20 octombrie, 2011

Nokia Demo Day with Nokia N9

Yesterday evening I participated alongside with other Nokia fans at the Nokia Demo Day where the star of the event was the Nokia N9. I will just post some photos from the event as you can read more detailed info about it here and here.
I will just say that I’m in love with this device and before I buy it I hope to get my hands on it again for one more time. (Click on the photos for the full version)


02 mai, 2011

Nokia N8 – The best phone in the world!

Yes, i truly mean what I’ve wrote in the title and in the next rows I will try to explain you why.
I only want to mention one more thing before I continue with the review, the fact that I have received the Nokia N8 from the good folks at WOMWorld and they allowed me to have 2 wonderful weeks with the device, so thank you guys!

Introduction and features

DSC04592 The phone has been released last year in October so it is fairly new to the market. It comes in 6 colors: Dark Grey, Silver White, Green, Blue, Orange, Pink and it is the first Symbian^3 device that Nokia has launched and personally I think they made a great decision by launching their new operating system first on this phone. The N8 has 16 GB of internal storage, 256MB RAM, 512 MB ROM and is powered by a 680 MHz ARM 11 processor and a Broadcom BCM2727 GPU. It also supports microSD cards up to 32GB.
The connectivity is also great on the N8 as it has support for class 33 EDGE/GPRS and HSPDA 10.2Mbps and HSUPA 2.0 Mbps 3G connections and it also has Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and b/g/n WiFi. Plus it has stereo FM radio with RDS and FM transmitter.
GPS is also present with A-GPS support and Ovi Maps 3.0 out of the box and a digital compass to help with pedestrian navigation.

The box


The phone comes in a thin blue box and in the box we have the wall charger, the data cable, in-ear hands-free headphones, the USB-on-the-go cable that we have talked about in the E7 review and the mini-HDMI adapter that plugs into the TV-out port and allows you to have 720p video via HDMI with Dolby Digital Plus sound on your living room TV. So I think it’s fair to say that Nokia has provided us with all the accessories we need. I can think only about two more extras I personally would require: a car charger and a car holder. And it’s great that Nokia has provided us with the possibility to charge the phone not only by using the micro-USB port but also with a standard Nokia 2mm charger because nowadays we can find a Nokia 2mm charger almost everywhere.

Design and construction

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The Nokia N8 has a 3.5 inch beautiful 16M colors display, with a 640 x 360 pixel resolution, and an AMOLED capacitive touch screen with scratch resistant Gorilla glass display that also supports multi touch so you will be able to enjoy the iPhone-like pinch to zoom feature. Weighting only 135 grams it feels very light in the hand but it also gives you the feel of a well built device, because of the materials used: anodized aluminum and high-quality plastic.
I don’t have an issue with the fact that the camera sticks a little out of the back of the phone because I understand that it would’ve been impossible to fit the camera inside the device considering the big sensor they used. The only design issue I have is with the fact that Nokia chose to put the speaker on the back so when the phone sits on the table you can barely hear it ring. And it happen to me a couple of times to miss phone calls because of this problem. Stereo speakers on the side would have been a smarter choice.


It’s now time to talk about the strong point of the device, the camera. The Nokia N8 packs a 12 megapixel autofocus camera with the largest optical sensor ever fitted inside a mobile phone that measures 1/1.83''. Plus we have an abundance of other camera gismos: Carl Zeiss optics, mechanical shutter, ND filter, Xenon flash, geo-tagging and face detection. And it also can take 720p video with a frame rate of 25fps with great audio capture.
But I can’t convince you about the amazing quality of the photos the N8 takes using only words, so I will let the images talk for themselves. Bellow you have some outdoor pictures (taken in low sunlight) and some indoor ones with a comparison between no-flash and flash pictures taken indoor with artificial light.

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I have said very little about the device but it has so many great features that I don’t have the time to write about all of them in detail. With the soon-to-be released Anna update to he Symbian^3 OS family the N8 is truly the best phone in the world at the moment and it has everything a Smartphone user would want. I can’t but recommend the N8 especially as the price point for it has dropped in the last months.

Finally I leave you with two comparison photos between the N8 and the phone that has replaced my E7, the Nokia N900. But more about the N900 in another review. Stay tuned!


12 aprilie, 2011

Nokia E7 Review: The business man’s choice


Some of you may already know this but I while ago I was the lucky winner of a Nokia E7 mobile phone from Womworld after I entered the “Behind the E7” contest. It was before the E7 was officially available on sale so I was one of the first to get their hands on an E7 in Romania but only now I found the time to write about it. So the following will be my personal thoughts about the device.

The box

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The E7 comes in the new blue box that Nokia is using lately to package almost all its devices and in it you will find the micro-USB charger, data cable, good quality hands-free in-ear headphones with spare ear pads and the mini HDMI and USB-on-the-go cables. Unfortunately Nokia decided to not include the 2mm charger port on the E7 like on the N8 so you will not be able to charge your E7 with a standard Nokia charger that you can find practically anywhere these days. But you will be able to charge the phone via the data cable by connecting it to a PC.

