Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Nokia Care India – Customer Care / Support Center Phone Number

August 5, 2009

Do you need help with your Nokia cell phone? Call Nokia customer care number and get support from Nokia customer service officers.

Nokia Customers can call at +91 (80) 30303838 between 9am and 9pm, Monday through Sunday, including public holidays. Local or STD call rates apply depending on where you calling from. The customer support representatives can support you in many languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi and Gujarati.

If you are looking for Nokia Retail Stores, you may find the list of Nokia retail stores in your city.

You can also locate the Nokia Phone Customer Care numbers in your state at the nokia website.

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Nokia N97 announced; QWERTY keyboard and touch on a Nseries device

December 2, 2008

Nokia World 2008 is taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain and the event kicked off with the keynote announcing the Nokia N97 multimedia computer. The Nokia N97 brings a QWERTY keyboard and touch screen to the Nseries or you could say it brings a phone and S60 to the Nokia Internet Tablet. The Nokia promotional materials state, “Desktop.Laptop.Pocket” as they bring you a device with a 3.5 inch touch screen display (640×360 pixels resolution) that slides up and at an angle (similar to the AT&T Tilt) to reveal a full 3-row QWERTY keyboard and directional pad. I was expecting to see S60 touch launch on a Nseries rather than the Nokia 5800 we saw last month.

Nokia N97 announced; QWERTY keyboard and touch on a Nseries device

The Nokia N97 packs it all in with the following specifications:

  • 3.5 inch 16:9 640×360 pixels resolution display
  • Integrated 3G wireless radio
  • Integrated 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Integrated Bluetooth 2.0
  • Integrated GPS receiver with A-GPS support
  • 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
  • 32GB onboard flash memory with microSD for adding 16GB more
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • microUSB port used for both syncing and charging
  • Haptic feedback
  • 1500 mAh battery

The N97 also introduces the concept of social location (so-lo). Using the GPS receiver and integrated compass the N97 has the capability to always know where it is located and with social networking integration it can broadcast that position to authorized friends and family. The home screen has been completely revamped to allow you to manage widgets (much like the Nseries Internet Tablets) for social networks, news, and more.

N97 in hand

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy this device for Christmas this year and will have to wait until the first half of 2009 to get your hands on one. It is expected to retail for EUR550 before taxes or subsidies.

N97 5 megapixel camera

Does this device appeal to you? Robert Scoble said something about this week having to be big for Nokia or else and I think he is taking it a bit too much to the extreme. Nokia is the leader in smartphones across the world and while I see that their marketshare is moving downwards while others (RIM and Apple in particular) are moving up, they won’t ever go away (and may never give up the majority) because they have a vision for the future that your personal PC will live in your pocket/phone and I think they are on the right track. I don’t think the Nokia N97 is a revolution in the smartphone world that should make everyone else drop what they are doing, but it is a very good device that gives the user more flexibility than they have with the iPhone or a BlackBerry. Nokia makes some fantastic devices and I have always found their RF reception and phone quality to be outstanding and in the end it seems that consumers want a good solid phone that lets them send and receive calls, no matter how much else the device can do.

I’ll be saving up for this device next year since I am a huge QWERTY keyboard fan and appreciate the quality and incredible 3rd party application support in the S60 community.

Nokia also has some incredible services and if they can integrate them and promote them successfully people will find that Nokia has an excellent solution available for everyone.

Some of the sites that had a chance to get some hands-on time with the new Nokia N97 include:

All About Symbian
Atmaspheric Endeavors
PhoneScoop
Symbian Guru
TechCraver

VIA:

Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia N97. It is the first touch-enabled Nseries device and has a horizontal tilt-slide form factor. It transforms from a touch slate to a landscape QWERTY device. The device, which has an Internet and entertainment focus, runs on S60 5th Edition, has a customisable, widget-based, home screen and full support for Ovi services.

It features a 3.5 inch (360 x 640 resolution) touchscreen with haptic feedback, 5 megapixel camera (with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash), A-GPS and compass sensors, comprehensive connectivity options (WiFi, tri-band HSDPA, Bluetooth and USB), and 32GB of internal flash memory. Read on for more.

The N97 is the most feature packed Nseries device to date and, by adding touch, it moves Nokia’s high end Nseries into direct competition with touch devices such as the Samsung Omnia, LG Renoir, Apple iPhone and G1 Android Phone.

Here are first few hand-ons impressions: In the hand the N97 feels pleasingly solid, with an extremely impressive slide mechanism – it is obvious a lot of testing has gone into the hinge mechanism. In slide closed mode it is equally solid, with no give. The keyboard, while limited by design constraints, feels good, though as ever it’s difficult to come to any final conclusions with prototypes. Subjectively, the ‘feel’ and the design of the handset screams high end with materials that can not be fully appreciated in pictures (it has that caress-ability x-factor).

Nokia N97

It is a relatively large device, especially length-wise, but that’s inevitable given the size of the screen and the inclusion of a QWERTY keyboard. There’s the usual plethora of hardware features, including sensors (accelerometer, compass sensors and proximity sensors), integrated A-GPS, and connectivity options (tri-band 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and USB). The large screen is a definite highlight – its widescreen 16:9 resolution is ideal for watching videos, but also works well for browsing the Internet. The touch screen is very sensitive, and there have been further refinements to the home screen to enable easier finger touch usage (the larger physical screen also helps with this). The UI can also be driven from the keypad using the D-pad on the left hand side of the keyboard, together with the on-screen softkeys and home key.

S60 5th Edition has been updated to Nseries specifications for the N97. Extras include UPnP, Internet Radio and Nokia Photos applications and we can expect to see a lot more in this area before the phone is released.

We’ll report in greater detail in due course.

Key features of the phone:

Software:

  • Runs S60 5th Edition. You can read more about S60 5th Edition in our Nokia 5800 preview. However, the N97 will have the Nseries version of S60, which means there will be a number of extra applications including Internet Radio, FM transmitter, Home media (UPnP) and Photos.
  • The home screen can be personalised with Internet-aware widgets (based on WRT technology). Examples included in the press photos include weather forecasts, social networking (Facebook, Friendster, My Space) status summaries, and media collections. There are also indicators for time, profiles, email, application shortcuts and so on.
  • Text input is via on screen keyboard (full screen QWERTY, pop-up QWERTY and alphanumeric), as is standard on S60 5th Edition, or handwriting recognition or via the QWERTY keyboard.
  • Fully compatible with Ovi services including Maps, Music, Share and Games. Nokia Music store can be accessed from the device (touch optimised version) or from Nokia Music for the PC (an iTunes -Windows application). Nokia Maps now supports high resolution satellite imagery, 3D buildings (selected buildings) and richer map meta data. Pedestrian route finding and turn by turn, voice guided car navigation, are available as premium services.
  • Internet focus with WebKit based browser, comprehensive RSS feed support and runtime technologies including Flash, WRT (widget).
  • Introduces the social location (So-Lo) concept; the N97 has software that allows you to automatically update and share your location with friends and popular social networks.
  • ‘N-Gage compatible’ device, which indicates that the N-Gage platform will be touch enabled by the release date of the N97.

The devices being demoed at Nokia World are running an early version of the software. In the six months leading up to the release date it is likely to evolve considerably.

