Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Iphone killer is here

Nokia 5800xpressmusic

Is this the real iPhone killer? I guess so atleast in India. its not a geek phone but has all the power and features including the ubiquitous touchscreen interface, the first from nokia on S60(V5)( barring the previous attempts on the S90 platform). Infact I would go ahead and say this phone is better than even the legendary N95. N96 still have a couple features and more storage but nevertheless for the price of about 20k in India, this phone is a sure killer.

Just look at the feature set in the link above....just feels bad its not in the Nseries though it has the same features or even more. May be Nokia wanted to place it in the league of lifestyle,music phones than the geek gadget series i.e., Nseries.

With the huge High definition (16:9 ratio) 3.2" touch screen (compared to iPhone's 3.5") and dynamic touch interface, accelerometer(automatic orientation, movement based control...), tactile feedback etc, 640x320 resolution (compared to 480x320 in iphone) it's close/betterthan to the iPhone experience though multitouch is missing.

with 81MB internal storage(for phonebook and base storage), 8GB default storage with an addon microSD slot you can swap memory and also grow it to 16GB now to 32GB soon. this is surely where the 5800 beats the iphone which has fixed storage with no addon memory.

What more, it has the same quality camera with carl zeiss lens, LED flash and video recording at near dvd quality(,geo tagging with gps?), which was the cornerstone of the N95 series. at 3.2MP its good enough for most digital camera needs. I used to reduce the resolution to 3.5MP even in my 5MP N95. A xenon flash would have been better and may be a CCD sensor instead of cmos for true digital camera experience but yea I am asking for too much compared to the iPhones barebones 2mp camera without even autofocus or video recording. It also has a front camera for 3G video phone calls. A camera lens cover a'la n95 would have been good.

other features include the A-GPS with voice navigation(I heard its free), which is better than N95, a best in class music player with 1 year free subscription to nokia's music store, which makes it truely compete with the iphone's iPod feature.

yea the DVB-H feature of n96 is missing but who provides such a service in india? its at the best a techno preview.

sure it has a FM player as other nokia phones and a basic feature thesedays which ofcourse is lacking in iPhone.

new features of S60v5 include a better UI, easy access menus without the clutter of older S60, dedicated quick access buttons for keyfeatures like music player, bluetooth etc...
Surely nokia is listening to its users and also learning from competetion.

want more, here are the standard S60 features now,
push email for exchange,
a safari based good browser with flash video support,
quad band world phone,
3.5G wcdma hsdpa,
MMS(iPhone lacks this basic feature),
bluetooth with a2dp/AVRCP stereo headphone support,
voice recognition, tts engine etc
Push to talk,
j2me java support,
TV out,
standard headphone socket,
remote control mic,
wifi 802.11b/g
Ngage platform with motion sensor controls for great gaming experience.
built in office application viewers,
Flight/PDA mode.
integrated VOIP/VPN client - to be checked...

last but not least it is a nokia S60V5 phone which can run all the millions of 3rd party S60 applications and all the other advantages and features of S60 as I had blogged earlier

but for the downside, it as most nokia phones doesnot have the muscle power to handle the load. with a 370 Mhz arm 11 processor it will sure be much slower and less responsive, especially when loaded, compare to the powerful 650Mhz arm11 of iPhone for relatively less apps and load.
The RAM seems to be ok at 128MBwhich is good enough for multitasking and load 10 or more apps. This was a major issue in the N95classic with just 64MB RAM but was corrected in the 8GB and US versions of the phone.
Also I will need to check the battery life but with its BL-5J 1320 mAh battery I guess it should be decent.

looks like things are getting closer to my dream handheld

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Looks like iPhone has made it big atlast with iPhone2

This is a follow up to my previous post on N95 and iPhone. Sure N95 was way ahead of its time and till today the N95(8gb) and N96 stands up to its legendary reputation of being the most geeky and loaded phone. but Nokia has not caught up with its competition in certain technologies like touch screen, though they brought out higher storage. Multi touch UI is an essential technology today and this is going to make nokia loose if not kill them.

Yes I criticized and cribbed about many basic features lacking in iPhone 1.0. looks like apple as usual listens to its users and as always makes what ever they provide work best and practical(unlike nokia which is more of techno demo and practically not so well usable). Now check out the new iPhone 2.0 seems very promising.

Now we have GPS(voice guided navigation?), 3G HSDPA and open application support(though not opensource yet which probably apple will never make). The major short comings of iPhone 1.0 has already been solved. With 3rd party apps(ala nokia S60) any new feature can be added. Also apple is updating the OS for its older iphone 1.0 hardware which is a good sign of continued support(which nokia lacks as they kill a model after a years support and their very expensive phone becomes outdated and useless in less than a couple years).

Moreover day by day iphone seems to be beating S60 handsdown in quantity/quality of applications and user community support and is becoming a defacto platform for any application developer, which along with the brand reputation of apple and style statement even with the non-geeks and fashionistas would be a more accepted and supported phone universally(as is the ipod inspite of being proprietary). This along with its main USPs like the multi touch UI, large(perfect) screen size for a handheld, a very usable desktop class browser(plugins someone?), better build quality, finish and choice of materials, iPod, large storage etc Nokia will have to do a lot of quality improvement and standardization to get anywhere near the iphone now that iphone has caught up with Nseries already. Sure iPhone is becoming the iMac of the handheld world.

I am yet to see the complete feature list and if they have fixed basic issues like MMS, setting ringtones and front cam support for video conf, replaceable battery, replaceable sim, higher res auto focus camera with flash, TV out, DVD quality video recording, PTT, VOIP(avl thru 3rd party already), j2me, radio etc. , some of these features are s/w only and can be added by 3rd party apps or an upgrade. the hardware sure is promising and much more faster than any Nokia phone today. I will give a complete review when the phone is out in India(damn, they still lock you on to a operator which is a new concept in India which was always used to unlocked mobiles thanks to Nokia's business model).

Anyway as of now all I can say is the iPhone 2.0 looks very promising and I will most probably get one when its launched here as long as there is no real iphone killer from Nokia.


Well, Airtel has at last launched iPhone in India. but at Rs.36100 for the 16GB version I don't think its worth the price, given that it will also be locked to Airtel network.
more details here,

iphone 3g at best can be purchased if offered at the $200 price that apple has quoted for the older iPhone. in India it is worth purchasing at a price of 15k to max 20k. Given that it is a proprietary product and most apps for it is very expensive and its not easy to crack stuff or get freeware, this is just a fancy toy for the rich who want to flaunt a fashion accessory and not for the geek who wants a power gadget.

The nokia N96 is a good bet instead. Damned nokia as always does leave more to be desired. at the minimum a touch screen should have been provided, which is a basic feature of contemporary high end handhelds/phones. but yea for those who already own a N95 it doesnt offer much more than 16Gb storage and dvb-h live tv receiver +build in accelerometer apps.