Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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Nokia Nseries – first shots of 2007
At Consumer Electronic Show taking place in Las Vegas Nokia has come up with a number of offerings, specifically updates to two Nseries-branded models and an all-round new tablet for web surfing. Running a few steps forward, I feel obliged to say that this very announcement has more of a predictable rather than revolutionary move in it, but first things first.
At the exhibition Nokia announced its establishing partnership with Six Aparts concerning Vox server availability to those loyal to the Finnish manufacturer. In fact Six Aparts owns LiveJournal.com, while Vox service is a logical development of online blogs, aiming at multimedia posts, video, images and voice recordings. Thus all Nokia’s Nseries devices are obtaining support for this service, but that is not all – first subscribers get over 1 Gb of free space for storing own files.
If you think Vox is getting a go in a distant future, you are mistaken – already existing Nseries-labeled devices can have it installed, you can upload the application here.
The first handset boasting pre-installed Vox settings will be Nokia N93i.
Another long anticipated announcement was integration of Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2 into S40 platform – at the beginning this application enabling phone owners to take advantage of Flikr, mail and other Yahoo-powered services will be embedded in Nokia 5300, Nokia 6131, Nokia 6103. More details are on the service’s official page.
Nokia N76. Eventually, Nokia just could not resist and joined the race where the top prize is “slimmest phone ever” – at a glance its new model utilizes many curves and shapes of the this market’s icon - Motorola RAZR, but as you might have already guessed, its pluses are lying in a slightly different field, since the N76 is in fact a smartphone running Symbian OS augmented with S60 3rd edition FP1. Speaking about why we suppose the RAZR was on the head designer’s table at the time when he was sketching out Nokia N76 – a metal keypad is here, along with dents at the bottom and other bits and pieces giving away its origin.
As a matter of fact, the company has managed to squeeze the hardware of the N76 into a casing only 13.7 mm deep, not due to cutting-edge alterations to the chassis; basically they have made it taller. Generally speaking Nokia 6290 is an exact replica of Nokia N76 – there aren’t many differences to dwell upon. While the 6290 measures 94x50x20.8 mm, the N76 presents us with 106.5x52x13.7 mm, meaning that it is a tad wider, almost 1 cm taller and all this for being reasonably thin.
Since we have started comparing these two handsets, then another place where the N76 falls short of Nokia 6290 is battery life. Nokia N76 utilizes a 700 mAh battery (BL-4B); as the manufacturer claims it can keep the phone up and running for up to 200 hours in standby mode and provides about 2 hours 45 minutes of talk time. A curious fact – for Nokia 6290 carrying a 950 mAh BL-5F onboard, the maker says 240 hours of lifetime in standby mode is its utmost limit. Keeping in mind that it would be a hastiness to take for granted what manufacturer claims regarding battery life, let us try to look into the real battery life put up by Nokia N76, or, better to say, how much worse it will be. Examining capacity of two batteries point-blank, then the gap will make up 35 percent, at that in normal conditions on average load Nokia 6290 manages to keep itself alive for about 2 days. Taking account of nonlinearity of charge wearing out, we can rightfully state that Nokia N76 is a handset that will require you to plug in the charge every evening, of course, if you are actually going to use it.
Software-wise these two models are wholly identical, the only difference is possibility to go into landscape mode on the internal display. Support for A2DP profile is currently missing.
Apart from the battery life and absence of stereo-speakers, Nokia 6290 and Nokia N76 are twins. I should mention it that the design of the senior solution is different and one could hardly make a mistake about that – Nokia N76 is positioned as a fashion solution, with vivid trims speaking in favor of this assumption, specifically red and black color schemes. Overall the handset looks pretty stylish and will surely appeal to many; to me this is what the company is betting on – to draw attention of those who have struck Nokia 6290 off their short-lists for some reasons.
The model is arriving in the market in March, two or three weeks after Nokia 6290 at a tax-free price of 390 Euro, the changes made to the sales package are almost non-existent and include only presence of USB data cable DKE-2. The company is looking forward to benefiting from the top-notch design, since these are otherwise two identical offerings. However there are – on one handset buttons on the front cover are dubbed as music tailored, whereas on the other phone they simply lack captions. All in all, consumers will have a hard time deciding which of these models to go for.
