Category Archives: Editorial

Editorial

Why do we use a smartphone?

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I was doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon this piece. It was supposed to be published back in July in 2010 but I believe there are some nuggets of wisdom that are still true in this day and age of connected devices.

 

I recently had an argument with a friend whether one actually needs a smartphone, and that, by the way, comes from an owner of Nokia 7210 that does the groundwork for connectivity and backed up by the happy abundance of games on his iTouch. A fairly silly and harmless discussion on it’s own, but for me, it  shook the very foundation of my great passion. And it got  me thinking like never before.

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Editorial

Is Android arms race stalling the industry?

”This smartphone can survive a fall from x height” or ”This smartphone puts your digital camera out of business”….

While promises like these do attract attention to the product (creates hype), it also increases a chance of under delivering on expectations of the consumer, and thus, betray their trust. It doesn’t require rocket science that brand loyalty is important and plays a mayor role in the success of any profit-conscious company.

The reality is, the average consumer doesn’t care about these things, if the rest of what the device can offer only vaguely impresses. The user looks for something that is more straightforward, yet at the same time more complex to achieve.

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Editorial

Doing things differently: ‘Easy Debian’ on Nokia N900

Easy Debian is a comprehensive script package that basically downloads and installs a desktop Linux OS on your N900. And why not? The N900 is already considered a mobile computer more than a smartphone, so why to go one step further and have a full blown OS in your pocket?

The install package of Easy Debian can be found in Extras repository via N900’s App manager. Altogether it can take up to 1.5 hours and will use 2.5 GB of free space either on the mass memory or microSD card storage, so to avoid any possible interruptions during the process (which is quite straightforward at least),  I recommend hooking the N900 to a power outlet and leave hanging there until it’s finished.

Once installed, there’s no need for complicated dual boot procedures since Easy Debian can be launched from the main menu like any other app. Once started, the main drawbacks become apparent: the N900 is not quite up the task with it’s hardware resources, and the 3.5 inch screen requires some precision work even with a stylus. But the way it opens new horizons and possibilities shouldn’t be understated, it’s a quality that secures a spot in my growing N900 apps catalog.

As an appetizer, here’s screenshot from my Nokia N900 showcasing a number of pre-installed applications running directly in Easy Debian.  Right out of the box you get useful apps like GIMP ( a free alternative to Photoshop), OpenOffice.org document editor, Iceweasel (aka Firefox for Debian) or Leafpad.

A good friend of mine, Aston (@lifenexus) has recently started teasing with even more impressive pics from his own custom Debian image he is currently working on. He has promised it should run better on the N900, and it should come loaded with a number of useful 3rd party applications. Excited? I’ll write down more of my impressions once I get to try Aston’s work on my N900.

For now, however, I’ll let these screenshots speak volumes for what the N900 can do differently.

Aston’s Easy Debian setup

Rhythmbox music player

UFraw – for editing RAW image files

Transmission – a torrent client

A set of video players

Audio editing using Audacity

Qwit a twitter app

Exaile media player

Gpodder podcast manager

So far it looks extremely promising, even if  certain things are prone to change before the release. But on it’s own, Easy Debian is another solid proof that N900 is a versatile little machine where user can explore as far as his curiosity allows.

Editorial

My love & hate relationship with the best ‘phone’ ever

Nokia N900

I’ve spent close to 5 moths with this respectable big lady so I think it’s time to put all the cards on the table and reveal my position towards Nokia’s Maemo 5 mobile computer, the Nokia N900.

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Editorial

Just so you know: Nokia Daily App blog meet-up on the 26th January

First of all, I’m saving this to my personal blog because I believe it was a huge step forward for me in meeting and chatting with like-mined mobile enthusiasts, and all that in front of a running camera! My thoughts, complete with the videos of the meet-up, after a short jump!

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Editorial

Isn’t this the most genius little thing?

Having a personal blog does untie my hands to post various articles and ramblings that I wouldn’t immediately call the top tier material. It’s shamefully bad and I know it. Still, here’s something interesting I found with the LG BL40 Chocolate that I had the opportunity to trial. In particular, I was amazed by the LG approach to the standard microUSB charger.

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Editorial

S60 for High-End no more?

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Is anyone of you listening to Mobile-review podcasts? Chances are, most of you don’t know Russian good enough, so I thought I might share a few interesting moments I heard from the well know Russian blogger, Eldar Murtazin.
More specifically, there were some pretty loud news regarding the development of Symbian in the coming years, some of them you might have heard or expected to happen.
Regardless, here’s a short version of what he had to say.

