Posts filed under 'Nokia'

Fido Releases Nokia 2220

Fido has release the Nokia 2220.  The super basic slider is only $65 off contract, or free on a 2 year term.

The Nokia 2220 features:

  • Dual-band phone for GSM 850/1900
  • VGA camera
  • FM radio with recording feature
  • Email
  • HandsfreeSpeaker
  • MP3 Ringtones

I recommend picking up this device off contract if it does appeal to you.

live_strong


6 comments July 1st, 2010

Rogers Launches N97 Mini

Rogers Wireless has released the N97 Mini, a full touch screen device with slide out QWERTY keyboard.

The Nokia N97 Mini comes with everything you need for productivity and entertainment. It offers the full Ovi suite, including Ovi Maps with free Navigation and a car mount so you can turn this N-series smartphone into a full GPS solution. For your entertainment needs, the N97 Mini comes with exclusive content like Rihanna tracks and 5 free premium games to keep you entertained.

3 year: $99.99 (voice and data)
2 year: $399.99
1 year: $449.99
monthly: $449.99
no term: $499.99

live_strong

Add comment June 17th, 2010

Once You Go Black…

If you are like me you love black electronics. It looks like WIND is helping us out with our black addiction by adding the Nokia 5230 in black to their phone lineup.

Like the white 5230, the black phone will retail contract free for only $180.  The 3.2″ touch screen device has a virtual QWERTY keyboard and free turn-by-turn navigation through Nokia Maps 3.0.

The Nokia 5230 is a stylish affordable touch screen device featuring a full-function Media Player with expandable memory of up to 16 GB, Nokia Maps, and integrated online communities like Facebook and YouTube.

live_strong

2 comments June 14th, 2010

Nokia Ovi Store now bills directly to your Rogers/Bell/TELUS bill

Attention Canadians: Purchases made from the Ovi Store can now be billed directly to your Rogers/Bell/TELUS bill.

Add comment June 1st, 2010

Make Ovi Maps “your own”

So you already have a Nokia device with Ovi Maps which gives you free turn by turn navigation.  The only problem is none of the built-in voice navigators are really doing it for you.  Head over to the Ovi store and download Own Voice, this program allows you to record your own directions or download a voice pack created by another Ovi user like you.

Learn more about Own Voice at Ovi.

live_strong

Add comment May 5th, 2010

Virgin Canada Welcomes Back Nokia

After Nokia pulled out of the CDMA phone market a few years ago, Virgin Mobile is finally able to welcome Nokia back to their phone lineup with a HSPA device.

The Nokia 2370 features a 2MP camera, FM radio, 30MB of internal memory with support up to 2GB through the use of microSDHC cards.

Do it all, from almost anywhere in the world, with the sleek Nokia 2730. Leave on a jet plane and you’ve got global mobile with roaming in more than 200 countries around the world. Take pics and shoot vids with the 2 megapixel camera, surf to your fave websites, check email, connect wirelessly with Bluetooth® 2.0, listen to FM stereo radio, download tones and pics, and pump up your phone’s storage with up to 2 GB of expandable memory.

The Nokia 2730 is only available on postpaid service. $59.99 on a 30 day term or $0.00 on a 2 year contract.

Head over to your nearest Virgin Mobile Canada dealer to purchase the Nokia 2730 or buy online directly through Virgin.

live_strong

1 comment May 3rd, 2010

Nokia annouces the N8

Nokia just has announced the N8 which runs the new Symbian^3 platform. It has a 12MP camera that can also record high definition video. It comes with software you can use to edit the high def video plus and HDMI port you can use to connect the N8 to a TV.

You get a 3.5″ 640×360 (same resolution as the N97, N97 Mini, 5320, 5800) but the N8 comes with a capacitive display.The display comes with multitouch support including pinch zooming.

It comes with 16GB of built in storage with  a microSDHC card slot.

The body is made from a single piece of aluminum.

Price will be 370 Euros (approx $500 USD/CAN) and will be available in Q3 2010.

Anyone think it looks like the child of a Hiptop and RAZR?

Nokia N8

2 comments April 27th, 2010

Nokia 5230 Coming to WIND Canada

Nokia and WIND Mobile have announced that the Nokia 5230 will be launching in the immediate future.  The Nokia 5230 is a “stripped down” version of the Nokia 5800.  Look for the 5230 to launch in around the $150 mark.

