Proporta.com kindly sent me this TurboCharger Back Pack for review several weeks ago, and during that time I have been testing it out in various conditions during my travels. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: apple, iPhone, iTunes, not at nokia, Reviews
Posts Tagged “Reviews”
Jun 15 2011
Jan 29 2011
As promised in my earlier post about technology solutions for hearing aid wearers, today I will be talking to you about the Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 which Nokia were kind enough to send me a review device to test.
The Nokia Wireless Loopset is a simple solution for digital hearing aid wearers, and can be quickly paired to any Bluetooth enabled Nokia device.
The pairing process is very easy, with the user simply ensuring the Nokia Wireless Loopset is fully charged, then pressing, and holding down the single button on the front of the Loopset until the inner small led starts to flash blue quickly.
On your Nokia device, whilst the Loopset is flashing blue, go to your Bluetooth menu, and select add device. Your Nokia will then quickly find the Loopset, and pairing will be completed.
Once you have successfully paired your Nokia, and Loopset together, you then need to set your digital hearing aids to “T Mode”. Once in “T Mode” you will be connected, and all procedures, and actions performed on your Nokia that have sound will be streamed to your digital hearing aids.
It’s as simple as that really, as the Nokia Loopset is quite different to the other digital hearing aid solution I have been testing, the Oticon Streamer, which is a more comprehensive solution, and for the more technology advanced user. I will be reviewing the Oticon Streamer next, so keep your eyes peeled for that later today.
Back to the Nokia Wireless Loopset, once set up there really is not much else to do, if you get a phone call for example, your notification of the incoming call will be streamed to your digital hearing aids, and to answer the call, simply press the singular button on the Loopset, and wearing it around your neck you will be able to hold a telephone call without having to put your Nokia to your ear.
The Loopset also has a vibrating notification too, which I found to be very useful. The vibrating function notifies you of the various settings as well as calls, and low battery warnings.
The Loopset has a built in microphone for your voice, and a built in Active Noise Cancellation too, so when you are engaged in a call, you will find your callers voice, crisp, clear, and background noise lowered in volume.
To end the call, simply press the singular button once again.
You can of course also use the Nokia Wireless Loopset to playback your Nokia device’s music library, although you will find the sound quality very low, but for sufferers of Tinnitus such as myself, I tend to playback my music at a low level so that it plays just above the level of the Tinnitus ringing, thus making the wearing of the digital hearing aids much more comfortable.
Inside the top of the Loopset you will find the area where the wired neck strap plaugs in, and also this area is where the status LED is located, offering easy access to your battery status information.
On the front of the Loopset you will find that singular button I mentioned earlier used for making, and ending phone calls, and above that the built in microphone.
During my tests of the Nokia Wireless Loopset I found that I could wear it constantly connected to my Nokia device for 4 – 5 hours. Obviously if you wish to prolong this, it would be wise to switch off the Loopset from time to time during the day, this is done by simply pressing, and holding that singular button on the front of the Loopset.
The build quality of the Nokia Wireless Loopset is what can be expected from Nokia, its very solid, rugged, and splash proof too, so no need to worry about getting it a little wet in the rain, or whilst in the bathroom brushing your teeth for example.
The one advantage that the Nokia Loopset has over the Oticon Streamer I also have is that the Nokia Wireless Loopset works with everything on your Nokia, including the likes of Skype calling, whereas the Oticon, being somewhat more focused on actual mobile device built in calling features, and music, when I tried the Oticon during a Skype call, it didn’t work.
Conclusion: If you are a wearer of digital hearing aids, similar to the one’s I wear, the Oticon Vigo Pro Connect, and are looking for a simple, and affordable solution for streaming both your Nokia, and any other mobile device to your hearing aids, then I strongly recommend you give the Nokia Wireless Loopset a try, you won’t regret it.
The Nokia Wireless Loopset provides t-coil-equipped hearing aid users with a hassle- and hands-free connection to mobile phones. Compatible with handsets that use Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, the loopset enables mobile calls to be accessed wirelessly through the hearing aid.
Key features of the Nokia Wireless Loopset include
:vibrating alert for incoming calls
Further information on the Nokia Wireless Loopset can be found here.
Additional information on the Oticon Vigo Pro Connect hearing aids can be found here.
More info on the Oticon Streamer coming up in the second of today’s reviews.
Jan 10 2011
A simple phone, one such as the John’s Phone sounds like a great idea, but does it really offer the simplicity that many people want in a dumb phone? Read on to find out!
John’s Phone is not much to look at, resembling what looks like a remote control, but once its been set up, it’s a life changer for many people, more so, the older generation of users, disabled users, or just those people out there that want a really simple phone with no bells, and whistles.
If you are a geek, or techy person, you may as well stop reading now, as there’s nothing to see here for you. Now if you are not a techy, or a geek, the following may be welcomed to you, its very simple, and does exactly as intended apart from a couple of flaws, which I will address below.
Built from entirely plastic, and being pretty lightweight, it feels cheap, and nasty, but what do you expect simplicity to feel like right? Here’s my quick Overview, and Unboxing video of the Business Black Model of the John’s Phone, which I’m Reviewing here..
John’s Phone comes boxed with a few bundled accessories, and these are:
A Mains to USB Charger.
