Tag Archives: Nokia

What I Wish Today’s Microsoft Announcement Will Be

Windows Logo

On Thursday June 14, late in the afternoon, Microsoft sent out invites to media for a special event in Los Angeles, CA which promised to be a major announcement not to be missed. Since it was so cryptic, it created a flurry of rumors, leaks and conjecture. Several pundits have written about what it could be, connected the dots and come to a conclusion and in fact this morning, one of those guesses was even shot down.

Instead of trying to think of what it could be, I am going to write about what I hope it will be. Based on the fact that this event is in Los Angeles, I am hoping it has everything to do with entertainment tie-ups. At E3 earlier this month, Microsoft took the wraps off their new entertainment brand (Xbox-everything) and showed some bits of their new (improved?) Xbox Companion app, Smart Glass. Also, Microsoft gave a glimpse of Xbox Music, their successor to the Zune Music service. However, neither Smart Glass nor Xbox Music were looked at in detail. What we do know is they said that the Xbox Music service will have a catalog of 30 million tracks (compared to Zune Music today, which is around 20 million).

So, here’s my list of what I hope may come today:

  • Details of Xbox Music service: Additional deals to get the catalog from today’s 20 million tracks to the promised 30 million. Also, most importantly, access for the service from other platforms besides Windows (8, RT and Phone) – so, iOS apps and Android apps.
  • Unveiling of Xbox Video service: While it was made clear that Xbox is the center of Microsoft’s entertainment strategy, not much was discussed about Xbox Video. I hope that Microsoft is able to cut some deals with Hollywood to get exclusive content built into Xbox Video. Hollywood has got to be scared of Apple (and Netflix), so a good tie up with Microsoft would of course make sense for them.
  • Merge Zune Music Pass and Xbox LIVE Gold: The most ridiculous thing about Xbox as an entertainment device is that to access almost any entertainment service on the Xbox, you need an Xbox LIVE Gold account, listed at $60/year. Although there are a lot of promotions for the Gold account (Amazon routinely sells these for $45 or so), it is still an unnecessary cost for normal (read: non-gaming) customers to access services they already pay for. On the other hand, Zune Music Pass is an awesome subscription service which can be accessed over the Xbox in addition to the PC and Windows Phone. It is time for Microsoft to merge the two and call it the Xbox Pass which enables access to the video services on the Xbox platform, as well as unlimited music.
  • Xbox Lite: The Xbox today is still seen as a gaming device which can also do entertainment, never mind the stats which show that Xbox users now consume more content on the device than play games. Also, a lot of households have multiple TV sets and getting a $200 Xbox for each TV may not be worth it just for say, Netflix and Hulu. What if Microsoft made a Xbox Lite which like Apple TV would have close to no storage and would not be used for gaming. This would work great for the non-gaming customers who want to consume the unlimited music catalog and also get access to the tons of video services now available on the Xbox. If it is priced at $79, it would be a super hit, I’d imagine.
  • Announce global availability of all of the above: Most of the Zune/Xbox LIVE services are poorly represented around the world. It would be fantastic if Microsoft is able to get availability parity across the globe.

Note, I am staying away from tablets, phones and cellular stuff. I do hope that it is not about a Microsoft tablet or a Nokia phone. On the cellular front though, some random rumor about a Verizon event have some tie in to this Microsoft announcement intrigues me – Verizon is a huge hold out when it comes to Windows Phones and any partnership they have with Microsoft, I see it as a positive step.

What do you think? Too much to hope for?

Nokia Acquires Scalado; To Lay Off 10,000 Employees By 2013

Nokia has just announced that it will be laying off 10,000 employees by 2013 as a part of cost cutting strategy. Nokia plans to reduce research and development projects. Apart from that Nokia has also announced that it will be paying more attention to its location based Navteq services.


What’s more surprising is that Nokia has quietly acquired Scalado, a Sweden based imaging technology that brings applications and engineering services for the camera phone industry. The company claims to have provided its technology to 1 billion imaging devices.

