Layman’s take on Nokia Lumia 710-Perfect fit for mid-range?

Its not been really long when I was at Nokia Lumia launch event for India and later on reviewed Nokia Lumia 800 in as high details as possible.

I was very impressed with Lumia 800 that time but one thing I knew that it would be Lumia 710, which will come out to be real VFM for Indian market.

It proves to be right, when during my short review period of Nokia Lumia 710, I seen four people around me ending up buying the same. The last maximum for me was Nokia E5 that also happened to be bought by four people around me coincidently (obviously different four Winking smile).

While we already know that how attractive Windows Phone might be, let’s see what I found about Nokia Lumia 710 here.

Nokia Lumia 710: The Unboxing


As I had reviewed Nokia Lumia 800 package earlier, so I was kind of well aware that what’s gonna be inside the package of Nokia Lumia 710 and nothing came up to surprise me either …


The minimal Nokia Lumia 710 Sales Package contains the following

  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia AC-10 MicroUSB Charger
  • Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-190CD
  • Nokia Headset WH-208 (With 4 set of ear buds)
  • Quick Guide, User Guide and Product information leaflet


The headset is the minimal one, good on quality though not great on addons like play pause buttons with headset itself. Additional Ear Buds sure caters variety of people.


The USB cable shipped with the package is also feels to be the same (though it’s a different cable in make and model) as we have seen in case of Nokia Lumia 800.


The charger is different than earlier one and in fact very different than the devices that I might have reviewed recently. Not a slim one but a rather big one, I would say awkwardly big one. Though positive part is, its still falls into fast charger category.

Nokia Lumia 710: The Exteriors


Nokia Lumia 710 is no stunner like its big brother Lumia 800, but its not any ordinary mid range phone either, when it comes to looks. The material used is not the polycarbonate one like Lumia 800, but still the plastic used is not that filmsy either. The one piece removable back panel seems prone to dirt, but overall phone fits your hand very well with its very simple design. The phone actually feels much more premium than any of the other handset in the same price segment (sub 15k INR).

The colour scheme is interesting part about it. While officially its available in only two colours: White and Black, this official part refers to the front part only. You can have total five different colours for the rear panel and even exchangeable ones (not included as a part of the package like Nokia 500 though. I wish if it was).


The front is fully covered with Corning Gorilla Glass from top-to-toe, with making room for the 3 traditional Windows Phone buttons in the bottom, microphone, earpiece, ambient light sensor and proximity sensors. The transparent keys at the bottom keep the looks still premium in white colour at least.


The back houses a 5MP AF shooter that can take 720p videos at 30 fps without breaking a sweat. Having a physical camera key available and ability to open the camera even if the phone is locked, makes the functioning of the same as super quick, thanks to optimization within the OS as well. Who can forget this funny video featuring my friend @Bharadc23

Though specific tasks can never evaluate a mobile phone as a whole but they certainly make a good impression over n00b who might be watching you from a distance apart using the handset. Trust me, I myself felt people watching me in Delhi Metro while I use Lumia 710, not because the design of it but because the way it functions and feels super responsive in nature.


At the right side of the phone, the upper side has Volume rocker while the lower side has a camera key. Left side of the phone provide just a small place for pulling out the back panel (Battery cover). There are no lock buttons in this minimalistic design and that task is left to power button on the top. The camera key takes a little time for getting used to if the person is coming from some two step shutter button handset as despite of being 2-step, it feels one step only.


The bottom of the phone has slot for hook while the top hosts an unprotected MicroUSB port, a 3.5mm Audio Jack and one power key. All traditional design, no fancy sliders like Nokia Lumia 800 and as usual, I would thank Nokia for not giving a plasticky or rubber cap over MicroUSB port.


The ClearBlack 3.7” TFT Screen with a resolution of 800×480 might not be that high end like ClearBlack AMOLED display on Nokia Lumia 800, but the good news about it is, its WVGA display with Nokia’s ClearBlack circular polarizer arrangement and a Gorilla Glass front plate means sharper images.


The display fares ok under the sunlight, but lack of oleophobic coating makes it prone to fingerprints. Still I will give it full marks for the fact that its just a mid-range phone and its display still stacks up with high end smartphones extremely well on the common parameters like contrast, viewing angles and colours.