The front of the John’s Phone simply hosts the dial pad, ear speaker, and lower voice microphone. Everything is clearly labelled for you with big clear numbers, and icons so you don’t get confused in any way whilst using it.
The rear of the John’s Phone houses a paper notepad, tucked away behind a plastic translucent door flap. There is also a ballpoint pen fitted to the upper right rear of the device to use with said notepad. This notepad can be used to write down addresses, or of course notes from any of your phone conversations.
The right hand side of the john’s phone is completely bare, with no buttons, or switches, just the aforementioned ballpoint pen fitted to the upper right rear of the device, similar to how a stylus is fitted to a touch screen device.
Onto the bottom of the device, to the right of the base you will find a single MicroUSB port, this is solely used for recharging the John’s Phone. Whilst charging, the small thin backlit lcd display located at the top of the device will indicate to you that charging is underway.
The left hand side of the John’s Phone, starting from the bottom working upwards hosts, the plastic chromed On/Off/Lock sliding switch. This switch is somewhat difficult to use due to it sitting flush with the outer casing of the device, so a fingernail is very helpful here. Having said this though, in my experience with the John’s Phone, I found this switch to be somewhat temperamental. Although audible notifications are sounded whilst operating this switch, which are indeed useful, I found that sometimes the switch would not operate, or play the notification, plus due to the nature of the sliding switch, its very easy to accidentally over switch, meaning missing the central switch option by skipping from far left setting, to far right setting, you really need to be careful here.
Moving up the left side of the device away from the on/off/lock switch you will find the second chrome plated plastic switch, this time for the audible notification volume level. Again, this switch sits completely flush with the exterior of the device, meaning you will need a fingernail to operate it. Again, the same can be said here about you accidentally skipping a setting, with the switch easily going from one side to the other, missing the central option. The three options here for the notification volume level are High/Low/Off. Not only are you presented with an audible notification on selection choice here, the small backlit lcd display also shows you an icon relating to your chosen setting. Be warned however, the same problem occurs here just like the on/off/lock switch. Frequently your chosen setting will not register, resulting in you having to manually keep moving the switches until they do.
Moving onto the next switch on the left side of the John’s Phone, we come to the volume rocker switch, this is also plastic, finished in chrome. The functionality of this spring loaded rocker switch is simple, however a missed opportunity here from the makers of the John’s phone. With audible notifications on, you can increase, and decrease the volume level by pushing up, or down on the rocker switch, however you can only increase, or decrease volumes in single stages, there is no push up and hold to go to maximum volume, and no holding switch down for minimum volume. Also, when increasing the volume in single stages, there is no secondary audible prompt to let you know you have reached maximum volume. Same with minimum volume, the switch just keeps on making the audible sound that its being operated. It would have been better if the makers of the John’s Phone had simply had this switch stop making the audible prompt when you reach either maximum, or minimum levels.
Whilst still on the left hand side of the John’s Phone, in the central area you will find the sim card tray. This, again in plastic, and can be removed with that handy fingernail you have. Fitting your sim card is simple as the tray is designed to only allow fitment of the card one way. Once your sim card is fitted in the tray, you simply slide the tray back into the device.
The top of the John’s phones hosts the small, narrow monochrome backlit lcd display. This display offers very little use to the end user really, and is intended for initially setting up the device with your numbers, however, there is some useful functionality should you have good eyesight, you can use it to retrieve previous calls by pressing the call/hello button, and using the volume rocker switch to scroll through the list. Its also used to display missed calls, but as said, you really need good eyesight. I’m thinking of elderly users here.
The call quality using the John’s Phone was flawless, with good clear sound, and the Microphone works well with the receiver hearing you perfectly.
Here is a summary of the functionality of the John’s Phone with some simple instructions to give you an idea if the John’s Phone is right for you or not. These are freely available on John’s Phone website too.
The slide switch on the bottom left-hand side is the power switch. There are three possible settings: on, off and keypad lock. The keypad lock setting prevents you from calling people unintentionally. Power on: Set the power switch to ‘on’ > screen will turn on. John will welcome you. ENTER PIN on-screen display > enter your PIN code and click on the green (hello) button > if code is valid, the unlocking sound effect will be heard and you can use the phone. If the code is invalid, a whistle will sound > attempt to ENTER PIN again.
The side switches must first be put in the middle position before they can be put in another setting. Do not slide straight through from the bottom position to the top position, or vice-versa, in one motion.
Making a Call/Hanging Up
Ensure that the power switch is not set to ‘keypad lock’. Type in the desired telephone number > press the green button > wait to be connected. To hang up, press the red button.
Receiving a call
Press the green button > talk > to hang up, press the red button. The phone need not be take off ‘keypad lock’ to accept an incoming call.
Screen on the Top
The screen is located on the upper face of the phone. On the left, this icon displays the reception. The more dots (max. 5), the better the reception. Also on the left, this icon displays the battery strength. This icon will display when the battery is nearly flat. If the phone remains inactive, the sleep setting will automatically activate.
At the top of the screen, incoming and outgoing numbers are displayed. To correct the number entered, press the red button.
The upper switch on the left-hand side controls the in-call volume. Upwards increases the volume, downwards decreases the volume. You can also operate the in-call volume during a call or when using headphones.
Storing Phone Numbers
You can note down numbers and do sketches using the accompanying pen located on the right-hand side of the top of the phone You can always find all of your contacts in the address book, even if your battery is flat. Address books can also be bought separately via www.johnsphones.com.
