Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 3 – Symbian Walkthrough – 1

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In case, if you would have missed then first two posts were:

1. Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 1 – The detailed unboxing
2. Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 2 – First look over exteriors

And depending on the responses I got over mail, twitter and other social mediums, made me think that everyone wanted more and more about the OS part itself. A big job to cover all those tiny details, but will try to cover things as much possible (fellow bloggers already did excellent jobs to come up with posts on each part, I am just late to the party).


Nokia N8 and Symbian^3 In recent times, we heard a lot on them and unfortunately it seemed negative many times. After giving it sufficient time, I have started to realize that in which way social media acts and what impressions it leaves.

Few big names with their complete bias start something and we find all the community following blindfolded. Such buzzes can create Antennagate from almost nothing or can find people crying on poor battery lives of Android without even giving them a fair try. You can even make someone cancelling out Nokia E5-00 purchase over the absence of Secondary Camera, while he wont be able to answer that when was the last time, when he made a video or was he ever made one?

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Its nothing like that there are no flaws, where isn’t, but its the way, it gets presented. A few months before, just a review of some shitty ‘journalist’ and you were all convinced that Nokia N8 just got a special camera .. that’s it and now after few months, you say that its the best hardware from Nokia till date in every sense and that ‘journalist’ was shit?

Guys!! first go through things and then start saying …. and for God sake .. spare me from the utter kindness that “ok.. Symbian is not that bad, its pretty good, even if not that .. “ blah blah… please praise the part in loud what you like and then sure go on criticizing what you didn’t.


Many experts have spoken a lot about their perceptions on it and sure one has reasons to get confused, but I wish to come up with things what actually meant for me or any other laymas like me in real scenario. So.. here it begins… Will cover the customization part in this post, leaving Camera, multimedia and gaming aside.

Nokia N8-00: Booting and switching off

While it was scary for some that no easy battery removal option with Nokia N8, it happened to be rather easy job to live with it. Just press the power button for 8 seconds and it does it like we all live with our Netbooks or Laptop and who is saying that you will be needed to do that? Take Nokia N97 completely off from your mind.

Anyway… Have you noticed or read anywhere else that when complete empty on battery and get plugged into recharge, it shows interesting battery dialogue on black screen for a while, saying 10% ? Is that mean this 10% is minimum level before it switches it off? This practice been here since long, but is it the first time, they kind of showing it?

We see other vendors putting an animated battery pics while charging the empty devices, but somehow I like this minimalistic approach. Why not to keep this percentage thing lit on all the time while charging?

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Another observation one can make is the landscape Nokia logo while starting. I am not sure that it was here with old devices, but while most of the time people will see only portrait one, if you switch off the phone with landscape orientation, then you will find it. But while starting up the device, it always go portrait only.

For unfortunate situations, option of hard reset the phone is here by pressing Lower volume button + Camera Button + Menu Button. But not only me, many other around the web, will say no on it as you loose many of the scripts and most importantly default Qt runtime.

Sure, its not a fault of OS itself, but failure of Nokia to bring more developers on board to push things more tightly in same way Nokia design their hardware. Its project management and change management, where Nokia seems to be lacking in past, due to the fact that they wanted to leave Symbian autonomous and truly open. It seems that tight control should have been the case. Is the new regime in charge going to change that? He had been known for this.


Nokia N8-00: The home screen

A total of three home screens like it was in Nokia N900, difference is….  in Nokia N8, we find a total of 18 WRT based widgets (like Nokia N97) available spanning across three home pages (6 widgets on each). Unlike Nokia N900 or Androids, these widgets are of fixed width (82 x 312 px). While the smaller width is sure issue for some of the part, a tighter and disciplined home page UI must be welcomed.

And by the way, in actual, 17 of the widgets are customizable as the Date/Calendar/Profile widget is fixed and not customizable/ removable, though you can change the format of clock display by going through the setting->date and time and obviously could change the position of the same, but it will remain on the first home screen only, not on rest two.

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You will soon notice that Symbian^3 UI doesn’t rotate in all directions like iPad. Like it will remain in portrait mode only, if you turn it into landscape mode keeping the SIM/ MicroSD slot on top. Similarly no change, if you held it down toward the power button side.

So the working orientations are in portrait mode, when you hold it keeping power button upside and in landscape mode, when you hold it camera button up. Not a breaking news, its the same as with all.. just pointing it out, if some start bitching on it. I am marking it here because this was one of the comments that I got from my Company CEO, while presenting this in front of him. He said iPhone scores here, I said, its not about the capability, many games will show that Nokia N8 has it, but its the way, they want to keep the UI disciplined and it makes perfect sense, once you use it.

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As you already know, you can drag and drop a widget to change its position on the same home page, though there are no drag and drop of widgets from one page to another as each page a separate entity at least till now, but look like the same gonna change in next coming firmware, probably by next month. Check the video.

As of now, if you have to move a widget from one home screen to another then you will be needed to remove the same from one screen and then manually add into another. Hmmm.. not sure that if the best way, but still I am comfortable with a disciplined UI layout more.

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As you can see, you get the option of changing wall paper only when you go to edit mode by long pressing on home screen.

There are options to keep widgets to offline mode or online mode, which stands for all three screen at once, means its not like that you could keep social notifications on at the main homepage and mail widgets off at another (though there are workarounds to do so). I think that could have been a better way, though I know in backend its implemented in way that widgets get hidden only and they are at the same place. So, working that thing out will ask efforts.

While the bottom has tradition two button menu like S60 V5 or Symbian^1, we get a middle button here for switching between the home screens though that works unidirectional obviously from left to right side and I don’t think many of them will be using that in place of swipe that is more natural and work in both ways. But sure presence of that reminds you of the fact that you are on which screen. Handy in that way.

