Saturday, 15 December 2007

Nokia N81 Music Smartphone

Nokia have recently released the N81, a 3G mobile multimedia entertainment studio with an impressive 8GB of memory.

The N81 is music focused and includes a new 3D multimedia menu that is intended to make music and digital content easier to access. The Nokia "navi wheel" feature is also included which turns the square navigation pad into a touch pad allowing fast scrolling through menus and songs. This is also one of the first phones from Nokia to provide access to their over the air, online music store. The N81 provides integrated stereo speakers and a 3.5mm jack for headphones.

The Nokia N81 also has smartphone status and runs the Symbian OS 9.2 operating system providing a range of applications that include a calendar, notebook, calculator and PDF reader.

A camera is included with the Nokia N81 but its nothing to get excited about at 2.0 megapixels. It supports 20x digital zoom and MPEG-4 VGA Video capture up to 15 frames per second.

If you're into games, you will be pleased to know that the N81 comes with Nokia's N-Gage gaming studio, providing landscape gameplay with dedicated game keys.

- Display: Active matrix 2.4” QVGA (320 x 240 pixels), up to 16.7 million colors
- Memory: 8GB
- Camera: 2.0 megapixels, 20x digital zoom, MPEG-4 VGA video capture up to 15fps
- Music formats: MP3 (VBR), AAC, eAAC+, AAC+, WMA/M4A, WAV, OMA DRM 1.x, 2.0, Windows Media DRM (OTI/OTA with Nokia Music Store)
- Connectivity: WLAN IEEE802.11, Bluetooth 2.0, Micro USB 2.0 Full Speed, Nokia AV Connector 3.5mm
- Operating System: Symbian OS ver. 9.2
- User interface: Multimedia key & Navi wheel, dedicated media keys, dedicated game & volume keys, device hold key

Monday, 10 December 2007

What is a SmartPhone?

What is a SmartPhone? I'm sure you have all heard of smartphones by now but there seems to be a bit of confusion about what exactly a smartphone is. Are they simply "smart phones"? If this is the case then who decides if a phone deserves to be called smart? Surely there would need to be an industry standard to separate smartphones from the rest of the pack. In this post I will attempt to define what a smartphone is.

For a start I will try to find out if there is a universal 'smartphone' standard. It appears not, well not yet anyway. I found an article from 2004 that stated that Intel and Symbian intended to team up and create a 3G smartphone standard, but nothing appears to have come to fruition from that.

Ok, so there is no smartphone standard, but who decides if a phone deserves smart status? Surely due to the lack of a standard, all phone manufacturers will jump at the opportunity to brand their phones as smartphones. It appears that this is not always the case. Take the new Samsung i620 - no where on Samsungs website is this phone called a smartphone but if we type "Samsung i620" into google, the first three non-Samsung websites all call this phone a smartphone.

So what is the universally accepted definition of a smartphone? It appears that a phone gets smart phone status if it runs a recognised operating system such as Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, etc, that provides rich computer like functionality such as allowing the user to install/uninstall programs, send emails and store information.

The definition of "what is a smartphone" will most likely keep changing over time but currently I think the most defining factor is the operating system that the phone runs. The operating systems that are currently recognised as smartphone operating systems all support most of the functionality that you will find on the latest computers and PDA's, giving your phone a rich functionality.

What are the smartphone operating systems? The main players at the moment are Symbian OS, Linux, Windows Mobile, RIM BlackBerry, Palm OS and OS X(iPhone). So if your phone runs one of these operating systems then it is probably a smart phone.

Finally, what is considered a smart phone today will probably not be considered a smart phone in a few years time. The latest technology and functionality that is available on computers and PDA's is probably going to keep re-defining what we consider to be a smartphone.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Nokia 3110 Evolve - Nokia goes green

The 3110 Evolve from Nokia, featuring bio covers made from more than 50% recycled materials, is an example that the company is serious about their pledge to "go green".

Nokia has also made an eco-effort with the packing for the 3110 which features 60% recycled materials.

The 3110 Evolve comes with Nokia's most energy efficient charger to date, using 94% less energy than the Energy Star requirements for the US. The AC-8 charger minimizes the "no load" energy consumption in case you forget to unplug the charger from the power socket.

It is pleasing to see big companies like Nokia setting a positive example for helping the enviroment. It's now up to the consumer to play their part and start choosing products that make a difference for the environment such as the 3110 Evolve.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

BlackBerry Pearl 8130 - SmartPhone with GPS

The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 is one of the latest smartphones phones released by RIM and their first smartphone to run on CMDA networks.

The 8130 Pearl sports a range of new features that include rich multimedia capabilities, a new software interface, communications enhancements and built in GPS and support for high-speed EV-DO networks. Existing smartphone features that BlackBerry users will be used to such as web browsing, organiser, email and messaging (SMS, IM, MMS) are all still included.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 features an enhanced software interface that includes a new font rendering technology to provide enhanced legibility across all font sizes. The email client, calendar, address book, task list, memo pad, web browser and other applications all benefit from the new software interface and font rendering technology.

A new "Page View" option is included with the BlackBerry web browser that displays a full web page on the screen and provides a magnifying glass to let the user point and zoom on a specific part of the page.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 includes a new 2 megapixel camera with a 5x digital zoom and flash is included. 2 megapixels is now towards the bottom end of what is available from camera phones but at least it is an upgrade from the existing 1.3 megapixels for BlackBerrys. A nice feature of the camera is the support for video capture in two resolutions: 240x180 or 176x144.

The media player in the 8130 Pearl allows the user to create and edit playlists on the handset and also manage their media files from their PC with the BlackBerry Roxio Media Manager.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8130 also includes built in GPS to provide out of the box support for location based applications and services. BlackBerry maps is included and now supports a local search function that allows the users to find local businesses such as banks, hotels and restaurants, within a short driving distance.

Advanced phone features include Independent Speaker Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), Bluetooth 2.0 support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits and Bluetooth peripherals, dedicated send, end, and mute keys, smart dialing, speed dialing, conference calling, call forwarding, a low-distortion speakerphone for hands-free conversations and support for polyphonic, MP3 and MIDI ring tones.

- Size (LxWxD)mm: 107x50x14
- Display: Colour, Backlighting, light sensing, font size adjust
- Memory: 64MB flash, support for microSD card
- Data input: Trackball, QWERTY keyboard with backlighting
- Media Player: Supported audio formats: MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA,
- Video: Supported video formats: MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.263, WMV
- Voice I/O: 3.5mm stereo headset capable, earpiece/ microphone, Bluetooth v2.0 Mono/stereo headset, hands-free
- Battery: 900mAh, 9 days standby, 3.7hrs talk time
- Wireless network: Dual-band 800/1900 Mhz CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO

BlackBerry Pearl Website