These are just a few instructions for the John’s Phone which posting here may help you decide whether of not the John’s Phone is right for you.
Personally speaking from my experience with the John’s Phone, the idea is there, and I can see a market for a simple phone, however with the poor operating switches, the tiny display, I feel these implications will frustrate, and put most people off from using the John’s Phone sadly.
Note to the maker. Redefine these issues, and you will be onto a winner for sure.
It’s no surprise, i love my mobile devices, but more importantly, I like to keep them juiced up whenever Im out and about. There is nothing worse than running out of power whilst out somewhere, and not being out to find a power outlet, thus I love to have one or more options available to me for different conditions I maybe in. For example, I take advantage of the sun in the summer time, and use a solar charger to recharge my devices, but in the long dark winter months, I use different methods.
Like many of you, I love my gadgets, and being James Bond like when out, and try and be as self efficient as possible, so am always keen in testing out new mobile device chargers when they come to market, and share my experiences with them here for you all, so then you can compare, and consider which mobile device charger is best for your needs.
Unlike Proporta’s previous mobile device chargers, whereas you have just the one power outlet to charge a mobile device, Proporta’s newly launched TurboCharger 5000 has two power outlets, one labelled “Low, and a second labelled “High”.
What this means is one outlet is a general powered outlet for most mobile devices, and the secondary power outlet is for optimized devices that require that little more power to recharge.
The Proporta TurboCharger 5000 boasts an impressive 5000mAh Capacity, with an input of 5v, 1A, an output of 5v @ 1.5A equalling 5500mAh
With the TurboCharger 5000 lay flat on a table, the top of the device features a three stage recharge, and charge status indicator, there are three blue leds, which according to status, indicate fully charged when all three are illuminated when connected to a pc, or power outlet, and flash in ascending order whilst charging, these also stay illuminated during the recharging of a mobile device so you know exactly how much juice is left to top up your phone etc.
These three indicators in my experience have been a little hit and miss though, showing three fully illuminated leds, then dropping straight down to just one led, missing the second stage out altogether. I will however be keeping my eye on this, as its quite possible that the TurboCharger simply needs to be recharged several times to prime its capacity.
Also on the top of the device you will find a single button, this is used to power on the device, and power off, but due to its unprotected nature, in the way of being flush, with no bezel around the circumference of the button, it is very easy to accidentally switch the TurboCharger off, or in actual fact as my photo below show, accidentally switching it on. When my review device arrived, I noticed a blue light shining through the padded envelope. When I opened the package, the charging powerhouse was indeed switched on, and was probably on for most of the duration on route from UK to Finland.
Overall though, once fully charged, the TurboCharger 5000 performed very well during my tests, however, I was kind of hoping that the “High” outlet would allow you to use a full length usb connectivity lead to charge a Nokia device, but sadly, you still have to resort to using either a short charge cable, or of course, the supplied Inertia reel charge cable, and tips.
The only mobile device charger I have tested thus far that allows the use of a full length Nokia usb connectivity lead to recharge a device is the Zagg Sparq 2 charger.
Back to the TurboCharger 5000 from Proporta, this successfully charged an N97 to full twice over three days via two separate intervals. It also successfully charged my Nokia BH-905 bluetooth headphones, an N95, and an X3-02 handset without any problems, but as mentioned earlier, I had noticed a false positive with the led status indicators.
The TurboCharger 5000 is available for preorder for just under $70 USD, and comes with recharge lead, and several tips.
Charge anywhere, recharge anything – over and over
I hope this review helps you decide on which mobile device charger suits you and your mobile needs, so as for now, thanks to the Proporta team for their Review item.
Full details on the TurboCharger 5000, and other Proporta products can be found here.
Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to read my review!
Nov 09 2010
As promised, I did say that I would let you guys know when I finally got my white conversion parts from UK company, iphonefixed.co.uk. My iPhone 4 should be here either tomorrow, or Wednesday as its currently winging its way to me from the Uk via DHL.
White Glass front complete with Retina Display, Digitizer, and associated flex connectors.
I also have a white dock connector sourced elsewhere which is genuine OEM Apple stock.
The iphonefixed parts arrived well packaged, and in their own boxes, with hard foam packaging. I’m currently uploading a video shot of the unboxings, and overview of parts, but below I have added several photos of said parts as promised.
The quality of all parts, look, and feel superb, and the front lcd backing looks to be OEM to me when comparing it to other iphone owners removed parts from their black iPhone 4′s, let me know what you think.?
Back glass lower wording.
White Home button from iphonefixed, switch and flex from Apple seller on eGay..
All of my photos in Extra Large size can be found here on flickr.
I’m very interested in hearing from you guys who have sourced these parts elsewhere, especially if you have noticed any differences between any of these parts I have from iPhonefixed.co.uk
Also would be great to hear from anyone else who is considering the conversion, be it by themselves, or getting a company to carry out the conversion for you.
I will keep you all up to date as and when I carry out the conversion, detailing any complications, should their be any, and of course sharing my experiences in carrying out the conversion too.