The USB-on-the-go is a new feature found on the premium Symbian^3 devices from Nokia that allows you to connect a USB stick, external hard-disk or even a mouse to the device. Being able to access the memory of an external device in this easy way or to use a mouse or external keyboard to control the device is a killer feature in my opinion. This is a feature unique to Nokia and it deserves more publicity as their competitors iOS or Android lack this feature at the moment of the writing of this article.

Another cool feature is the possibility to connect the E7 to an external HDTV by using the mini HDMI port and the cable supplied in the box. In this way you will be able to enjoy the 720p videos captured with the device on a big screen and share your adventures with family and friends.

Design and construction

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The Nokia engineers have managed to prove yet again that the Finnish are the masters of mobile engineering by delivering a product that is well built, using great materials and that feel like a high quality device in your hand.
The device is a bit on the heavy side by weighting around 180 grams but by keeping it so thin, measuring only 13,6mm in thickness, it doesn’t feel a big and heavy phone. But dont expect to fit in your blue jeans pocket very well either. You realize that you are using a premium device especially when you touch it and feel the high quality anodized aluminum case in your hand that makes you instantly realize that your are holding a business oriented phone.

Display and qwerty sliding keyboard

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The display is absolutely gorgeous! It is a real pleasure to look at the 4 inch clear black display indoors and also when you are out in the sun. The E7 uses the same display that we just found today that it will be used on the soon to be released Nokia X7-00. This scratch resistant Gorilla glass display is in my opinion one of the strong selling points of the device along with the qwerty keyboard.

The slide mechanism is very well built and the screen slides easily once you get used to the area that you have to push in order to reveal the qwerty keyboard. The keyboard itself is one of the best I've used and the one thing that bothered me is that the device being so big it was sometimes hard for me to press some keys by using my thumb because I was not able to reach the desired key, but again this might be only my problem as I don’t have very big hands :)


The camera is the big disappointment of the E7 and I still don’t understand what were Nokia engineers thinking when they fitted the E7 with a non-branded fixed focus camera. I can understand that the thickness of the device made it difficult to put in a more advanced camera and I can understand also the argument that this is a business device and it doesn’t serve the purpose to have a great camera in it, but I am still disappointed and maybe you will understand me when you’ll see the photos bellow. And not to mention that is practically impossible to take a close-up macro photo with this camera.
To make my point you have bellow on the left the photos taken with the E7 and on the right with my old X6 that has auto focus and a 5MP camera. You will see for your self the huge difference in color and detail.

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And another two photos taken with the E7, indoors and outdoors:


Ok, I think I made my point. I will say thou that the 720p video captured with the E7 is surprisingly rather good and usable, despite the photos not being so great.

Later edit: More about EDoF vs Autofocus cameras you can read on All About Symbian.


I have not talked in this review about the UI as Symbian^3 has been discussed in more detail all over the internet already and the point of my review was more to express my thoughts about the hardware.
What I want to discuss in the final part of this review is the competition of the E7, and the only device that is able to take on the E7 at the moment is in my opinion the Nokia N8. Even if you may argue that the two are marketed for different sets of people, business people and media consumers, I cannot stop thinking that the two big selling points of the E7: the qwerty keyboard and 4” screen cannot make up for the lower price of the N8 and the other fextra eatures that the N8 has like: better camera, the FM transmitter and the microSD slot.

To conclude I think the Nokia E7 should be the obvious choice for business oriented people that need to use the device for productivity and work tasks and it deserves the place in the hall of fame of Nokia communicators.

These were my personal opinions about the E7, for more objective and in-depth reviews please check AllAboutSymbian and GsmArena reviews.

I leave you with two more photos that compare the E7 with the X6 and my first Smartphone the Siemens SX1.


09 aprilie, 2011

Cum a fost la Nokia Demo Day Cluj

Ieri, 8 aprilie, am participat la sesiunea de testare/prezentare Nokia Demo Day care a avut loc la birourile Nokia din Cluj. Sesiunea a fost sustinuta de catre trainerul Nokia Cornel Patras (alaturi de mine in fotografia din stanga) si timp de 2 ore si jumatate am vorbit despre telefoanele Nokia C6-01, C3-01 şi X3-02, Symbian^3, Ovi, aplicatii Qt si serviciile Nokia.
Din pacate desi s-au anuntat 20 de participanti nu s-au prezentat decat 10, dar audienta mai mica nu a taiat deloc din elanul organizatorilor, iar trainerul Nokia si-a facut foarte bine datoria dand dovada ca stie foarte bine produsele care le-a prezentat si ca este bine pregatit ca si trainer.
Am fost placut impresionat de prestatia lui si chiar daca majoritatea lucrurilor discutate nu au fost noutati pentru mine, modul lui interactiv de a sustine prezentare si de a angaja participantii in discutie m-a facut sa plec de la prezentare multumit.
Ne-au mai fost prezentate si o serie de accesorii Nokia printre care trei perechi de casti hands-free bluetooth ce vor aparea in curand pe piata, si pe care nu am avut voie sa le fotografiem, nivelul de securitate din cladire fiind destul de ridicat. Pe toata durata sesiunii de prezentare in incapere au fost prezenti si doi agenti de securitate pentru a ne supraveghea.
Apoi au fost prezentate castile Nokia BH-905i pe care le-am testat si eu de curand, boxele Nokia MD-9 de care am ramas placut impresionat, Nokia Extra Power DC-11 care este de fapt o baterie externa de mare capacitate cu ajutorul careia iti poti incarca telefonul cand nu ai la dispozitie o priza, am mai vazut si kitul cu incarcator pentru bicicleta de care s-a tot vorbit in ultima vreme si centura pentru monitorizarea ritmului cardiac Bluetooth Polar LS-14 care functioneaza impreuna cu aplicatia Nokia Sports Tracker.
Sper ca vom mai avea parte de astfel de evenimente la Cluj si astept cu nerabdare ziua de marti, 12 aprilie cand o sa aflam ultimele noutati cu privire la Symbian^3 de la Nokia.