N97 touch deviceHardware:

  • Physical dimensions: 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm (18.25 mm at camera area), and weighs approximately 150g.
  • Tilt form factor with horizontal slide to reveal full QWERTY keyboard. The upper half of the device slides away from the bottom half and moves upwards in a diagonal direction. The slide is impressively smooth and when closed feels very solid in the hand (so much so its not immediately apparent it is a horizontal slide device).
  • There are three keys on the front of the device: send and end keys and a home/menu key. On the left side of the device there is a slider lock and a microUSB port, on the top of the device is the power and 3.5mm audio jack and on the right hand side are the volume keys and the camera capture key.
  • 3.5 inch, 360 x 640 (nHD) resolution resistive touch TFT screen with 16 million colours. The device can be driven using finger touch or stylus, or from the QWERTY keyboard.
  • Haptic feedback for screen touches. This is provided via general vibra feedback, as on the Nokia 5800.
  • 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. The camera is covered by a sliding lens cover similar to that found on the N85 and N79.

    The camera is also used to record videos at VGA at 30 frames per seconds, but I’ve seen a demo of it recording and playing video back in a 16:9 resolution mode (also as on the 5800). The usual Share online application is present for uploading images and video to online services such as Flickr and Share on Ovi (available services likely to be expanded before launch).

  • Integrated A-GPS and compass sensor (magnetometer) means that the N97 ‘intuitively knows where it is’ and this is used by Nokia Maps, and for social location; also embeds location information into images and video.
  • 3.5 mm audio jack (also used for TV-Out) and built in stereo speakers. Music playback time of one and half days (36 hours). There’s also an FM radio and FM transmitter.
  • microUSB jack (USB 2.0 HiSpeed) and supports charging over USB
  • 32GB of internal flash memory
  • microSD card slot with support for SDHC cards upto 16GB in size (giving total potential memory of 48 GB)
  • WiFi, 3.5G (tri-band HSDPA – 900, 1900 and 2100 Mhz), quad-band GSM and Bluetooth connectivity (various profiles including HID, SAP, A2DP and AVRCP).
  • 1500 mAh battery (BP-4L – the same monster as that used in the E71, E90, 6650 and N800).
  • There is no stylus built into the phone, but one will be included in the box.
  • The Nokia N97 is expected to ship in the first half of 2009 (presumably in June) with an estimated price of 550 Euro before taxes and subsidies.

Comparison

The N97 (117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm) is larger than the 5800 (111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm). Compared to the iPhone (112 x 56.9 x 12.5 mm) is a little taller, but slightly mm narrower. Quite impressive given the incluion of a QWERTY keyboard. N78 also shown.

Press release extract:

Nokia today unveiled the Nokia N97, the world’s most advanced mobile computer, which will transform the way people connect to the Internet and to each other. Designed for the needs of Internet-savvy consumers, the Nokia N97 combines a large 3.5” touch display with a full QWERTY keyboard, providing an ‘always open’ window to favorite social networking sites and Internet destinations. Nokia’s flagship Nseries device introduces leading technology – including multiple sensors, memory, processing power and connection speeds – for people to create a personal Internet and share their ‘social location.’

“From the desktop to the laptop and now to your pocket, the Nokia N97 is the most powerful, multi-sensory mobile computer in existence,” said Jonas Geust, Vice President, heading Nokia Nseries. “Together with the Ovi services announced today, the Nokia N97 mobile computer adjusts to the world around us, helping stay connected to the people and things that matter most. With the Nokia N97, Nseries leads the charge in helping to transform the Internet into your Internet”.

N97 with keyboard

VIA:

Samsung Innov8 (i8510)

October 14, 2008

Introduction

The Samsung Innov8 (i8510), a top of the range S60 handset in a slider form factor, was announced in late July. With an 8 megapixel camera (which gives the phone its name), 16GB of onboard flash memory, 2.8 inch screen, integrated GPS, accelerometer, optical senor and comprehensive software package it is, arguably, the new super-phone – the best specified device currently announced. Nokia’s high end Nseries devices will finally be facing some serious competition; the INNOV8, positioned at the top end of the market with an estimated launch price upwards of £500, will be facing off against Nokia high-end Nseries devices such as the N95 8GB and N96.

The INNOV8 which we spent time with at one of Samsung’s offices was a pre-production model. While major hardware changes are unlikely, there will be software revisions before the retail release. You should bear this in mind when reading this preview.

Samsung Innov8 (i8510)

General Design and Hardware

At 106.5 x 53.9 x 17.2mm, the INNOV8 is obviously a large phone. Cameras are often the limiting factor in phone size so it’s no surprise that the INNOV8 is at the top end of the size range. Despite this, it does compare quite favourably with the Nokia N96 (103 x 55 x 20mm) and the Nokia N95 8GB (99 x 53 x 21mm), particularly in the all important thickness department. However, with the slide open, the INNOV8 is longer than the N95 and N96, which means that moving between the numeric keypad and control cluster can be awkward, especially for those with smaller hands. On the flip side this does mean there is more space for the numeric keypad, which feels less cramped than those found on the N95 and N96.

Click to download or enlarge the comparisons below:

i8510 versus N95 n95 i8510 side by side

In style terms, the INNOV8 follows a similar path to some of Samsung’s other bestsellers. The INNOV8 is made up of a mixture of metallic and plastic materials with an emphasis on black with silver highlights. Those looking to move over from Nokia devices will find a very different design language. In essence, I would say that Nokia has recently focussed on more simplistic, organic designs, whereas Samsung looks more engineered and feels more mechanical. Design is clearly a very subjective area and everyone will have their own preference, but the overall design and style of the INNOV8 is quite effective; the photos don’t really do it justice. Particularly welcome was the excellent build quality of the phone; the assisted slider felt very solid and there was little or no wobble in either the open or closed positions. Some of the buttons and controls on the side of the device were a little weak, but then we were looking at a prototype handset, after all.

The front of the device is dominated by the large 2.8 inch screen which sits just beneath the front camera and light sensor (used to adjust screen brightness). The screen is crisp and bright, it has support for 16 million colours, which brings the best out in photographs displayed on screen. The QVGA resolution will disappoint some, but is not a surprise given that this is the standard for current S60 phones. If you look carefully, it is possible, as with other large QVGA screens, to pick out individuals pixels, but this is largely offset by the excellent screen brightness. Visibility in bright light was similar to that of the Nokia N95 8GB, i.e. not bad.

Below the screen is the main control cluster. The silver flanking keys are the S60 and Gallery shortcut keys respectively. The large D-pad includes an interesting innovation – an optical sensor. This is the equivalent of a track pad on a laptop. In the UI and in most applications, this is used as an equivalent to the surrounding direction keys – moving a finger left or right across the sensor is the same as pressing left or right on the D-pad. This does take a little getting used to, and pressing the d-pad in can sometimes be confused with a direction movement. But the sensor is surprisingly accurate and there are sensitivity options in the phone’s settings (or you can turn it off completely). However, the optical sensor really stands out in Web, where it is used as a ‘mouse’. It makes it much easier to select links than using the D-pad and also allows you to move around the page (scroll) more quickly. It goes at least part of the way to evening the difference between touch and non-touch screen browsing experiences. The numeric keypad is a single piece of flat metallic material and each key is reasonably large and has good tactile feedback, so text entry speeds should be fairly decent. There are two customisable shortcut keys at the top of the keypad, which map to RealPlayer and Music player by default.