From the press release:

In Smart Devices, Nokia plans to extend its strategy by broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform, new materials, new technologies and location-based services. In line with this strategy, Nokia today announced the planned acquisition of assets from Sweden-based Scalado, which currently has imaging technology on more than 1 billion devices. This acquisition is aimed at strengthening Nokia’s imaging assets.

However, it’s not clear how much Nokia had to shell out for the technology. Scalado has received $656k in Venture Round funding in 2005. The company has its products available on Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS.

Focus on low end products

Nokia swears its loyalty towards smartphones yet has decided to further develop its Series 40 and Series 30 devices, and invest in key feature phone technologies like the Nokia Browser. It appears that Nokia has realized that it can stay profitable only with its low and mid-range devices.

Nokia Unveils The Asha 311 Touchscreen Phone With 1 GHz Processor

nokia asha 311
Today, Nokia announced the Nokia Asha 311 touchscreen phone. This handset comes with a 3 inch touchscreen display, 1 GHz processor, WLAN, 3G Connectivity, 3.2 megapixel camera and much more. The Nokia Asha 311 allows you to stay in touch with your friends and family with email and chat on the most popular instant messaging services. This handset is also pre-loaded with 15 levels of Angry Birds.

Brian Acton, Co-Founder of WhatsApp Inc, said:
“WhatsApp has a clear vision of creating a reliable and easy to use cross-platform messaging application that enables people to stay in touch with their family and friends from all around the world. By partnering with Nokia whose worldwide reach in mobile is well established, WhatsApp becoming available for the Asha Touch devices will enable us to further realize our core mission”.

nokia asha 311

The Nokia Asha 311 features a 3.0 inch WQVGA scratch resistant capacitive glass screen with polarization filters, Asha Touch UI, 1 GHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera, GPRS/EDGE, WLAN, 3G Connectivity, Internet Radio, loud and clear inbuilt speaker, Nokia Life, 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 2.1, Micro USB 2.0 and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Music player, FM Radio, 256 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, Micro SD card slot, 2 GB Micro SD card bundled, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Nokia Browser, up to 29 days of stand-by time, up to 14 hours of talk-time and a 1110 mAh battery.

The Nokia Browser’s download manager feature helps the users to manage external content easily by saving music, video or pictures on a memory card, while surfing the internet. This handset measures 106 mm x 52 mm x 12.9 mm and weighs just 95g. Nokia Asha 311 will be available in Dark Grey, Rose Red, Blue, Brown and Sand White colors. This handset comes with a price tag of EUR 92 (approx. $115/ Rs.6,400). This handset will go on sale from the Q3 of 2012.

nokia asha 311

Nokia Asha 306 Announced; Nokia’s Most Affordable Wi-Fi Handset

nokia asha 306

Along with the Nokia Asha 305, the company has also announced the new entry-level Nokia Asha 306 in its popular Asha family. Today, there are 10 Asha devices available in more than 130 markets. This specs of this handset is almost similar to the Nokia Asha 306, except the Dual-SIM capabilities. The Nokia Asha 306 also comes with the Wi-Fi connectivity, which was missing in the previously announced Nokia Asha 305. This handset provides a smartphone-like experience to consumers, thanks to the new fully re-designed touch user interface.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director of devices research at Strategy Analytics, said:
“Nokia is taking another interesting step forward in connecting consumers to the Internet, seeking to improve their experience through a new touch user-interface that is allowing the company to compete in new mass-market price bands. The mass-market is a competitive segment, but we believe Nokia’s upgraded Asha portfolio has included an attractive package that can enable consumers to have lower running costs, taking advantage of things like its compressed browser and a long-life battery”.

nokia asha 306

Nokia Asha 306 Specs:

  • 3.0 inch WQVGA resistive touch screen display
  • Asha Touch UI
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Music player
  • FM Radio
  • Loud and clear inbuilt speaker
  • Nokia Life
  • 10 MB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Micro SD card slot
  • 2 GB Micro SD card bundled
  • 2.0 mm Charger Connector
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Up to 25 days of stand-by time
  • Up to 14 hours of talk-time
  • 1110 mAh battery

Nokia Asha 306 will be available in Silver White, Red, Mid Blue and Dark Grey colors. This handset measures 110.3 mm x 53.8 mm x 12.8 mm and weighs just 96.3g. Nokia Asha 306 users will receive an exclusive gift of 40 EA games to download for free. These games range across action, arcade and sports, and include titles such as Tetris, Bejeweled, Need for Speed The Run and EA Sports FIFA 12. Nokia Asha 306 comes with a price-tag of EUR 68 (approx. $85/ Rs.4,700). This handset will start shipping from the third quarter of 2012.

nokia asha 306

Nokia Unveils The Asha 305 Dual-SIM Touchscreen Phone

nokia asha 305

Back in October, Nokia introduced the successful Asha family of entry-level phones. Today, the company went ahead and announced the new Nokia Asha 305 phone, which takes the full touch experience to a new price point. This handset not only sports a 3 inch touchscreen display, but it also comes with the exclusive Easy Swap dual SIM technology. The Nokia Asha 305 takes full advantage of the Nokia Browser 2.0, which uses Nokia’s cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90%.

Mary T. McDowell, Nokia’s executive vice president for Mobile Phones, said:
“By introducing the Asha Touch phones to the market, we’re accelerating our commitment to connect the next billion consumers. These phones deliver on what young, urban people value most – a great-looking device and an intuitive and affordable experience for connecting to the internet, to their friends, and to a world of entertainment, web apps and content.”

nokia asha 305

Nokia Asha 305 Specs:

  • 3.0 inch WQVGA resistive touch screen display
  • Asha Touch UI
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Music player
  • FM Radio
  • Loud and clear inbuilt speaker
  • Nokia Life
  • 10 MB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Micro SD card slot
  • 2 GB Micro SD card bundled
  • 2.0 mm Charger Connector
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Up to 22 days of stand-by time
  • Up to 14 hours of talk-time
  • 1110 mAh battery

Nokia Asha 305 will be available in Silver White, Red, Mid Blue and Dark Grey colors. This handset measures 110.3 mm x 53.8 mm x 12.8 mm and weighs just 98.3g. The Nokia Asha 305 comes with a price-tag of EUR 63 (approx. $80/ Rs.4,400). This handset will go on sale during the Q3 of 2012. Check out the promo video below.

nokia asha 305

Nokia Lumia 800 Review

nokia lumia 800 intro


The Nokia Lumia 800 is the company’s first Windows Phone powered smartphone. This handset was announced along with the Nokia Lumia 710 at the Nokia World 2011 in London. It runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Operating System. This handset looks strikingly similar to the previously launched Nokia N9 smartphone, which was powered by the Meego Operating System.

The design of the phone is absolutely stunning. It comes with a 3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz single-core processor, 16 GB internal memory and much more. It also comes with a 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash. However, the much needed front-facing camera is missing from the device.

nokia lumia 800 intro

Nokia Lumia 800 Specifications

  • 3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display
  • 800 x 480 pixels resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1.4 GHz single-core processor
  • Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS
  • 8 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • Dual-LED flash
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • 512 MB RAM
  • A-GPS
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • MicroSIM card support
  • Up to 265 hrs of stand-by time
  • Up to 9 hrs 30 mins of talk-time
  • 1450 mAh battery

What’s In The Box?

nokia lumia 800 box content

  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16
  • Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-902
  • Quick Guide
  • User Guide
  • Product information leaflet

Nokia Lumia 610 Now Available In The UK For £165

Earlier this year, Nokia unveiled the entry-level Nokia Lumia 610. It is the company’s fourth smartphone in its popular Lumia family. The Nokia Lumia 610 is specially targeted at the younger audience. This handset runs on Windows Phone 7.5 Tango Operating System. The Nokia Lumia 610 was expected to launch during the first week of June in the UK. However, the device is already available for purchase at UK’s popular online retailers such as Unlocked Mobiles and Clove.

nokia lumia 610

Nokia Lumia 610 features a 3.7 inch LCD display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels resolution, 800 Mhz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor, Windows Phone 7.5 Tango OS, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, 256 MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, XBOX Live Hub, Microsoft Office, SkyDrive, A-GPS, Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport, Nokia Music, up to 720 hrs of stand-by time, up to 9.5 hrs of talk-time and a 1300 mAh battery.

The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with the Microsoft Office apps which allows the students to use the Word mobile, PowerPoint mobile, Excel mobile to manage documents and OneNote mobile to capture notes, ideas, pictures and voice memos. You can easily get this handset in black, cyan, magenta and white colors. The Nokia Lumia 610 is currently available for purchase at Unlocked Mobiles and Cloves for £165 (approx. $260) and £180 (approx. $280) respectively. To get this handset, head over to Unlocked Mobiles or Clove.

Nokia 110 And Nokia 112 Dual-SIM Phones Announced

Nokia recently announced the entry-level Nokia 110 and Nokia 112 phones. Both the devices comes with dual-SIM capabilities and Nokia’s unique Easy Swap technology. The Nokia 110 and Nokia 112 have been designed to appeal young, urban consumers who want to experience a fast, affordable online experience.

Mary T. McDowell, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia, said,
“Today’s mobile phone users want a quick internet experience that allows them to discover great content and share it with their friends – but without being held back by high data costs. The new Nokia 110 and Nokia 112 devices combine browsing, social media, apps, world-class entertainment and long battery life to create a great package for young, urban consumers who want to do it all.”

nokia 110 112

Nokia 110 and Nokia 112 features a 1.8-inch TFT LCD display, sporting a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels, Symbian Series 40 Operating System, Dual-SIM capability, FM Radio, Media player, VGA digital camera, GPRS/EDGE, 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, 3.5 mm headset jack, 32 GB expandable memory, Nokia Browser and much more. Nokia 110 offers 10.5 hours of talk-time and 26.5 days of stand-by time, while the Nokia 112 offers 14 hours of talk-time and 35 days of stand-by time.

Nokia 110 measures 110 x 46 x 14.8mm and weighs 80g. On the other hand, Nokia 112 measures 110.4 x 46.9 x 15.4mm and weighs 85.5g. These handsets offer direct access to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks from the home page. Nokia 110 will be available for just EUR 35, while the Nokia 112 will be available for EUR 38. These devices will go on sale from the Q3 of 2012.

Has AT&T Enabled Visual Voicemail for non-LTE Windows Phones?


This afternoon, I noticed that my Nokia Lumia 800 prompted me for a voicemail password out of nowhere. Thinking that there was some connectivity glitch, I entered the password and guess what, it took me to a visual voicemail screen! I have not seen that screen on my Lumia before, and as I was made to understand, Visual Voicemail for Windows Phone was only available if you added a 4G LTE plan with AT&T.

AT&T Lumia 800 Visual Voice Mail Checking

Before everyone gets excited, I should provide a few disclaimers: I am on my company’s corporate plan, so I don’t know what plan I am on. However, knowing that my plan is actually an “iPhone data” plan, I know it could not be a 4G LTE plan, since there is no such plan. The other thing is that the screen stays at “syncing voicemail” and does not actually show me my voicemails. At some point this afternoon, I did get a message that it was not able to connect and that I could call the traditional voicemail. I restarted the phone to see if this disappeared, and it has not, so I suppose this functionality may actually be rolling out slowly. I sure hope so.

AT&T Lumia 800 Visual Voicemail Settings

Could this be another move by Nokia (and AT&T) to further the Windows Phone cause? We have seen that Nokia has been able to get a few exclusives and are making quite a splash in bringing the Windows Phone platform on par with iOS and Android. Could this be another move in that plan?

Lumia 800 About Screen

I am unable to confirm if this is true with other non-Lumia or non-LTE devices. If anyone has a Windows Phone (Lumia or otherwise) and is with AT&T but *not* on a 4G LTE plan, let me know. Let’s hope things are changing at AT&T with regard to their love of Windows Phone.

Update: I never saw it on my AT&T Samsung Focus, but here’s a response I saw on twitter:



More, from twitter:

Lumia Still Selling Out As Nokia Locks Eyes With Verizon

It appears that sales of the Nokia Lumia are continuing to be rather strong, with sales of the device “outpacing” supply, according to Nokia U.S. President Chris Weber.

Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we’ve been working hard to rectify that,” he said. “The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that.”

Like you may expect on an episode of Undercover Boss, Weber has personally visited many AT&T stores over the past few weekends to monitor how the salespeople take to and promote the Lumia. The verdict? Support has been generally “very good”, but it’s overall still a “work in progress”, he said. Whatever the case, the Lumia does seem to be selling out quite rapidly at many AT&T stores; my Twitter timeline can attest to this, with people all over the country saying that their local store was either running low on or completely out of the Lumia.

“Selling out” is definitely a refreshingly new thing to hear with the Windows Phone, platform, however. But despite these not-too-shabby sales — Lumia sales topped 2 million in the first quarter of this year — the launch wasn’t without problem. A data connectivity bug plagued the device initially, resulting in Nokia/AT&T offering a $100 credit to those who purchased defective devices. This in turn prompted Nokia’s share price to hit a 16-year low, unfortunately. Some other quirks seem to also effect the device, such as a purple tint on the screen (as Mr. Rafael Rivera has encountered with two Lumias already.)

It’s also far too early to deem the platform a complete success; Windows Phone still has ways to go before it can catch up to iOS and Android in the marketshare leaderboard. And to help the platform grow and find its way into the hands of more users, Weber commented saying that the company is working hard to join forces with the CDMA carrier:

“We’re not making any announcements, but we understand the importance of Verizon and we’re working hard to make that a reality.”

Verizon did recently admit that it too had a crush on Windows Phone during an earning’s call late last month. Hopefully the two can proceed to copulate and put more Windows Phones in the hands of consumers

Nokia Provides More Evidence of Being the “real” Windows Phone Maker

Nokia Lumia 900

On May 8, at the CTIA Wireless 2012 show in New Orleans, Nokia announced that they are partnering with a bunch of top-tier brands to bring their various apps and games to Windows Phone, with a lot of those apps and games being exclusive to Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phones.

Some of the highlights from their press release:

PGA Tour (exclusive to Lumia for 12 months)

In addition to live tournament scoring, highlights and player information, the app provides interactive, augmented coverage of select events and holes, showing each player’s exact position and scoring information. This allows fans to “get inside the ropes” and follow all players competing on the PGA TOUR.

ESPN (exclusive to Lumia until May 2013)

This app already exists on the Lumia devices, and is in addition to the ESPN ScoreCenter app that is available to all Windows Phones. The Lumia app will see some functionality updates and in addition, the ESPN Fantasy Football app (another Lumia exclusive) will be made available later in the Fall to align with the NFL season.


After a back-and-forth on whether they are going to build Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone or not, Rovio is now building a dedicated design and development team to create games for Lumia and other Windows Phone devices. That’s quite a scoop for Nokia from the rather negative start that the game maker had with Microsoft and Windows Phone.

Nokia and Rovio will partner to develop innovative new consumer products and content exclusively for Nokia Lumia smartphones, alongside cross platform multi-channel integrated marketing initiatives.


EA will be bringing some of their most popular titles to Lumia and other Windows Phones, including FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®, Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee to add to the several titles they already have in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Groupon (exclusive to Lumia for 6 months)

There is already an official Groupon app which is going to get some major updates, including a cool and innovative augmented reality feature to find deals near you.

Tripdots (exclusive to Lumia for 3 months)

Tripdots helps vehicle owners optimize their driving behaviors while connecting with other vehicle owners and sharing driving efficiency achievements via social networks. The app lets users monitor the operation of their vehicles to enable cost savings through better understanding fuel economy.


Yet another “key” app missing in the Windows Phone ecosystem is for the popular PayPal service. PayPal is going to work with Nokia to not only bring their app to Windows Phone, but also use functionality like Live Tiles to enhance the user experience.

AOL Entertainment Hub (exclusive to Lumia for 3 months)

Whether you want to listen to one of 55,000 radio stations via SHOUTcast, stream free music albums with AOL’s Listening Party or view Trailers and Movie listings, the AOL Entertainment Hub delivers everything you need.

Yet another app where Live Tiles are going to be used to enhance the user experience:

“The live tiles on Nokia Lumia helped us create an awesome app that makes it easy to stay in the know on what’s happening in Film, TV, Radio, Concerts and Music right from your home screen,” said Sol Lipman, Director of Mobile First products at AOL.

TIME magazine

Utilizing the stunning Windows Phone UI, the app will enable users to view TIME.com content, receive breaking news alerts, watch rich media content including video and share stories via the Windows Phone People Hub, while delivering the latest news and stories to users first via Live Tiles.

Newsweek – The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast app delivers the latest content through Live Tiles and combines the unique style of The Daily Beast with the Windows Phone UI to deliver a stunning experience. For users who only have minutes to digest the latest news, the app also delivers The Cheat Sheet – your one stop must have reads from across the world – uniquely designed for Windows Phone.

Box app for Windows Phone

Box, another oft-requested app, will finally come to Windows Phone with support for nine languages.


Nokia Belle Handsets Get A “Quality Improvement” Software Update

Nokia has started rolling out a new “Quality Improvement” software update for its Belle powered handsets. While Nokia has not released any specific change-log, reports from users suggests that the update mainly fixes some bugs and makes some under the hood Qt files related changes.

The update is only 8KB in size, which indicates that the changes brought about from this update is minor in nature. The update can only be installed using the ‘Software Update’ application found in nearly all the Nokia Belle powered handsets.

In other Nokia related news, the company has confirmed that its latest camera flagship – the Pure View 808 – will be available in select markets, including Russia and India, sometime in May. Below is the official press release from Nokia -:

Nokia today confirmed that the Nokia 808 PureView will start rolling out in select markets in May. The first markets to begin selling the Nokia 808 PureView include Russia and India.

While Nokia has not mentioned anything, the Pure View 808 should soon be available in some other regions of the world as well where Nokia has a pretty decent market share and lots of fan boys including U.K and Finland, its home country.

Nokia Chairman: Tablets And Hybirds Are Being Looked Into

Whenever asked whether or not there are plans to develop a Windows RT tablet, Nokia has generally beat around the bush and strayed from issuing any definitive answers. However, Jorma Ollila, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia — who will be departing the company after a 27-year run this week — has told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the company does plan to launch both tablet and “hybrid” (smartphone + tablet) devices in the future.

He said this in particular referring to tablets:

“Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future.”

Nothing was said about specific device plans, or whether or not these devices will run Microsoft software at all. But, I think that it’s pretty much a given at this point that if Nokia indeed develops a tablet, it will be an ARM-based Windows RT device. It will be quite the challenge if they do go this route to get their foot in the door of an iPad and Android-dominated market. This will be yet another market where the company is an underdog that will have to go above and beyond to succeed.

Another interesting thing here though is Ollila’s mention of “hybrids” and other form factors. Is Nokia considering entering the market defined by the Galaxy Note, which is a very bizarre market segment to say the least? Perhaps Nokia may feel that, instead of trying to overtake a market that has largely been created and dominated by the iPad, they want to be the pioneers who “do things right” in the hybrid space. Still, I am a bit biased as I’m not a fan of the Note, or that breed of device.

I am, however, extremely excited at the prospect of a Windows 8 tablet from the company.

Nokia Extends Partnership With Carl-Zeiss

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has extended its partnership with infamous optical instrument company Carl Zeiss to continue producing quality cameras in future Nokia devices. Carl Zeiss technology can already be found in the Nokia N9 and 808 PureView smartphones, along with the Lumia collection of Windows Phone devices.

“Carl Zeiss was a crucial partner in the creation of the first PureView experience,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. “The benefits of our ongoing collaboration will be more PureView innovation and further advancements in smartphone imaging in the coming months and years.”

Now, not to go too offtopic here, but Carl Zeiss — the person who founded the company — was born in 1816. I find this fact to be fascinating; he was born when the world was hardly industrialized, and now, nearly 200 years later, his company continues to remain relevant in an era of consumer electronics. Carl Zeiss AG — the company — was itself founded in 1846.

The company also offered a comment on the continued partnership with Nokia:

“When joining forces with Nokia in 2005, we wanted to push the boundaries of mobile photography. Looking back at seven years of successful partnership, we are proud of the innovations and outstanding products created in this shared journey. Today we are celebrating the extension of our collaboration with a new technology that sets another real benchmark in this sector.”

iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User: Screen

iPhone 4S

For an introduction and background to this series, please refer to my first post on the topic: New Series: iPhone 4S Used by a Windows Phone User.

After looking at the setup experience, the first thing I wanted to look at is the much talked about Retina display of the iPhone 4S. I had heard a lot about how fantastic it is, and read a lot about the technical stuff like pixel density on that screen, but hadn’t experienced it outside of using my friends’ phones for a few minutes. The few minutes I spent with my friends’ phones did not impress me much but I attributed it to the fact that I had spent so little time with the display.

So, having used it constantly for a few days, what was the verdict? Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is. Yes, it is clear and crisp. It is very, very clear and crisp. However, the Super AMOLED screen of my Focus and the ClearBlack AMOLED on my Lumia are both equally clear and crisp. In fact, I love the deeper colors on the base Lumia screen much more than what the iPhone 4S produces. It could be a result of bigger tiles on my Lumia compared to the many folders (with tinier icons) on my iPhone, but in “real world” use, the Lumia comes off as being as clear and crisp as the iPhone and the colors richer/deeper than the iPhone.


IMG_0048Screen Capture (11)


Yes, I could zoom into a specific icon and see how there is virtually no pixelation, but I never zoom to that level with my normal eyesight. Under normal circumstances, I look at the Lumia screen (with the dark theme enabled), and I look at the iPhone 4S with the normal brightness, and I must say, the Lumia screen comes out looking better.

(Please excuse my screenshots – I tried to make sure the brightness levels on both the phones were similar, and also, it looks like screenshot tools on *both* the phones seem to be just average?)

The other area where the Retina display is supposed to do better is reading. The claim — web pages, books, etc. are much better to read on that display compared to the Lumia? Here too, I did not see a tremendous difference.

IMG_0049Screen Capture (12)


IMG_0053Screen Capture (15)

IMG_0051Screen Capture (14)

IMG_0050Screen Capture (13)

Perhaps my expectations were raised really high? Maybe. Perhaps I should have tested it with long periods of reading? Maybe, but I don’t read pages and pages of books on the phone. The most I read is a multi-page web article, some part of books/magazines, and of course emails. I have provided some samples of the same above, and the Retina does not come off as being vastly different from the Lumia.

I would like to state emphatically, the iPhone screen is fantastic. However, in comparison to the Lumia, it does not seem to be dramatically superior. The Lumia holds its own despite “lower specs” across the board. The ClearBlack AMOLED on the Lumia “pops” the colors very well and the text renders quite well too. Oh, and a completely personal takeaway: when I turn on the Lumia, there is an immediate “wow” factor; maybe because of the colors, the brightness, the curved glass screen, or a combination of these and other factors that I can’t really pinpoint. Whatever it is, it makes the Lumia screen feel better than the iPhone screen, to me. Some friends on Twitter said that I need to give the Retina display some time and I will realize the beauty of it. I have seen it is a good screen, but after 4-5 days of extensive use, I really don’t see a huge upside in that screen.

Also, since I promised to talk about size as well, let me say that strictly speaking, the Lumia 800 that I am using now and the iPhone are not too different in size. However, my previous phone, the Samsung Focus, was 4″ diagonally and I really, really like that size. When I started using the Lumia after the Focus, I felt that the Lumia itself was a bit small (it is 3.7″ diagonally) and the iPhone is even smaller. So, compared to my ideal screen size of 4″, the iPhone seems smaller. However, for this experiment, I will not bring it up since the Lumia 800 and the iPhone are comparable in size.

Do you have any feedback on this comparison? Have you seen something I did not? I would love to hear from you!