3.2″ (640×360 pixels) touchscreen
70MB on device memory
microSD up to 16GB
3.5mm headphone jack
2.0 MP camera
free Ovi Maps turn by turn navigation
A-GPS

live_strong

1 comment April 13th, 2010

Nokia N900 Review

When I reviewed the N810 a while back I thought it was an interesting data only device. I’d say the user experience was somewhere in-between a phone and a computer. Now this is not normally a good thing but the n810 had a large enough display with enough resolution that I didn’t mind it. Anyways the n900 runs a newer version of the n810′s software, the screen retains the same resolution but is smaller (3.5″ vs 4.3″), has a faster processor (600Mhz vs 400Mhz), more memory and storage and most notably a built in phone so you don’t need to worry about finding WiFi or tethering anymore.

The n900 is a thick phone. It reminds me of some of HTC’s older phones like the TyTN. Personally it doesn’t bother me much but your mileage may vary.

Here’s a quick tour of the N900 along with some comparisons with comparable phones:

The display has a resolution of 800×480 and is a resistive (you can use a stylus) touch screen. One the N900 I found the resistive touch screen works well and never really found myself wishing it was a capacitive one. This is mostly due to the fact that most of the time the user interface is designed so that it doesn’t matter if you’re using capacitive or resistive.

The only real exceptions are when you’re switching programs and if you’re using the on screen keyboard. Depending on your dexterity you might find it difficult to close programs. Anyways there is a stylus located on the bottom left of the keyboard – I never really used it.

The keyboard is excellent. The keys have a nice feel and shape to them. It’s easy to type quickly on the N900 keyboard with 2 hands and much harder if you’re just using one. I do wish there were separate number keys.

There is an on screen keyboard which isn’t that great since the N900 has a resistive touch screen so entering text is slow.

While I’m fairly proficient with the n810 I found the n900 software to be very different. This isn’t a bad thing since it didn’t take me long to learn the new menus. If you’re also a S60 user (like myself) the N900 is very different in that there are no buttons to control the menu. For example S60 always has a menu button and 2 soft keys. The N900 just has areas that you press to access menus and options.

Like the lack of menu buttons another Nokia paradigm which is not present are send/end buttons. I’ll be honest it took me a while to get used to this even though I regular switch between different phones like the iPhone or various Android phones which also lack send/end buttons.

Overall I thought the UI while being somewhat different from what I’m used to does work well.

There is a home screen which supports widgets but to be honest I rarely used the home screen. You can customize it plus there are 3 different home screens which you can scroll through.

You can dial from the phone book but the easiest way is to go to the standby display and start typing in a contact’s name (like some the E71, E72). This will bring up a list of matching contacts. Tapping a contact will bring up their information which you can tap to call, SMS, email, etc them.

While the phone function isn’t bad it wasn’t very intuitive to me at first because once I started using it a lot I found I never needed to be on the home screen.

With the exception of the phone app one thing missing from the N900 is a portrait mode. Nokia really expects you to use the N900 in landscape mode. While apps do work well in landscape mode it would be convenient to have a portrait mode since it’s a more single handed user friend form factor.

One aspect about the N900 that I really like is that when you’re using a program that can spawn new windows (like if you’re opening multiple browser windows or have multiple SMS conversations the new windows can be switched to via the task switcher rather than having to switch between them from within the program.

The first thing that jumps out is that Nokia is very confident in the n900′s multitasking abilities and indeed they’re quite impressive. When you tap the top left you’re presented with a list of currently running programs. Press it again and you’re at the main menu where you can launch more programs. Multitasking comes at a cost, if you keep to many programs open the N900 can be slow to respond when you switch from one program to another.

One thing sort of new to the N900 (as far as Nokia phones go) is that there is a built in threaded SMS application. It”s called “Conversations”. Converstations can also thread IM though you can only choose from Ovi Chat, Skype, Google Talk, Japper protocol or SIP. It works well.

The N900 supports IMAP, POP, Exchange and Nokia Email. Exchange and Nokia Email are both push email services. I used Exchange to sync with my Google Calendar and Nokia Email to push my Gmail and Hotmail to the N900. One thing that I didn’t like is that my Gmail and Hotmail don’t show up as separate windows. Instead I have to hit back, back, back to switch between the 2 email services.

The N900′s main feature is it’s Mozilla based browser (Mozilla also underpins Firefox). I like how the N900 treats each browser window as a separate program so you can switch between browser windows the same way you would switch programs. The display doesn’t support multi-touch (it’s a resistive display) so you zoom using the volume buttons.