Nokia Lumia 710: The Interiors and where it stacks against its big brother Lumia 800

It might be jst formal to many but some of you actually want to go through the specs sheet when it comes to any review, so here you go:

  • Dimensions119 x 62.4 x 12.48 mm, 81.1 cc,125.5 g (Should be considered as light)
  • Windows Phone 7.5 a.k.a. Mango (Some Nokia apps inside but no Nokia specific changes in Core OS)
  • 3.7”CBD  TFT Corning Gorilla Glass Screen with a WVGA resolution of 800×480 pixels, 24 bit RGB Display (Lumia 800 had 16 bit colors)
  • 1.4GHz Single Core MSM8255 CPU, Snapdragon /Scorpion S2 chipset, Adreno 205 GPU (Exactly same as Nokia Lumia 800)
  • 512 MB LPDDR2 (Same as in iPhone 4S), 512 MB ROM, 8 GB Mass Memory (Plus 25GB SkyDrive), no Micro SD Card support though
  • HSDPA Cat10 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps, WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • It got Penta band connectivity like Nokia N9 while Nokia Lumia 800 had Quad Band connectivity
  • 3D Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass (Magnetometer Sensor), Proximity Sensor
  • 5.0 Megapixels AF camera with an aperture  f/2.4 (No Carl Zeiss like Lumia 800, no f/2.2)
  • 1280 x 720 pixels video recording resolution with 30fps
  • FM Radio (with a very simplistic UI)
  • 2 Microfone inside, one serving purpose of noise cancellation
  • Micro SIM Support only
  • Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR (without capability of Dial up connection or Data Transfer)
  • BP-3L 3.7V 1300 mAh removable battery

So as we can see, though general conception is, Lumia 710 is a trimmed down Lumia 800, its not exactly the case.

  • It offers you a sharper display being a non-PenTile RGB display with 24 bit colors
  • Penta Band connectivity (though it wont matter for most of Indian users)
  • Camera is non-Carl Zeiss and also has f/2.4 means less light in, lesser low light performance and sharpness than f/2.2 Lumia 800.

Nokia Lumia 710: The software impressions

I already been through the software specific details in my Lumia 800 post with complete details and as its exactly same with Nokia Lumia 710 as well. For the same reason, I didn’t felt the need to repeat the same here again. You can check the link for the same. Will write about the differences here in short.


What changed in these one two months was the fury of apps. I loved new version of Twitter Client Mehdoh with its Streaming timeline and got totally impressed by the outrageously innovative Twitter Client Twabbit. Liked the Carbon Twitter client as well but restrictions on Market free version annoyed me.


In other welcome changes, a well deserved Nokia Creative Studio, about which I actually wrote in my last Lumia review that it was badly needed even though in-built auto-fix does a good job for causal snappers.


Also the release of a beautiful Linkedin for Windows Phone client, came in to fill the another gap for me as it was awkward to see that LinkedIn is baked into the core of operating system but there was no official client for it and hence not that full fledge use cases.

It was lovely to meet the new version of Facebook and amazing Photosynth.


Check out the above sample from Photosynth. Amazingly speedy and accurate stitching. Though uneven borders are annoying but on the other hand 3D mode is superb.


I was a little sceptical about the non-Carl Zeiss 5 MP camera with Lumia 710 but the above unedited picture should clear any doubt about it.


Though still Camera part leaves a lot to desire when it comes to handling uneven lights.

It might be software updates or may be a different product, it was good to see the absence of battery bug of Lumia 800 here that was leading to a dead phone if fully discharged (only way out was USB recharge).

Nokia Lumia 710: Top Five Things that I liked about it

I keep on reviewing many a products and its not like that if I feel some emptiness once they leave me but when it comes to Lumia, then there are a few things that I miss badly when I use any other phone than Nokia Lumia 710:

1. Amazing People Hub: You might have read praises about it via every person who might have used Windows Phone for considerable time and trust me, there is a reason that it impresses literally everyone.


People Hub not only aggregate all your social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, but allows you to interact with each of those networks without the need of leaving the People Hub experience.

For example, you can update your own status on twitter/facebook or both, post comment\likes on Facebook status\ photos, reply\retweet Twitter statuses. This all feel very convenient as don’t need to go into some other app and still you know who liked your status or replied you on Facebook or Twitter.

And this is not all. People Hub can be divided into Groups or even Individuals and you can have tiles for each accordingly, which solves the issue of missing the updates from special ones. Like in my case, I am following some 800+ people on twitter and some 500+ people in my Facebook friendlist, obviously, I would miss if my wife who is very less active on twitter/facebook comparatively, updates something. But having a tile in her name or a tile in name of Family (a small group) solves the issue.

Top of all, this all happens with fabulous metro UI with animations and silky smoothness all the time. Yes! there is no alternative of people on any of the platform yet.