Tags: NOKIA, Platform / OS, Reviews
The Nokia C7-00 Charcoal Black Touch screen device from Nokia arrived on my doorstep a little while ago whilst I was still putting together my N8-00 Review, and Impressions, and I have to say, in my personal opinion, the C7 outshines the N8 in many ways, which lead me to focus more on the C7-00 than the N8. Why? Read on…
I won’t go into depth about the N8 here, but I will say that the C7-00 to me seems to be a more refined, and more polished device, feeling more comfortable hardware, and software wise, even without being cased in Aluminum.
The contrast of Stainless Steel, and Glass, along with the overall shape, size, and feel of the C7 just feels right, both in the hand, and user experience. The touch screen on the C7 to me feels so much more refined too, with responsiveness being more to my liking, whereas the N8 appears to be somewhat cumbersome with various touch input/select options throughout Symbian^3.
One area though in both the N8 and C7 that still needs some work is the UI, and the touch integration of software options in the camera application, for example, if you have the camera application open in either device, and are holding the phone in one hand, say your right hand, you will find that the screen option to “Back” or “Exit” unresponsive in portrait mode, but when you rotate the device into landscape mode, the touch optimization responds better to the overall touched area of this selection area of the screen. This may sound odd, but until you actually try this for yourself, you may not quite understand what Im saying, so I will put a short video together highlighting this for you, which will be uploaded later today.
Back to the look and feel of the C7, its 3.5 inch Capacitive touch screen is stunning behind the black bordered glass. The glass on the C7 is not Gorilla Glass however, but it is quite different from what we have seen previously in Nokia devices, and touch screens. There are various layers used in the C7 screen, and glass, bringing outdoor usage in direct sunlight more bearable. The layers also give the impression of a ClearBlack Display when the phone is in standby mode too, even though the C7 does not have CBD.
95% of the front of the C7 is glass, with just the small lower area of the front being hard, similar looking plastic, and this area is where you will find the call, call end, and menu buttons. The call, and call end buttons are not touch sensitive here, but in actual fact switched, and are activated by pressing the related area down. The menu button is a dedicated hardware centralized button/home key.
On the top front of the C7-00 you will find the usual central ear piece with the glass shaped around the lower part. A nice touch which I like here at the top of the device is the hidden Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, and Secondary Camera. The Microphone is located on the lower front area below, and to the left of the Home/Menu button.
Onto the circumference of the C7, the outer edge, starting on the right hand side, you will find dedicated volume buttons, with a central button for Voice Dialing. Further down you will find the screen lock switch. This is plastic rather than metal like on the N8, but it does feel solid, and not fragile like that of the one found on the N97.
On the right lower area you will find the single stage camera capture button. The location of this is not too obvious when handling the C7 without looking as the button is not raised much at all, and sits quite flush.
The bottom of the C7 is completely bare, apart from a lanyard anchor point. The bottom is also curved due to the lovely profile design, and whilst it does look, and feel great, you cannot stand the C7 up on a desk on any of its leading edges sadly.
The 2mm charge port is the only thing you will find on the upper part of the left hand side of the C7, and onto the top of the device you will find a doored MicroUSB with charge led, this can be used for both charging the C7, and of course data connectivity. Next to this you will find a centralized 3.5mm headphone jack, and then next to that the power button.
The back of the C7 is made of very high quality hard black plastic(depending on colour variant), and a metal battery cover. To the top area of the black you will find the fixed focus 8MP camera, and dual led flash for photos, and a red led which is located behind these which illuminates for video recording. More on what this fixed focus camera can do later, and it’s not bad at all.
Depending on colour model, the camera, and flash is surrounded by what appears to be metal, and in my case, black, with two speaker looking grills, however, there is only one speaker. The other speaker looking grill is possibly an additional microphone.
Removing the battery cover, inserting your sim card, and MicroSD card is quite straight forward, but if like me, with big fingers, putting in your MicroSD is fiddly. See video above.
Now we have our sim card, and memory card fitted, its time to take a look at the all new Symbian^3 that the C7-00 and N8 comes with. Upon switching on the device you are welcomed with the usual country, time, and date settings, and then, in my opinion, a welcomed log in screen for your Nokia Account details, which actually integrates well to a certain degree, for example, when you launch Ovi Store (You will need to download the new client as Ovi Store Client is not preinstalled), you will find that you will automatically be logged into Ovi Store, and ready to start downloading your applications.
One thing that I would suggest to Nokia at this point regarding our Nokia Accounts is that maybe the Nokia Account web control panel should allow you to add/integrate our twitter, and facebook credentials, which can then later be used to make logging into the new Nokia Social Application effortless. Just an idea.
Symbian^3 brings with it some 140+ enhancements over the previous S60 5th Edition OS that we saw on the N97, and whilst all of these will not be obvious right away, you will start to find them one by one the deeper you go into Symbian^3, and its features/functions. There is still plenty of room for improvement though, and the obvious one is of course the UI. It does have some transitions, but these are somewhat like the Finnish Giant themselves. Modest to say the least, and are very quick, and brief in transitioning.
You get three home screens on the C7, allowing you to customize each one to your personal preferences, be it widgets, shortcuts, contacts, RSS feeds, calendar events, and Social network feeds.
The Menu set up is the usual familiar layout that we all have come to know well over the years, which to me looks somewhat dated, and not in keeping with the competition out there. This may be favored by the diehard Symbian fans out there, but if you don’t know Symbian, and you look at Symbian^3, you will think its old hat.
Something that many an old N95 user will tell you is that cClock was an amazing, simple application which allowed you to have a large screen clock on your standby screen, this not only showed you what time it was, without a backlit display, but it also have great notifications, such as battery, signal levels, missed calls, and texts, date, week, and more. In Symbian^3, Nokia have tried to emulate this, but in a half hearted manor sadly. The default Clock screensaver simply displays a large Analogue, or Digital clock, with the date, and that is it, no battery of signal level indicators, and no missed calls or text notifications. Yes, the C7 does notify you of missed calls and text messages in sorts, that being with the breathing light of the menu button, but not ideal.
You can however switch the default screensaver, and set it to Music Player, this will at least show icons for missed calls, and texts, but still no battery level indicator, or 3G signal indicators, which to many, myself included are important.
Even though the N8, and C7 both run Symbian^3, I noticed a few slight differences between the two devices, the first being the touch screen tactile feedback, and responsiveness, the C7 wins hands down for the ease of use of the touch screen, where as mentioned earlier, the N8 can be somewhat cumbersome. Another difference I noticed is that the Music icon on the C7 differs to that on the N8, bringing me to the conclusion that the C7 firmware maybe just a little ahead of the N8, I don’t know, but sure does feel more polished.
An area within Symbian^3 that has been given a lot of attention in the refinements, is Contacts, this now allows you to create even better contact lists, and using the inbuilt Social Application, you can pull in your contacts avatars from either facebook, or twitter to use as your contacts picture. Not only this though, when you sync your contacts with your facebook, and twitter contacts, Symbian^3 will try and match any of your existing contacts names, to those in your social networks, pulling in their various contact information, and shortcuts to their related profiles, and enabling you to say, DM one of your contacts on twitter directly from your contacts app.
The Music player has also been greatly improved, although there are still a few things which niggle me, like you cannot get to a single track quite as easy as you may wish, but its no biggy, but does add to those extra clicks to get count. Now whilst talking about Music player, one thing that impressed me as a poweruser is that once you transfer music to your device by bluetooth, it automatically lands in your music library. No need to locate file in your messages, and then save, then refresh library, its all live/instant. This however proved confusing when I carried out tests as a normob. Normob is the term many of us use for people who are normal phone users, and not necessarily familiar with smartphones. I found after transferring some music to the C7 via bluetooth, I spent ten minutes trying to find it, looking for a save option in text messages when the notification arrived, to looking in file manager for the music files and again looking for a save option.
The single speaker on the rear of the C7 is the same used in the N95-2, and performs very well due to the acoustic placement in the C7, its quite loud, and doesn’t distort at all either, and during my tests I found the music playback, and speaker phone performance more than adequate.
The Internet Browser in Symbian^3 has also been greatly improved over its predecessors, however there is still room for improvement here also. You can now send a url not only via a message, but also via bluetooth to a friends device, or upload it via Pixelpipe Send & Share (Not pre-installed).
There is a shortcut to go straight to your predefined news feeds there, you can set to block popups, and go to your history of visited webpages very easily now, but, and this is a big BUT, the GO BACK option still is not there, no single swipe, which I would of thought Symbian^3 would of had, but no, you still have to press the two arrow icon in the lower right of the screen, then BACK, which then only shows you a smaller version of the screen you were on, then having to swipe to the page you want, click on it, THEN your back to where you wanted to go. Its an arse about face way of doing things, and this is something many a user are frustrated with from previous S60 5th Edition Browsers, in fact, this whole “BACK” issue has been around for a long time now.
Messaging now has threaded conversation functionality, a welcomed addition to Symbian^3, and now attaching a file to an email, or message has been made a whole lot easier.
Photos, and the many options you can now do with your photos has vastly improved, and now makes the whole experience one which is less frustrating than before in the older OS.
Ovi Maps is great, and integrated very well here, and as mentioned before, just like with Ovi Store, you will find when you launch Ovi Maps, your login information from your Nokia Account auto logs you into maps, but again, if twitter, and facebook info could be addd to our Nokia Account information, this would save time in setting up the social aspect of Ovi maps with the Checkin and share notifications. The C7 GPS gets a quick lock, but as with any device, you really need to connect to a data network at first to initiate the data set up files, but once you have done this, you can go ahead, and load up your C7 with map, and voice data, and use maps offline with voice navigation.
The 8MP fixed focus camera on the C7-00 is quite impressive, and although not HD like the E7, it does perform very well indeed for most user case scenarios, however, the only downside of the fixed focus lens is of course close up photos, you simply cannot get good quality close up photos with this camera, which is a shame, but is typical with all fixed focus lenses. See photo below of a text filled A4 piece of paper, with photo taken on C7 about a meter away. Below that, a sample of how blurred the results are if too close to your subject.
You can find my camera samples from the C7 here, and compare them with the N8 here, and N86, the good old 8MP Auto Focus Nokia here. Videos from each of these devices can also be found below. I also demonstrate the zoom functionality of each device in both the above photos, and the videos below. Even though the C7 8MP Camera is fixed focus, you still have zoom functionality.
A quick hands on overview video I did when I first got the C7 can be found below, and below that a simple demo of Gameplay on the C7..