There is flash support but it’s not as straight forward as flash support on a computer. First off not all flash is supported. Secondly while I wouldn’t say the N900 is slow it’s not fast enough to handle flash well. For example I can pull YouTube up on the N900 and it does work but it doesn’t playback really smoothly.

If you have a webpage that is all flash the N900 probably won’t do a good job with it. Now I use FireFox on my desktop and one thing I’ve found is that sometimes webpages will freeze – I suspect because of certain flash elements/ads. The same thing can happen on the N900. A few times I’ve tried using the N900 only to presented with a message that the application has become unresponsive and if I want to close it. In the end while the flash support isn’t as useful as you’d think it’s one of those things where it’s better to have it than it is to not.

The browser supports plugins including Ad Block and Flash Ad Block. Let’s hope they port XMarks to the N900 browser.

The Media player supports music and video. You can listen to music stored on the N900′s 25GB of available storage space or internet radio. You can watch video stored on the device or stored on local UPNP servers. I tried watching a few videos on my UPNP servers and got video not support messages. That is not to say it won’t work with any video but you’ll probably have to do some tinkering to get it working. Music and pictures should work just fine over UPNP.

There is 32GB of storage built in but only 25GB of that is available for media storage. You can connect to the N900 to your computer via micro USB cable. I got around a respectable 17MB/s when copying a 350MB file from my computer to the N900. Smaller files will probably copy slower.

You can start the camera by sliding open the camera lens cover. While it’s 5 megapixels is quite common it’s still decent as far as 5mp cameras go. There is a shutter button which you can half press to autofocus. The autofocus is quite slow (this is normal for most camera phones). After you’ve taken a picture you can upload it to Flickr or Ovi.com.

The camera app doubles as a camcorder app. Video is recorded at 848×480. Quality is decent though I couldn’t find an option to turn the light on when you’re recording in low light.

You get Ovi Maps. Unfortunately the N900 doesn’t appear to have free navigation. You should be able to connect the N900 to your computer to download maps.

As I mentioned before the N900 actually runs on Linux. 2 giveaways are that you can get a shell prompt plus there is support for repositories. The UI is called Maemo but it’s actually based on Debian. When you download programs the N900 actually uses apt plus the files have a .deb extension. The Linux nerd inside me was drooling when I noticed this.

App manager is a front end to a Maemo respository where you can download more software to your N900. Some cool Linux-y programs you can download include Pidgin (an IM client), an rsync front end, Mplayer, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, and of course you also get VIM (Did I mention I love VIM?). Other useful program is a tether program (so your computer can use the N900′s internet connection).

While the N900 has 32GB of memory built in only 2GB of it is available for installable programs. 2GB is plenty but but it would be nice if you could change the allocation if you need more.

Docs to Go is included though you have to click the icon to download it. You get a free viewer version of Docs to Go. If you want to create your own files you’ll have to buy the full version.

Other included programs are Notes, PDF reader, File manager, RSS Reader, Sketch (a sketch pad), and 4 games; Blocks, Chess, Mahjong and Marbles.

Now the N900 has a 600Mhz ARM Cortex A8 processor which is similar to the one found in the iPhone 3Gs and Palm Pre. While I’d say the N900 multitasks really well it’s not as responsive as the 3Gs and Pre.

Now the N900 supports 3G on 900/1700/2100. Up here in Canada the only network that supports 1700/2100 (that I can use anyways) is Wind. I have extremely weak Wind network signal in my house. The N900 seems to have network signal more often than my Nexus One or Blackberry Bold 9700 did.

Sound quality is quite good.

Battery life is not that great though it will probably get you through the day. Remember to charge it at night.

It took me a while to review the N900. While part of is due to the fact that I’m quite busy lately part is also because it took me a while to get used to the N900.

As a person who has used a lot of Nokia phones it took me a while to get used to the lack of menu buttons. In the end I had to crack open the manual to learn how to use some functions (normally my manuals never get touched). It’s not to say that the N900 isn’t intiutive but rather it’s quite different from other Nokia phones, even previous Maemo devices like the N810. That said the N900 would benefit from a single button that takes you back to the menu or home screen at least (like on the iPhone). It doesn’t kill me that the N900 doesn’t have it but it would make the N900 a more user friendly device.