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The right top on tapping brings a Menu that show the notifications menu as you can see. Tapping on connections takes you to active connection and tapping on battery, it shows you current battery status and option to change to power saving mode. Many would like to see fancy animated battery icon here, though I would say minimalistic approach is better while you can easily find some widget for same purpose.

Power saving mode is like the same it has been E-Series handsets means on activating, it will put your phone in 2G mode only, will lower down the brightness, will change the screen saver to remain the blank etc. I am coming over Screen saver part just after this section.

I think there are a maximum of three kind of notifications available here at a time, like you can see, when I connect a USB drive, then the notification removes the GPS icon out.

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There are a number of widgets to choose from including the RSS feed you create in web app. Also you can always visit the Ovi Store to get some of your choice.

Shortcut widget allow you to put any four applications or bookmarks together in one widget, though I must tell you, if you use four five shortcut widgets with 16-20 app icons on the same home screen, then first loading might be delayed by 2 seconds, not due to symbian fault, but due to third party app implementations.

Social widget, which brings updates from your social networks, didn’t impressed me even if they actually did a good job in designing, otherwise one can’t imagine updates to be detailed in such a small place. Probably that’s the reason that some people saying that Nokia should have thought variable width widgets though its also clear that if they would have chosen that then it was likely to go little undisciplined like Maemo or Android home screen.

There are mail, music, weather, check-in and many other widgets, but what particularly interested me, was search widget. Though you wont be happy with the performance of search. Its kind of too slow, if you compare it with all other operations on Symbian, but point to notice is, its only Symbian native app with a split keyboard design.

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We have seen the similar design with custom keypad of Opera Mini or Opera Mobile as well. Though its not available system wide, may be with next firmware update.


Nokia N8-00: The Screen saver

If you remember, then it was the swf based screen saver of Nokia N86 that attracted me once and now it was the one Nokia N8, which might be in eyes of many. I am pretty surprised because of the fact that at least till now, I am not been able to use a SWF as screen saver on Nokia N8 though I believe its sure supported.

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But the default screen saver on Nokia N8 is really really good.  Not only the fact that its extra bright and crisp, but it seems to be ultra low power one as well. You will find many complaining that why no notification icons are here. Even I mentioned once that if Janole could have bring the notification on this screen then why not Symbian, but after going more deeper, I found that this thing also had a purpose.

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Its true that its annoying that if you find only a small light blinking at menu button for notifying you of your new SMS or miss calls, but think of another side. Keeping a screen updated and responsive take a toll over battery, when it might not be needed. The analog clock is also designed to tick only once a min. Though still I believe that putting a notification wouldn’t have did much harm, but still its fine from some other perspectives.

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Yes! this is the same screen without unlocking. No change in configuration, no hacking. All the info, for what you were complaining till the moment is right there, just you have to press the menu button and not the unlock button. Is that really hard? I guess pressing the power button will also bring this screen. Though its not gonna respond any kind of touch before you bring this screen.

By the way, this screen get updated by each second, not only clock shows seconds ticking, but also battery and network icons are live too.


Nokia N8-00: Task manager and Menus

scr000105We all have seen that awesome looking card based task manager, which open up when you press and hold the menu button for long. The snapshots of the application aren’t real time by the way like Windows Vista and you might have heard complaints on the location of menu button itself. I also think that it was more better to have  a left top menu on touch screen to bring the task manager. Button based approach was fine with non-touch, but probably having an icon like Maemo had was a better way.

At least like Maemo, if you press by side of task manager, then it returns you back to the back screen, though same effect is not there in between the app icons. I think we should blame lower resolution on this. But hey.. we started comparing two different operating systems here.

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In portrait, you will get same two menus at the bottom saying options and exit while in landscape the middle button becomes multipurpose with notification place.

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When you move inside the menus, then things seem to be same like earlier, but dig a little deeper.

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Its the same symbian flexibility that many of us actually loved.

Why to create folder?  Let me tell you my reason that is not related to the organizing only.

Sometimes the third party app don’t go in efficient way about icons. Usually the icons get stored in the mass memory, where we install the apps usually and so if you have so many apps, then opening such a folder that might be having too many icons, will take a little more than instant. So, why not to put games etc in some folder so that those icons wont take a toll, when you want to browse to others.

But these all things are already familiar to  us, isn’t it? You will be surprised with the speed and ease of use with single click operations, which is carefully optimized to avoid accidental clicks.


Nokia N8-00: The connections

With the old Symbian, one of the problem of mine been the performance when I have a weak WAP connection. Problems get worsen, when you use many SIMs, so many connection and many configuration. As a techie, you understand that when you are messing with things, then its not easy to cope up for the software itself.

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Even if the above menu look like our very very familiar Symbian, finally, Symbian^3 has came up with a solution: One Click Connectivity (OCC). You should really go through the link to know what changes are employed here and you should have an N8 and N97 side by side to feel that what difference does it make. Now, it automatically tries to find that which connection is on and make ways through it. Obviously, you can customize it (I will say put your working connection on first priority in connection settings) though.

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Yes, there will be annoyance like above, like I find with WAP connection, which serve only one connection at a time and so when with Gravity, you want to geo-tag a tweet, then another connection for GPS bring the above scenario. But with Symbian^3, it settles itself automatically.

Definitely connectivity is a way smoother now.


Nokia N8-00: The messaging

The best place to go into details will be our own Rafe @aas always, but I will point out some minor things only here. For full details, read there.