So there you have it, the new Nokia C7, and my personal impressions on it. The C7-00 is a real dark horse, and I think it will do very well indeed for those out there that prefer an all touch screen device, and that are not too bothered about a fixed focus camera lens, but having said that, Im sure you will agree having looked at my samples above, the photos, and videos from the C7 are not too bad at all.
To checkout all of my photos, you can find my flickr photostream here, or my various specific photo sets here which have all the full sizes of photos available. For my video collections, these can be found on Youtube, and Vimeo. If you wish to follow me, and my upcoming device reviews, you can follow me on twitter @Mickyfin, @Nokiausers, and @NokiaDNA.
Thanks for reading!
Oct 26 2010
With a Battery Capacity of 21000mAh, the Powergorilla from powertraveller.com is by far the most lust after battery backup, laptop, and mobile device charger on the market today. Its tough, and thin too.
None of those plastic chargers rubbish here, this thing is made of weatherproof materials, cased in aluminum with a spash-proof exterior/lcd display, and rubber grips, this thing reeks quality, and robustness.
The Powergorilla comes with its own zipped water-resistant case, and a vast amount of kit too boot.
The Powergorilla Kit Includes:
9 x mobile device tips:
8 x Gorilla Male Straight tips:
7 x Gorilla Female R/A tips:
3 x Accessories:
The Powergorilla is tough too, its no wuss, and has been tested in the field in various demanding conditions such as out in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Zambia, Antarctica and Norway. Being subjected to extremely hot and very cold temperatures, the powergorilla has successfully charged numerous laptops without fault! Impressive stuff don’t you agree?
On the top of the Powergorilla you will find the Power-In port, the USB Charger outlet, and the Round power out which is used to power, and recharge laptops with the supplied charge cables, and tips, this includes the MacBook Pro 17″ too, however you will need to buy a separate specific charge cable for the MBP, see photo below.
I have personally, and successfully charged my MacBook Pro 17″ with this thing, and believe me, I thought I may of been pushing it, but hell no, I went on to top the batteries up on both my Windows Laptop, and Compaq Netbook too. Then just for good measure a few Nokia mobiles, an N97, N86, N95, N8, and a 5530. Incredible.
The Powergorilla retails at £150GBP, and while this may sound a lot of money, it really is not that much for what you get in return, this thing is an amazing battery backup tool, and is priceless. You can even buy a Solargorilla which will let you recharge it by Solar power! This will certainly be my next purchase ready for taking advantage of the Finnish summer.
On top of everything I have said about this Powergorilla from powertraveller.com I would just like to say how easy it was to contact the company, they are very social, open, and honest, being contactable on twitter, and via email, their response times for quires was very quick indeed, and their emails come well informed, intelligent, and on the ball. Top quality customer service, one I recommend highly!
To find out everything you need to know about the Powergorilla, head across to powertraveller.com here, and checkout their case studies, research and Development to see that these guys know what they are doing when it comes to battery backup systems.
The Powergorilla, Micky’s score out of 10, out of 10 of course, simply because there is nothing that can match it out there for its price tag, performance, and after sales care.
Its been exactly 24 hours now since the new Nokia N8 arrived at my doorstop, and the first thing I did, was shoot a quick unboxing video, which I posted about here over at Nokiausers. After this, I charged up the N8 until it was fully juiced up, then once done, switched it on, and started setting everything up on it. Hardware aside, I will now detail my experiences with the N8 from switching on, trying out the pre-installed stuff first, then onto the 3rd party applications choice, and quick overview.
Now, be warned, and don’t make the same mistake as I did. In my haste, I decided to set up everything I could “without first fitting a sim card”. Big mistake.
Reason I say this, as without a sim card fitted, everything you set up, once switched off, and then fitting a sim card you lose all your settings once you power on the N8 again, including your Nokia Account log in. Gutted, and not sure if this is supposed to happen or not, but my guess is it was my own fault in the first place, but thought I ought to mention this to you so you too do not make the same mistake. On a positive note, I guess this is a far safer way in case your device is lost.
Anyhow, with sim card fitted, I continued to set up the various pre-installed applications first, Communities was the first thing I set up, and although it was easy enough to set up, its very very basic when compared to the third party application Gravity. For example, although you can add multiple twitter accounts in communities, you can only be logged into one of them at any one time, and signing into one account, automatically signs you out of the other/s. This was a PITA for me, and on the timeline view, there is no indication of which account you are actually using either. I thought, ok, thats enough of that, and planned on installing Gravity later anyway, which will do more than fine.
The second pre-installed application I set up was email, and again, although this was very simple to do, in my case, GMAIL, it automatically pulled in all my settings, and I was away in no time.
I was keen to checkout Ovi Maps on the N8, so the first thing I did was attempt to see how well it would perform inside our apartment. Wow, launched it, and bam! Located me instantly, and signed me into my Nokia Account automatically using my previously entered credentials when N8 was first switched on. Impressed.
Contacts, I synced my contacts effortlessly with another of my Nokia devices, and was pleased to see my contacts photos/avatars transferred ok too.
Internet, photos, and video I will cover in depth in my upcoming series of posts on the N8.
Third party applications I grabbed from the new Ovi Store client went very well, I was automatically logged into Ovi Store when launched, and I was set to search, and download the content I wanted. First application I installed, (Although not from Ovi Store, but via Developer @Janole) was Gravity, then from Ovi Store I grabbed, Foursquare, Pixelpipe Send & Share, Skype, Nokia Panorama, Screensnap, and Mickyfins World.
The downloading, and installation of files from Ovi Store is a nice overall experience with you being informed of every process, including a nice subtle popup prompt telling you which internet connection is being connected to access the data.
Once I had installed what I needed for certain areas of my N8 review, I started off with Gravity of course, and what a lovely experience Gravity for Symbian^3 brings to you, such a smooth, quick, and very easy to navigate around the various menus, and windows, it was a joy to use.
Having said that though, this was now the first time I have experienced text input in the sense of writing sentences using the N8′s touch screen. I have to admit first, i prefer an hardware QWERTY keyboard personally, so this may reflect on my experiences with the touch screen of the N8.
I found myself getting annoyed, and frustrated with text entry, finding out the simplest of things like inserting a comma after a predictive underlined word was really arse about face, and fingers and thumbs. Here is an example. You write a word, be it in portrait, or landscape, using the on screen keyboard, you have predictive text set to aid you spell words correctly, once you have come to a point in your sentence when you need to insert a “,” comma, if the proceeding word is still underlined after being spelt using predictive text, the only way to insert a simple comma is you either have to press “0″ for a “Space”, then “delete” to go back to comma wanted position, then press “1″ for full-stop, then to change to a comma, press “*”, then “0″ for space ready for next word in sentence. Either this, or hit arrow right after underlined spelt word, then 1, then star, then space. See what I mean, this is way too many key presses, or should I say screen touches to be comfortable with.
As said earlier, maybe me not liking touch screen only devices, and preferring an hardware QWERTY keyboard may be why I oppose the afore mentioned procedure in obtaining a simple character.
Now whilst talking about the touch screen on the N8, I would like to mention another observation, the screen don’t appear to respond to your touch if you select an option, say in ovi store when you press it quickly, you have to press and hold for a millisecond longer than I would like to be perfectly honest. This becomes a repeating pattern throughout the device, and options, and I can see that Nokia have actually intentionally set this up, whereas you are shown a green colour prompt with most touch options when the phone has registered your choice in key-presses/touch, but this is not carried out via the onscreen keyboards fully, as with the onscreen keyboards, you can type a lot quicker than selecting options, which can result in many accidental key-presses sadly.
What I will be doing over the next few weeks is sharing my N8 experiences daily on twitter, but at the same time, making notes for up, and coming series of posts on the N8, including photos, screenshots, video demos, and more.
I will mainly be answering many questions I have over on Nokiausers, where forums members have been asking me things to test on this N8, suggestions for tests they would like me to test to see if the N8 can carry out certain things out the box, and much much more. If you too would like to ask anything for me to try out, head across to Nokiausers forums here, check in the thread to see that your particular question hasn’t already been asked, and if not, post your question in the related thread, and I will get to it eventually. Im starting today on page 1, here, and working my way through the various posts, marking each and every one with a “Thanks” when done, to not only remind myself of which tests I have carried out, but also to personally thank each member for their question, as I do like testing out things for people, and particular, our Nokiausers forums members.
Having been recently sent the new Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type device for review, the first thing anyone will notice with this S40 device is just how slim it is. Measuring just 9.6mm Its very slick, very well built, and is a very stylish device indeed considering its intended markets. Check out how slim this device really is in the photo below with the X3-02 positioned in the middle, with an N97 to the left, and N86 to the right.
As said, the X3-02 is an S40 device, but I will get to the OS in part two of my Review. In this part today I will be covering the hardware, the Resistive Touchscreen, and the unusual T9 keypad that the X3-02 has. The X3-02 in this review is the Metal Black colour, and there are a variety of colours available, including White, Pink, Blue, and Violet.
You can recharge the X3-02 by either the MicroUSB port on the top of the device, or the standard Nokia 2mm charge port, also positioned on the top of the device. Also on the top you will find a 3.5mm Audio headphone jack.
On the right hand side of the X3-02 you will find a lanyard anchor point, the volume one piece rocker button, and a screen lock button. You simply press the screen lock button at any time to lock the screen to prevent accidental in pocket key presses. To unlock screen you can either press this screen lock button, or the power button briefly which can be found on the top right of the T9 keypad.
The bottom of the device is where the single speaker is located, but don’t be alarmed, this single speaker is loud, and positioned in such a way that when the device is laying on a table, the sound almost sounds like its coming from a stereo pair of speakers. The quality of the sound is also good, and in actual fact is louder than the N97 dual speakers! The voice microphone is also located on the bottom.
Now as mentioned earlier about the battery cover unlock button on the right hand side of the device, the second one can be found on the opposite side in the same lower position. These buttons need to be pressed inward quite hard in order to release the metal battery cover, and once done, removing the battery cover is simple enough, however replacing this back cover is somewhat more tricky.
To replace the battery cover, you need to first slide the upper part into its designated areas, and then once in, you can then push down the lower part of the battery cover in each cover to lock into place. Be warned though, I found myself having to use an uncomfortable amount of pressure to clip the battery cover back in place, and felt as though I may damage it, but everything clipped into place fine in the end, but as said, its quite tricky.
Whilst still talking about the battery cover, now is as good a time as any to mention that this metal battery cover also acts an an antenna, although this is unconfirmed, the silver connectors you see highlighted below certainly make sense. The contacts seen below, mate up with small silver contact points on the metal back itself too.