(As usual, click photos to enlarge or download:)

Innov8 from the front keypad

On the left hand side of the device, from top to bottom, there is a volume rocker switch, 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB port (no more proprietary connectors, as on earlier devices, thankfully). The positioning of the audio jack port, the same as on the N95, is not ideal, as it can lead to tangles, but its very presence is welcome. The microUSB port is also used as the power port. This means that the INNOV8, like other Samsung S60 devices, will charge while connected to a computer. On the right hand side of the device, from top to bottom, there is a three way camera mode slide key, the microSD card slot (theoretically supporting cards up to 16GB), and the camera capture key. The mode key switches between three possible options: camera (still images), video camera (videos) and review (album). Based on this switch, the Camera and Album applications will open or switch to the appropriate mode. This makes the INNOV8 feel more like an ordinary digital camera, although the switch may be a bit fiddly to operate one handed if you’re in a hurry.

Side innov8 left Innov8 right hand side

The back of the device is dominated by the 8 megapixel camera and its accompanying dual LED flash. A Xenon flash would have been better for still images, but that would have arguably added further to the cost. The camera is protected by a lens cover which automatically opens and closes with the Camera application. This is a very neat solution and is another obvious carry over from standalone digital cameras. Stereo speakers sit on either side of the camera housing; they put out a decent volume, but do face away from the user. A number of labels are found on the back of the device (WiFi, GPS, DLNA and DivX), which in my opinion are completely unnecessary and take something away from the sleek design.

Innov8 back

Inside, the INNOV8 has a generous 1200 mAh replaceable battery, which should get most users through a day of use. The INNOV8 has the full set of connectivity options: 3.5G (2100/900MHz), quad band GSM, WiFi, USB (2.0 Hi-speed) and Bluetooth (including A2DP and AVRCP profiles). Variants for other WCDMA bands have not been announced and would likely be dependent on an operator request. There’s 128 MB of RAM on board, with at least 70MB free after boot; this should be sufficient for all operations. There is a small amount of internal memory (tens of Megabytes – sorry all, we didn’t get an accurate reading here), but most data will be stored on the 16GB of internal flash (mass) memory (which looks like an extra memory card as far as the OS is concerned, just as on the Nokia N96).

Slider control

Camera

The headline feature of the INNOV8 is its 8 megapixel camera. However, it is not only the megapixel number that counts – it is the lens, sensor and software algorithms that largely dictate the performance of a camera phone. The INNOV8 makes use of Samsung’s new 8 megapixel sensor (also used in Sony Ericsson’s C905); this sensor is larger than that used in the current crop of 5 megapixel cameras. The resulting performance is very impressive; captured images have great detail, good colour accuracy and lower levels of noise than the current top-tier camera phones. Based on our initial impressions, the INNOV8 will be a serious contender for best cameraphone on the market and will out perform any of Nokia’s current Nseries.

While a high megapixel count is often partly driven by marketing concerns, it does mean there’s greater potential to down-size images to smaller resolutions. Down sizing does lose detail, but can also cut out artefacts and improve the overall perceived quality of the photo. 8 megapixels also means that you can crop images to show specific subjects and still retain high resolution for the cropped photos. This does give the INNOV8 something of an additional advantage over its 5 megapixels rivals. The INNOV8 had an impressively fast start up time, around 2 or 3 seconds, and shot time was good too. With that said, we’re going to have to wait for the retail version of the INNOV8 and a much more in-depth comparison before drawing any final conclusions about real world camera performance.

Detail

Sample (indoor) photo, taken on the INNOV8, click through to
download the original 8 megapixel image.

Detail

Viewing the above photo at nearly 1:1, this is the sort of detail that’s captured

Detail

Another sample (indoor) photo, taken on the INNOV8, click through to
download the original 8 megapixel image.

Rather than follow the S60 UI, the camera application takes its own approach. It looks similar to that found in other Samsung phones and to that in Samsung’s standalone digital camera range. This means that there will be a learning curve for some, but arguably gives a more camera-optimised experience. The INNOV8 camera application has two ways of controlling camera settings. The D-pad is used to access core functions such as macro-mode, self- timer and flash. The left soft key opens a menu which runs along the top of the screen and which gives access to the most commonly used settings. There are menu entries for shooting mode, scene mode (everything from landscape to beach scenes), capture resolution, white balance, effects and settings. ‘Shooting modes’ gives access to the usual single or multiple shot modes, but also has some extras including auto-panorama, mosaic shot and frame shot, but some of these can only be used in much lower resolution which rather decreases their value. More hidden away are the settings for contrast, sharpness, quality (JPEG encoding), ISO, geotagging, exposure centering and blink detection.

Camer app

Moving the camera mode slider one place to the right activates video camera mode. It has a similar layout to the stills camera mode, albeit with fewer settings. The INNOV8 can shoot video at VGA resolution at 30 frames per second or at QVGA at 120 frames per second. This latter, ‘slow motion’ mode provides some extra fun, though of course this is all done in the software. Video capture quality was good and a particular highlight was the ability to set an initial focus before commencing video capture (which makes for sharper video).

Screenshot from INNOV8 Screenshot from INNOV8

The last camera mode activates the Album, which lets you review and, in the case of images, edit media captured by the camera. Album mode arranges media in a grid of images, with a single click bringing the image up in full screen mode. It is not as fancy as the Nseries carousel and may seem cumbersome with many media items, but it is an improvement over the standard Gallery application which is also present on the INNOV8. Although not directly accessible from the Album mode, you’ll find a licensed version of ArcSoft’s excellent image and video editing suite. Shozu, the multimedia upload software, is also pre-installed on the INNOV8. Taken together, this gives the INNOV8 a very strong suite of software for capturing, creating and publishing multimedia content on the device.

Screenshot from INNOV8 Screenshot from INNOV8Screenshot from INNOV8

Video, Music and Audio

The INNOV8’s Music player application is the same as that found on Nokia’s S60 phones: the music library broken down by Album, Artists, Genres and Composers and the Now Playing screen with music controls mapped to the D-pad. There’s also the usual on-device playlist editor, an adjustable equalizer and a number of visualisations. There are no dedicated music playback controls, as found on the upper slider on the N95 and N96, but remember that keypad shortcut key to Music Player, which helps to a degree for quick access. Outside of the music department, there is an FM radio with RDS support. Sound quality should be good; the INNOV8 has the same dedicated DSP chip as the i450 (amongst the best S60 devices for sound quality). Unfortunately, there is no Podcasting application because this is a custom Nokia application rather than being part of S60, a workaround is to use the Feeds feature of Web.

A first for a Samsung S60 device is support for DLNA (UPnP). This allows you to access UPnP media servers and download or play music over a WiFi network. In our time with the INNOV8, we weren’t able to test this functionality, but it is a welcome addition and we’ll cover its abilities in the full review.

Video playback is via RealPlayer. Supported formats include the usual suspects: H.263, H.264, MP4, 3GP, Real Video, but also WMV and DivX. We tested a WMV video and the frame rate was rather slow, but this is likely to be dramatically improved in the final version of the software. There’s no equivalent to Video Centre on the INNOV8, so you’ll either need to side-load content from a PC or download it directly from the Internet.

GPS and Mapping

The INNOV8 includes an integrated GPS with full support for assisted-GPS, which should give reasonably fast lock on times (although we were unable to directly test this in the prototype). There is a dedicated application, GPS+, for downloading the data needed for A-GPS, which is valid for 7 days. Previous S60 Samsung devices have had theoretical support for A-GPS, but didn’t always seem to work well, so hopefully the presence of a dedicated application will improve matters.

In addition to the standard S60 applications, GPS Data and Landmarks, the INNOV8 will ship with a Samsung-branded version of the GPS navigation software Route 66. The exact version you get will depend on the market and circumstances in which you buy the device. Some version may include a license for a single country while for others it may be necessary to download map data and buy a license. Also pre-installed are Google Maps and GyPSii. The latter is a mixture of location services and social media in a single application; it can be used to share your location with friends and search for uploaded media and points of interest around your current location.

Screenshot from INNOV8 Screenshot from INNOV8

Taken together, the mapping and location software bundle provides a decent out of the box feature set for GPS functions on the INNOV8. Samsung have taken an interesting approach here, bundling in third party software to provide a similar feature set to Nokia Maps. This should provide parity in the short term, but it may not be maintained as the web components of Nokia Maps come online in the future. Equally, Samsung’s strategy may evolve – it did announce its intention to develop its own service platform at MWC in Barcelona earlier this year.

Software

The INNOV8 is the second Samsung device, after the L870, to run S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2. This brings a number of advantages, with the most obvious being greater customisation (more comprehensive themes and enhanced active standby), improved usability in the UI (tweaked layout, better multi-tasking, central softkey label, large picture caller ID, transitions) and application tweaks (unified message editor in Messaging, progressive downloads in Web). Feature Pack 2 has many more minor changes and also improves overall performance and battery life.

idle Screenshot from INNOV8Screenshot from INNOV8

Contacts, Calendar and Messaging provide the core PIM functionality and are accompanied by the rest of the standard S60 software suite. Web has support for WRT, Flash Lite 3 and a Samsung enhancement to support the optical sensor.

Screenshot from INNOV8 Web

Samsung have also started to provide a number of exclusive Samsung applications on top of the basic S60 platform package. We’ve already mentioned the customised Camera and Album application, but additional examples can be found on the INNOV8. There is a dictionary application (Collins CoBuild) which will come with a variety of dictionaries depending on the market. Team Manager lets you create additional information (e.g. conference call numbers) around contact groups. Checkit is an impressive list/to-do management application which has a diverse range of uses, from simple to-do lists through shopping lists, to storing notes on travel schedules. ‘Print OTG’ enables printing of images, contacts, messages and calendar via Bluetooth, and ‘Digital frame’ shows off a slideshow of images captured with the device via an ‘image river’.

Screenshot from INNOV8 Screenshot from INNOV8Screenshot from INNOV8

Samsung have also made the sensible decision to bundle a number of third party software titles with the INNOV8, providing significantly enhanced out of the box value. We’ve already mentioned Shozu, Video Editor, Samsung Mobile Navigator (Route 66), Google Maps and Gypsii. Others include S60 stalwarts Quickoffice (read only) and Adobe PDF reader, Google Mail and Google Search (in a dedicated Google folder with Google Maps), Zip manager, Smart reader (business card reader), Fring (instant messaging and VoIP), Asphalt3, Yahoo! Go, CNN, FIFA 08 and RoadSync. FIFA 08 and Asphault3 are full native Symbian applications, by the way – they look and play just like the same titles on Nokia’s N-Gage platform, albeit with the absence of the N-Gage Arena features. Please do note that this list is from the prototype device and there may be changes in the retail release.

Screenshot from INNOV8 Screenshot from INNOV8

Conclusion

The INNOV8 may not seem as if it has any major innovations, but it is the first S60 device with an 8 megapixel camera and manages to pack in a host of other hardware and features – it is right at the top of the current generation of phone technology. Previous Samsung S60 devices like the i550 and G810 felt like they were catching up with Nseries devices already on the market. By contrast the INNOV8, which should ship before the N96, will be putting a nose in front. Assuming it gets operator uptake it should do well.

One of the things that struck me most about the INNOV8 is how quickly Samsung have evolved their S60 phones. The difference between the i520 and the INNOV8 is enormous. I suspect that, as we move into 2009, we’re going to see a lot more competition between Nokia and Samsung in the S60 space – and that can only be good for consumers.

It is impossible to provide a full assessment of a high device like the INNOV8 after an afternoon of hands-on time, but hopefully we’ve been able to give you a taste of this very impressive device. It should be out in the market by September and we’ll be revisiting the device before then in production hardware form, in a full multi-part review.

The INNOV8 looks set to become one of the most desirable phones for the second half of 2008 – apparently Steve’s beloved N95 8GB is already quaking in its case…

Samsung INNOV8

via: http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/reviews/item/Samsung_INNOV8-Hands-on_Preview.php

Technology never stops growing…

September 29, 2008

Cell Phone

Sprout Umbrella


iPod detachable speakers


Laptops….

Shoe…



Cellphone…



Umbrella Lights…



Notebook lamp…


Laptop…


Tablet PC Made Of Wood


USB Flash Drive Watch


Rubik Cube Mp3 Player



Oryx, The Bike From The Future


SkyLift – Boarding System for Aircraft



A Phone That Really Hangs Up




Cellphone Inspired By Chinese Scrolls



BYB Balance Cell Phone
(touchscreen)



Dual Music Player That Plays Your MP3 Collection & Your CDs




Nokia 888 Mobile Phone


G1 Android review

September 24, 2008

Nokia N85 – the dual slider evolves

September 5, 2008

The N85 is Nokia’s smallest dual-slider Nseries handset so far and offers a number of key technological advancements (explained below). It manages to do this while significantly lowering the launch price compared to its predecessors (N95 family) and thus opens up the higher end of Nokia’s Nseries portfolio to a wider audience. The N85 looks set to follow in the footsteps of the N73 and N95 as an iconic handset for Nseries.

In terms of positioning the N85 is a mid to high end Nseries and sits in between the N78/N9 and the N96. It can be seen as a replacement for the N80 and N81 and complimentary the N95 family.

N85 from the front on side

The N85 follows the design language of the N96 and N78 with the 3D ‘adzed’ plastic on the back of the device, the hard silver / grey plastics on the side of the device and a predominantly flat, black and shiny plastic on the front of the device. It also has the hidden-till-lit control key cluster design, made from a single piece of plastic, but with each key having its own key dome.

The N85 will be one of the first Nseries to ship with the full range of Ovi services and software on the handset out of the box.

(Update) See Also:

Feature: N85 hands-on first impressions (including comparison images)

Gallery: Nokia N85

Key points about the N85 hardware:

  • 2.6 inch, QVGA (240 x 320) AM OLED screen with 16 million colours. AM OLED screens have a number of advantages: they generally draw less power, and have better performance for colour gamut, response time, and contrast. See below for more on AM OLED.
  • Tri-band WCDMA cellular and quad band GSM radios, which means 3G data connectivity or calling can be used worldwide. There will be three N85 variants: a European and Asian model (WCDMA 2100/1900/900), an Americas model (WCDMA 2100/1900/850) and an EDGE/GSM only model for the Chinese market. See below for an explanation of WCDMA bands.
  • USB charging. The N85 is the first Nokia S60 model to support USB charging and the first Nokia device to support simultaneous charging and data transfer. The microUSB (Hi-Speed USB 2.0) connector is also used for PC connectivity, media sync, printing and USB mass storage (client). The N85 does not have a 2mm power port, instead a microUSB charger (Nokia AC-10) will be provided.
  • Dimensions of 103 x 50 x 16mm and a weight of 128g make the N85 at least 25% thinner than previous dual sliders (N95 8GB: 21mm, N96 20mm). It is also the smallest in overall volume at 76cc (N96 is 92cc, N95 8GB is 96cc).
  • 5 megapixel camera (2584 x 1938), which is protected by a sliding lens cover and accompanied by a dual LED flash/photo light and lens cover. The lens uses Carl Zeiss optics and has an aperture of F2.8 and focal length of 5.45mm. Video capture is at VGA resolution at 30 frames per second.
  • The camera’s dual LED flash has optimised micro-optics. The gain is better than earlier devices with freshnel lenses. Essentially this means the flash will provide greater illumination. Using an LED flash means it can be used in both video and photo mode.
  • Intelligent key illumination – the upper slide keys illuminate according to their current function. In music and video playback, the multimedia shortcut controls are shown. In N-Gage games, two circles represent the dedicated gaming keys. Similarly, the control cluster only illuminates when the key functions are available (e.g. switched off in camera mode).
  • Touch sensitive NaviWheel for scrolling in user interface. Auto screen rotation powered by integrated accelerometer sensor.
  • 8GB microSD memory card included in the box. 70 MB of internal memory with 128 MB of RAM (around 75MB free after boot up).
  • Integrated FM transmitter (as first seen in the N78) and FM radio with RDS support.
  • 3.5mm stereo headphone jack (on the top of the device), which is also used for TV-out. Twin stereo speakers are located on the top and bottom of the right-hand-side of the device (above and below the volume and camera capture keys respectively).
  • Integrated GPS (with support for A-GPS), which is used for GPS navigation and geotagging photos. The GPS antennae is located on the back of the, near the top end of the device around the camera area. This should give it the optimum position for reception regardless of the slide mode.
  • WiFi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth connectivity, including support for A2DP and AVRCP profiles (Bluetooth stereo headphones).
  • Nokia BL-5K battery (1200 mAh) with quoted standby time of 300 hours. 25 hours of music playback (offline mode). In the real world this should be sufficient for a day of heavy usage.
  • The in-box accessories for the N85 are stereo headset/controller (HS-45/AD-54), high power charger (AC-10), connectivity cable (CA-101), 8GB microSD card, and TV-out cable (CA-75U).

N-Gage Music

Key points about the N85 software:

  • Runs S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 on Symbian OS 9.3.
  • Photos application on phone for viewing photos, organizing into albums, printing locally, and adding meta-data/tags. Share online application for uploading photos and video to Flickr, Share on Ovi and other web services, with XpressPrint application for printing photos via the web. Bi-directional media sync between Photos application on the handset and Nokia Photos for PC.
  • Music player (MP3, AAC eAAC+ and WMA) and Nokia Music Store applications on the handset. As with current handsets (in some markets) a few music tracks are likely to be preloaded on the memory card. Intially the Nokia Music Manager software will be used for side loading. Nokia Music PC client, currently in beta, may replace this at a later date.
  • Video Centre can be used to download video on the device via RSS feed. (H.264, H.263, RV 8/9/10, and WMV). WMV can be handled at VGA resolution at 30 frames per second (downsized to QVGA on handset, but full resolution used for TV-out). Side loading of videos is supported by Nokia Video Manager.
  • UPnP software suite for controlling remote UPnP servers, control points and renderers, making on-device multimedia available to other UPnP devices, and syncing on-device media to UPnP server. A Nokia-branded version of Simple Center software is included in the box.
  • Nokia Maps 2.0 (3 months free navigation in selected markets) for driving or walking navigation will be available out of the box. Maps for the appropriate local area will be preloaded on the microSD card.
  • The full N-Gage client application will be available out of the box. The N85 will ship with 15 N-Gage games preloaded and there will be an in-box voucher that will let you activate one of these games for free.

N85 slide closedslide closed

N85 Video demo, courtesy of Nokia Conversations

AM OLED Screen Technology

The N85 has a new screen technology – AM OLED, but what is it and what does it mean for you?

OLED, also known as LEP (light emitting polymer), is a screen made up of small dots of organic polymers that, when charged with electricity, emit light. The advantage of OLED displays are that they are generally brighter, have a better colour gamut (numbers of colours that can be accurately displayed at same time), have better contrast ratio, have a better response time, have better viewing angles and use less power. In contrast to traditional TFT LCD displays they do not require a back light.

AM OLED is a technology that combines the active matrix back plane, from a traditional TFT screen, with an OLED display. AM OLED displays, because of their active matrix nature, are quicker to switch pixels and thus give better performance for fast moving, on-screen changes such as animation and video.

What this means is that the N85’s screen, compared to earlier Nseries devices, will have:

  • Reduced power consumption. In normal uses cases AM OLED requires 30-40% less power than a LCD screen. The power used is related to what is shown on the screen – the darker the screen the less power is used, conversely a predominantly white screen will use more power.
  • A better contrast ratio (ratio of the luminance of the brightest color, white, to that of the darkest color, black). Roughly 1:1300 compared to 1:500. Black is truly black on an AM OLED screen as there is no back-light and therefore no ‘light-leakage’.
  • A better viewing angle – around 180°.
  • A greater number of different colours on the screen at one time.
  • A brighter screen for the same amount of power.

Tri-Band WCDMA

The N85 has tri-band WCDMA cellular radios in two different variants – a European and Asian one (WCDMA 2100/1900/900), an Americas one (WCDMA 2100/1900/850). Previously Nokia has had dual band WCDMA devices.

There are four commonly used WCDMA bands:

  • Band I: (WCDMA 2100) in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Brazil
  • Band II: (WCDMA 1900) in North America and South America
  • Band V: (WCDMA 850) in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the USA, other parts of South America, and parts of Asia
  • Band VIII: (WCDMA 900) in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Australia

Tri-band WCDMA means that the N85 should be usable, in 3G mode, in most countries. Currently 2100 and 1900 are the most commonly used bands.

N85 versus N96 size comparison

N85 vs N96 size comparison

N85 back

Nokia N96

August 27, 2008

Positioning

As a rule, the average consumer’s thought pattern isn’t characterized by sophistication or depth – all he cares to consider when choosing a phone is index and functionality. Take the Nokia N95 for example – it is a do-it-all flagship, so the average Joe readily assumes the device that has one rung added to its index, specifically, the N96, should outdo the previous offering in every single way. The logic seems solid at a glance, but as we go deeper into the N96, it loses a fair share of its soundness.

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Nokia N96

Nokia has a clear-cut goal: to roll out a variety of solutions in order to settle down in different niches and for this they need similarly styled phones that pack in unique feature sets. Being resembling design-wise helps offerings that stand close together within the range appear identical to those who buy this trick, even though as far as philosophy and hardware are concerned, they couldn’t be more polarized. Basically, that’s the story of the Nokia N96 that got stuck with the “flagship” title, so now it is considered as the best S60-based solution around, which is not how things really stand. Effectively, it is a niche product that’s meant to open the range of similarly featured solutions, a feeler, if you like – dubbing an all-round new solution that hasn’t stood the test of time yet “the flagship” is somewhat reckless. Moreover, Nokia has never done such thing, but gossips care very little about that.



Nokia’s portfolio offers a couple of DVB-H capable solutions, specifically the Nokia N77 and a more dated phone, the N92. Neither of them was widely available, since they were used either in pilot television projects or tailored for particular regions (like the N77 in Taiwan, starting late fall 2007). Indeed, given that the vast majority of markets still have no DVB-H television enabled, a replica of the N73, yet armed with this functionality, was uncalled for. In March 2008, the European authorities standardized on DVB-H and from this point on will put in their efforts to support it. In this sense the Nokia N96 has a good chance to avoid the role of an ugly duckling that will never see release – thankfully, mobile television isn’t a big focus in the N96, it is rather included among all other things there.

