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Hands on with the Nokia N8 (video)

28 Aug

Earlier this week, Nokia invited us to get acquainted with its upcoming flagship N-series smartphone – the N8. It runs on Nokia’s new Symbian^3 OS, which lends a much smoother user interface, though in the core it really is similar to the Symbian S60 fifth edition that we have seen in the N97 and the N97 Mini.



The Nokia N8 is a multimedia powerhouse and comes with a 12.0 MP camera that can shoot videos in 720p HD resolution. For us, the killer feature on the N8 is the ability to connect a USB pen drive to the phone and play music/video off the pen drive!



Check out our brief hardware tour of the Nokia N8 below and let us know what you think.



Hands on with the LG Optimus GT540

21 Aug

LG Optimus GT540Today we got a chance to play around with the LG Optimus GT540, an entry-level Android smartphone priced at approximately Rs 12,500. Though we spent just a few minutes with it, we definitely liked what we saw. Right from the brushed metal finish to the comfortable 109 x 54.5 x 12.7 mm dimensions, things just felt right at first glance. The 3-inch HVGA display (320×480 pixels) also felt a lot better than many QVGA (320×240 pixels) we see on most-sub Rs 15,000 droids out there. It also has a 3.0 MP camera. The GT540 runs on a Qualcomm 7xxx chipset with its processor clocked at 600 MHz.



But that does not mean the Optimus GT540 is perfect or even close to perfection. It runs on Android 1.6 (we are told it will be upgraded to Android 2.1) and has a resistive display. While we could not guess the latter during our 10 minute date with this beauty, the official specs indicate otherwise. Nevertheless, we will reserve our verdict till we get to spend some more quality time with it. Just hang in there and pray that LG sends us a review unit soon!

Hands on with Spice Mi700 Internet Tablet (video)

19 Aug

And finally the Spice Internet Tablet Mi700 (thank God it ain’t called the Spicepad or the Spicetab!). Without much ado, let’s just put it this way – it is the same device as the Olivepad! So hit the break below and check out the Spice Mi700 or the Olivepad…



Hands on with the Spice Mi410 (video)

19 Aug

Along with the Mi300, Spice today also announced the Mi410 that will be available later this year. The Mi410 will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset that features a 1 GHz processor. It currently runs Android 2.1 but we hear that by the time it is launched, it will run on Android 2.2. The Mi410 has a 4.1-inch display (probably at 480×800 pixel WVGA resolution) and a 5.0 MP camera. We got hold of a very early stage prototype for our video preview. Hit the break below to check it out…



Nook app arrives on Android

22 Jul

The e-book wars have come to Android. After slugging it out with Amazon’s Kindle app on the Apple App Store, Barnes & Noble have now come out with a Nook app for the Android Market, where Android had already unleashed a Kindle app not too long ago. The app gives users access to more than a million titles and runs on all Android devices that are running version 1.6 or higher of the OS.

We downloaded the app and took it for a spin on our Motorola Milestone and well, truth be told, we are not too impressed. A majorĀ  part of our displeasure stems from the fact that the app is not just a 5 MB plus download, but that it hogs an incredible 17 MB on your device. Now, space is a rather precious commodity on Android devices, so having one app occupy so much space is a bit of a luxury, even though the app itself is free. So the very fact that we had to un-install half a dozen apps to get the nagging “short of memory” message off the notification bar did not get the app off to a flying start. The fact that Kindle takes up just 3.55 MB in comparison makes the Nook app seem, well, more obese than heavyweight.

But if you do have space to spare, the Nook app delivers a lot. You can purchase books, get free sample chapters, read it across a variety of devices, and best of all, you can even lend certain e-books by letting your friends access them for 14 days. Top that off with a decent book reading experience (we rather like the page turning animations) and prices that are very very competitive and in many cases, better than what we have seen on the Kindle, and you can say that this app has lots of offer. All we ask of it is to shed those megabytes, or give us a free update to FroYo with the option to save apps to memory card.

Wireless Keyboard + iPhone = Pure Magic!

22 Jul


One of the notable features of the iOS 4 update was the fact that it would let the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 connect to keyboards over Bluetooth. Well, we decided to give it a go the moment we upgraded our iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 and managed to get our hands on Apple’s Wireless Keyboard. Why Apple’s keyboard when we were told that the software upgrade would make the device work just as well with any other? Well, mainly because it had music function keys, which we thought would be cool to try out and of course, because we felt that it would work best, thanks to the Apple connection. That it looked cool as hell and was the lightest wireless keyboard in town might have also had something to do with it at some level.
The first thing to do, of course, was to turn on Bluetooth in both devices. This resulted in the iPhone detecting the wireless keyboard but not pairing with it. To initiate pairing, we just touched the wireless keyboard highlighted on the iPhone screen and were presented with a numeric code to punch in and enter on the wireless keyboard. We did so, and hey presto, we were connected. That was literally all there was to it. Continue reading

Nokia Rover gets previewed with revealing photographs

19 Aug

Eldar at Mobile Review has spent some quality time with a prototype of the unannounced Nokia Internet Tablet that we first revealed as the Rover. The device which runs on an updated version of Maemo is expected to be announced on September 1 at the Nokia World event in Stuttgart.

Eldar’s preview underlines the same facts that we had told you way back in May, when we first wrote about the Rover or the N900 as Nokia is expected to call this device. It is certainly better than the N97 (we’d introduced the N900 as the N97 killer). This is what we’d written in our initial report, where we presented the first ever pic of the N900:

Nokia might be putting up a brave face and donating Symbian OS to the Symbian Foundation, but the truth is the Finnish giant is planning to convert its Internet Tablet platform Maemo into something that can be used for its future smartphones.

Eldar, who usually gets handsets months before they are officially announced (not launched, but announced) also agrees to this fact and finds the new version of Maemo much better than Symbian S60’s touchscreen version. Here are some interesting revelations from his preview:

The boot up time is much faster. The hardware quality is comparable to the E75 and feels quite solid. The 480×800 pixel resistive touchscreen is quite responsive. The battery life is comparable with the N97 (we ain’t sure if the N97 is a worthy benchmark). The browser supports Flash and applets (widgets, we assume). The 5.0 MP camera is the same as the one in the N97. Maemo 5 seem to be backward compatible as most apps worked on it, The N900 is expected to be launched towards the end of the year at an approximate price of Euro 550.

So far, the N900 looks like what the N97 should have been in the first place. We have no doubt that if priced and marketed correctly, Nokia can undo the harm done to its touchscreen campaign by the 5800 XM and the N97.

In the meanwhile, head over to Mobile Review for lots of interesting pictures of the N900 as well as screenshots of the user interface.