Archive for July, 2011

Goodbye fellow Nokia fans, it’s time for me to move on

Dieter and the folks here in the Smartphone Experts family let me launch Nokia Experts back in January 2009 as a way to share my passion for Nokia and its products and complete the full circle of mobile operating systems for the Smartphone Experts body of sites. Since then I have posted 794 posts and enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm with readers and the wonderful folks at Nokia. However, it is time for me to focus on my work on ZDNet at The Mobile Gadgeteer and Smartphones & Cell Phones blogs, on helping my employees in my day job develop professionally, and on spending time with my family and my daughters as they prepare to enter college and start their own lives.

Back in 2009 Nokia had a major lead in the smartphone market and seemed untouchable, but over the last couple of years we have seen how a large company without a clear focus can lose its way and market share. Back when my buddy Ricky Cadden shut down Symbian-Guru I thought of joining him and have had my own ups and downs over the past year. One thing that kept me going here more than the devices was the people of Nokia and those writing about Nokia and I appreciate their friendship over the years and hope we can continue those relationships for years to come.

I am extremely excited to see the Windows Phone OS running on Nokia hardware and while it may not have a major impact on Nokia’s market share I think it is the right move for them at this time. I do still enjoy Symbian and will keep a few devices around to continue using, but my primary smartphone love right now is Windows Phone and I cannot find much motivation to write about Nokia here on this site. Don’t worry though I will include Nokia coverage more on my ZDNet blog so I may not be focused on it here, but will still cover the company and the devices. Nokia’s Windows Phone devices will be well covered by the great folks at WPCentral and I hope to contribute some articles there and across some other Smartphone Experts sites since I enjoy using devices from every smartphone platform.

Thank you again to all of you readers for you support, questions, and die hard attitude. There were not many of us in the United States who discovered and heavily used Nokia’s Symbian and Maemo devices, but I hope I helped some of you out over the past couple of years.

Nokia commits to 2011 Windows Phone amid expected poor financials

It comes as no surprise that Nokia’s 2nd quarter financial results are poor since they are in the middle of a huge smartphone operating system strategy change. We saw a similar type of situation happen when Microsoft transitioned from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 7, but Nokia is still doing much better than Microsoft did through that time. Nokia still sold 88.5 million mobile devices (16.7 million of them were smartphones) so those that enjoy using Nokia devices still seem to be buying them.

Stephen Elop said that a Windows Phone device will be coming out from Nokia in 2011 and that excites me. I love the new Windows Phone operating system and think it better than iOS and Android for me. I won’t predict that Windows Phone will resurrect Nokia’s sales numbers, but they will have a positive impact. Hopefully the Nokia brand will introduce Windows Phone to more people because I just think people need to try it first to see how great it is. At this time people seem to avoid it because it is from Microsoft and they have existing feelings about the old Microsoft mobile operating systems.

Nokia is still making very good Symbian smartphones and those of us who still actually like Symbian are finding some great devices in the N8, E7, and E6.

Is N8 Anna update coming end of August? I took action to get it now

I read that Nokia was slapping those loyal customers who have went out and purchased the N8 and other Symbian^3 devices early in the face by shipping new N8 and C7 devices with Anna preloaded. Without question, they should have first provided the update to existing owners and this whole Anna update story is disappointing to me. I also read that Anna for the N8 was leaked and available so I decided to risk it rather than wait for Nokia since my N8 was just sitting around useless anyways and now I have Anna on my N8 performing well so far.

This will void your warranty, risk bricking your device, etc. so I do not recommend any readers take these steps and just wait for Nokia to officially release it. That said, my wife’s blue Nokia N8 constantly locks up and is a piece of crap so I am going to update hers using these steps after I test it out on my orange one for a few more days. So far everything seems to be working just fine. There were a couple of Chinese apps on the N8 that I just uninstalled and so far so good. These steps are not too bad actually and didn’t require any DOS commands or anything like goofing around with my N900 did.

Any readers try this update and if so, how did it go for you?

UPDATE: Here is a page describing a new ROM version with the split screen/context sensitive keyboard and other improvements. I am going to put this one on my N8 now.

First impressions of the Nokia E6; my T-Mobile SIM is staying in it most of the time

I have liked the Nokia Nseries devices over the years for their media creation experiences, but it was always the Eseries that earned a spot in my pocket and long term use of my SIM card due to their workhorse functionality. The Nokia E61 was the first front facing QWERTY keyboard Nokia Eseries I bought and I enjoyed using it. However, when the E71 came out in that ultra-sleek form factor and design I jumped all over it and picked up one of them.

I wasn’t as impressed with the E72, but the E73 Mode won me back and up until now I consider that my ultimate Nokia front facing QWERTY device. After spending a couple of weeks with my new Nokia E6 I have to say that I find little reason to pull out my T-Mobile SIM card and think this device may just have all that I need in a beautiful form factor and it trumps all other front facing QWERTY Nokia devices.

I also think it easily beats the BlackBerry QWERTY devices as I have said many times because it has dedicated keys for commonly used things such as @, ?, period, and comma that alone make it more functional for me.

The hardware of the Nokia E6 is just about what I wanted with a 640×480 pixel resolution display that rivals the iPhone 4 retina display with a density of 326 pixels per inch (the iPhone 4 is the same). It is only a 2.46 inch display though, which causes some issues with apps (Slacker Radio is offset and doesn’t fill the display). I like the solid metal back plate, huge 1500 mAh battery that matches my other Eseries devices, 8 megapixel camera, touchscreen display, slider/lock switch, and microSD card expandability. There is a lot more to the hardware I will cover in a full review.

Overall, I am pleased with the software, primarily that the E6 comes with Anna loaded out of the box. I still have issues with Nokia’s email solution and Gmail wasn’t working right at first and is still lazy about updating properly. Mail for Exchange works well though and I can now respond to meeting invites. I like the new home screen layout with 3 customizable widgets on the right and three common ones always on the left for time/date and quick alarm access, quick profile switcher, and notifications area. Including JoikuSpot out of the box has been helpful for keeping me connected during my vacation.

I am find a LOT to like with the E6, but also some things that need work. I still thik it is a fabulous Eseries QWERTY and a testament to that is the fact that my SIM has been in it most of these past two weeks. Stay tuned for more thoughts in a week or so.

While I am on vacation this week I still wanted to give you a few of my first thoughts on the device and show you some photos of it. For more in-depth analysis on the Nokia E6 take a look at these great articles:

 


Nokia N8 Guide



Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide