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All About Symbian



Content (news, features, reviews) from All About Symbian



Last Build Date: Sat, 27 May 2017 02:30:03 GMT

 



No need to be ashamed - we've been Creators on mobile for a decade!

Fri, 05 May 2017 18:46:50 GMT

The naming of Microsoft's latest Windows 10 branch as the 'Creators Update' has been viewed from some quarters as somewhat hollow from the perspective of mobile, since the new 3D and Ink features are not mirrored on the phone. Yet in some ways, this is the desktop catching up - we've been 'creating' on smartphones for over 10 years now, I'd argue.




It lives - 'Symbian World' CFW for the Nokia N86

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:34:36 GMT

Proving that nothing really ever dies, a team out of Russia has been working on custom firmware for the venerable Nokia N86 - and has produced a 'Symbian World' themed OS - you know, with the cute Symbian cartoon imagery of recent (well, 2010) times... See below for details and download link.




Review: AUKEY 'Compact' 10050mAh Power bank

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 06:16:00 GMT

With some of may all time favourite power banks reviewed here, here and here recently, what possible reason could I have for featuring one more? Simply that this AUKEY unit has a higher power-to-volume density than anything else I've seen. It is, in fact, jaw droppingly impressive - despite an otherwise less-than-cutting edge electrical spec.




Review: Power from the sky: the dodocool Portable Solar Charger

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:33:00 GMT

It's that time of year, when the sun starts making regular appearances in the sky and when I start to think about walks, camping and the great outdoors. Which means smartphone accessories that - ideally - prove really useful, doing multiple jobs with minimal bulk. In this case, a USB power bank that you can leave facing the sun to charge itself from empty, and which doubles as a powerful flashlight or tent lantern.




The dodocool Ultra Slim (and modular) 5000mAh power bank

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:12:00 GMT

Every power bank has to have a unique selling point these days, before I even consider it for review. The USP this time is that the output staging is modular, in that you can switch it from 'microUSB' mode to 'Apple Lightning' mode in seconds, i.e. take it out for the day in either guise. The downsides? There's currently no USB Type C option, output is limited to 1A, plus this gets muckier with fingerprints than your todder's toys - in seconds.




Rafe Blandford and MWC 2017

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 11:12:12 GMT

Wrapping up MWC 2017 week, and with Rafe exhausted after 100,000 steps in five days, I wanted to provide at least a taste of this year's show, via Rafe's Twitter feed, via my own analysis, and so on. On the AAWP front, we saw the revised HP Elite x3 and news that the IDOL 4S Pro is heading to Europe, but the scope of MWC is vastly wider and Rafe's good at finding interesting tit-bits, see the embedded tweets below!




Anatomy of a camera phone photo #3: 1870s Clock

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 07:05:00 GMT

My series 'Anatomy of a Lumia photo' (here's #1!) has proved popular, even though I used the HP Elite x3 instead for #2 and even though I'm gradually widening out the title! Anyway, here goes another, reverting back to the Lumia 950 XL again - light is again one of the key themes. As it should be for anyone with a keen shutterbug eye!




The Psion Series 5 reborn? Running Android, but hey...

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:59:00 GMT

I realise that this is tangential in interest for both AAWP and AAS, but both communities have long been interested in QWERTY-based devices, so.... Plus Symbian was the successor to EPOC/32, which is what the original Psion Series 5 PDA ran. So there's a connection through. The Gemini PDA is by the designer of that Series 5 and is currently up as an Indiegogo project, with a month to go. Will there be enough interest to create this thing? It runs Android or Linux and, well, they don't seem to have a fully working prototype yet, so who knows how it will run, but the specs are high. Very interesting!




Nokia are back, though don't get too excited...

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 06:23:50 GMT

Announced yesterday were a trio of Nokia smartphones, the first allowed (legally) since the Microsoft buyout of Nokia's Devices business back in 2013. It's a new day and a new team, with HMD Global handling it all, the 'Nokia' bit is mainly just the name, though the handsets don't look too shabby and they certainly look good value. Don't get too excited though, internally they're just generic Android slabs. Some details below.




Chipset ability can help phone imaging greatness, it seems

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 14:02:17 GMT

There's a fascinating (if understandably promotional) post over on Qualcomm's site, in which the imaging capabilities of the upcoming smartphone chipset, the Snapdragon 835, are discussed. See below for a few quotes.

In summary, it's becoming increasingly evident that great smartphone imaging is just as much about processing power as it is about the raw optics and sensor size. The Nokia 808 PureView arguably started the trend, with a custom image processor, but with the likes of the modern Snapdragon 820/821 and now 835, we have even faster image processing and implemented so generically that it can be part of a great many devices and not just the one it was designed for.