2. Amazing Windows Phone Keyboard: I remember the time, when in start of Windows Phone, people were talking a lot about Windows Phone keyboard and I was thinking that what’s big deal in that when it don’t even look like of my taste, neither do I have any flexibility to change it like I do have in case of Android. I don’t even have swipe on Windows Phone.


Trust me, Windows Phone keyboard came as a big surprise to me once I given it some time to grow over me. You can think of the impression by the fact that I own Samsung Galaxy S myself which have gone through all kind of rooting, custom ROM, CM9 and multiple keyboard apps etc, but despite of using that since an year, I feel myself typing two-three fold faster on Windows Phone keyboard within a week. Yes! two three fold.

Not really sure that what is the magic about it, the amazing auto-correct without overdoing it or right amount of audible feedback on key presses without any mechanical looking feel, but it works and works better than any keyboard that I might have used either on Android, Symbian, iOS, BlackBerry or WebOS.

3. Beautiful Email Experience: I have said it multiple times that even if there was no other features as good as other platforms, I would have loved Windows Phone on the basis of its Email Experience alone.


The UI is awesome, the speed is unmatched, Exchange Address lookups feel instant and the dealing with HTML formatted Email is just too perfect. Windows Phone is the only place where I know that mails will be displayed on small screen with the right amount of picture size or fonts. It just scales the mails so nicely that I feel like cursing my Symbian and Android phones that why they want to make a big fuss about it.

4. Microsoft Office for mobile: Having an office suit is another thing and having an office suit that handles heavy abuse like the desktop one is other, this is where, Microsoft Office Mobile scores.


Either it be Excel, PowerPoint or Microsoft Word files, it handle even bigger than average files without a sweat, which is something that always been a desirable on other platforms.

5. Speed of operations and always responsive UI: Each manufacturer just feel like looking for an excuse to raise the processor cores or RAM on slightest of possibility and we are in an age where some mobiles have came with Quad Core and 2Gb RAMs with them. It really hurts when you see some 1GHz or 1.5Ghz phone giving you a slightest of lag in responding when you touch over any icon, but it happens and I have seen it on some “Dual Core” Androids even.

Despite of being limited to Single Core till the moment, Windows Phone is designed to keep user engaged with the UI in a manner that everything feels responsive, no matter what’s going on in background.

Either you pick a high end like Nokia Lumia 900 or pick a Nokia Lumia 710, you don’t feel ashamed in showing off speed of your mobile operations to others coz somehow it feels same speedy over both of them in exactly similar ways despite of hardware differences.

Trust me, its not some magic but so many rounds of R&D and optimizations in background. There is a reason that you feel your phone faster in uploading photos and posting statuses even no 2G networks otherwise like many  of the friends already said, an Android with a 2G Internet connection is an Android without an Internet connection. Nothing like that in case of Windows Phone for sure as I experienced.

Nokia Lumia 710: Top Five Things that I didn’t like about it

1. Horrible Notifications system: This is one of the painful part for Windows Phone as of now. Windows Phone has no single screen, drop down or a page for unified notification from various apps. It either sends the notifications to top of the screen in form of one liner or just will put them on some tile.

It definitely doesn’t feel that convenient for a user perspective when you don’t see multiple of notifications at once neither can control that for how many moments it should stay on top interfering the experience. Also it feels like sheer ignorance from Windows Phone design part that there is no always visible status bar at top showing battery life, network signals or any other such thing.

Though I seen that many a times, its possible to tap on top and see the status bar but it seems that most of the apps just want to override the same. So, its more of guidelines part I guess.

As raised by some of the friends on Twitter, there are privacy concerns as well like you can not limit if the part of message should be displayed on top or not. Strange to see that why Microsoft decided this part of user experience this lightly just like Apple was dealing with notification lately.

2. File management and its worse implications: When I heard about it for the first time, then I couldn’t believe it and was needed to check myself. Yes! you can’t send a document as Email attachment via Email App itself. I mean in name of holy God what kind of logic behind it? If I am a Business person, then do you think that emailing photos is more important or emailing excel, word files are?

Though yes, you can send any such file via share menu and it can  go as an email attachment, but most of the use cases of business or even personal emailing don’t work like that. You usually find yourself replying some email and all of sudden feel that you should attach something. If Email App wont let you do that then what’s point of such a fantastic Email App otherwise or fabulous Microsoft Office Mobile in it.

So, its again seem to be sheer negligence rather than some limitation of platform itself.

3. No file download in browser, not a perfect fit to screen either: First of all, there are not many choices for browser in app store and then native IE browser on phone won’t allow you to download any kind of media file. If you wanted to download a MP3 then it would rather stream it than downloading to phone.

In next, I have no issues if it doesn’t give me Flash Player abilities but what about a better implementation of fit to screen? If I double tap a page then it will zoom in or zoom out as one step toggle, but it doesn’t fit the page if you are doing a pinch to zoom for zooming the page a bit further.

4. Bluetooth: Nope.. I wont start the debate that one needs the option of sending files over Bluetooth or not even though I feel the need, but the story doesn’t end here. As of now, Windows Phone can’t stream audio to your car/ other devices over Bluetooth either, thanks to absence of rSAP protocol support.

Here goes my excitement about having the same feature in my coming car if I buy a Windows Phone.

5. Not great Phone operation handling: To start the conversation, this is a phone after all and smart dial like essential features should not be a luxury or some rocket science to implement into. Come on, its 2012, you make a Phone OS and tell me that I can’t just type a name and dial? I need to remember the full number or go via contacts to dial it? Get a life.

You know what? You don’t have ability to filter out online and phone contacts either. That should be icing the cake, no.


So, this was Layman’s Take about Nokia Lumia 710 and as usual, if I am vocal about the good things in it, then I wont stop my voice from commenting over its negatives either. Still one needs to use his own mind and weigh the pro’s and con’s depending on his/ her own use cases. As much I use Windows Phone, I find it hard to ignore and really addictive. As about Style, then you can think of appeal when I see four people buying it just after watching it in my hands in last two weeks.

When I see a Lumia 710 at sub 15k INR price, then its sure a recommended deal considering the other goodies that are on offer with it being a Nokia. Did you know, you have Offline lifetime voice navigation with it?

So what’s your take?


Layman’s Take-Gravity got updated to v2.70 Build 7153 Finally

Update: @Janole has released a new update that is v2.7 Build 7153. Download link

Do you know what was the last time when Gravity got its last update? It was March 08, 2012 means exactly two and half a month before. Not exactly the longest period between two successive Gravity updates but still it was quite a long gap and people like me who been following Gravity updates since long, knew that longer period between successive updates always been leading to some great new features. So let’s see what new features are on card this time?


Before starting to talk anything about it, let me warn you, this time this update is a real Alpha means a premature build and you must be ready for some bugs while trying it (though like always, I didn’t found many of show-stopping kind of bugs).


So, are you ready for a walkthrough of new features? Here we go.

The changes that I might have noticed till now are as given below:

1. All New Notification Bar and removal of Full Screen Mode: Many of us liked Gravity in the full screen mode always but this was a big dilemma for people since the Belle update came in with drop down System notification bar. Being in Gravity timeline with full screen mode was meant to miss the status bar altogether.


@Janole decided in favour of removing the full screen mode (as was in earlier version, showing in extreme right screenshot) and introducing an all new notification bar with three sections.

  • An either blank or Home icon that will take you back to all accounts screen.
  • The middle part of status bar will take you to the top or to Dashboard of particular account.
  • The brand new notifications section that will take you to notifications + last visited history section.

For me, the issues in this approach is, Gravity has an option to tap on top to move to top of the timeline and with two status bars (One of system and one of Gravity), it becomes a lot confusing. You have to hit the status bar precisely to get to top because if you hit top most system bar then it might be lead to system drop down that might annoy you. Moreover, the pixel size of the new Status bar is almost doubled means loss of screen space on already low resolution Symbian screens. I think @Janole also agree on it.


All I can say that this approach might be good for many but may annoy many as well. In my opinion, there should be a full screen mode option present and in that mode, the pixel size of the status bar might be lowered as well. Though I wont push more for the pixel part because status bar needs to be in the same size as the search bar to cover it up in other parts of UI.


One of the workaround might be an Auto-Hide search bar along with half the pixel status bar in full screen mode. But let’s see how @Janole will deal with it.


But the better side of this exercise is, you now have access to drop down toolbar, signal, battery, time and system notifications etc.

* Thanks to @HardikLive for some of the screenshots.

2. New Add Account section with a minor change: Not a big change but one may spot a little change in Add Accounts section, where we find two options for Twitter account.


The “Can’t add a Twitter Account?” section is to bring back the old OAuth part for adding a twitter account without going to Twitter website because many a people faced issues via web route. Obviously for getting DMs, you will be needed to authorize via web only if you choose this choice.

3. The Search bar on the top of Twitter/ Facebook section: This is one of the experiments that even @Janole wasn’t sure and delayed it since January even after early implementation because it certainly takes its sweet time to get used to of it.