Even if original keypad was so better than earlier, I never got used to it. Swype is what I went for and staying it with even now. Though its disappointing a little that its not available officially for Nokia N8 yet and I have to go through Nokia C7 version only.

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Not going into the typing part and amazingly correct prediction and learning dictionary system there, what you find cool and noticeable here is the conversation mode. When it was introduced as a beta app, I thought it was messy, but after playing with it for a while, I don’t remember that when I am preferring to open an individual SMS. Though what gonna interest some of people is support for emocon, which we always knew as smileys.

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I remember one of my reader commented that he hate the fact that Nokia E52/ E72 doesn’t support the smileys and I was to convince him that it was not a priority when they were designing a business specific OS version. But now like Nokia always does, the world is moving toward convergence. And yes.. these smileys are animated too.

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Rest everything seems almost usual as we know Symbian except few differences here and there.

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By the way, I like to keep my fonts smallest, what you prefer?

There are some issues as well.

Usually it automatically decides on basis of content that you are sending a SMS or MMS, but if you reply a MMS, then even if you are sending text only, it will go as MMS with keeping the Re: Subject thing. True.. it seems logical, but it might have been intelligent as well.

Second issue I am facing is with Vodafone and MMS. Don’t know its an operator specific issue or Nokia N8 related, But as I read the same in their support forum as well from other country too, I guess there is something wrong with it. Many times, your MMS will be sent but still will be shown as deferred and then you can’t delete them as they are not actually there, but just being shown. Only remaining option goes to be using PC Suit and delete it (OVI suit wont work for that). Hoping that the next firmware update will resolve this.

Absence of portrait qwerty

As Rafe pointed out, there are differences in T9 layout as well as Landscape QWERTY one from Symbian^1. The tactile feedback and the vibrations on pressing keys work quite well.

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But the thing that bothers many is the absence of QWERTY mode in portrait. So Nokia is continued on the same line that they chosen since existing portrait qwerty from Nokia X6 was removed in last firmware update. The excuse from Nokia was portrait qwerty has way too small buttons that asks for stylus only on capacitive to operate properly and hence destroys user experience.

I am sure that almost 90% will disagree on it. What about keeping the option and let use decide what to choose. Obviously you can provide it with T9 as default setting and qwerty as optional, but when your user base ever asked you to remove that at all?

As about small buttons, then most of us want qwerty there due to swype that is not currently supporting portrait mode because of the very same fact that there is no native support. I don’t think that with swype one needs to bother on smaller size of keys. And by the way, apps like Opera, still have the portrait QWERTY then why to deprive users from the same from your side natively?

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When it comes to landscape, then story is sure nice as Rafe shown in his post, though personally, I have not been used to of predictive inputs on any of the smart phone till now, though seen that my younger brother make use of the same very efficiently. Have to give my Nokia N8 in his hands soon to know this.

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And at last, there is no multi touch support in keypad as of now. I know not many supporting the same, but what about starting the same game?


Nokia N8-00: The Email

Again, I will point toward Rafe’s excellent post on this section for a complete read, but let me come up with some points of my own.

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The icons look good here and when you move inside then there is smooth pinch and zoom support as well. Notice the fact that pressing over some link brings the above shown menu, so it becomes easier to copy links from any newsletter and post on twitter with your favourite client.

On the bottom side, there are two transparent looking arrow buttons that are ready to take you to previous or next email, while on the top side, you see that there is a plus icon that brings detail about sender and receiver, while the default is showing sender only. I tried but there seems no options to show the complete header that might be a must to detect forgery emails sometimes though I guess that is not a use case for 90% of people.

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It was interesting to note that they are bringing the desktop level things like follow up etc on mobiles as well.

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While its still the same non-text rich (font support, bold italic, HTML signature etc), when it comes to type a new mail, options are sure much more than earlier and nicely designed with icons. I guess experience of typing a rich text email is a little far, provided the tiny space.

And yes.. have you checked the new mark method?

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Hold your fingers on some message and then choose mark, it will make rest all mails available for getting marked in next each one click.

Someone also asked me that if we can read some hindi content in Nokia N8 or not? So the answer is given below.

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But its true that its not supporting languages other than English as of now (so were the case with other high end devices as well). For some, it might be a big deal, but for that there are simple workarounds to install other languages without visiting Nokia Service centers. Find the link here


While I still need to talk over Multimedia, camera and gaming part, but I guess this post getting too long. So, closing it here and soon will come back with another post Symbian Walkthrough -2. Keep tuned in and send me suggestions that what I should look for more or where I should improve on this very post.

Remember, I read each and everyone of you and reply individually as well, I am just a layman like most of you, so be a part of conversation.

Awesomeness of Gravity continued – Transparent and split keyboard arrives

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When some says that the reason to stick with Symbian is people like @janole, then we really don’t get surprised because he is really the man, who is being called as One Man Army of Symbian. The only developer, who is still sustaining the lust of switching to iOS or Android and standing tall as the best mobile developers of the time.

You need strong reasons to sell your product, when there are hundreds of them are out there for free and janole definitely seems to knowing his job very well. We just seen a sneak peak from his side about the paradigm shifting split and transparent keyboard design for gravity.

It seems that the roots are from the same split keyboard design, which Forum Nokia people are discussing since recent and lovely part is, it working in qwerty mode, when used in portrait. Like always, Janole seems to be the quickest to adopt the same approach and we really should expect some great things from coming Symbian^3 updates too.

It is literally the same, as I was talking about in my post, Janole and other developers just need to bring swype integration in the same and a new era of touch input will begin.

Note: This is in development phase only, no beta or finished product came out to try yet, but knowing the way Janole works, we should really hope for a big update coming soon.