Review: OUTXE Rugged (camping) Power Bank

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:13:11 GMT

I seem to have become synonymous with various things, one being smartphone imaging and another being power bank reviews, with the flexible and future-proof Lumsing Glory P2 Plus being the latest and best. Yet the OUTXE (OUTdoor Xtreme Energy, apparently!) Rugged Power Bank offers a totally different USP - it's fully waterproof (to a maximum of IP67) and pitches itself as the ultimate accessory for the outdoor enthusiast, with a seven LED 200 hour floodlight that's perfect for camping or emergencies.




MusiKloud updates for Symbian (and Maemo)

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:12:36 GMT

One of the last great active Symbian developers, Marxoft is keeping on going, with streaming media applications that keep pace with API changes in Internet services. Today saw updated versions of the developer's SoundCloud client, along with associated modules and Internet Radio.




A new computing form factor? Not quite, but nice take on QWERTY

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 21:26:10 GMT

With a decade of T9 and then touch-based smartphones behind us, the humble QWERTY keyboard has usually had to take a back seat. Blackberry has a new Android-based QWERTY handset coming in a month's time (DTEK70, apparently), but what about at the upper end of the mobile scale? Old hands will remember the Nokia Communicators and even Pocket PCs of the early 2000s - it seems that the dream hasn't totally died, though the linked concept device isn't quite what the doctor ordered. Mainly because there doesn't seem to be any telephony in the 'GPD Pocket'. But hey, it shows that there IS still vision for 6" and 7" QWERTY, and for the classic clamshell/mini-laptop form factor. And I love it.




Xenon and zoom: the Hasselblad takes on the Nokia 808/Lumia 1020 (etc.)

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 11:35:00 GMT

Yesterday I looked at the arrival, in for review, of a rather rare thing - a Xenon-flash-equipped, zoom-equipped camera phone, competing (obviously) with such (also rare) Nokia classics like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. But never mind the bulk (in this case, removeable, but still...), never mind the form factor, how do these ultra-camera-phones perform against each other in a variety of challenging tests? Let's find out...




Xenon and zoom re-enter the smartphone world, courtesy of Hasselblad

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:12:59 GMT

I've periodically returned to the classic Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020, highlighting the lossless 2.5x zoom and 'proper' Xenon flash, though there's been precious little to compare these with that's camera centric from the wider smartphone world in the last five years. Yet along comes something new, the Hasselblad camera mod on the Moto Z, a late 2016 Android smartphone. Along with the 808, 1020 and also ageing Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, I couldn't resist a quick photo comparison. No, not of results (that comes soon!), this time of the hardware itself...




AAWP Insight #201: Steve Litchfield - Origins part 2

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 07:48:00 GMT

In AAWP Insight #201, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we continue the Steve Litchfield 'origins' story (following Rafe's own Origins tale on the 361 Degrees podcast). This time we (mainly) cover the post-millennium years. This includes the All About era, Steve's database efforts (from Trivopaedia to a UK Pocket Directory), early device reviews and content, and the switch from Symbian to Windows Phone.




AAWP Insight #200: Steve Litchfield - Origins part 1

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:52:00 GMT

In AAWP Insight #200, hosted by Steve and Rafe, we celebrate our 200th podcast by tackling (the much teased) Steve Litchfield 'origins' story (following Rafe's own Origins tale on the 361 Degrees podcast). We cover the early years (adventures in aerospace), the rise of Psion and the 3-Lib shareware library, Steve's app development efforts (from golf to GIS), the dawn of connected PDAs, and the beginning of the Symbian era.




Mini-review: Choetech USB to Type C adapters

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:32:00 GMT

We're entering a strange new world of physical connectors. microUSB, which came in around 2007, is being supplanted in a big way now by USB Type C, a reversible, more robust and more capable alternative. Where does that leave you, with microUSB data leads for your phones in a world where Macbooks only come with Type C? Looking for adapters, that's where, as we go into 2017. And, thinking laterally, the same adapters also let you plug in standard USB flash disks into USB Type C-equipped smartphones. So a bit of a win then.




PureView vs the Pixel: the 808, Lumia 950/1020 vs the Google Pixel

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:37:00 GMT

Having set up expectations that Google's HDR+ computational photography in the new Pixel flagship can be considered 'PureView take II', or thereabouts, I thought it time to put this to the test. So I took three PureView flagships from various eras: Nokia 808, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 950 XL, and pitched them against the new Google Pixel XL. The aim, away from trivial sunny shots (hey, suits me, this is the UK in October!), is to really stretch the pixel combination systems, in reducing noise and finding detail and colour.




PureView 'take two' and the Google Pixel

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:14:00 GMT

Although it's somewhat galling to read of imaging advancements in the smartphone world that aren't being made by Nokia engineers huddled in a chilly Finland, it's worth putting into context where smartphone imaging seems to be settling and where this fits into the existing spectrum of phone cameras, with specific reference to classic Nokias of the past. You see, powered by ever faster chipsets, 'computational photography' is indeed where imaging has ended up and, on the whole, for the benefit of all.