Much like other Nseries-branded solutions, the N96 is heavy on multimedia, and delivers especially with its video department. There is a handful of things going for it – the display diagonal, hardware support for H.264 decoding, speedier videos and a folding stand that allows having the N96 on flat surfaces at a video-friendly angle.


Interestingly, over a year ago Nokia started to enhance its product portfolio not only by varying styles, but also hardware platform underpinning their solutions. The Nokia N95 and its follow-ups built upon the TI OMAP chip, while the N96 takes advantage of STMicroelectronics’s Nomadik. So when comparing these two phones, their similarities don’t go beyond physical aspects, since other things, like functionality and hardware, are quite different.

Is the N96 a mass-market solution? No. Then, is it heavily specialized, aiming at one particular niche? No. It is rather somewhere in between. This phone will see moderate sales, although the fuss around it will easily shadow its modest numbers.

Design, size, controls

Visually, the N96 is very much like the Nokia N81 8 Gb – same black finish with glossy surfaces, same controls, with a little bit of silver along the sides, making for a pretty seducing mix. The front face is extremely easy to soil with fingerprints and smudge; basically, it gets so dirty in a matter of minutes that a cleaning cloth becomes a must-have for its owners.



The phone measures in at 103x55x18 mm (125 grams) plus the camera part is even thicker due the rim around the lens that adds a couple of millimeters to the N96’s girth. On the whole, the N96 looks and feels more like some sort of shovel in the hand due to being quite wide – compared with the Nokia N81 it has gotten 0,5cm wider. While it is not a solution for women in any way, it is more about whether or not shop assistants will manage to convince them that it is the flagship solution. As far as I remember, the Nokia N93 wasn’t all that petite either, notwithstanding, women happily went for it and carried it around in their purses, and furthermore, some are still using it. It is important to realize that the Nokia N96’s dimensions are as close to the maximum as it get – its pocket-stretching casing won’t fit just about any jacket or trousers. Some may well argue with me on this, and I will readily agree that some types of clothes are perfect for the N96; but for the most part, it will not please you with its portability.




Perched on the top end is the keypad lock slider, the same as that found in the Nokia N81, along with the 3.5 mm headphones jack and power button. Sitting on the left-hand spine is the microSD memory card slot covered by a plastic flap. Things get more interesting on the right side, where you will find two speakers under a metal grill, as well as the camera button and volume rocker. The bottom edge houses the microUSB socket and charger slot (2 mm).


Form-factor wise, the N96 is a dual slider that can be pushed both up and down – that is, in the latter case you gain access to the phone’s music-minded controls that also kick in when watching video. The buttons here, unlike the Nokia N95 8Gb, aren’t bulging – they are flat and made of the same plastic as the handset’s face.


As far as the build quality is concerned, the jury is still out – the prototypes we played around with were nothing special, to put it mildly, so they gave little idea of how the N96 was really put together. Some time ago we experienced the same thing with the Nokia N81 – when I had my first hands-on session with it, I thought its build quality was horrendous. But then I spent some time with a commercial unit and found that it felt pretty solid and had no trace of its past problems left. And I really can’t think why they would make an exception for the Nokia N96 and leave it as it is today.

Nested on the rear side are the LED flash, lens of a 5 Mpix CMOS camera (which is in effect identical to the Nokia N95) with autofocus. As of today, the camera doesn’t work properly, as the software is still pretty crude (well, it does take shots, but I couldn’t find one person who would like them).



Mounted around the lens rim is a folding stand that allows for a video-friendly setup when you put the N96 on a flat surface. It is pretty handy in use and reliable at that – at least, I pressed, pushed and abused the N96 in all possible ways when the stand was out and still couldn’t break it. The models to come will also enjoy this useful detail.

Display

The handset comes bundled with a QVGA 2.8-inch display (240×320 pixels, 42×58 mm). Its 16 million colors and sufficient brightness make for an easy-to-read picture. While in the sun, the display gets washed out, yet remains perfectly legible.


The N96’s diagonal is a clear improvement over the original N95 and its 2,6 inches (which is also quite a difference compared to other 2- and 2,2-inch units). The increased diagonal normally brings about a more blurry image, however thanks to the N96’s brighter display, you will hardly notice this effect.



The display accommodates up to 8 text and up to 3 service lines. In some modes, though, you may get up to 14 text lines. All fonts are sharp and easy to read.

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Keypad

Similarly to the N81, the Nokia N96 employs the Navy Wheel. There is a smallish mechanical button with its edges sitting slightly above the surface. Honestly, I didn’t find it a joy to use. It is also flanked by music controls, which is the same control cluster you will see on the N96’s remote. But that’s not the most interesting thing about it. The fact of the matter is that this device utilizes touch-based navigation, so you can scroll though your gallery and music library by sweeping your finger around the navigation button (direction doesn’t matter – if it’s clockwise, then you’ll be scrolling down). Nevertheless, it is not an essential or vital touch, that’s why by default it is disabled in the menu, which is the right thing. Speaking of the drawbacks, we experienced way too many mispresses on the music controls, especially those on the squashed right part of the keypad. Visually, they seem pretty much like the Nokia N91’s cluster, however in the N96 the right soft-key brings up the Multimedia menu.

The numeric keys are average in size and sit under flat plastic slabs. Being glossy, they certainly attract grease and dirt from your hands, which is especially visible while indoors. We have no gripes with the N96’s keypad – it handles well, the buttons are generally good and have sufficient travel distance. They are all lit in white, which makes them visible in various environments.


Battery

The handset makes use of a 950 mAh Li-Ion battery (BL-5F), which is the same as what the original Nokia N95 had, whereas the N95 8Gb had its cell capacity kicked up to 1050 mAh. Given their identical screens, we have a feeling that the Nokia N96 could also use a more capable battery.

The N96 has a rated battery life of 3.6 hours talk time and up to 220 hours standby time. For Nokia N95, the standby time was rated at 240 hours. So, generally, in all main usage modes (voice, web surfing, etc) you won’t notice much of a difference between these too. On a side note, the Nokia N81, thanks to employing different hardware solutions as compared to the Nokia N95, allowed it to excel in terms of battery time in all primary modes, and score 420 hours on standby tests, which is as close to perfect as it only gets. It takes the N96 a little over 2 hours to charge from empty to full.

The Nokia N96 comes equipped with a DSP for sound and video processing; this way, their presence should boost the handset’s performance on these fronts. Let’s take a look at our battery time chart and see how well it fared in a duel with the Nokia N95 8Gb:

  • GPS-navigation – 3 hours
  • Video – 4.5 hours (rated at 5 hours, the Nokia N95 8Gb lasted 3.5 hours).
  • WEB surfing (over EDGE) – 3 hours (same 3 hours on the N95 8Gb).
  • Wi-Fi (non-stop data upload) – 3.5 hours (N95 8Gb – 3 hours).
  • Music (in headphones) – 13.5 hours (rated at 14 hours, the Nokia N95 8Gb – at 10 hours)
  • TV (only for the N96) – up to 5 hours.

Obviously, the N96’s hardware feats help it stay up in the video and music modes longer while packing a less capable battery. Other than that, it was on a par with the Nokia N95 8Gb (give or take in view of its inferior cell).

