N97 has now been upgraded to v22, so frustrated 'classic' users everywhere can at last relax.
The Nokia E7 has received a minor firmware upgrade, from version 13.016 (PR 1.0) to version 14.002 (PR 1.1). The update, which is 907 kb in size, is available OTA (over the air) and can be downloaded using the 'SWupdate' application. This is a small update with minor performance improvements and a number of bug fixes.