Nokia N93i. Despite all the hype around Nokia N93, its users are Techi alone, and moreover the sale rates are quite moderate. The problem was that an unsophisticated consumer is not yet ready to drag along a bulky device with him, even though it has Nokia engraved on it, shows off great video recording quality etc. So the goal set for the N93’s successor was not introducing some new features or software upgrade up to Feature Pack 1 – Nokia N93i presents us only with modifications that have something to do with its looks, specifically now we have something to choose from – grey or brick red trims. Both colors feature mirror-finished front panel, which is all the rage nowadays – just remember “emotional” products by Sony Ericsson, sporting just the same trinket, for example Sony Ericsson Z310i, Z610i. Naturally such surface gets soiled in no time, but your or whomever looks at it, eyes are going to be very pleased.
The dimensions of the N93i are nothing to should about either – while the N93 comes in at 118õ55.5õ28 mm and 188 grams, the newcomer features 108x58x25 mm and 163 grams. Bluntly speaking, dubbing this handset as “so-much-more-portable” wouldn’t be the right thing, that’s why the way the N93i will be treated in won’t change too much, since the most crucial flaw of the phone is neither height nor width, but is thickness, brought about by such awesome camera module found inside.
During the pursuit of smaller size they had to shave off some of the handset’s battery life along with “spare” centimeters – the N93i carries onboard a 950 mAh Li-Ion battery (BL-5F), while its counterpart, Nokia N93 made use of the BP-6M capacious of 1100 mAh. But the difference in terms of overall lifetime figures won’t be too striking – previously the phone put up 2 days of operation and now it is 1.5-2 days – a thing that can be dealt with. And those power users among you should not worry – for you the N93i still have only one day.
In the review on Nokia N93 your humble servant pointed at the 128x36-pixels color external screen being not a justified solution – the picture was bad at any rate, while reading from such display in the sun was a pain. Over at Nokia they have come to the same conclusion and put under the mirror plate a monochrome screen sporting the same resolution.
Other changes include richer sales package owing to 1 Gb miniSD memory card coming in one box with the handset (previously – 128 Mb). However that’s about it – Nokia N93i is nothing more but a smoother-looking edition of its predecessor.
Nokia N93i is scheduled to being shipping in the end of February at a price of 600 Euro (tax-free price). On the Russian market, though, its price might rocket up to 850 Euro, meaning that the N93i flies out of the mass market in an eye-blink, ending up in a category of device aiming at moderate sales even their domains.
Nokia 6131 NFC. An update to Nokia 6131 for some markets where Near Field Communications technology is demanded, which works pretty much in the same way as noncontact smart cards, allowing the holder to pay for services and so on. For the time being the very infrastructure that would allow running this kind of services at full-blast is non-existent, which leads us straight to the fact that even though Nokia 6131 NFC actually is the first commercial offering utilizing such technology, it is of no real use. The sales are scheduled to begin on the early days of the 1Q, the 6131 NFC will be retailed for 340 USD (since the price is specified in USD, the it’s obvious that the USA will be a top-priority market for this handset)
Nokia N800. Nokia keeps going on with experiments in WEB-tablets – another models, being a successor to Nokia 770, sports a touch display 4.1” big, runs on Tablet OS 2007 (Linux), brings to the table WiFi (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth, and a VGA camera. The display provides a resolution of 800x480 pixels, while the CPU works at 320 Mhz, the N800 carries 128 Mb of RAM onboard, as well 256 Mb of flash memory that can be augmented with SD memory cards. The manufacturer will be asking 399 Euro in Europe for a unit (tax-free price).
Don’t think of this offering as the one having good commercial prospects – Nokia is just giving it another go. Exclusively for this model the company is intending to release a special version of Skype – the announcement on the development initiation has been made today. It’s remarkable that for the very first time Nokia dubs a tablet device as a member of Nseries. On the other hand, the very concept of such device reduces all the efforts of the company to push Nseries forward to void, as it implies that in reality smartphones are not handy enough for surfing web and a more powerful, yet still portable device is needed. This ticking ideological bomb doesn’t allow for launching offerings similar Nokia N800 too often.
Bluetooth-headsets. The headsets range has been extended with entry-level and very basic solutions – the BH-201 seems quite fetching due to sharing curves and shapes with L’Amour Collection to some extent, at that the model’s spec sheet is nothing special. The sales package for the BH-201 includes various rubberized ear-plugs.
Model BH-301 shows off interchangeable faceplates, which come included with the handset, but the rest of its specs are pretty standard.
The BH-100 is seemingly the most affordable Nokia-branded headset, combining simplicity of embedded features and a low-end price of 45 USD. As the company representatives claim, this one is for people who have never given headsets a try before.
Snaps taken at the exhibition will be posted in this article tomorrow, so don’t forget to check back for more exclusive information!
Published - 09 January 2007
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