Nokia N8 Symbian Anna Update Imminent!

Nokia will finally started rolling out the much-awaited Symbian Anna update for its camera with telephoning capabilities – the N8.

The Symbian Anna update brings with it a host of changes, which will definitely be welcomed by all Symbian loyalists. First and foremost, the whole UI has been tweaked, with rounded and larger icons, so as to make it more touch friendly.

Other than the new icons, there is also a new and much improved web-browser on-board. While the browser is not up to Android or iPhone level, it still is pretty good. The Anna update will also bring a portrait based QWERTY text-input system for the N8. There will also be a ‘split view’ text input system, when entering text in web pages and apps. The music player and the photo gallery app have also got minor UI tweaks. All other Ovi apps on the phone like Ovi Maps, Music, and Ovi store have also been updated to the latest versions.

At the moment, the firmware is listed in NaviFirm, which means that Nokia will start rolling out the firmware any moment now. Hopefully, the Anna update for other Symbian^3 based handsets like the E7, C7 and C6-01 will also be released soon.

All Symbian^3 owners need to make sure that they have Ovi Suite v3.1.185 or above installed, for the update to show up.

(Source)

 

 

How Nokia Could Save Itself and Dominate the Smartphone Market Again – My Thoughts

Nokia is clearly in a very bad position right now. It has screwed up badly in the last couple of years, and is completely behind the curve. Symbian used to be the leader in smartphones, but now it has just been relegated to the sidelines by Android, iOS and surprisingly, even Windows Phone 7.

If there is any other company which is doing as badly as Nokia, it’s Research in Motion. Even they used to lead the U.S. smartphone market, but now their flagship Blackberry devices have been completely trounced by iOS and Android.

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, couldn’t have been more right when he said that Nokia was on a burning platform. However, I don’t quite agree with what his proposed solution to the problem was: Windows Phone 7.

Nokia effectively ditched Symbian and officially adopted Windows Phone 7 as its primary OS months ago. It will likely launch a couple of Windows Phone 7 devices before the end of 2011.

Even so, with HTC, Samsung and LG already in the game, I doubt that the Windows Phone 7 deal will save Nokia.

Here’s my take on what Nokia should do to avoid almost certain death.

Launch Devices on Multiple Platforms

As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Especially when it’s Microsoft’s.

Nokia may think that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 may be the dominant smartphone in the future, but no one knows how it might play out. It could turn out that Android may remain the most popular smartphone platform for a long time.

Instead of trying to predict which platform will be the leading one in the future, Nokia should try to do what it does best – hardware.

Nokia’s expertise lies in building quality, inexpensive smartphones which offer excellent value for money. It has some of the best production facilities and distribution network worldwide.

If I were Nokia, I would continue to build Symbian, as well as MeeGo smartphones (it seems to have received some great reviews). Additionally, I would also ship smartphones powered by both Windows Phone 7 and Android.

That way, Nokia’s future wouldn’t remain tied to any particular platform.

Three Devices Per Platform

Nokia currently has over 20 different smartphones powered by the Symbian OS, and even more feature phones powered by S40. Many of them hardly differ at all. If you want to buy an iPhone, you just go ahead an buy an iPhone.

However, if you want to buy a Nokia device, you just end up getting confused and then buy a phone which you are not sure you really like. Too many choices can really suck.

Nokia should develop smartphones powered by these four platforms – Android, Windows Phone 7, Symbian and MeeGo, but only 2 or 3 devices for each platform.

Budget

The budget smartphone should be an inexpensive, budget device priced around $200-$300 without contract. It could have a 3.5 inch capacitive LCD display, a 2.0 MP or 3.2 MP camera and 4 GB of storage. But it should have at least 512 MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor.

Mid Range

The mid-range smartphone should be priced at around $400-$500. It should come with a 4 inch capacitive S-LCD display, a 5 MP camera and 8-16 GB of internal memory. This device should come with a 1.4 GHz single core processor, or a 1 GHz dual core processor, with 1 GB RAM.

Superphone

This would be the best smartphone on the planet. It should be priced at around $600-$700, and come with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED display. It should have an 8.1 MP or 12 MP camera, and be powered by the best hardware available – 1-2 GB of RAM, coupled with a something like the Nvidia Kal-El chip – a quad core processor. This should offer 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage.

With these three devices on each platform, Nokia should be in a position to dominate the smartphone market.

The Killer Stroke

Nokia should use only the stock version of Android, so that it can push out updates faster than the other manufacturers. It seems that Nokia plans to customize Windows Phone 7; it should scrap those plans.

And finally, here’s the killer stroke:

Nokia should produce only three devices, based on the specifications I outlined above, for all the four platforms.

It should allow users to buy a device, and then allow them to choose whichever OS they want to install on it. All the three devices are powerful enough to run any of the 4 operating systems easily.

This way, anyone looking to buy a smartphone can buy a Nokia device without having to choose between platforms – he can just install whichever OS he wants. Nokia could also provide a dual booting option if it wanted.

This will have another advantage: Nokia will have to produce only three devices. This will alllow it to produce them at a much lower cost, with many components used in all of them. It could potentially be able to price them lower than any of its competitors.