That said once I got used to it I really like it. The Linux geek in me likes how similar to a desktop Linux distro the N900 is, it’s powerful and while it doesn’t have tons of program available for it it has many of the popular ones. Browsing the web works well and while it needs to support more IM protocols the Conversations program is a nice start. It’s a powerful multitasker to the point that once it’s been on for a few hours I never need to launch any new programs. For the next version of the N900 I really hope Nokia gives it a lot more CPU power. While it’s not a slow device I get the sense that it could really utilize a much faster processor. A capacitive display may make the on screen keyboard more useful (if you want to use an on screen keyboard – I never used it personally).

One big problem I have with the N900 is that it’s the only one of it’s kind right now. While it’s true the N810 and previous version run Maemo the N900 is the first with version 5 of Maemo which isn’t completely backwards compatible. Indeed Maemo 5 has some good bones but is Nokia going to support it enough? Time will tell.

Howard Chui
2010.04.05

1 comment April 5th, 2010

Nokia E72 review

When I think of the E71 I’d say it had a very nice design, so-so hardware (when it came out) and software that was obviously missing features compared with Nokia’s other phones. The E71 has been around for a while now so it’s time for an update. While it looks similar to the E71 the E72 has a higher resolution camera (which doesn’ t take purple tinged pictures), a much faster processor, support for an extra HSPA band and more software features you usually find on Nokia’s N series devices. So now it doesn’t feel like you’re giving up as much if you’re using an E series device.

Check out my unboxing if you want to see what the E72 is like in my hand along with some comparisons with the E71, Blackberry Bold 9700 and HTC Snap/Maple.

At a glance the E72 is quite similar to the e71, but there are a few major differences both hardware and software wise. First off the e72 is wider than the e71 – I didn’t notice this at first because the e72′s keyboard is the same width as the e71′s. This is a shame since I thought the e71′s keyboard, while not horrible could be a little wider. I also noticed that the e72 can charge via the mini USB OR the Nokia barrel port – horray! The 2.5mm headset jack is now a much more useful 3.5mm headphone jack. The headphone jack doesn’t have video out though it can act as a line out. The navigation keys have changed, on the e71′s the softkeys stuck out whereas now they’re flat – I prefer the e71′s softkeys. The center of the navigation pad is a trackpad thought it’s not that useful in my opinion. I found it got in the way when I was navigating menus and didn’t work well with the browser. I just turned it off.

In my opinion the biggest difference between the e71 and the e72 is that the e72 has a 600Mhz processor (up from 369Mhz). It makes a huge difference and completely transforms the S60 user experience – it’s a shame the n97, n86 8mp, etc don’t have it too. There is only 128MB of RAM which can put a damper on things.

Software wise the e72 is also a big improvement – particularly with regards to multimedia. Whereas the e71 felt like Nokia was holding back a bunch of features software wise the e72 feels much more like a N series device. You get DLNA client, the better picture viewer, in addition you get an improved email client with built in Nokia Email support Exchange support. While I’d say it’s getting late for this, not removing features is what Nokia needs to do to make their phones more compelling.

In the box is a leather case. It’s very thin and slim like the E72 but I found it difficult to fit because it fit so tightly.

There is predictive text support which had an uncanny ability to select the wrong word – even when I didn’t make any spelling mistakes. It drove me nuts so I turned it off.

Out of the box there is no support for threaded SMS which is pretty pathetic considering the E72 is marketed as a business phone with a QWERTY keyboard. There is a neat message reader feature that will read your SMS to you.

The messaging client supports POP, IMAP plus it has Exchange support. When I got my E72 I set it up with my gmail and it automatically downloaded my contacts and calendar too though I had to setup my email a second time and turned off Exchange mail because the built in Exchange client doesn’t seem to handle HTML email. Apparently it only works with the newest version of Exchange. That said when I set it up as just a Gmail account HTML mail worked okay.

You can adjust the size of the system fonts. While not a bad feature the E72′s display lacks the resolution and size to really make resized fonts look really good.

GPS wise you get Ovi Maps which now has free voice guided navigation. If you don’t want to use data you can connect the E72 to your computer to download map data so you can use it without an internet connection. You can also plan your trip online and then have it sent to your phone (I didn’t try this feature).

The e72 has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash. It’s about average for 5 megapixel cameras. While it’s way better than the e71′s 3 megapixel camera it’s not as good as some N series 5 megapixel cameras. I suspect this is because the e72 camera sensor is less sensitive than the ones found on the N85, N95, etc because the e72 is much more reliant on it’s built in flash. The e72 also seems to be more prone to blasting out subjects with the built in flash though it’s not as bad as some 5 megapixel camera phones. The E72 doesn’t have a dedicated shutter button so sometimes the camera app is a bit unintuitive to use since the same button that controls the shutter can also be used to select camera options.

