March 26, 2013

Update brings FM radio capabilities to Lumia handsets

Posted by Ernest Doku


Seattle based software developer Microsoft is prepping an update to Windows Phone 8 run handsets, which will offer access to those that have FM radios - which are currently dormant.

These are with mobile phones such as the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820, which ship with this disabled hardware – that we reported on here.

The update, thought to be called General Distribution Release (GDR2) for Windows Phone 8, will activate that hardware along with providing a new screen gesture.

That will be coming from Nokia, where Lumia 920 and 820 owners will be able to simply double-tap the screen to wake the device.

This is opposed to pressing the power on/standby button to reactive the mobile phone that has entered the standby-mode.

Tech news title The Verge has learned this information, from sources familiar with Microsoft and Nokia's plans.

It also adds that other improvements coming from Nokia are a flip to silence mode, and a Lumia colour profile setting for the devices.

The update is believed to be a minor one, and will be made available over the next coming months.

March 22, 2013

Nokia Brings Windows Phone 8 Camera Apps To Early Lumia Smartphones

Posted by Ernest Doku

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has made public that its digital camera lenses, only found on the current Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system, are around for its non-WP8 handsets.

These features, such as Cinemagraph for animating photos and Camera Extras are being rolled out to the last generation of handsets - which can't be upgraded to WP8.

That is the former flagship Nokia Lumia 900Nokia Lumia 800Nokia Lumia 710Nokia Lumia 610 and the truly entry-level Nokia Lumia 510.

Those mobile phones are in the process of being upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8, which Omio recently reported has been resumed.

Microsoft had discovered an error and temporarily paused the update rolling out, as covered here.

Windows Phone 7.8 does bring in features of the new Windows Phone 8 OS, where these Nokia exclusive apps round the additions off nicely.

We have already covered what Cinemagraph can do, which can be seen in the picture above.

Camera Extras come with features such as Smart Shoot, with its multiple shot burst mode; a self-timer picture capture function; an all-around panorama and action shot capabilities.

Check out the demo video below of the new digital camera lenses, and how to get them.

March 19, 2013

Nokia Lumia 720 coming to O2

Posted by Ernest Doku

Former British Telecom mobile phone network O2 has confirmed the mid-range Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8 handset is coming to its network, in April this year.

It has done this by adding it to its Coming Soon page on its website, along with including a pre-registration page - for keeping you in the loop.

O2 is the first network to do this, although it hasn't announced any prices as yet.

Omio believes that it will be available for free, on around the £27 a month contract mark - with unlimited calling and text messages, plus a 1GB data allowance.

Nokia's Lumia 720 was launched at Mobile World Congress last month, along with the budget Lumia 520.

The 720 lacks 4G capabilities, but it does have a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display, a dual-core 1Ghz processor; 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

It is the first unibody handset from the company that can accept a microSD card, and up to 64GB of expandability.

There is a 6.7-megapixel camera on-board, with an f1.9 aperture lens - thought to be larger than any found, in phones at this price point.

Omio has also published hands-on pictures of the Lumia 720 captured at MWC, along with a video walkthrough of the mobile phone.

Via: UnwiredView, Omio

August 06, 2012

Rumour: Nokia To Revive Classic Designs, Resurrect N-Gage Brand For Windows Phone 8?

Posted by Ernest Doku


Nokia is apparently taking a trip down memory lane for forthcoming Widows Phone 8 devices, flicking through its photo album of happier times and bringing some of their most iconic designs to bear on the modern smartphone.

The above image (courtesy of someone who knows someone at Nokia's Design Studio team...) shows a new Nokia Lumia device mirroring the 5700 XpressMusic in form factor, complete with swiveling camera and dual-purpose keypad.

The rumoured Nokia Lumia X would boast a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor - making it ideal for gaming - as well as a Clear Black AMOLED display and an 8-megapixel camera. The swivel apparently reveals a set of gaming keys on the flipside.

Logistics and practicality be damned, that would be pretty cool...

Not content with stirring up memories of Rihanna swivelling her 3250 in the S.O.S. video, the same source also touted a revival of the gaming behemoth that was the Nokia N-Gage, with the brand due to see a revival powered by Windows Phone as opposed to the original's Symbian Series 60 credentials.

N-Gage design missteps like cramped keys, a need to remove the battery to change games and insane overheating issues hopefully won't be making the leap from the ill-fated original to its curent generation incarnation...

I think the obligatory 'suppliment with sodium chloride' warning is definitely applicable to these leaks, but we so want them to be true!

What do you think?