In Moscow, the N96 stayed online for around 2 days when we were heavy on its features (regular mail checks, up to 5 hours of music and up to 20 SMS messages). We are confident the phone will easily last 2 days even in the most extreme usage mode (except for non-stop web-browsing), and if you are planning to use nothing but its voice calls, then expect 3-4 days of operation, depending on how much time you spend on the phone.

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Memory

The N96 is the first S60 smartphone to enjoy both 16 Gb of built-in storage and memory cards. Up until today Nokia hasn’t been running this memory structure on many devices, except for its Internet tablets, like the Nokia N800 or Nokia N810. It is definitely a great feat to have; but it is not only Nokia – Motorola is also exercising this approach (specifically with the ROKR E8, although this concept is marred there by measly inbuilt storage volume).

The handset sports a couple of sections inside its memory – one, Disk C (256 Mb of which around 180 Mb are available), is employed for storing user data, contracts, messages, calendar events etc; it is managed like on other smartphones, i.e. you can save any files here, install applications you need and son on. The same tricks can be done with the inbuilt storage, marked as an extra disk, or, as today’s smartphones have it, a memory card. The file manager now features another tab for memory cards; but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what memory section you work with, as you are free to jump between them back and forth, install any applications you want, save any data you need and so forth. So, in essence, it is all the same.

On the other hand, there is a tiny detail, that can come in handy – when copying files in the USB Mass Storage mode into the handset’s built-in memory, the speed will top out at around 2 Mb/s, however, when moving data from or to the memory card from the bundled storage, you will get only 1 Mb/s at best. And we are lost on why it’s so – probably, we’ll need to get back to this issue once we get our hands on a commercial unit.

The N96’s RAM volume makes 128 Mb, although after first start-up there will be only around 89 Mb left at your disposal. On this front it is no different from the Nokia N95 8Gb.

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Hardware specifications

As you remember, the Nokia N95 runs the TI OMAP 2420, which is the same solution utilized for all top-of-the-line solutions. With the advent of the Nokia N81, they added another option – a platform from Freescale. And now along comes the third solution – the STN8816 (Nomadik line-up) from STMicroelectronics that employs the ARM926EJ CPU running at 334 MHz. Honestly, sometimes I catch myself thinking that this “334 MHz” mark is bewitched in some way, so that Nokia’s S60-powered solutions can get past it. The fact is, all today’s devices utilize this clock rate, and it’s not clear why, given how different the solutions they retain are and the possibility to kick the TI OMAP’s rate up.

The N96 also packs in a DSP for video processing (decodes to H.264 at 30 FPS and VGA resolution – other formats are supported too, but this one is more prioritized). For its audio needs, the handset employs a 24-bit DSP and a wealth of effects that come preinstalled with it, although it is all up to the vendor to enable them or not.

As you can see from this short rundown on the platform, the N96 has some feats onboard that we would like to take for a test drive; specifically, its sound quality and how it fares compared to the competition.

The phone also comes packaged with a motion sensor that automatically rotates the screen when you flip the N96 in your hands.

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USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

USB. The handset comes in with USB 2.0 support, upon a successful PC connection you can choose one of the following modes:

  • Data Transfer (Mass Storage USB) – memory cards is available, no drivers required, as your OS identifies the handset automatically. Data transfer speed makes around 1800-2000 Kb/s (USB 2.0).
  • PC Suite – used for device management via Nokia PC Suite, enables all features of the phone, data backup etc.
  • Image Print – no explanation required.
  • Media Player (MTP protocol) – synchronizes data with Windows Media Player.

Bluetooth. The smartphone sports EDR-enabled Bluetooth 2.0 alongside the following profiles:

  • A2DP
  • AVCRP
  • BIP-ImagePush
  • DUN-GW
  • FT-Server
  • HandsFree-AG (1.0)
  • Headset-AG
  • OBEX
  • OPP-Client
  • OPP-Server
  • SIM Access-Server

The top speed you can get with the N96’s Bluetooth connection is around 100 Kb/s. We also tested its A2DP profile in pair with the Sony Ericsson DS970 headset, which worked just fine – we managed our play list, skipped within tracks and adjusted volume seamlessly, however we couldn’t make current track’s title show up on the N81’s display.

Wi-Fi. This handset comes armed with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 g) support. All security standards are supported: WEP , WPA , WPA 2, with other advanced settings available. The device supports Universal PnP standard (UPnP), which is the successor to the wired standard PnP. With its help, along with Wi-Fi, you can send slides to a TV, music to a stereo system, and photos to a printer. In a certain sense UPnP is like an add-on to the infrastructure (Wi-Fi, for example) in the form of Bluetooth-esque services, so this looks more like a software upgrade. The sales package includes Home Media Server, which allows connecting the N96 through your home Wi-Fi network to a desktop PC.

There is also a Wi-Fi wizard available in the N96 – it can keep looking for enabled networks in the background mode and tap into them.

Music department

What we were really thrilled about with the N96 was what the new chip could bring to the table – its 24-bit DSP had to make some difference, compared to the performance of Nokia’s other offerings. However, we didn’t notice any substantial improvements, although it seemed that bass pumped better, especially when we used custom earphones (the one that comes bundled with the N96 isn’t a good choice after all). The handset’s player packs no bells and whistles, being a standard FP2 fare – you can learn more about it and the system itself in our in-depth review.

And now it’s about time we gave the tribune to Alexander Dembovsky – wrapping it all up, we should also note that the N96’s inbuilt FM radio is pretty good, although it is little to no different from other solutions out there. In speakerphone mode the phone did well playing music and radio – actually over my quality time with the Nokia N96 I got hooked on its online radio, I would often tap into a local WiFi network, tune in to some station, pull the stand out and enjoy music or news bulletins. All thanks to such a tiny, measly detail as the desk stand, the N96 is so much more usable – in this sense I also like the way the Nokia N810 is designed.

RightMark Audio Analyzer tests:

General performance:

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.39, -1.58 Average
Noise level, dB (A): -87.3 Good
Dynamic range, dB (A): 87.3 Good
THD, %: 0.0098 Very Good
IMD, %: 0.569 Bad
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -75.5 Very Good
Intermodulation at 10 kHz, %: 0.112 Average


General performance: Good

Frequency response

Noise level

Nokia N96 vs Nokia N95 8Gb:

General performance

Test Nokia N96 Nokia N95 8 Gb
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.39, -1.58 +0.77, -1.83
Noise level, dB (A): -87.3 -77.7
Dynamic range, dB (A): 87.3 77.4
THD, %: 0.0098 0.0060
IMD, %: 0.569 0.153
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -75.5 -71.4

Frequency response

Noise level

Alexander Dembovsky’s take on the N96:

In spite of some expectations we had, the N96 isn’t much of a stellar performer on the audio front. To be more specific, its highs are somewhat crippled and to mend them up to the level that feels appropriate for a mobile phone, you will need to tweak them with the equalizer. Thankfully, as far as mid and lows go the N96 does much better, with the signal being even across the entire range, which is something we are used to see with above-average dedicated audio players. Another thing of note is the intermodulation distortions surge around the 1 kHz mark. Other than that, the Nokia N96 does a fairly good job.

Compared with the Nokia N95 8Gb, the N96 is slightly ahead, although very few people will actually feel the difference with bare ears; but one thing is for sure – the N96 delivers when it comes to bass, trumping its sibling on this front.

The N96’s output signal strength is sufficient for most earbuds and clip-on headphones, though for best performance we recommend using a pair of good noise-isolating earbuds.