With the Battery cover, and BL-4S 860mAh battery removed you are faced with the following.
As you can see, your simcard, and memory card slots are positioned at the lower area of the back, but sadly you do have to remove the battery to swap simcards, however you can easily swap/change memory cards with the battery still in place due to its side offsetting/facing.
The T9 layout is shifted slightly to the left, with the *, #, and 0 keys placed vertically down the right hand side. Although this looks strange at first, and I can confirm that typing out sentences catches you out almost every time, as I found myself keep on trying to enter a space by automatically aiming for the lower central area of the keypad.
The screen used in the X3-02 is that of an Resistive Touch screen, similar to that found in the N97, but smaller, and doesn’t fare too well in sunlight sadly. Using the touch screen I found it very responsive, and worked as intended, however the screen real estate is somewhat wasted due to over sized icons, and fonts. I will detail this more in part 2 of my Review.
At the top of the front on the X3-02 you will find a central positioned ear piece, No secondary Camera, but as this device has a touch screen, you will find hidden a proximity sensor to the right of the ear piece. This disables the touch screen during a call.
There is a 5 Megapixel Camera, but not that of the Carl Zeiss flavor we Nokia users are accustomed to, but in this case, it works well in good light conditions, however there is no flash for low light conditions.
Overall, in the hardware department, Im really liking the physical form-factor, build, and feel of this very slim device, the X3-02 Touch & Type. Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 of my X3-02 Review where I will be talking to you about the S40 OS, and various functionality this slim, slick device brings to the table at a small budget.
Oct 05 2010
The New Nokia BH-905i Bluetooth headset is in a nutshell, a perfected ANC Headset of the previous model, the BH-905, with a complete redesign of the headband, enabling you to feel more comfortable wearing the BH-905i outdoors, as the original model looked kind of hideous in my personal opinion, although I had to admit, I did wear outdoors on a couple of occasions.
As you can see from my photo comparisons, the headband redesign is a simple one, now keeping the headband closer to your head shape, but also in keeping with the comfortable fitment, and placement of the ear pads over your ears.
The fitment, and balance is so much better now, they now do not feel like they would fall off whilst out jogging for example.
As to the functionality of the BH-905i Headset, they are pretty much identical to the original headset from Nokia, with a few key changes, which I have highlighted in the specification tables.
The BH-905i now boast a powerful Bass Booster. I wasn’t sent a User Guide with my Review pair, so it was trial and error in locating this extra functionality as there are no obvious additional buttons to activate this.
How to activate the Bass Booster – Whilst wearing the BH-905i Headset, and listening to your favorite music, simple press the “End Call” button once, and you will head an increase in volume, Bass, and a single audible tone, indicating stage one of the Bass functionality. Press the same button again, and you will hear more Bass, and Volume increase, along with a two tone audible notification. Then to set the Maximum setting, press the “End Call” button for the third time, and you will hear a three stage audible tone, and Bass, and Volume increase.
To switch off the Bass Booster, you simply press the “End Call” button once again, and you will be greeted with a long audible tone, and reduction in Bass, and Volume.
The Bass Booster only appears to work whilst listening to Music on a Nokia device, and does not work whilst listening to music, or a film via a laptop connected via Bluetooth.
Bass Booster works well connected to laptop, and a range of Nokia devices, and Im sure it would work well with other devices also.
Other minor differences with the BH-905i headset are that the underside of the headband is now leather, whereas the Original pair were lined in a Nylon material. I also noticed that the ear padding looks somewhat thinner than that of the Original BH-905′s too.
Sadly Nokia didn’t revise the one thing I was hoping they would with the BH-905i headset, that being, an auto switch off for the ANC (Active Noise Canceling). This is still a manual, physical switch, which is very easy to forget about leaving it switched on after use, resulting in battery drain.
It would of been a welcomed feature if Nokia had used a micro-switch setup, which then, tied with the necessary circuitry, switching off the ANC after a set period of time when the headset was no longer being used, thus saving your battery if you forgot to switch it off.
The BH-905i headset still uses the 2mm Nokia charging tip, and the same led charging indicator notifications, pairing the BH-905i headset is also exactly the same as the previous model.
As to performance of the newly revised headset, I have actually found the BH-905i to be somewhat quieter and more ear friendly, but I don’t mean this is a negative way. With the BH-905i what you hear is pure music, and a full array of music frequencies, giving the overall experience of listening to a vast choice of music that much better. Yes, there are louder headphones out there, but the quality suffers. With the BH-905i, you get to hear your favorite tunes in all their glory. The higher quality MP3, etc the better, and you will be finding yourself listening to a tune you previously heard elsewhere, on the BH-905i headset you will be discovering hidden gems in the percussion.
Another difference with the BH-905i is the overall package, the hard, zipped carry case is now somewhat smaller, and overall, better designed, with a secure placement of the headset, and a separate inner zipped case for the accessories, and tips bundled with the headset.
Talking of bundled accessories, you now get adapters for the iPhone, and for VoIP functionality.!
Would I recommend the BH-905i headset, in a nutshell, yes! Great quality premium built headset, worthy to be worn on anyones head, indoors, or out!
Full Review, with photos can be found over at Nokiausers, however, there is server maintenance ongoing right now, hence me posting a copy of the review here.