Posts Tagged ‘Nokia’

Nokia N97 – worth a second look?

We already took a pretty in-depth look at the Nokia N97, the handset maker’s then flagship and much anticipated touch screen phone.

We loved the form-factor, were less impressed with the UI of Symbian S60 5th edition and thought the keyboard could be better. But it never does any harm to get a second opinion, especially after a major software update or two.

That’s exactly what David Gilson gives us over at All About Symbian, a site that we’re big fans of (see side bar for others). And if you hadn’t noticed, David’s now a regular contributor to last100, so it goes without saying, he’s a source I trust.

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Nokia Booklet 3G: Thoughts and first impressions

14032010147I’m typing this from my local coffee shop on a Nokia Booklet 3G, the Finnish handset maker’s entry into the crowded Netbook ‘mini laptop’ space. And there’s no doubt that I’m in possession of one of the better looking devices of this type that are on the market.

Nokia’s design cues feel like they’ve been taken directly from Cupertino, the hardware aesthetics are certainly Apple-inspired.

But then so is the price.

Retailing for just shy of £650 from Nokia’s own online store, for what is for the most part under the hood an average Atom-powered (1st generation?) Netbook, seems a little ambitious. Then again, your average price savvy Netbook buyer clearly isn’t the customer.

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YouTube updated for Symbian, now supports user accounts

YouTube's new application homepage on S60

YouTube's new application homepage on S60

It’s taken a while but YouTube has finally added support for user accounts in its updated client for phones running the Nokia-led Symbian OS.

Announced on the 10th of March, users can now log into their YouTube account enabling them to access their favourites, subscriptions, and videos. YouTube stated that it has taken them this long because they wanted to focus on speed of search and playback. Also new to version 2.4 is suggested search terms as you type in a search query.

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Intel and Nokia combine forces to battle Google Chrome, Android and Apple's iPad

meegologogmThey were already known to be sharing technology with regards to their separate Linux OS efforts but now Intel and Nokia are to merge their respective distributions.

Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo operating systems are to be combined into a new Linux-based OS called MeeGo that will target “multiple hardware platforms across a wide range of computing devices, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.”

Intel is desperate to get its chips into devices that aren’t a traditional PC and Nokia needs a viable and developer-friendly platform to replace Symbian as the latter moves further down into mass-market smart phones that in-turn are replacing feature phones.

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MWC: Symbian S^3 UI concept ticks all the right boxes!

S3The Symbian Foundation, the custodians of the Nokia-led open source mobile OS of the same name, has published a concept video showcasing the User Interface changes we can expect in version 3. The UI is seen as a major weakness of Symbian, especially as it transitions away from its S60 ‘scroll-and-click’ non-touch roots to something more finger-friendly. So how is Symbian S^3 shaping up?

Pretty darn good, if the video is to be believed.

The UI borrows plenty from the iPhone but also adds a splattering of Palm-esque app switching – similar to WebOS’ card view (see review) – as well as building on some of Nokia’s own UI ideas, such as the widgetized home screen we first saw on the N97. Only this time there are revolving homescreens – Android-style – so that a user can access many more widgets.

Check out the video after the jump…

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Nokia E72 in the house!

17112009021Regular readers of last100 will know how much I like Nokia’s QWERTY touting E71, with it superb keyboard and BlackBerry-esque – only more svelte – form factor. I was therefore really looking forward to the E72 (see ‘My favorite smartphone just got superseded‘)

The E72 keeps much of the same design as the classic E71 but adds a slightly faster processor, an updated version of the operating system – Symbian S60 3rd edition feature pack 2 – better camera and a mini track pad for “easier” scrolling through web pages and email (luckily it can be turned off). The wait was a long time coming, however, as the E72 got delayed and delayed.

It finally went on sale last month in the UK and, shortly after, Nokia kindly sent me a loan unit, which I’ve been using as my main device for a few weeks and hope to write full review very soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the device, leave a comment and I’ll answer as best I can.

Hands-on with the Nokia E55 (or how I learned to live with half a QWERTY)

e55_newI’m generally a fan of Nokia’s business focused Eseries smartphones, while for day-to-day use I require a device with a QWERTY keyboard (preferably a portrait one). Combine the two and the Nokia E71, released around 18 months ago here in the UK, is as close as I’ve got yet to the “perfect” smartphone — I even named it in my top ten Digital Lifestyle products of 08 — although, obviously, it’s far from perfect. Perfection is, of course, a moving target in the world of smartphones.

The subsequently released Nokia E75, which features both a traditional numeric keyboard and a generously large landscape slide-out QWERTY, came in at a close second and even offers a few of improvements over the E71, such as a faster processor, updated software, better camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

I was therefore keen to try out Nokia’s attempt at a third QWERTY touting form factor, with the announcement of the E55. As you can see from the photo above, the device adopts the traditional candy bar shape by featuring something the handset maker is calling a “compact QWERTY”. Essentially housing two QWERTY letters per key (can I say half a QWERTY?) and utilizing predictive text to bridge the gap. But, in everyday use, how does the E55’s keyboard perform?

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Nokia's all-you-can eat music service now "comes with" its own flagship touch screen phone – Nokia X6

Nokia_X6_white_blue_homescreenAlthough I’d put poor marketing, carrier resistance, and possibly DRM, ahead of the lack of a flagship device to explain why Comes With Music, Nokia’s all-you-can-eat music service, hasn’t been the hit the handset maker had hoped for, the company’s newly announced X6 music phone is encouraging.

The device, unveiled at Nokia World today, is to be a Comes With Music exclusive offering, and sports a 3.2-inch touch screen display (16:9 ratio at 360 x 640 pixels), 32 GB of built-in storage, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash, A-GPS and WiFi, amongst its impressive stats. And in a first for Nokia, that touch screen is capacitive (not resistive), meaning that its should be a lot more responsive to the touch of a finger. Regular readers will know I’m not a fan of old skool stylus optimized resistive screens.

A quick recap of how Comes With Music works: you purchase a qualifying Nokia handset and then get access to the entire library of the Nokia Music Store for 12 – 18 months and get to keep any downloaded tracks once the subscription ends. For that privilege, the Nokia X6 has an estimated retail price of EUR 450, although the handset maker is stressing that ‘in many, many markets’, thanks to carrier subsidy, the device should be closer to “free”.

Nokia dumps location-based service Friend View, falls in love with Facebook

During the opening keynote at Nokia World, which kicked off today, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was at pains to point out that the handset maker didn’t view Internet “services” as an interesting side business but that it was still the future of the company.

And along with music, messaging and turn-by-turn navigation, location-aware social networking, which the company calls SoLo, and other types of location-based services are key to this future. After all, Nokia has invested heavily in GPS-related technologies and applications, the boldest example being the $8.1 billion purchase of Navteq in late 2007.

What was and still is unclear is how much of Nokia’s SoLo strategy involves building out its own social networking offerings or partnering with and supporting established social networks. With today’s announcement of a tie up with Facebook and with it the death of the company’s own ‘Friend View’, with regards to the simplest of ‘SoLo’ applications — share my current location with friends — the handset maker has seen sense and decided to do the latter.

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Nokia can do UI design after all, Linux-based N900 unveiled

Nokia-N900-8It had already been leaked to death, but frankly, if the walk-through video that’s been published today is anything to go by, I don’t think any of the previous pics or screen shots do this thing justice.

I’m referring to Nokia’s new Linux-based smartphone come Internet tablet, the N900, which the handset maker officially unveiled today. The device is powered by the company’s Maemo 5 OS, of which previous versions were used for its non-phone Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), such as the N810 that I reviewed all the way back in February 2008.

And boy has Maemo come a long way. Best of all (shock, horror), it looks like Nokia can design User Interfaces after all.

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