Only issue might be the screen real estate taken by it, but over the time, people will sure start getting used to it. Thing is, we are so accommodated to traditional UI elements of Gravity that any such change feels awkward in the start.

4. The notifications + History Section: The introduction of brand new Notifications section brings you a single place where you can keep track of notifications and history of the last visited places inside the app.


Not only that but @Janole has planned to make it even bigger in next updates.


5. Anna-Belle type rounded icons across the UI: I am not sure that why it wasn’t here already in last update but finally the native looking icons are here to make the experience consistent throughout the OS.


6. Facelift for Groups and Lists Section for Twitter: Groups and Lists section which was just a list earlier now gets the much needed grouping/


Isn’t it look good enough now.

7. User profile shows if the user following you: The new user profile section in twitter now shows that if the user is following you. So no more, tapping on profile and check if Direct Message option is appearing or not.


8. Image save option in Facebook section as well: It was already there in twitter section via tap on the picture or tap on the button in the middle bottom and it was about time, when it makes to Facebook section and its here now.


One difference here is the absence of the bottom middle button for saving the image but as the place was already taken by Edit button, @janole left it to tap on the picture to save it.

9. Facelift in Foursquare section, comments notifications: Not much significant, but the foursquare section also have got some minor changes in the way a check-in looks or in the way you search for a place.


The left most screenshot is from old Gravity while the middle one is from new one. You can spot the changes. Also the search bar in top is a new introduction. Also now you will get notifications when someone comments on your check in.

Though still we don’t have emphasis on marking system as in Foursquare and it doesn’t notify you that how much last checkin earned for you or where you stand in leader board.

10. New share menu in Gravity: Though as of now, it works only for the links in Browser, Facebook and Google reader section, but finally we have a share menu in Gravity that serves the purpose of saving articles/web pages from one social network to another.


Also now you can edit the title before sharing it in Google Reader menu (share function was there earlier). Though with this share menu, @Janole hasn’t integrated the or any other url shortener, but may be its for good, because who wants his/her URL getting shrink three times while posting? Twitter already has while Facebook treats URLs other way.

As expected, introduction of Share option means no Tweet it button in Google Reader section anymore.

11. Gravity Browser gets attention again: Since the implementation, Gravity browser seen very less visible changes, but the big update this time decided not to leave it.


The first change is change of share icon that comes back to Symbian style iOS style as earlier and also Readability support for formatting the webpages for mobile screens.

While its a good step in right direction, it has its own share of glitches.

First, its rather annoying to get it back from Full screen mode which it choose automatically once open, then if you tap and hold you finger for 2-3 seconds, then bars appear but they get away once you remove the finger. It should stay for long so that one may come out from browser easily.

Second, Readability support is only for formatting the page, not for using you Readability account as Gravity browser still doesn’t support cookies means no kind of logins can be supported.


Actually this was a feature suggested to @janole long back in 2009 itself which finally got delivered by this new version.

12. Last but not least, option to share status on multiple networks finally: Yeah! finally you can share the same status on multiple social network accounts at once (facebook\Twitter}. All you need to do is to swipe your finger from left to right or right to left on Add Account section and you will get the screen given below:


This was a much needed and heavily requested feature since long. Thanks to @jryap28 for bringing this into my notice

13. Picture size shown while uploading photo to Twitter: As told by @janole, this was actually a debugging feature, but he found it rather useful for public as well and released it with this version.


Though its available for Twitter section only and not available in Facebook section as of now. But should come shortly with new version.

Bug: As of now, Gravity has two of the known bugs with this new version.

  1. Push Notifications or User Streams broken Fixed with 7153
  2. UI issues with Swype split screen mode Fixed with 7153

Hope that it would be sorted by the upcoming version in next 2-3 days. Already out as build 7153.

So, this was all that I spotted about the new Gravity and now its your turn to tell me if I would have missed anything. Also this time, @Janole has made some important comments about the future of Gravity that you must not miss.


It says the long awaited Picasa (May be even Flickr Integration) might not be too far and may be a complete makeover of Images section may arrive with our long awaited Symbian Imaging Flagship Nokia Pureview 808.



And then the biggest announcement that might bring back many a hopes and smile on faces of people who have left Symbian and missing Gravity very much though @janole has cleared further than no work on Android\iOS right now. Schedule for second half or late of this year.

So this was what I had to say, now its your turn. Download it from here and comment here if you find any more changes in it or wanna suggest something. Also keep a note of the fact that its a preview version so many a things might get changed in the version that will come shortly.