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Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 2 – First look over exteriors

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So here comes the another installment of my views over Nokia N8. In first review of mine, we taken look over what’s inside the commercial package of Nokia N8-00 and what’s about each and everything, while I intentionally kept mum over Nokia N8-00 itself. So, here is the time for the same.


First of all, I really wanted to express my joy over the last announcement from Nokia about Symbian’s future that marks the biggest make shift of recent days from Nokia and while it was much anticipated, the quicker announcements seems to be compensating many things happened in recent days and All of sudden investing in Nokia N8-00 became a bigger decision like once investing in Nokia N82 was.

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Nokia N8-00: The design

Whatever people might be saying around the globe about Nokia N8-00, the design is something that getting praises all over. While Nokia E72/71/52 were kind of looker in their range, the width and build quality in touch range was always like something to ask for more. While build quality of Nokia N97 mini was quite impressing, the world was like changing in favour of designs like Apple iPhone more (see SGS).

The challenge in front of Nokia was to incorporate a competitive design with all the Nokia legacy elements (no antennagate) and whether they succeeded or not, could be known by the fact that whoever taken it in hands said “wow!! its definitely solid”. Nokia continued their N-Series legacy very well.

The metal The Anodized aluminum grows over you like something that you like to keep the device in hands more than to keep it in your pocket. I mean I loved slimmer builds of Nokia E72 and Nokia E52, both of them were very nice to hands, but this thing is like silk.. just take in hands once and it makes you loving it.

Update: Don’t know how, while writing it last night, I missed the part of details on Anodized aluminum. Check out the great post from Aditya for the great pics and detailed comments over this part.

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While I said once that having a bigger screen in pocket is always susceptible of damage and scratches, Nokia N8-00 with its scratch proof screen and build solves the issues in one shot. While you need to remove the plastic over screen and camera lenses to get the real thing, but after that you always feel assured that this device wont let you down in next coming years. A new device forever.

Non-metal parts But its also not like its a total perfect setup… nothing goes perfect. There are flaws (?) or design compromises as well.

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Look at the top and bottom, these are all the plastic, specially plastic cover of HDMI port scares me. We have seen similar mechanism in XpressMusic sets and many others. My experience says that one ultimately end up breaking and loosing the cap. Not a big problem for people, who are not gonna use this HDMI feature a lot, but sure will be an issue with people, who would.

I understand the dilemma as well, if they would have left that open, then it was neither good looking nor a long term affair due to dust particle etc and deploying some slider based approach was not only tough, but was going to put some extra fat. Probably, this was the best way to keep the integrity of design.

Interesting to note that this time, its written as Made by Nokia in place of writing Made in Finland or Made in China.

Thanks to Nokia that they made 3.5mm like some standard that many times we even miss to mention them. nothing to comment that how useful that thing is.

Second good thing is the presence of power button, though in case of touch devices, its obvious to be there, but let me tell, I hate, when they put power button near the cancel button.

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At least I am happy to see the open MicroUSB port like it was in my Nokia N82, because I tether my 3G connection over my PC a lot. But the same time, we find similar MicroSD card and SIM slot as been with Nokia 5800 etc. With a bit better plastic, but yes that is plastic.

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Trick to open slots is like usual, you need to open the MicroSD slot first and then SIM slot.

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You will see a nice touch of silver outlining around volume buttons and camera shutter button. Yes!! the camera button, half pressing of which locks the focus is kind of essential thing, if you want to call something a photography flagship. Tap to focus might be stylish a little but doesn’t brings the natural feel of holding a camera. Thanks Nokia, you didn’t miss that.

Note that its the lock button, which stands for the only likely part that will get scratches due to the tiny and sharp edges.

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At first glance, you get surprised by seeing the IMEI and bar code as a sticker on the back but at the next moment, your mind reminds you that this is the first Nokia with non-removable battery, where else that information could have been? An engraved metallic Nokia Nseries logo is finally something that not gonna stripped even if you removed the back sticker.

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While many called it having a budge in back like feeling, but knowing the highly respected camera specs, its kind of crime to say something against it, but absence of camera cover sure pinches. Its more preferable for many of the apps not having a camera cover and even if it look like activating camera is a longer process now, its not true. Holding the camera button for just two seconds fires the camera app and opening time is sure lots better than that been with Nokia N82 or Nokia N86. In my view, its closing of camera that slows down, because pressing a tap is little position changing than closing the camera cover.

If some might be worrying about the scratches on glass, then the fact that its gorilla/ scratch proof glass gives you assurance that you not gonna loose the full functionality due to scratches over the lens.

But at the same time, there would be no denial of the fact that keeping camera lens open means inviting dust and grease particles, which sure gonna hut everyone and will be a point to care for before, you start taking your big shots. Definitely there is no easy answer to the question that they should have included the camera cover or not.

The another complaint might be about positioning of the mono speakers, which could muffle the sound, if kept at back on some bed or something like that. Though still no issues, if kept on some table, thanks to budge of camera.

Yes! Nokia N8-00 has the dolby output, but it doesn’t have stereo speakers; A single Mono Speaker (some Class D and bossed). Might look odd, but probably this is a compromise that most of the devices make to keep the form factor. People will not complaint much on it due to the fact that its has loudest volume among any of the Nseries ever. Not like those china based ones, but still louder than you would have expected.

Nokia N8 Nitish

Update: In last pics, the proximity sensor arrow was pointing wrong. Thanks @yogi_77 for pointing to the same.

People, who don’t know, proximity sensor is used to lock the screen motions when something comes near. Place your finger at the place and screen will stop responding. It holds the touch screen from misbehaving when device goes near your ears.