23 martie, 2011

Nokia BH-905i Headphones Review

Here is my first post in English and it is an amazing start! From now on I will be writing in English the articles that might interest the non-Romanian speaking readers of my blog and thus my posts will be able to reach a broader audience. I begin by reviewing the Nokia BH-905i Bluetooth headphones that Womworld kindly have sent to me to review along with the Nokia E7 that I've won at the "Behind the E7" contest. But about the E7 in another post, lets talk about the BH-905i now. And please be gentle, this is my first ever review.

e package
The headphones come in a great white caring case made with leather-like material that's fitted in a classical Nokia blue box that has on the back of it described the Active Noise Cancellation technology and some of the accessories that come in the package.

The travel case can accommodate the headphones along with the charger and all the accessories so it's easy to carry around. Talking about the accessories, Nokia have put in a bunch of them including: a 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector, 3.5 mm iPhone compatible AV connector, audio cable and supporting adapters for: 2.5 mm Nokia AV connector, Standard 3.5 mm jack, Standard 6.3 mm jack, Standard airplane jack and an Adapter for VoIP calls.

Build quality
The Nokia engineers have accustomed us with great engineered devices, and the Nokia BH-905i headphones are no different. The headphones are made by hard plastic, covered by soft leatherette and the part that touches the ears let them breathe so you do not sweat wearing them. This also make the headphones very comfortable to wear even if the headphones are a little bit on the heavy side, weighing about 170 grams, but considering the fact that the headphones hold a 600 mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery inside I thing it's a fair bargain.

The controls
The operating keys present on the headphones accomplish a lot of task, by switching or pressing a button you can use the multifunction key for power on/off, answer/end, and voice dial/redial, or turn the bass booster on/off, stereo widening on/off, we also have the Volume up/Volume down buttons, the Play/pause, Next and Previous track and the differentiating feature of the Nokia BH-905i headphones, the active noise cancelling on/off. So considering all the commands at your disposal it's very easy to use the headphones to control your phone when playing music.

Battery life
The usage time given by Nokia are the follwoing:
Operating time (maximum)
  • Talk (Bluetooth): 24 h
  • Music (Bluetooth): 25 h
  • Talk (Bluetooth, with active noise cancellation): 15 h
  • Music (Bluetooth, with active noise cancellation): 16 h
  • Music (Wired, with active noise cancellation): 40 h
Standby time (maximum): With Bluetooth: 600 h
Charging time (maximum): 2h
Personally during the time I've tested the headphones, almoust 2 weeks, I only had to recharge once the battery. So like I said before the tradeoff between weight and battery life is a clever choice made by Nokia.
Another good news is that Nokia uses a standard 2mm charging port so you can use somebody else's Nokia charger if you don't have yours. The one provided with the headphones is the smallest Nokia charger I've seen until now.

Usage/sound quality:
The sound on the BH-905i headphones is spectacular, especially when you activate the ANC (Active Noise Cancelation). The 8 microphones present in the headphones do a great job when it comes to capture the environmental noise and then insert a "white noise" in the speakers accordingly to the noise level perceived. The difference when you switch the ANC button is AMAZING! Active noise cancellation technology is advertised to reduce up to 99% background noise. You can hear all the different sounds in a certain track more clearer and when walking outside is much more relaxing not hearing the noise of the city and concentrating only on the music.
The headphones also act as hands-free so you can answer calls when wearing them. I found the quality of the calls to be very crisp and clear and the feedback from the person to whom I was talking was also great.
If you succeed in finishing the battery power you can also use the headphones by connecting them through cable to your phone, iPod or other device that do not support Bluetooth connection.
Pairing the headphones with your device is very easy and by only pressing one button you will be able to find the headphones and connect to it.

Even if the price tag here in Romania is between 200 and 250 euros the Nokia BH-905i headphones still make for a great gadget to have around if you like listening to music during your commute to work or in other occasions, especially when out in the city where you can truly appreciate the miracles of Nokia's Active Noise Cancellation technology.
The white version of the headphones that I had for testing is more appealing and looks better, in my opinion, than the black version ones. But this is a matter of taste.
So if you are considering buying the BH-905i headphones I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with your purchase.