Additionally, Nokia should refresh its new product line only once an year, like Apple. This way, when a consumer buys a Nokia phone, he will be assured that his phone won’t become outdated in a month.

With this product strategy, I believe Nokia could regain the top position in the smartphone market. If anyone would want to buy a phone, he would just have to choose between the Nokia phone, or the iPhone. With 4 OS options on the former, I bet most would choose the Nokia phone.

I haven’t really thought this through, but I think this would be the best strategy for Nokia. What do you think? Comments, please.

Nokia Changes Product Naming Convention; Does It Even Matter?

Nokia recently launched the new Nokia 500, a new Symbian smartphone powered by the Symbian Anna OS. All of you who were expecting to see a high end smartphone which could compete with Android heavyweights like the Samsung Galaxy S 2 or the HTC Sensation, be disappointed. It’s just a standard Symbian touchscreen phone with a 1 GHz processor. Except for bumping up the clock speed, Nokia doesn’t seem to have put in any effort at all, in the Nokia 500.

In fact, the only thing that excited most Nokia fans was that Nokia seemed to have deviated from its product naming norms, which had produced gems like Nokia C3-01, Nokia X2-03, and Nokia CRXT-07126 before. Ok, I was kidding about the last one, but Nokia has traditionally had some of the most confusing device names in the past. As they themselves admit, “What about comparing a Nokia C3 and a Nokia C3-01? It turns out they’re actually very different devices.”

Today, in a post at Nokia Conversations, Nokia has announced that they will be using a new product naming convention.

They have also tried to explain it in the post:

“The first number is the relative price/feature point. So a Nokia 900* would be top dog and a Nokia 100* is the most accessible option. The second two numbers gives each device a unique identifier within that point. So we can release 99 phones at the 500 point before we have to recycle any names, for example.”

While it’s a welcome move, and will definitely make things easier for users, does it even matter now? Nokia is truly on a burning platform right now, and their CEO has tied their future to the success of Windows Phone 7. What consumers need more than a simpler naming convention is a good product. Until Nokia can get that right, nothing else really matters.

In other news, Nokia and Microsoft are planning to unveil the first Nokia WP7 smartphone on August 17.

Nokia 500 is the First Symbian Anna Phone with 1GHz Processor

Nokia has just released its first ever Symbian powered handset packing a 1GHz processor the Nokia 500. However, the 500 is not a high-end handset, everyone expected it to be. It is just a mid-range Symbian phone, with a 1GHz CPU.

Nokia_500

The 500 sports a measly 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen with nHD (360×640) resolution. At the back of the 500 is a 5MP full-focus (EDoF) camera. Sadly, the handset lacks an LED flash and a front-facing camera. Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio, microSD card slot, 3G/HSUPA and GPS with A-GPS.

The Nokia 500 runs on the latest version of Symbian, Anna, which features an improved web-browser and other UI enhancements. Like other Nokia handsets announced recently, the 500 also comes with Nokia Maps pre-loaded with free walk-&-drive navigation. The 500 is also capable of playing back music for up to 35 hours!

The Nokia 500 will be available in most regions of the world from the beginning of third quarter of this year. The handset will be available in black and white color, with user replaceable back covers of different colors. By the end of the year, the 500 will be available in more c0lors including purple, azure, blue, pink, red, orange and dark silver. The handset is expected to cost €150 before taxes and subsidies.

The official press release from Nokia does not state whether the 500 packs in a GPU, or not. It may very well be possible that Nokia ditched the GPU on the 500, in favor of a faster 1GHz processor.

Nokia E5 Firmware Updated To V71.03

Nokia has started rolling out a new firmware update for its budget-oriented business class handset the Nokia E5. The firmware update carries the version number 71.03.

Nokia_E5

The new firmware update brings a number of changes to the E5, including an updated web-browser and Nokia (Formerly OVI) Maps. The new browser is the same (v7.3) as the one found in Symbian Anna based handsets. The new version of Nokia Maps brings indoor positioning via Wi-Fi, and travel and recommendation services like Lonely Planet.

Other core apps like Nokia Email, and QuickOffice have also been updated. The usual performance and stability improvements, along with some bug-fixes are also present.

Nokia E5 owners can download, and install the update via OTA or   by using Nokia Software Updater (NSU). Even though the E5 features UDP (User Data Preservation), users are recommended to make a backup of their data before proceeding with the firmware update.

The update is being rolled out in stages, so be patient if it does not show up on your E5 yet!

Nokia X7 Review

The Nokia X7 is not a ground breaking phone, but it is the first device to ship with Symbian Anna / PR2 (officially) on it. Unfortunately it’s also the only device that has actually begun shipping, except for the exclusive pink N8. Symbian Anna brings many welcomed changes that legacy users have been clamoring for. The interface has changed slightly, thanks to a new icon format and inclusion of the Nokia Pure font. The photo gallery and camera interface took a serious overhaul while the browser received a performance bump but still remains ugly and borderline unusable.

Read on for a mini-review on the X7.

Continue reading Nokia X7 Review

Nokia Ovi Store Now Has 50,000 Apps

Ovi StoreNokia, which recently posted very disappointing quarterly results, finally has some good news. The Ovi Store, Nokia’s application store, just hit a major milestone – it now has more than 50,000 apps.

MobileBusinessBriefing reports that there are now more than 50,000 apps available in the Ovi Store. Nearly 6.5 million apps are now downloaded from the Ovi store every day.

While the numbers are very encouraging, they are still much lower than the Apple App Store and the Android Market. The App Store has over 425,000 apps, and the Android Market has more than 250,000 apps. The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace currently offers close to 27,000 apps.

Both Apple and Android have overtaken Nokia in terms of smartphone sales, but Nokia still has a very large installed user base around the world, around 225 million users. It recently released devices powered by the new Symbian Anna OS, but will be shifting its focus to a new platform – Windows Phone 7 – soon.

Nokia will also be launching the Nokia N9, a MeeGo based device soon. It also restated its vision for QT based apps, which will run on both platforms – Symbian and MeeGo. Unfortunately, QT based apps wouldn’t run on Windows Phone 7 devices, which means developers will have to choose between the two options.

Nokia X6 Firmware Updated To V32

Nokia has started rolling out a new firmware update for its previous generation music oriented phone the X6. The new firmware number bumps up the software version to 32.xxx.

The firmware update improves the performance and stability of the phone, along with freeing up a bit of RAM. All the known major bugs have been squashed as well. Nokia has also update the Core applications of the phone, with this firmware update.

Nokia_X6

Nokia X6 owners can update their handset by either using Nokia Software Updater (NSU), or via OTA (Over-The-Air). To update the X6 via OTA, key in *#0000#, and select the software update option. The handset supports UDP (User Data Preservation), so users don’t need to make a backup of their data before proceeding with the firmware update.

The Nokia X6 will soon get another firmware update, which will be a major one. The next firmware update will bring an updated web-browser, Emoticons support and an updated version of Nokia Ovi Maps.

Nokia E6 Hands-On Pics

Nokia recently invited us to play with the new Nokia E6 smartphone at the Nokia meetup in Mumbai, India. As we already know, the Nokia E6 is the successor of the popular Nokia E72 smartphone and also the first device which runs on the Symbian “Anna” Operating System. Nokia E6 comes with a 2.46 inch touchscreen display as well as a full QWERTY keyboard.

Sadly, the Nokia E6 does not have a dedicated camera, even though it sports an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. Other features of this phone include a 680 MHz ARM 11 processor, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, 8 GB internal storage, 32 GB expandable storage, 1500 mAh battery with up to 14 hours talk-time and much more. We will soon post our views and first impression of this handset. Until then, check out the exclusive hands-on pics of the Nokia E6, after the break.

nokia e6 hands on

Nokia E6 Box

nokia e6 hands on

Nokia E6 in Silver

nokia e6 hands on

Symbian Anna OS on the Nokia E6

nokia e6 hands on

nokia e6 hands on

Nokia E6 in Black

nokia e6 hands on

nokia e6 hands on

8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash

nokia e6 hands on

Nokia E6 Homescreen

nokia e6 hands on

Nokia E6 Open Applications screen

nokia e6 hands on

OVI Store on the Nokia E6

nokia e6 hands on

Music Player with Coverflow interface and Lock Screen

Nokia S60v3.2 and S60v5 Based Handsets To Get Updated Version Of Browser and Ovi Maps

Nokia has just announced via their Conversations blog, that they will be rolling out some new features via Software updates to Symbian S60v3.2 and S60v5 based handsets.

The software update will update the age-old and snail-paced internal browser to v7.3. It is the same version of the Nokia web browser, which ships with Symbian Anna phones. The updated browser will bring faster and smoother web browsing performance, support for International Domain Names (IDNs), along with support for non-ASCII letters such as Arabic or Chinese.

Apart from the updated web browser, the update will also include the latest version of Nokia Maps a.k.a Ovi Maps. For non-touch based Symbian handsets, Ovi Maps 3 SR4 will be installed. This new version of Ovi Maps offers indoor positioning via Wi-Fi, and travel and recommendation services like Lonely Planet.

Nokia_5800

For touch based Symbian handsets (S60v5), Ovi Maps 3 SR6 will be included in the software update. Along with the above said features, this version of Ovi Maps will also add public transport lines and check-in services to popular social networking sites.

Last but not the least; the software update will also add emoticons support. Nokia will roll-out all these new features for a bunch of touch and non-touch based Symbian handsets via a firmware update.

The update will be rolled out for the following devices :

Symbian 3.2

  • Nokia E72
  • Nokia E52
  • Nokia E5
  • Nokia C5-00
  • Nokia 6700 slide

Symbian 5.0

  • Nokia C6-00
  • Nokia C5-03
  • Nokia 5230
  • Nokia 5235
  • Nokia 5250
  • Nokia X6
  • Nokia N97 mini
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Nokia has already started rolling out the firmware update for the Nokia 5230 and 5235. Updates for other handsets are also expected to follow soon.