On another note, ambient light sensor is used to control the brightness of the device. Who wants to manually change the display brightness when light conditions around you changes. Face it against some light source and you will find it more bright and in complete dark, it gets lesser bright. big time energy saving that way.

At the front, we find a minimalistic approach with proximity sensor, front camera, headphone and first microphone. Proximity sensor really works very well about lighting control and also shuts the screen down when you bring the phone near your ears.

A single menu button, which also brings the all new task manager/ switcher where pressed for long. Though after a few days use, you will find that the lock button is also useful in a lot more cases than you were guessing that to be.

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Finding the second microphone is a bit harder (see the small hole on the right edge of camera module), but works wonderfully to record the surrounding while making a video. Another purpose of the same is noise cancellation as well, but I have not found any visible differences yet.

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At the bottom, you can read FCC ID etc and also could see the 2mm charging point though the device could get charged by the 200 mA provided by the microUSB port as well. There is tiny light, if you would have noticed near the microUSB port, same get lit on, when you charge by any mean (by bottom pin or USB).

Notice in above pics, Nokia hasn’t forgotten their old age tiny slot to put ribbon or whatever we call it.

The camera part could take another post over the same on whole, but here I am talking about the exteriors

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If compared with Nokia N82 Xenon, then its slimmer but longer and no where lesser powerful Xenon. I twice tried to take shot of lit Xenon, once succeeded to get it half lit and once it was complete white.

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Everyone is talking about the camera specs itself and what’s inside, while one has sure many reason to fall for the beauty of its exterior itself.

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While everyone talking about the game changing camera only, Nokia N8-00 has many other new things in bag as well. One of the greatest thing that will change the way, you live with your smartphone is USB OTG.

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Specially getting handy to me, like to check out any new software that you just downloaded on your PC, you don’t need to connect your phone to PC and even for some, it might remove the need of carrying MicroSD cards for data transfer now.

USB OTG goes beyond it as many already had found out. If you connect any other phone that has USB charging feature, then it charges the same as well. And if you thought this was enough then khouryrt has even connected USB FAN to it. Fun?? Isn’t it?

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I have successfully tried connecting Amkette USB Mouse with it and it worked great. 🙂 Will come up with details in some next post.


Nokia N8-00: The display

Let me tell you my experience. When I first seen the device then I felt the screen a bit smaller than I thought, I mean with the screen, if I remember right then screen of Nokia N900 and Apple iPod touch, I had hands on once, were like having a little bit bigger.

I sure got confused for a second and asked the retailer for a Nokia N900 unit* and I got my point as Steve @aas also suggested. This was to do something with the width and resolution of device. Nokia N8-00 is actually a bit taller than others and slimmer in width, which might give whatever impression to you, but once you start living with, within minutes you realize that this design is not only a lot more pocketable but works well while watching videos as well.

* though couldn’t take a photo and really wish that @nokiaIndia or @thebloggersmind will look at my side too someday for a review unit … @womworldnokia already has sent me that once, but then there was no Nokia N8.

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Though you find many on internet cribbing on the fact that it has a lesser resolution and that includes me as well, but still when you look at the screen, your heart really doesn’t wishes to make any of those complaints neither any long term usages seems to suffer. You find the resolution more like a gimmick and point remains the visibility of the same in various light conditions.

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Tell me, have you seen something this much clearly visible under day light? Do you ask for more?

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Check out it under direct sun in noon time. its still readable, isn’t it?


So, this was all about the exteriors of Nokia N8-00 .. I am sure you wanna hear much much more on it. In next, I will cover the OS experience … may be take a bit longer than this second review took, but keep tuned in for the layman perception.

Drop me comments, if you wanna hear over some specific portions.

Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 1 – The detailed unboxing

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Sorry guys I am late to come up with the post, while had my Nokia N8 since few days now. lots has already been said, lots of videos you seen, lots of pics and many of you even had your Nokia N8-00 in your hands by now. But still will try to make that up here.


Nokia N8-00: The box

It is the same eco-friendly blue box, like I had seen in case of Nokia Booklet 3G, plain and simple.

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And while the picture above doesn’t give the exact idea, it was the slimmest box of any Nokia I seen recently. Check out the pics given below …

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Hardly taking much of the space, the box also speaks in same minimalistic language as the design language of Nokia N8-00 is. (I missed my Nokia N82 box at the moment, I was taking snaps). Though if I remember right, then only Nokia N97 mini’s packaging was somewhat similar thickness, but that was much bigger than this.

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One more noticeable thing is, they are not stressing over the camera part only by covers, like it was the prime focus in Nokia N82 or like some of the recent handsets focused on Ovi Maps neither on Ovi Music Unlimited that comes with it. They just say “It’s amazing technology, what will you do with it?

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Nokia N8-00: The content inside the package

When you open the box for the first time, then for the first time, it reckons about its camera by the engraved image on the last fold ..

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The glass side facing your face, probably this was the first Nokia device I seen without any plastic/ paper wrapper on it. May be to symbolize the robustness of materials, Nokia N8-00 is made of. And yes! Black/ Dark grey is my color. There are four more colors also available, if you prefer anything else. Like one person on the shop asked me, there is no option like changing cases, due to integrated one piece build.

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Inside the box, the pleasing part is to have the proper long USB cable back instead of the one, they shipping that 6” in most of other packages now days.  It shows that Nokia didn’t wanted to give any chance of complaint with this one.

Its a capacitive, so there is no stylus packed with. Though we seen a stylus in videos, but probably India is not among the regions, where it gonna shipped with stylus.

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You get the following inside the box:

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1. Nokia N8-00 Handset
2. Nokia AC-15N Battery Charger
3. Nokia CA-179 USB Data Cable
4. Nokia CA-157 USB OTG Adapter
5. Nokia CA-156 HDMI Adapter
6. Nokia WH-701 Stereo Handset
7. 3 Pairs of ear buds
8. 1 Nokia Ovi Suit/ Player mini DVD
9.  A quick start guide, a getting started with Ovi Services guide and one Ovi Music guide
10. A slimmer Nokia N8-00 Manual

 
 
I thought that manual would be thicker (remembering the earlier PDF Manual), but was slim just like the quick start guide. No battery outside as Nokia N8-00 comes with no user replaceable battery.
 
The device also come with Ovi Music Unlimited subscription, which people in India understand very late due to non-availability of free wi-fi spots out here. Downloading the pirated MP3 is so common here that it will take time to make people understand that how big thing Nokia is offering to Indian people.
 
This device also comes with life time navigation support with Ovi Maps 3.04 installed and life time Nokia Messaging on subscription on board.
 

Nokia N8-00: Detailed description of content

At first glance, you feel that you got the regular package with added USB OTG and HDMI Adapter, but there is much more improvements behind the prints..

Nokia AC-15N Battery Charger Known as Nokia Fast Charger, this charger come up with user retractable third pin. With less than 50 gm weight and standby power consumption: ≤30 mW, this 5-star rate charger stands for all reason that you wont be wishing to charge with your older 2mm Nokia Chargers. Obviously, the same series chargers will be part of all other coming high end devices as well.

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Nokia CA-179 USB Data Cable While I do not remember that this particular cable has ever been used in any of the past Nokia handset, it seems to be part of many new coming Symbian^3 handset like Nokia E7-00 and Nokia C6-01 (except C7 that has CA-101D). Though I am unable to find any info on it yet as they seems not selling it outside the package, but best thing people will find about it will be the length. Nokia seems to finally acknowledging the fact that still there are many, who don’t have laptops or netbooks.

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Nokia CA-157 USB OTG Adapter I found some idiots saying that what’s new in USB OTG, some PDAs been doing it since years. Let me tell you, this part alone really changes the way, we were using the smart phones till now. People who keep on complaining if they have to tap on one more menu, should think that how much of their efforts are being reduced, when they are able to connect their other phones or flash drive directly to Nokia N8.

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You might be surprised to know that Nokia C7-00 might be shipping without this cable even if that has USB OTG.

Nokia CA-156 HDMI Adapter While many saying it a HDMI cable in common, technically its a HDMI-C to HDMI-A adapter, with 19 pins and bandwidth to support all SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV modes. As per wiki, type A is electrically compatible with single-link DVI-D. It provides you the female connector for your type A HDMI cable coming from the LCD. And don’t go by the size only, if you lost this, then you might end up paying around 2000 INR for this adapter (and you were saying that N8 is over priced).

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Nokia WH-701 Stereo Handset With 1350 mm long cord and all required buttons to control music and call, Nokia continues their legacy of shipping high quality of headset with their smart phones. This is the same headset, they shipped with Nokia N97 Mini and Nokia X6 in my knowledge, so you are already very much aware about its quality output. Like usual, it also include three pairs of ear buds, to choose from suiting your ears.

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Nokia Ovi Suit/ Player mini DVD  Most of us might not going to even open it, but its a surprise in the package otherwise, many of the devices were being shipped with Ovi Suit kept on the MicroSD card.

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DVD version

Presence of five available language in installer might be due to regional presence, we get Ovi Suit Installer version 3.1.452 here and Ovi Player version 2.1.10304. With size of 462 mb, this DVD comes up with Ovi Suit version 2.2.0.241while the current version is 2.2.1.23.

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Ovi Player inside has its own set of requirements, of course bundled with. While I doubt that many might be using this one, but it has excellent options like iTune import, common music format support and a cool UI.

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Worth checking out.


Nokia N8-00: Price and only bad experience on Nokia N8

While escalated prices, no trials to hold back the esteem, it was a wild goose chase to find the Nokia N8-00 in right price, when Nokia dealers were inclined to sell it in MRP itself. Definitely, I didn’t enjoyed the situation even when I was a pre-order customer (though that’s being dumb ass, if you talk about India). After holding for 4 days, finally I given up and ended up buying the same from Nokia Priority Dealer.

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Was this really a right decision to buy something from Nokia Priority Dealer ever? I must say this became the worse part of Nokia N8-00 purchase. Same dealer S.D. Enterprises, Gita Colony, New Delhi was stuck on 26k price since October 13, 2010 and when I finally got time to check other priority dealers from Rohini area and got to know that other selling it easily on 24k, only then he somehow agreed on 24k.

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Within two days, one mate from my office informed about his Nokia N8 purchase in 22k… I was like WTF. Same city price and I was a pre-order customer … JACK ASS if you are a Nokia pre-order customer in India. And you know what, the same dealer still quoting that 26k price to new customers.

My friend of twitter suggested me to ask the dealer for extra amount returned, but I don’t expect Nokia to be like DELL, who returned extra amount of Rs. 2174/-after months, when I had no idea on my side that I was over charged on some tax regulations. Nokia has a good repute country wide, might be its a local issue, but sure it hurts faith.

I had purchased  more than a dozen Nokia Handsets and headset .. all from retail market. This was my first from any Nokia Priority Dealer, just to get this awesome device early and I got my lesson.

Never buy a device from a Nokia Priority Dealer, no one is retail market going to charge you more than them.

