As is traditional, I save this sort of accessory review for Friday. Bluetooth speakers are very common and commoditised by now, of course, but I chose this one to review because it has a single unique selling point. It has a carrying handle. Don't laugh - it makes a huge difference and is immediately likeable - every other speaker has to be held in a vice-like grip or cradled somehow. The DA150 here can be hooked around a finger while you carry other things, to the beach, to the garden, whatever. Read on...
Recent Reviews - Symbian 3
What's this? A review of a smartphone that doesn't run Symbian on AAS? And that doesn't run Windows 10 Mobile on AAWP? Actually yes - it's my first look at the new Nokia 6, running Android. And it's here because it's the return of the classic Nokia brand that I've written about so many times on these sites. The personnel behind it are mostly different, the OS certainly is, but is it worth casting a look in the 'new' Nokia's direction?
Guest writer David Addington brings us a detailed review of one of the landmark texts in the smartphone industry and a superbly detailed history of Symbian itself. Read the review and then grab the (e)book!
Nokia's DC-19 Universal Portable USB Charger provides an easy way of topping up your phone's battery when out and about. That's something that seems to be an increasingly common requirement, a result of integrated batteries having become the norm, and the reality that most smartphones need to be charged at least once a day. There are a large number of portable battery charging products on the market, so is there anything that makes Nokia's latest entry in this category stand out from the crowd?
I've talked in the past about bookmarking specific URLs in order to get to the 'HTML5' (/touch) versions of Google mobile web sites, i.e. the versions that iPhones and Android phones see. All too often, Symbian phones get served up the very low tech 'feature phone' versions of each page - which is a shame when Symbian OS and modern hardware can do a pretty decent job of handling whatever Google serves up. Google HD Browser automates the signing into Google and making sure the right URLs are used, giving - in effect - an (almost) complete Google touch experience. See below for comments on how effective it is and notes on some caveats.
Squeezing into the Nokia Store just before the 'no more content' deadline on January 1st, is PuzzleStones, a brand new first party game launching on Symbian and with very high production values. It's a 'match-3' style game but with its own very definite twists and turns. If you're into time-filling puzzles and don't mind getting addicted, then PuzzleStones is almost a must-buy in the Store.
Somewhat eyeing up the OIS in the cameras of many of the Nokia Lumia smartphones, guest writer Keir Brython got to wondering how he could stabilise photos for extreme low light shots on his Symbian-running Nokia N8 and 808 PureView. His ponderings led him to the two titled Joby tripod mounts and his full illustrated review is below.
The market for sports trackers is increasingly competitive, with the freeware (and eponymous) Sports Tracker leading the way, perhaps. However, the actual cost of the application is rather irrelevant in this market. With applications that are going to accompany you, hour after after, up hill and down dale, what matters is how much they fit what you want them to do. MeeRun is certainly a polished application and is available for both Symbian and Meego here. The highlights for me are the efficient UI and the integral power saving lock screen.
It's fair to say that ViewRanger has come a long way in seven years, since my initial 2006 review on a sub-QVGA device and I can only apologise to all concerned that we haven't updated our coverage of it on All About Symbian since then. The first versions concentrated more on the unique 'panorama' and photo sharing functions, but it's fair to say that ViewRanger is much more of a general GPS and off-road navigation tool now. Best of all, it's now much more Internet aware in terms of getting new maps as and when needed.
It's all very well having 'Voice recorder' built into every Symbian smartphone, but there's not exactly a lot of choice in terms of settings (quality can be 'MMS', 'standard' or 'high') and there's a one hour limit hard coded in. What if you want to record in higher quality? Or for longer? Or using a different codec or sample rate? That's where Audio Recorder Pro comes in, offering all of the above. Here's my assessment, complete with audio samples to check out.