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Preview: All About Symbian - General News

All About Symbian - General News

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

Last Build Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2018 02:15:05 GMT


PureView zoom ideas to return in the Huawei P20 Pro?

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:22:49 GMT

The cornerstone of the PureView camera in the Nokia 808 (and, later, 1020) was a way to zoom in without needing a physical mechanism. Hence the idea of smart cropping into a massive 41MP pixel array. And, after a gap of five years or so (and two operating systems later, arguably), we finally have another smartphone which looks to use a similar system. Allegedly, according to GSM Arena. Smart rumours point to the upcoming (only weeks away) Huawei P20 Pro having 'a 40MP sensor, plus 5x "hybrid zoom"'. 

Mini-review: the fast charging Blitzwolf BW-P6 power bank

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:53:06 GMT

I get many requests to review power banks but I only accept those which I think offer something new. In this case, the Blitzwolf BW-P6 has two claims to fame: it can be recharged at up to 18W, meaning that its 10000mAh capacity can be re-filled in around three hours (as opposed to overnight with many power banks); secondly, its materials and designed are optimised for small space and weight - despite the capacity, this weighs only 207g. In other words, light enough and small enough that you can keep it in a pocket without too much awareness or discomfort.

Modern times: Why replaceable batteries went away

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:12:00 GMT

Sometimes you can't always get what you want, but.... you might just get what you need. So sang The Rolling Stones and a bit of a life lesson, but borne out by several technological trends, not least something that had been close to my heart, the subject of replaceable batteries in smartphones. See below for links, quotes, and current thoughts on the reality.

Jumping to Android? Coming from (e.g.) a Lumia, the S9 is the best bet...

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:44:09 GMT

If you're steeped in the Lumia 950 XL or similar, on Windows 10 Mobile, or perhaps the Nokia 808 on Symbian (this being cross-posted to AAS), then it's worth noting that I've been doing a LOT of testing of the new Samsung Galaxy S9. Almost uniquely in the Android flagship world, it has the full set of features (OS excepted!) that you might be looking for. So world class camera (and video camera), high quality DAC and 3.5mm headphone output, loud stereo speakers, expandable storage, and more. 

A brief history of the most innovative camera centric phones

Sun, 11 Mar 2018 07:25:54 GMT

John Velasco, over at PhoneArena, has put together an industry wide, 16 year video overview of camera phones that's worth a quick look. It's not perfect and the Nokia N93 is a notable omission (IMHO), but loads of Nokia smartphones get featured, including the venerable 808 and 1020, of course.

If you want something more textual then see my own (and now slightly out of date) 'The Top 20 Phone Camera Innovations of All Time', from 2012, six years ago!

Gemini: P for Productivity

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 08:28:13 GMT

Now, bear with me, since this doesn't run Symbian (AAS) or Windows (AAWP), but it does very much follow up on some of the ideas of Symbian (née Psion/EPOC) and Nokia over the years and it does very much emphasise productivity and that the smartphone should be a way to get more things done more efficiently, not just a place to waste time or spend money... This is the Gemini and I've been having a look at it on The Phones Show - hopefully it's of interest!

Review: Veho Endurance VPP-008-E

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:51:00 GMT

Having reviewed the EasyAcc 20000mAh late last year, it seems that rugged power banks are becoming more common, since there's now this, from one of my favourite accessory makers, Veho. The Endurance VPP-008-E is massively tough and perfect for hikers and other adventurers, and its internals are slightly newer than the EasyAcc's, with Type C input, though ultimately it too falls into the 'unambitious' class, if I'm honest.

'Operation Elop' and the bungled transition

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:51:51 GMT

Authors Pekka Nykänen and Merina Salminen published a book in Finnish, back in 2015, about the fall of Nokia from 2010-ish through to the (then) present day, 2015. The central character in all of this was Stephen Elop, as you'll have guessed from my headline. It's a very long book, but it has now been translated into English and is available for free. See the quotes and links below. It covers the latter Symbian years, the still-borm Meego, the switch to Windows Phone and the eventual decline and sale of the vast Nokia empire.

The Three Phases of PureView

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 16:35:27 GMT

A year or so ago I opined that Google's HDR+ software, the foundation of the cameras on the Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones (and much cloned and hacked on other devices), effectively represents the next phase of the PureView idea pioneered by Nokia back in 2007 and eventually brought to market in the 808 in 2012. With commentary in video form, here's a comparison of results from three landmark phone cameras, which I'm dubbing PureView phases 1, 2, and 3. For those in the know, these ideas dominate the world of phone photography.

Testing smartphone audio capture in 2018

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 18:44:00 GMT

I go into some depth when testing smartphone (stills) cameras, I even occasionally test smartphone video capture. But I rarely test the audio that's captured. Whether you're videoing some live music in front of you or just shooting video at a party, the louder, clearer and higher quality the better - audio is often more important than picture quality, I contend*. Here's a quick test of seven contenders, back to back, play along at home and let your own ears decide!