Video capabilities have also been upgraded so that video is now captured at 640×480 which is nice but the frame rate is only 15fps so videos always seem slightly jerky. I’m pretty sure the e72 is capable of capturing video at 30fps so I’m disappointed at this limitation. There’s also a minor bug with the video recorder, sometimes it won’t record and gives an error message instead. The way around this is to press right (this hides the options which don’t always show up) before you record.

The built in browser is pretty average. It’s reasonably fast but there’s not easy way to open up new browser tabs, it seems to crash more than I’m used to on most phones and it doesn’t automatically go to the last page you were looking at when this happens. The e72 could really use a higher resolution display. There is support for Flash lite so some Flash animations will work on the e72. The 600Mhz processor has enough power so most flash animations aren’t slide shows like on slower Nokia phones. The problem is that the e72 lacks the resolution to make this a really useful feature. If you don’t turn the trackpad off you’re probably thinking you can use it in a similar manner as the Bold 9700′s trackpad. Unfortunately the E72′s pointer doesn’t move with enough resolution so it’s not as useful as you’d think.

As far as office-y features go you get a version of Quick Office which lets you create documents (most phones come with a edit only version, you pay extra if you want to create), a unit converter and a business card scanner. I tried the business card scanner and didn’t find it accurate at all.

Out of the box the E72 has a SIP VOIP client which is completely integrated into the operating system. So when you dial numbers you can choose whether you want it to go via your cell provider or via VOIP.

Sound quality is not bad. RF performance is about average.

In the end, while I thought the navigation and softkeys were a step back from the e71 and I was a little disappointed with the displays’ low 320×240 display, the fact that it only has 128MB RAM and the narrow keyboard everything else about the e72 is a huge improvement.

When compared to the Bold 9700 both phones have very different strength. While both have push email support the 9700 has IM clients for MSN, Yahoo and GoogleTalk that you can download from RIM directly plus you can message other Blackberry users using PIN. The e72 has support for OVI chat (unfortunately I don’t have any friends who use it) and while you can use IM via a 3rd party client you’ll have to go out find it and download it yourself. For SMS the 9700 will automatically thread conversations while the e72 doesn’t.

RIM also offers Facebook, MySpace and Flickr clients you can download from them. Facebook recently released a S60 client for the E72 (which I tried installing – it didn’t work). As far as Facebook, MySpace and Flickr goes you’ll have to go out and find a 3rd party client yourself.

These differences show where RIM and Nokia’s priorities lay.

The 9700′s keyboard is also easier to use than the e72′s because it’s wider and the keys are a better shape. While I liked the e72′s shortcut keys, I preferred the 9700′s trackpad over the e72′s navpad + trackpad though you may find the opposite true.

As far as the display goes the 9700 wins hands down. It’s bigger and higher resolution than the e72′s.

While the 9700′s multimedia is adequate for most the e72 has a leg up in this department. The e72 has a slightly better camera with higher resolution video capture. Besides the camera the e72 also has a DLNA (not a feature everyone uses but it’s neat if you do).

The e72′s browser is much better than the 9700′s. It’s not that the e72′s browser is amazing (it’s slightly above average in my opinion) – it’s that the 9700′s is horribly slow.

The 9700 has a leg up as far as battery life – along with most other HSPA smartphones Though the e72 is much better than I was expecting.

GPS-wise the E72 has Ovi maps which now comes with free voice guided navigation. Ovi maps is very fully featured though it can take a while to get a fix. The 9700 comes with Blackberry maps which is a much simpler, less featured application.

Both come with leather cases. The 9700 comes with a belt pouch while the E72 has a thin leather slip case. While both are nice the 9700′s is easier to use.

I’ve been a fan of Nokia phones for years, but lately I’ve been disappointed with Nokia; I’m trying to forget the time I spent with the N97 plus I found that the N86′s processor couldn’t keep up with it’s 8MP camera.

The E72 is a big step forward for Nokia, instead of holding back features from it they gave it most of the features from their N series phones plus they finally put a decent processor in on of their phones. Let’s not forget that the E72′s slick design. The end result is a phone that competes better with it’s contemporaries.

Howard Chui
01.24.2010

3 comments January 22nd, 2010

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