GSMDome via IntoMobile 

August 03, 2012

Windows Phone Price Crash: Nokia Lumia 710 Available For £7.50 Per Month, Under £100 on PAYG

Posted by Ernest Doku


Good news for those looking for a 'gateway' Windows Phone device - the none-too-shabby Nokia Lumia 710 is available for an incredibly low price from UK retailer Carphone Warehouse

Praised for its build quality, processor power and replacable back-plates (return of the Xpress-On covers!) at launch, the Nokia Lumia 710 is in fact identical under the hood to the pricier Lumia 800 with a 1.4Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM...more than enough to run Microsoft's Windows Phone platform with aplomb.

Available now for a paltry £7.50 per month on Talkmobile or a fantastic £99.95 on pay-as-you-go, the Lumia 710 is a decent way to dip your toe into Tiles and Xbox Live on a phone without breaking the bank.


July 31, 2012

Nokia Lumia Devices Get Exclusive Weather Channel App, Added Social Features

Posted by Ernest Doku


The Weather Channel has decided to beef up its app offering to Nokia Lumia smartphones, lending new social networking functionality to Windows Phone fans of precipitation and...isobars?

Exclusive to the Lumia range for a limited period, the app offers the ability to see the weather experienced by friends and family, as well as receive weather alerts ahead of any adverse conditions.

The app also enables AR functionality, overlaying photos taken by others in a similar location, as wlll as up to ten days forecasting information.

The Wather Channel app is available now for all armchair meteorologists in possession of the Nokia Lumia 610, Nokia Lumia 800 or Nokia Lumia 900, and is currently free in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

July 26, 2012

Nokia Ditches Development Of Android-Killing Operating System?

Posted by Ernest Doku

Green Building (nighttime)

Sources have divulged to Reuters that beleaguered phone maker Nokia have recently put the brakes on developments of a new software project - one which had designs on toppling Android as the mass-market mobile platform of choice.

Linux-based 'Meltemi' as it was codenamed, was set to replace Nokia's Series 40 software, but the Finnish manufacturer scrapped the project in an effort to cut costs. 

This loss stands to further erode their once healthy position in the lucrative entry-level sector, as affordable Android-powered smartphones continue to deliver an impressive experience at bargain price points.

Other recently announced cost-cutting measures from Nokia include the loss of 10,000 jobs, and a continued reliance on Windows Phone to power its smartphone range.


March 02, 2011

Where Were We Before Social Networks?

Posted by Darla

Yes... it's been awhile, no... I'm not going to give a reason for my absence, however, I will extend yet another apology.

It occured to me today... I guess with all the news about Charlie Sheen and his new Twitter account. Or maybe it was that new phone service commercial where the mom so casually asks her daughter if she needed help in composing a tweet. With all of these things going on... I'm wondering just where the heck we were before social networks?

When I first started blogging text messaging was the thing and being able to keep in touch via text was a main focus. Having my sms forwarded or connected to my computer via an application was just the coolest thing developed. There was no Twitter or Facebook.

Since the introduction of Facebook I have managed to reconnect with tons of people from my hometown, school, old neighborhood... and just think, I thought Classmates was cool back when I first stumbled across it. When I first joined Facebook it was only to network with the large groups of people that I had met within Nokia and companies that I've dealt with. LinkedIn was more of a professional outlet, whereas FB was more social and personal. Add in a connection to Twitter and Flickr and even more sharing begins.

I'm definitley thankful for the existance of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and the likes... but now as I'm hounded on a daily basis by my 11 year old son begging for his own account just so he can keep in contact with his classmates whom he sees daily... the question hits me again.... where were we before social networks?

On a more person non-related note.... I'VE MISSED BLOGGING!!! :D

September 27, 2010

Nokia News Roundup: New Symbian, New Smartphones, New CEO

Posted by Ernest Doku

Nokia has had more than a few major developments in the last couple of weeks, from new hardware to a shuffle in their management deck, join us as we get up to speed about all things Espoo!

All Change

Images To say that Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo had a tough time of late is an understatement.

The shakiness of Symbian as platform of choice for other manufacturers thanks to a certain green robot, the "tremendous disappointment" that was the N97 in terms of both hardware and software, delays to market of the forthcoming N8...those rumours that the Board wanted him replaced just wouldn't go away.

So it came as little surprise that after thirty years at the Finnish manufacturer, OPK finally stepped down, being relieved of duty from September 21st.

Replaced by former Microsoft Business Division president and Adobe global sales boss Stephen Elop, OPK will still continue as Chairman of Nokia Siemens Networks, but will definitely sleep a lot more soundly from now on...

So where did that leave Nokia's head of smartphone strategy and unofficial second in command, Anssi Vanjoki?

According to the Wall Street Journal, he handed his six months notice as soon as he didn't get the top role. True story.

They quoted him as saying "I didn't become the CEO. It is as simple as that." 

On the topic of Nokia, Vanjoki was once again candid in pointing out their problems when speaking to the WSJ, realising that Symbian needs an overhaul to compete with Apple's iOS and the versatile Android platforms, whilst their lack of a grip on the US market was also an issue.

Considering his very vocal admission of the N97's failure to provide a decent user experience and Nokia's slow reaction to both the touchscreen and Android invasions, it comes as little surprise the Finnish manufacturer looked outside itself to find a new leader. 

UK boss Mark Loughran and chairman Jorma Ollila have also moved on from Nokia, meaning that the top floor clear out might see a new change of tack moving forward.

MeeGo still impresses as a next-generation operating system, and we are yet to see it implemented in a this space.

New Phones

Nokia World 2010 saw the world's journalists descend on London in order to see the latest offerings from the phone manufacturer, and by sheer volume they weren't disappointed.

The Nokia N8 was rolled out once again, proving itself a capable flagship device with its premium styling, as well as markling the debut of the new Symbian^3 platform.

If you already own a Nokia N8, you can get themes for Nokia N8 at Tehkseven.

The new line up covers all bases as far as pricepoints and demographics are concerned, with handsets dealing with different parts of the smartphone spectrum. 

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 11.32.36

The Nokia E7 is a current-gen revamp of the executive device, filled to the gills with connectivity options and features, yet slick enough to proudly plonk on a boardroom table.

Another handset running on Symbian^3, the E7 is built from aluminium, with a slide-out 4 row QWERTY keyboard and the necessary suite of smartpthone hook-ups, from 3G and Wi-Fi to Microsoft Exchange support and assisted turn-by-turn GPS.

Surprisingly, the E7 is equally as capable on the entertainment front by boasting a 4-inch AMOLED touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of internal memory to store tons of music and movies.

A great all-rounder, the E7 looks sheduled for an early 2011 release, according to a pre-order reveal from Expansys.

A keyboard-free alternative to the current C6, the Nokia C6-01 has a 3.2-inch AMOLED display, an attractive stainless steel frame and will also be running on the latest Symbian^3 software.

Nokia C6_6

An 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and high definition video capture support is certainly more high-end than we bargained for, whilst Wi-Fi, up to 32GB of memory and Bluetooth 3.0 are just the icing on a shiny metallic cake.

Rounding out the selection is the Nokia C7, a slender full touch phone that slots in just above the C6-01 in the smartphone hierarchy, but offers a little more with a 3.5-inch high resolution display, a choice of customisable home-screen and the all-too necessary social network integration. 

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 11.57.13

Facebook and Twitter updates are piped directly to the homescreen, whilst the easy addition of upcoming events to your calendar and locational awareness of what friends are up to places this feature firmly in the category of 'useful'. 

Topped with with a smattering of fancy Nokia features including a quality 8-megapixel camera, free GPS with Ovi Maps and access to thousands of applications on the Ovi Store, the C7 comes across as a great handset for those social butterflies that need to be kept in the loop, 24/7.

Whilst Nokia World 2010 certainly whet our appetite for new Symbian devices, stopping short of MeeGo-powered goodness left us impressed but altogether more expectant that the best is yet to come...

With Nokia undergoing some pretty big changes at all levels, let's hope so.

September 07, 2010

Nokia E7 To Be Revealed At Nokia World 2010

Posted by Ernest Doku

Sounds like the Nokia E7 will finally be getting an official unveiling at this year's annual Nokia World shindig, held this year in foggy London.

Reuters reports that the manufacturer will be introducing expectant phone fans to the Nokia N8 - the first handset to debut running the new Symbian ^3 software - as well as the E7 with MacBook Pro-inspired looks and confirmed to be sporting 'a large touchscreen and full keyboard'.

Despite losing ground in the smartphone market to Samsung and Apple, financial firm Morgan Stanley have recently double-upgraded their valuation of the Finnish phone maker due to a higher-than-expected consumer interest in the N8, as well as a competitive yet profitable price point for the device. 

Whilst I'm not going to bet the farm on the N8 and E7, it could be a sign of both a change in Nokia's fortunes and a renewed vigour for Symbian as an appealing and intuitive platform for luxury handsets.

"As the N8 starts shipping and other devices are unveiled, Nokia will be hoping that it can lay the foundation stones for its recovery given the onslaught of competitive products currently hitting the market," said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight.

"It has made some big commitments on fixing Symbian and its first flagship product using the refreshed Symbian operating system. Failure is not an option," Wood continued.

Those looking for a closer look at the Nokia N8's features and functions ahead of next week's Nokia World can take a look at the final manual, available for download here as a PDF file.


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