Editorial

Quick toughts on the N9x Nseries

nokia_logoNokia N9x series have always been the pinnacle of Nokia smartphone achievements, or at least, tried to be, thus being the most controversial lineup. The N9x series was intended to always offer the uncompromising functionality, without taking the price or even usability into account. That said, history proved that even high end expensive devices in certain conditions can turn into a mass hit. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all that warm and sunny for the Finnish giant, and lately the N9x seem to lose more and more focus. Jump over to see my take on what the N9x series are all about and what the future holds.

Things were quite simple when the world first learned of Nseries back in 2005. Nokia presented the first 3 headsets from the Nseries lineup, from which the most attention received probably  the now legendary  Nokia N90. It was something the world simply hadn’t experienced yet, sporting the latest Nokia R&D teams had to offer. It had the first ever Carl Zeiss optic zoom and had a stunning display resolution of  352 × 416 and a futuristic clamshell design that could twist and turn into a minauture video camera look- alike. The cost of such technological luxury was it’s bulky size and weight while lacking even  a vibro that even the most basic phone had.

The other phone was N91, that offered unparalleled music experience and featured 4 then later 8 gb built in hard drive, but had a disappointing small screen. Like the N90, it never proved to be a mass hit, and was soon forgoten.

The N92 met stange fate of not actually going into mass market, which in my opinion is a pitybecause I somehow liked it’s design. Actuallty it’s quite ubderstandable.The built in Tv tuner was a rarity among phones and the there wasn’t simply anu use  of it.

Nokia proved to learn form it’s mistkaes when it lounched the true N90 succesor, the N93. It had improvment over it and even some fuetuers were added. However the phone was still quite bulky and heavy, and to appeal to the maximum number of consumers the slightly modifed version came, the N93i. It fuetured a bit smaller dimensions and more stylized design, but the motorole razr like keys wasn’t well recied.

Nokia skipped the N94 becouse of their fear or the number ”4” and frankly I don’t blame them as long as they keep releasing descent phones.

The true revolution happened in  when Nokia fist showed the N95, which was firstly named multimedia computers. It had all the best N9x fuetures , pluss a huge display, and not seen before on a mobile gps chip. The mpix race had just started, and Nokia”s mewst device clearly left everyone behind for a long time.  The most mind blowong was it’s compact design without having to lose fiunctinality. In a few words, Nokia had set a bar for all smartphones, and it’s influence can be felt even now, after 3 years. The N95 proved to be a mass hit dsepite it’s price or shortcomings. Which were defienety there. The N9x alwauys had certain controversy around, becuse setting the functionlity forward required certain sacifaces made. In particular, the N95 had extremly poor battery life that was a real bottleneck for such fueature rich smaprtphone. Other wasdrwabackk  was the poor build quility and used materials givend the high price.The N95 NAM version was also made for american market release some time later, and the only change was seen inn improved ram and battery life.

But Nokia, encoureged by the sucess of the N95, released the N95 8GB, or N95-2. There’s no questioning, nokkia had done it’s homwork perfectly right: it had double the ram, better build and material quility at some extend, and most importnaly the much bigger capacity battery. It was reciedved by consumers with mixed reactiions. Some praised the improvments over the N95, however many were left dissapinted buy the lack of memory card slot or the now overused QWGA resolutuon. Like mentioned, the phone ahd still some controversy around it but ultimately failed to stirr the airr as the N95-1 did.

At that time Nokia already seems to lose it’s main focus of the N9x series, with the mentuoned built quailtyu issues and was accused buy loyal fans for standing in one place. And thay were right, the N95-2 just failed to meet the people expectations after the revolution it’s predesoecor had borught. That was further proved by the anouncment of the infamous N96. Aside the questionable design choics, the smartphone didn’t really offe much from its predecerssor, even worse, the weaker hardware and battery at unjustufied high price. The improvemnt in built in 16 gb memory and DVH tuner for moble Tv streming  were simply unsignificant for most users. And, while Nokia tries to convince that thr N96 never was inteded for mass market, it was easy to spot that Nokia wasn’t quite happy with the low sales figures.

The newest Nokia flagshiip N97 ghad made quite the stirr when it was first revelead to puplic in  . Not only it’s the first Nseries based touch scree  phone, but also becouse the consumers were simly tired of seeing countless irratations of the fampus N95.  Even tough the specs sheet isn’t as mind mblowing as it should be, Nokia first serieus attepmt to make a true laptop replacemnt  is truly wlecome.

It’s hard to predict what the future holld for the n9x series. The obvious fact is it’s coming to and end, and Nokia simply must announce a new series of their advanced smartphones. It’s been already 4 years since it firsst louched, since then it had lost it’s excusivity and cerantain charm, and their focus started shifting for various online services. The competitions will force Nokia moving  their R&D’s, but the lesser buying pottentioal of the comsumers will make them shift over cheaper alternatives, which can’t be a good thing.