Double-hinged and folding, aimed at business use - from 2007!

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 08:49:00 GMT

With all the recent renders and patents seemingly predicting a 'Surface Mobile' this Spring, with double-hinged design allowing use as a phone or mini-tablet, I thought it appropriate to look back into the past - such a double hinged design was seen before on a business-aimed smartphone, back in 2007, just over a decade ago. And thanks to a kind reader, I've got the Nokia E90 in front of my camera again. It's not much actual use in 2018, but it's extra food for thought.

Nokia camera 7 year challenge: Lumia 950 & Nokia 8 take on 2010's Nokia N8

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:42:00 GMT

8 versus 8, etc. I've lost count of the number of times readers have asked me to pit the new Nokia 8 against its namesake, the classic Nokia N8, from 2010. However much a monster the latter was, surely 2017 technology can trump it? I'm also including the reigning champion, the Nokia-designed (and Microsoft-made) Lumia 950. This will win out overall, but it's a useful modern age benchmark for the others - I'm genuinely curious to see how a 7 year old phone does!

Behind the Gemini PDA - the Psion Series 5 reborn?

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:24:35 GMT

A shout out to a friend of the All About sites and an interesting podcaster, Marek Pawlowski, who's been trying out the new Gemini PDA and interviewing its designer, Martin Riddiford. Why am I mentioning this here on AAS and AAWP? Because the Gemini PDA, though dual-booting into both Android and Linux, is hugely based on the 1990s Psion Series 5 design, something close to the heart of many a smartphone (and especially a Nokia Communicator) fan. Martin designed that too, you see, 22 years ago, and he's back with a bang. The Gemini PDA has cutting edge smartphone specifications, but with the clamshell form factor and keyboard that we all loved two decades ago.

Windows on phones stymied by moving goalposts... just like Symbian

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 07:23:00 GMT

The problem with the tech world is, from an operating system provider's point of view, that the goalposts keep moving. These perambulating pieces of wood killed Symbian, killed Blackberry, have almost killed Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, and, one day, may even kill iOS as we know it today. With hindsight, it's all too clear, but at the time OS coders were making sensible choices. 

The Nokia 8 takes on the Lumia 950

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 07:58:05 GMT

No, not the Nokia N8. This is the Android-powered Nokia 8, made by HMD Global, of course, in 2017. But it's still a phone that I've had lots of emails about, so I arranged a shootout over on AAWP here. Now, at some point I'll get the Nokia 8 in here, in the office, and the natural shootout would be Nokia N8 vs 808 vs Nokia 8 - all the 8s....!!! Watch this space.

The Nokia 808 takes on the Sony Xperia XZ1 and the Galaxy Note 8

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:12:20 GMT

Reader Martin Roth runs a YouTube channel, in part dedicated to comparing camera phones - and he's now put up videos on the Nokia 808 PureView versus the Xperia XZ1 and Galaxy Note 8, both running Android. They're in German, but see below for how to get English subtitles!

Mini-review: Veho ZB-6 hybrid headphones

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:10:00 GMT

In this world where everyone's going wireless for their audio, it seems, I thought I'd profer a suggestion, and one that involves flexibility and yet intense luxury. I was sent the Veho ZB-6 Wireless headphones a while ago, but don't switch off, these aren't generic Bluetooth 'phones. These are true, supremely comfortable over-ear studio-class (at least to my ears) headphones that work over Bluetooth or via a standard 3.5mm lead. Battery life is off the charts, the feel on the ears and in the hand, is tremendous, and they even fold for easy storage when travelling. Top notch gear.

Review: Archeer A320 Bamboo Wireless Speaker

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:13:08 GMT

OK, we have a winner in the Bluetooth speaker stakes. Except that it's not as portable as you might think. Or as rugged. We're talking living-room quality bamboo cambinet, and zero protection from impact on the front, so consider this suitable for environments with no kids or animals! It's all worth it though - the sound quality from the Archeer Bamboo A320 is astonishing. 

Choosing a smartphone platform in 2017

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 06:31:00 GMT

So I've put forward the case for Windows 10 Mobile in video form, plus I've shown that W10M is still relevant in 2017. But - like any intelligent person - you'll have been looking around at other smartphone platforms, eyeing up shiny new phones. It's only natural. Which is why I wanted to set down my thoughts on how the three* main platforms compare - which way should you jump?

Inside camera phones, and Nokia through the ages

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 07:48:09 GMT

I'd just like to draw your attention to two specific podcast episodes that you might not have been aware of. Both aired in the last couple of weeks on brand new shows and both are of direct interest.