Nokia N8 Official!

The long rumoured and sighted N8 from Nokia has finally been made official. The device packs a 12mp autofocus camera with xenon flash, HD 720p video recording, HD video out, 3.5 inch OLED capacitive touchscreen, Symbian S^3 with HWA UI, real visual multitasking, 680mhz OMAP3 CPU with dedicated GPU and a plethora of other features including pentaband 3G(unofficial) and paging file memory.

Nokia n8

The device was previewed by the Russian journalist Eldar of mobile-review.com who seems to be always getting his hands on Nokia devices before launch (who knows, he might have a KGB agent infiltrating Nokia once in a while :)). He seem to be less than impressed (not a surprise) and complained about trivial stuff such as the size of the HDMI port (leaves me to wonder how an HDMI port on a phone should look, considering that the N8 is the first GSM with the feature) and the quality of the pics taken with the cam in comparison with the satio. Still the OS is in beta and performed admirably well when compared to iPhone OS 4G beta, which barely works although it have been in works a couple months before S^3 went opensource Read more about Nokia N8 Official!

Pimping the Nokia N95 into the new Decade

The N95 was arguably the greatest innovation of 2007(clashing with the original iphone in this regard) and the single most advanced smartphone of the time. The N95 was the first symbian smartphone with integrated GPS module, the second with advanced TV out capabilities, the first smartphone with a 5 megapixel camera and VGA video recording, the second smartphone to feature a programmable GPU, and I could go on and on. The original N95 suffered from a lack of sufficient RAM, an extremely buggy initial firmware and slow GPS among others. The RAM problem was fixed with demand paging and in the newer N95 8gb, N95 NAM and N95 8gb NAM models while the GPS antenna location caused poor map performance that continued well into the other year.

Nokia n95 Smartphone

Now 3 years after the release of the original N95 and 2 years after the N95 8gb we are left wondering what to do with the still spectacular N95 hardware. Nokia did announce in an interview that we will be seeing the end of numeric-keypad based smartphones in a few years, going towards touch and touch hybrid QWERTY instead. The N95 8gb/NAM is still the most powerful numeric-keypad smartphone that nokia have ever built, combining the powers of a modest processor with a spectacular GPU and massive free RAM to trounce Nokia’s newer offerings. Lets now see how well the power of this device can be utilized at present and see if it can stand its ground in an increasingly touchscreen smartphone world. Read more about Pimping the Nokia N95 into the new Decade

Opera mobile(Nokia s60 version) final review.

Opera mobile has widely been seen as the most popular 3rd party native browser for smartphones ever. This browser for Symbian all started back in 2003 with the advent of opera 6.0 for Nokia s60 (then series 60) smartphones based on OS v6.1 . Devices such as the Nokia Ngage, Ngage QD, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620 all ran opera quite dutifully with some such as the 6620 even shipping with the browser in it’s trial version. Opera mobile version 6.1 was released later the same year with a few improvements such as support for WML (WAP) and proxy servers (rendering it capable of using the WAP settings in mobile phones). The biggest jump of the browser came in 2005 with the release of opera v8.0 and opera 8.5 consecutively, all breaking compatibility with the older Symbian os6.1 devices (Ngage, Ngage QD, 3650, 3660). This version came with improved rendering of CSS elements and DHTML support along password save support. All versions hereafter supported only the newer Symbian os9 which is binary incompatible with all previous OS versions.

Newer opera 10 is the first Symbian version of opera mobile to support flash and flashlite plug-ins, it also brought improvements of the Presto rendering engine and a new refreshed user interface.

Review

Opera mobile is finally out of beta stage, having gone through three heavily tested betas, so now we can get on with a review without having to make excuses, which would have been the case if it was still in beta. The final browser starts at about 25% quicker than it’s beta predecessors, a good thing for those impatient folks. Read more about Opera mobile(Nokia s60 version) final review.

Digicel Jamaica vs LIME Jamaica: Edge faceoff

I was able to use LIME’s edge network for a day and decided to compare it with Digicel’s which is the current champ. Since few people will use EDGE on a PC these days considering the price and the availability of 3G I did all tests on my trusty e71. The s60v3 family of smartphones lack a speed test application and the flash player in browser only supports up to flash 8, speedtest.net requires flash 9. This short coming forces me to use screenshots of the connection manager to display the speed but this shouldn’t be a big problem.

digicel logo

Well as everyone might know, Digicel was the first network to offer edge with Claro and LIME subsequently following. Edge is a 3G ITU standard which is currently known as 2.75g since it lacks some features of UMTS, that is thought of as the first true 3G system. UMTS in itself is original 3G supporting all the 3G features such as simultaneous voice and data and a maximum data transfer rate of 384kbps uplink and 384kbps downlink. EDGE provides speeds in the region of 273kbps with 4 simultaneous timelots*, or in other words 4 different data lines adding up to one. I managed to exceed that with EDGE on Digicel several times before doing this test with a maximum speed of 41 kilobytes per second or 328Kbps, in the range of UMTS 3G. I have a simple idea of why this happened; Digicel might be using more than 4 data lines, however my phone only officially supports 4 so I am not entirely sure. Read more about Digicel Jamaica vs LIME Jamaica: Edge faceoff

Nokia and Palm’s Dilemma

Nokia and palm both were leaders in the smartphone segment of the mobile phone market. This leadership is not about market share, it is about innovation which we have seen brought forward by several newcomers to the smartphone market recently. Arguably the most innovative step made since 2003 was the iPhone, not in features but in bringing a completely new front to the smartphone battle. The iPhone lacks a plethora of features and is even branded as a simple dumbphone by some, however no one can deny that the iPhone was a remarkable step in bringing the former niche touchscreen segment to normal mobile phone users. The touchscreen devices prior to 2007 were mostly seen as unwieldy, nerdy and quite complicated to the average user, the iPhone changed that. what does the iPhone have to do with palm and nokia? Well the biggest chat in the blogosphere over the last two and a half years was about how the iPhone was bringing trouble to the original pioneers of the smartphone.

Lack of innovation have been the deciding factor in the weak position of the two pioneers today. Palm os was well designed for the business class and performed well allowing them to grab a relatively large share of the then niche smartphone market. Palm os functioned well with both touch and keyboard, however the attempted hybrid structure only performs well with business subjects as normal consumers will find the lack of gestures completely rather unintuitive. Nokia on the other hand fielded a full keyboard controlled user interface from start, and although Symbian OS was fully capable of running a touch driven UI, they never put much into it. The only pre-2008 nokia smartphone to feature a touchscreen was the then sophisticated nokia 7710. The 7710 featured the application framework Hildon, derived (the same ui used in the n900, n800 etc) series 80 UI ont op of Symbian OS 7.1 . The phone was held back so much by Nokia that it was eventually canceled. Nokia refused to work with any other touch based phone since, telling reporters in 2006 that there weren’t any plans in the immediate future to develop touch based phones, thus they missed the touchscreen train. Read more about Nokia and Palm’s Dilemma