Definitely, its not like the device doesn’t worth 24k INR that I paid, but knowing that its already out in lesser and I would have saved at least 2000 INR (for some good bluetooth headset or 16 Gb MicroSD Card) … I feel like why I pre-ordered.


I am sorry for not including the unboxing video as the settings were not all right now days and probably, I need to learn some of many things about un-boxing yet, so skipped that part.

Keep tuned in.. I have many things to share on Nokia N8-00 … the game has just begin.

Nokia C7 coming to India by End of October 2010

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We have seen a lot of touch phones from Nokia till now and even the best of Symbian till date that came along with Nokia N8. But do you know what was the point, Nokia Touch phones always missed? It was the form factor. Nokia phones always packed these many features that it wasn’t easy to get a slim figure like 10mm (like Zero figure for Smartphones).

Guess what? The myth is about to be broken… as already announced 10.5mm thinner show stopper Nokia C7 bringing most of the features of Nokia N8 with tag of being slimmest Nokia touch phone. And biggest reason to get excited about it .. its hitting Indian market by end of October 2010.. no long wait like we did for Nokia N8.

It was started with a SMS that I received from LM-Nokia at 15:40 Hrs saying “Ready to move on from your Nokia N82? Check out the sleek and stylish new touch screen phone Nokia C7 with 8MP camera visit http://ct.nokia.com?OT0010-12537 ” and I just got confirmation by Nokia India

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Though still no words over the Indian launch price, but will keep you updated on it, once I get to know about the same.

Nokia C7 Price

By the way, the rumored price is Rs. 16000 and if it goes true then you know it… hurrray

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Touch phones – A Layman rant over ‘Touch’ing issues

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So I am back again over the same issue that big names continuously skipping on, may be in thinking that touch technology is the future, either be with it or be out of race. My opinions are/were never against touch screen technology. Its always been about the ways, its being handled now days.

It might be the case that I may look like alone in the crowd arguing over issues with touch screens repeatedly and some again may feel like calling me a cribber, but this been a blog about the layman always rather than experts or geeks. Even if less bloggers picking on it, I still believe that there are many, who still feel in the same way as I am. Its just not the touch vs non-touch debate, but about making touch phones more real.

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After having a top of line Nokia touch phone in hands and being through some other big names of touch world, I am back again to point out some of serious issues that could be corrected, if people get to know that there are issues rather than thinking that they will find out those issues themselves. Let’s see what some of the issues are and what could be done about them …..


Blind and naive typing methods

In general, this issue isn’t against only Nokia, but its about most of the touch screens out in market. When it comes to typing, you feel like living in DOS ages, where every way was going through that same c:\>

Its not hard to understand that the issue behind is the little real estate provided to design the interface, but still that captcha bug represents whole buggy touch keypad design, which relies more on our memory than the visual approach (for which, the touch screens were standing for in the first place).

Leave the captcha words at the first place, they already annoy sometimes (they tend to get this much complex that become a problem for humans itself, not only computer), think of common scenario. You were about to login into your one of the social account, I say and someone calls in the middle. You have typed the user name and now you were up to entering the password, but that annoying call takes up your 10 mins and when you come back, whoooa what was the site and what was the user name I was typing? Oh! you can always go back and check that..

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What about some long list of drop down in some site says Forum Nokia device specification page and you wanna navigate to some specific one? Oh!! yaa… there is a way out of the page.. great intuition.. thanks for forcing people feeling done with touch screen phones.

Though I will also agree that there are other advantages of touch screens, when it comes to typing. You got some word wrong at the second last line while typing and you just touch right there correct that. You have to select one word from somewhere and its just stretching a finger. Its sure not like that typoholics have all the reasons for hating only.

Conclusion and suggestion A full screen keypad app popping up whenever you find a place like typing, just screws the ‘awesome’ experience to live on a touch screen or whatever you call it and only aliens could call it intuitive or whatever they mean in their language.

People might be making it fun to type with things like Swype, but why not anyone coming up with some kind of transparent keys design or even split keypad design (under making on Symbian^3) that may let the text boxes be text boxes with their own nature (plain text or password text) and doesn’t make you feel alien-ish when coming from a Non-Touch background? And yes! inline auto correction of words do help a lot.


Screen Real Estate is too important to be wasted

I am not much into other platforms, but as much I see, its very much specific to Nokia. They not only love their ‘ideal’ 360×640 pixels, but seems to be thinking that a filled table took more beautiful than an empty one.

Do you know there are many, who are switching to touch screens only for the sake of few cm’s more of the screen.. like going from 2.6” to 3.2” or 3.5” even if they kind of hate those touch screens many times due to issues like I mentioned above.

Its true that most of them ask for bigger screens to watch pictures/ movies/ web pages with ease and get ready to compromise on many of their conveniences by going over touch screens and if you ask me, then keeping those 1 cm thicker Options and Exit buttons is really kind of some crime.

Yes! they started doing better with opening the web browser in full screen by default, but haven’t layout of Opera or Safari reminds them that people could manage with smaller and intuitive buttons as well? Same story again, if you compare their Photo Gallery with Android ones. Is glassy interfaces and eye candy transition effects going to take ages to deliver?

Its good that finally more RAM and hardware acceleration is making the experience smoother than ever but after the long insistence over the low RAM, now Nokia seems to have gotten the another bug of sticking with a standard resolution like 360×640. Haven’t the whole internet was buzzing with praises when they delivered the resolution of 800×480 with Nokia N900? What’s point in going back what they started once?

They say its that for sake of the various devices\ existing apps, they offer and some of them might be of lower resolutions due to uniform support, price compromises or smaller screen sizes like 3.2” but tell me, isn’t it’s like naive web designers, who start with the approach of assuming the website resolution fixed at 800×600 or 1024×768?