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Mobile television

The N96 comes installed with a no-frills application for watching TV programmes, featuring a list of broadcasts, enabling you to see short clips taken out of them (not full-screen, however). On the plus side, this app allows for programme descriptions, also it can kick in or start recording on schedule, although the latter ability won’t be available for the most part, since most of the content you watch is protected.

The TV quality offered by the N96 is relatively good, especially when you think that it is DVB-H; consequently you wont’ be able to make use of this functionality unless your region supports the DVB-H standard.

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Impressions

The reception quality provided by the N96 is up to Nokia’s standard, nothing to worry about here. The vibro alert is moderate strength-wise. The N96’s two loudspeakers are pretty average as far as their volume is concerned, in fact on this front it is in line with the Nokia N81.

Basically, with the prototypes we got our hands on, it is impossible to judge the N96’s real build quality or UI speed and reliability, so we can either wait for new updates to hardware and software or just sit idle until we get a chance to play around with a commercial edition of the handset.

The N96 is set to arrive in August – September 2008 and will retail for around 550 Euro in Europe (whereas in Russia its price tag will float around the level of 1000 USD, especially during its first months on the market). This phone is heavy both on video and television, that’s why its feats won’t be particularly craved here, in Russia. And given that there are other offerings to come that will offer similar specs under their hoods (USB speed, memory structure), there is no point in paying a premium for the Nokia N96 and getting a bunch of pretty much useless abilities for good measure. On top of that, the N96 is rather a stand-alone device in Nokia’s range; it by no means aims to appeal to each and everyone as the top-of-the-line solution in spite of its index.

On a more interesting note – the Nokia N95 8Gb, upon its release, went for 570 Euro, which is in line with the Nokia N96’s reported price tag and even a tad above it. But there are no far-reaching conclusions to be made here, except for one thing – 16 Gb storage will become par for the course starting late 2008, as a couple of affordable (relatively, though) N81-esque models will come out sporting this much memory onboard.

Nokia N79, N85 smart phones

August 27, 2008

Nokia launched two new Nseries devices. Nokia N85 will basically replace the N81 and they have upgraded the camera from two to five megapixels, also adding GPS both for mapping and for geotagging. It also switches to a 2.6-inch AMOLED screen that has richer colors and as much as 28 hours of music playback on a single charge.

n85-nokia.jpg

Similar to the N81, the N85 slider is an N-Gage friendly phone and has controls suited to playing games from Nokia’s service in landscape view. Music is also an emphasis, though the handset maker has opted against the built-in storage of the N81 8GB and instead bundles an 8GB microSDHC card, giving owners the option of an upgrade to 16GB. Internet access is supplied either through HSDPA-based 3G or through Wi-Fi.

Nokia N79 in next in line to the Nokia N78 from just months earlier and upgrades the camera from 3.2 to five megapixels, also using a dual-LED based flash.

n79.jpg

Nokia is marketing the device as a fashion phone with swappable back covers that change the look to reflect its owner’s tastes. The candybar design also has the full 3G, GPS, and Wi-Fi feature set and lasts for up to 24 hours of music. A 4GB microSD card gives it more storage than the earlier handset.

Best Nokia N-Series Shortcuts

August 3, 2008

Notable for their multimedia focus and sleek, non-QWERTY design, Nokia N-series smartphones have certainly proven their metal over the past couple of years.

Early unlocked devices like the Nokia N80 gave enthusiasts 3-megapixel cameras and Wi-Fi connectivity back when almost no other phones had that capability. Newer models like the Nokia N95 8GB offer a larger screen and plenty of internal storage. The Nokia N82, meanwhile, takes arguably the best camera phone pictures on the market due to its 5-megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, and Xenon flash. I found its photos to be virtually indistinguishable from a low-end, dedicated point-and-shoot camera.

Here’s a selection of shortcuts geared specifically for numeric keypad-equipped N-series models. Get the most out of your handset with these tips:

• Use the number keys to quickly open applications in the menu; for example, press 4 to open the fourth application.

• Delete any app in the menu by highlighting its icon and pressing C.

• To switch calendar views, repeatedly press the * key. Pressing # will jump back to the current day.

• Check your handset’s free memory in Menu -> Tools -> Utilities -> Memory. Meanwhile, Options -> Memory Details shows how disk space each application uses.

• Display the phone’s OS version by keying in *#0000# while the phone is in Standby mode.

• To improve the camera mode’s slow photo-to-photo shoot time, turn off “Show Captured Image” in the Options menu, since it defaults to On.

• If you’ve had trouble transferring files to and from your N-series phone, download the latest version of Nokia PC suite at www.nokia.com/pcsuite.

• Certain Nokia phones can download and manage podcasts directly on the device; check by selecting Menu -> Music and seeing if there’s a Podcasting icon.

• Here’s something I wish my Motorola Q could do: newer N-series models like the N95 8GB have an alarm clock that still works even if the handset is powered down. The device will automatically power up and sound the alarm tone at the selected time.

• When entering text, cycle between multitap, predictive, and numeric text modes by pressing # twice, quickly, on the numeric keypad.

• In the Web browser, quickly find text by selecting Options -> Find -> Text, and then entering a keyword. Press the control pad up and down to cycle between the matches.

• Wireless handset security may be an overblown issue, at least in the U.S., but it still is a good idea to turn off your handset’s Bluetooth visibility. Go to Bluetooth -> Off, or My Phone’s Visibility -> Hidden, whenever you’re not using Bluetooth.

National Do Not Call Registry from TRAI

May 4, 2008

If you wish to stop receiving telemarketing and associated communication, you may want to register yourself on the NDNC registry, simply SMS START DND to 1909 (toll free) and in case you want to de-register yourself from the NDNC registry SMS STOP DND to 1909 (toll free).

The primary objective of the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC Registry) is to curb Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC). UCC has been defined as “any message, through telecommunications service, which is transmitted for the purpose of informing about,or soliciting or promoting any commercial transaction in relation to goods, investments or services which a subscriber opts not to receive, but, does not include, —-

(i) any message (other than promotional message) relating to a service or financial transaction under a specific contract between the parties to such contract;or

(ii) any messages relating to charities, national campaigns or natural calamities transmitted on the directions of the Government or agencies authorized by it for the said purpose;

(iii) messages transmitted, on the directions of the Government or any authority or agency authorized by it, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality.”

The NDNC Registry will be a data base having the list of all telephone numbers of the subscribers who do not want to receive UCC.After the establishment of NDNC registry, Telephone subscriber (Landline or mobile) who does not wish to receive UCC, can register their telephone number with their telecom service provider for inclusion in the NDNC. Telecom Service Provider shall upload the telephone number to the NDNC within 45 days of receipt. The Telemarketer will have to verify their calling telephone numbers list with the NDNC registry before making a call. To discourage the telemarketers who make calls to the numbers registered in Do Not Call List, a provision has been made whereby Rs.500/ – shall be payable by the telemarketer to the service provider for every first unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) and Rs.1000/- shall be payable for subsequent UCC. There is a provision for disconnection of the telemarketer telephone number / telecom resource if the UCC is sent even after levy of Rs.500/- & Rs.1000/- tariff. In case of non-compliance to the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007, the Service Provider is also liable to pay an amount by way of financial disincentive, not exceeding Rs.5000/- for first non-compliance of the regulation and in case of second or subsequent such non-compliance, an amount not exceeding Rs.20,000/- for each such non-compliance.

For customers who would like to register/de-register their request for NDNC registry may dial 1909 or SMS to 1909 with keywords ‘START DND’ for registration and ‘STOP DND’ for de-registration