Proporta Turbocharger 5000–[An Essential Accessory to have]

I am not sure that I ever would have reviewed a product and would have rated it as “An Essential Accessory” but there is always a first and for me, it happened to be Proporta USB Turbocharger.

Smartphones and their battery life, something most of the users talk about, bitch about many a times because of the simple fact of life, if your phone is out of battery, then there is no difference between a 7mm thick phone and a 17mm thick one. But still the temptation of owning a slim phone is something that neither manufacturers nor users are giving up.

Its not that manufacturers and users are not trying for the solutions/workarounds and its definitely not the case that you can’t do anything about it.There are two ways to deal with it; spare batteries and portable chargers. Lets discuss both a little.

Issues with spare batteries

The regular readers here would not have missed my review about Mugen Batteries in past and the friends on Twitter and real life would have seen that how those batteries remained an integral part of my daily routines (and some of the regular issues). As time passes by, you learn about some of the limitations around these extra-power/replacement batteries, like the ones given below:

1. NO HOT SWAPPING: If you are running out of battery then you need to remove that battery and use the spare battery. Obviously, this involves switching off your phone for once even if for half a min only.

2. Battery Calibration: With the spare battery solution, you get two types of spare batteries; either of same power (mAH) or of extra power (more juice). The issue is, most of the time, the underlying OS is not that smart to handle this and you need to calibrate the batteries (many a times, its 2-3 cycles means 2-3 days long process) otherwise you wont be able to take full advantage of the juice that these batteries can provide to you. Obviously a cumbersome thing for the n00bs and for even geeks.

3. The size & shape: Love it or hate it, most of the Smartphone manufacturers nowadays feel like flaunting the slimness of their phones rather than caring for the fact that how much long the “slim” battery lasts for the user. For overcoming the issue, the user either has to use his device less or have to carry a charger with him all the time or have to opt for a thick battery for him that obviously negates the first cause that was slimness. Truth is, people don’t prefer to show their phones as thick stabs.

4. No separate charging: A spare battery can not be charged in separate, it has to be in device for getting charged. Means if you are preparing for some trip, then you first charge your first battery, then you pull out the battery and then charge the other one. Obviously a big amount of time required and when you put it on a scale of daily routine, then it becomes a mess.

5. Multi-usability: The issue with spare batteries, is their being specific for one handset. The smart users who need such things are actually carrying more than one devices with them and not only that but also changing the devices by each year. Is it wise to keep on purchasing spare batteries for each of the device?

6. Price: As of now, if you buy a separate same capacity spare battery then the price remains reasonable but due to the type of tech involved in high capacity batteries, the price remains an issue in the later case. It might be as worse as 4-5 times higher than the stock battery price.

How I got introduced to Proporta?

After going through the first solution in detail, I decided to give the second option a try; the portable chargers like the one I seen in hands of @SamDLaw first (that was a Nokia DC-11 1500 mAh). 1500 mAh was not enough for me, so I was to look for other solutions and the biggest name I heard of in twitterverse was of Proporta; An expert in field of mobile phone accessories, cases and portable chargers.

As it was mostly an online store and there was no way to get it from some nearby store in India, I wrote back to Proporta about my interest in Proporta Turbocharger 7000 and for my surprise, after a few days later, a sweet conversation with Jitender @ Proporta led to a review unit of Proporta Turbocharger 5000 for me (as Turbocharger 7000 was out of stock for the moment).

Proporta TurboCharger 5000: The Unboxing


The wait didn’t took long and within days, I got a call from security of my office that “Sir! you got an Air Mail” and the well packaged accessory was in my hands.

Continue reading “Proporta Turbocharger 5000–[An Essential Accessory to have]”

Hands on over Nokia Pureview 808–Layman’s Take

Yeah! It would be one of the rarest occasions when I might be posting about just a hands on, but a hands on over a Smart phone having 41mp camera in it, is rare of rarest in itself. it was hard to keep the excitement within and I know you wanted to listen from me about it…


It started from an invite from Aditya (@adityavnathan) about a Nokia Reviewers workshop in Hotel Oberai, New Delhi for April 10, 2012, with Vesa Jutila, Head of Symbian Smartphones Product Marketing, Smart Devices at Nokia.

While the name of Vesa Jutila was a hint in itself, I was already hinted that it’s about Nokia Pureview 808.

I knew that Tuesday will be a weekday and it wont be easy to bunk the newly joined office in middle, but when it’s about Nokia Pureview 808, it was hard to stop someone who been proud owner of Nokia N82 and Nokia N8-00 and there I was and some other blogger friends….