Remember making use of each and every pixels was one of the reasons that make S60 devices to be called as smart once and Gravity like apps as legends.

Conclusion and suggestion Are you again going to start the similar mistake that you kept on doing by insisting over lesser RAM and user storage for years and devices over devices? Take my word, don’t do that. You can’t afford more mistakes, if really wanna come back. You have to provide as much real estate as possible even in those little 3.2”, 3.5” or 4” and it will not only ask for higher resolutions but also some intuitiveness as well. If your developers can’t think of that then ask developers like Janole@mobileways.de, but its nothing like that you will catch up later on, its right there, right now.


Don’t ask users to spend same amount of time as they would have spending on Computers

Its again becoming a Nokia specific issue for the most part.

Almost every analyst kept on saying to Nokia that Symbian became the burden for only one fact, they tried to rebrand a non-touch OS into a touch one. Otherwise S60 and S40 operating systems were never that bad or hated in communities, neither they are even now. It was similar kind of mistake that desktop emperor Microsoft did, when they approached the smart phones. They thought that the same interface with minor adopting will sell as people will feel more ‘familiar’ to that. You seen what happened with them, haven’t you?

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You are a nerd or geek, if you are seen on computers for most of the time, but you look like a confused person, if you seen fiddling to many folders and menus for performing a simple task on any smart phone. When we call Smart then it goes to have everything right there, when you need that anytime. Don’t tell me that people haven’t kept on warning you about the fiddly navigation system on S60 V5 and Symbian?

It was fine with non-touch phones to have those two buttons at the bottom approach, but  Nokia and Microsoft should have got the point in 2007 only that this kind of button approach isn’t going to work with touch phones as well. Ribbon approach as started by Apple in some extent and now being followed by Android or Bada as well was sure a better way to go.

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Even if something is not that simple, it can be made to look simple that’s the design part takes place. Making more efficient-n-capable apps is another thing and making them look really simple is another thing. I guess developers doing their jobs perfectly, but designers not or the demarcation line between two has been blurred out since the OS design.

Conclusion and suggestion What about keeping all the things full screen all the time and a customizable ribbon appearing from top, bottom, right or left edge of screen holding the running apps or frequently used apps? Remember such innovations are already in place with your system only, when we get last used symbols on pressing # or those last dialed/ SMSed contacts system in S40 phones, when trying to send a new SMS. Its not totally an alien idea to you, is it?


No! I don’t have that small blogger syndrome, neither do I think that whatever words get thrown over some web page reach to right people straight away, but it never stopped a layman from talking. Everything takes time to get matured in order to serve us better, but its the opinions that bring those changes possible in lesser time.

I still have a hope that the touch screen fanatics will listen to the concerns, which non-touch fans find hard to live with, whenever they want to like touch phones. They may not be echoing the words that hard, when someone says something in favour of non-touch phones, but I still believe there are many, who wants a few changes in touch world… am I wrong?

Nokia C5-03 touch screen arrives @ Rs. 10500

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While some of us spotted the all new C5-01 in the wild last day, today was the day to let Nokia announce it officially, Nokia C5-03, yeah they caught us by surprise by  an inexpensive 3.2” touch screen with WiFi support, A-GPS, Compass, 5MP camera (without flash thoguh) and Symbian^1 as operating system is ready to be shipped at a price around Rs. 10, 500/- without taxes.

Nokia C5 again? you will say, when you read their post.. but its Nokia C5-03 actually. May God help their naming system. At least they should have written the full name in their official post.

Definitely specs aren’t overwhelming for geeks, but the price tag and looks are set to change the game for the mid market that was being threatened by Galaxy 3 or Galaxy 57 like cheaper alternatives.  Though it also missing the front camera (if I am right), but having 3G, WiFi and A-GPS gonna be a huge plus and definitely its like pushing Nokia 5235, 5233 like best sellers out of the way.

Seems to be available in four colors initially including the above three and dark gray one, it measures 105.8 mm x 51.0 mm x 13.8 mm (L x W x H) and weighs 93g – that makes it a similar size to the (imminently) forthcoming C6-01 and sure its a much better looking phone than the current cheaper touch phones from Nokia were (read Nokia 5233, Nokia 5235, Nokia 5800).

Blogger community might get irritated a little on presence of Symbian^1 and just 40 MB user storage, but mind it has some other audience and targets in mind and believe me at this price tag and in this looks, it rocks. As per their post, it will start shipping by End of this quarter means End of December 2010. You may hope that next best selling has arrived.

I will be back, when I get more on it. Well done Nokia, after announcement of C7 shipment now this… fight back really seems to be started up. Nokia 5800 killer has arrived from Nokia itself.


Update:

As promised, hereby bringing the full specs of Nokia C5-03. It seems to have all from Nokia 5800, but in much compact outlook. We got better processor here and also better HSPA (on the contrary of what some tech sites claimed that there is no HSPA). Though there is no USB OTG in it, but remember its S60 5th Edition, probably not meant for supporting that. Addition of WMV 9 video playback suggest that the video playback should support larger range than earlier devices.

There are some shortcomings as well, when you compare with Nokia 5800, like no secondary camera means no video call. Though it has a 5MP Camera, but we have no Carl Zeiss like 5800, neither do we have a Flash. Even Video recording stands on 15 fps like it was on E72, unlike 5800 where it was 30 fps.

But its in comparison with Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, which still selling on higher price, if you compare with cheaper Nokia 5233 or Nokia 5235, then its a hands down victory. Take a look over complete specs.

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