Apparently its not the first event related to Nokia Pureview 808 in India as Dolby event in Mumbai (mid March) happens to showcase it first, though this should be the first official event related to Nokia Pureview 808 in India from Nokia itself. Delhi took the first spot, Mumbai will be next for Wednesday event.

Continue reading “Hands on over Nokia Pureview 808–Layman’s Take”

Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right

It rarely happens that I write a Layman’s Take on a Symbian App, barring Gravity posts, but when I was checking out the latest fMobi version 2.5, then it certainly felt worth mentioning and we are here, reviewing fMobi 2.5 that is being called as the best Facebook client out there for Symbian.

While Official Nokia Social app been already a pain for Symbian users, more tragic was the absence of official apps from Twitter/Facebook like popular social services. Adding more insult to injury was the web browser part that never got a preferred treatment from these services despite of having Symbian in market leading position for a time. Part of the blame goes to tedious development with conventional C++ that was always a tough job for developers due to rapid changes across interfaces\features of social sites. With Qt though, Symbian got a sigh  of relief and out of many apps getting benefitted from it, one was our fMobi.


fMobi: First released on 05 July, 2011 (not sure of exact date), the Qt-Based Facebook client fMobi kept on growing its fan-base by each passing day due to plenty of features combined at one place with a smooth working UI (Thanks to Qt). You can understand the level of popularity by the fact that It didn’t took even three months, when it got acclaimed as best Facebook Client for Symbian by Nokia itself.

Its not that I didn’t noticed it then, but somehow it was features like shaky split screen input etc (not a fault of app itself but Qt version issues) that kept me away from embracing it fully rather than relying on some other apps, but this fighter app didn’t gave up and kept on luring me time to time with each update. And when I checked out the latest version 2.5, then I was like.. this is the right time, when the app deserves a mention like a Layman’s Take on fMobi.

What makes fMobi special and superior over other clients out there?

The keywords are innovation and consistency which makes fMobi always one step up ahead of the competition. fMobi chooses a different UI and mannerism than the official apps and yet delivers an experience that brings you best of Facebook activities. Being in latest Qt, its smoothness/animations in various actions, native split screen integration and its own way to notification will sure please any Symbian user.

it might not be free like some of the Facebook clients out there, but the way, this is being developed and being enhanced in each iteration, I couldn’t even compare it with any of the existing clients out there (when there is no real official Facebook client there and Nokia Social is kind of no challenge since always). A few things certainly worth the price (Just Rs. 50/-).


Continue reading “Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right”

Gravity reaches version 2.50, Belle UI, pull to refresh, YouTube Section and more

November 23, 2011 was the last time, when Gravity got the last update that was v2.00 Build 7009 and after exactly one month later, we got the preview build for the always exciting and innovation app Gravity that is actually a pride for Symbian. (Am I the only one who is reading the trend of exactly one month for each new build here? January 23, 2012 now?)

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Even if its a time, when hard core Nokia fans are either moving towards Windows Phones or keeping it low most of the times in a tough battle against the growing base of Android, one must admit that post February 2011, Symbian^3 has seen tremendous activity under his name. Many Qt apps joined the pack to enhance the user experience, Nokia websites got redesigned in fancy blue and even if hopes of Symbian Belle (now Nokia Belle) kept on playing hide and seek with us, those who experienced the performance of Nokia N8 like old handsets with leaked Belle can guarantee you that nothing is finished yet.

Meanwhile the above debate is on, there was one app that was always standing apart of everything, apart of Belle, Anna, S60 etc, apart of Android vs iOS vs Symbian. Yes! our Gravity!! And we really waited impatiently for the next version of the same, not because of some bugs or some expectations, but just to wonder that what new innovation the all in one app Gravity brings for us this time. So, let’s take a ride of what we see new in this new build of Gravity (v2.50, Build 7025):

(First I will cover Symbian^3 changes only will update S60 features later on)

1. Belle compatible bottom bar:

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Though most of Nokia Community still don’t have access to Symbian Belle but once Symbian Belle arrived in market in form of some new handsets, it was unavoidable to ignore the UI navigation theme as on Symbian Belle that has shifted from those Options\Cancel button and taken form of icons now. The new build of Gravity tries to do the same though with addition of option to “reverse the toolbar” for those who feel its more natural to have options menu on the left like it been in Symbian always.

Minor UI changes but those who are already on Symbian Belle will appreciate it and those who are not, will get a preview of upcoming via this app.

2. Pull to Refresh and minor but noticeable change in design:

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After tap to top, Gravity finally gets the most awaited feature that is pull to refresh. Pull to refresh is not limited to Twitter only but works in Facebook, FourSquare, Google Reader, YouTube etc as well.

The other minor change is replacement of text by icons (as been theme of Belle UI). You can see icon of a pen in place of New Button and Belle like options icon though I still wonder that why @janole didn’t replaced the Back button by an arrow icon?

3. YouTube Account added: 

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One of the feature addition with this new build is the option of YouTube account. While we already had the capability to play YouTube videos since last few builds, it was a one step forward to add accessibility of YouTube account in the form of familiar Gravity theme. It includes favorites, Watch it later, My Uploads, friends videos and you can always search with a split screen keyboard. Though I couldn’t find an option to upload some videos, but this is still great for a start.

I was personally expecting MISO and Tumblr to be part of Gravity by version 2.50, but as @janole said its a preview build only so may be later.

4. Google Reader section can now display the images as well:

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While today you might think it as one of those many features that Gravity added by this new build, but as @janole said, this was the main feature idea with which @janole started working on the new build. Again like other sections, we find the UI options going via small icons in place of Text (except the odd Back button like old days). Did you noticed the recording like icon for Read or Unread?

Must say, with inline picture display, now you can think of adding your Google Reader Account in Gravity permanently than using any other apps (be aware of heavy data usages though).

Though I find it odd that Google reader section can share the posts via Twitter only not via Facebook or any other service. Also while in outer menu, option to copy the link on clipboard is present, we miss the same in full post mode. May be next build bridges these gaps.

5. Entirely redesigned and more productive Twitter Trends screen

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I don’t how many of you use Twitter Trends actively but for experienced users, its been an essential part of Twitter experience by which they can keep a tab on most important things happening around. In older version of Gravity, not much was configurable here, but with the new Gravity, you can check trends worldwide or by country specifically as well.

I must tell you, you gonna love it.

6. Satellite mode, zoom-in, zoom-out buttons added for maps:

Scr000047 Since @janole has changed the UI for displaying the image preview and maps, it has enabled Gravity to do some more tricks. This one is the latest.

Zoom-In and Zoom-Out buttons are now added to UI in bottom bar and you no longer needed to remember the volume key shortcut for the same. Also the globe like icon next to option icon let you toggle between maps mode and satellite mode.

7. Image saving option:

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While Gravity already had probably the best support for displaying images from multiple services, addition of saving pictures option makes it a killer now. Gravity was already displaying the non-service images by just URL ending with .jpg, .png etc and with this, things gonna really really challenging for other clients across all platforms. Though the same feature is limited with Twitter Image previews only, but I see no reason that why @janole wont extend the same functionality for Facebook images as well in near future. Finally we can see the larger version of images via Native Gallery and can store it and zoom in.

Gravity was already storing the images earlier as well but those were kind of cache version hidden inside private folders of Symbian. Images will be saved in Images folder of E: drive now.

8. Many other minor changes

Scr000042 There might be many minor changes hidden inside that I am yet to discover though one of them was display of last user names with an “@” on the accounts screen (like the name of @aktiwary showing in the above screenshot).

What is still annoying with Gravity on Belle?

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You can blame awesomeness of Gravity full screen mode that @janole always skipped to provide much support for non-full screen mode which remains one of those weak points about Gravity. Like in above screenshots, you can see that on Symbian Belle with full touch phones, one can not write a new tweet as there is no button for that neither than option for new tweet in menu. Also the Gravity Keyboard doesn’t work in non-full screen mode.

Download link for New Gravity version 2.50 Build 7025


So, anything else you find in the new Gravity, do tell me?

The first real Windows Phone at Layman’s Take from @Nokia_Connects

[tweetmeme source=”nkumar_” service=”” hide_in_rss=”true” only_single=”false”]

Update: The review unit is from @nokia_connects. There was some confusion as came via Nokia India

While many of the readers are yet to finish the giant Nokia N9 review that I posted few hours back, here comes the another big news. Nokia Lumia 800 has just been delivered at Layman’s Take.


While you might be wondering about the first Bluedart bag in place of usual DHL package then let me give you another surprise. This is the first review unit to me from Nokia India itself (in co-ordination with Nokia Connects obviously) and to add into the excitement of the latest device, let me tell you that it will remain with me for next two months.


Not to forget, as per my wish, Nokia decided to treat me with the Black Model. So… now its time to shot a big YAHOOOOOO … oops! big BINGGGG as @modibimal says