Archive for January, 2009

By January 25, 2009 Read More →

Nokia N79 review

You may have seen my Nokia N85 review recently. The N79 and N85 are basically the same phone in different cases. The N79 is a mono block phone; the N85 is a Dual Slider. The two of them came to us as pair to review, so rather than simply repeat ourselves here we thought we would highlight the differences for you. And since they are built on the latest Nokia S60 Operating System, in this review we look at the advanced email connectivity in a bit more depth.

n79_angled

The Nokia N79

 

Unless mentioned below the Nokia N85 and Nokia N79 specifications are the same:

The main differences between the two are:

  • N79 is a Mono Block / Bar phone, the N85 a Dual Slider
  • N79 supplied with 4Gb MicroSD, the N85 supplied with 8Gb MicroSD
  • N79 supplied with 3 different coloured back plates.
  • N79 not supplied with TV Out Cables.
  • N85 has dedicated buttons for Media Player/ Game Play.
  • N79 has a standard backlit screen, not OLED.

 

What’s in the box?

The phone, a 4Gb MicroSD card. Mains charger, USB data cable. Ear phones, wired remote controller for the MP3 player. Manuals, software DVD, and an Activation code to enable one Trial game to the full game. Blue, green and bronze Xpress-on smart covers. Check out Matt’s Nokia N79 unboxing video for more information.

Nokia N79 Specification:

  • Dimensions: – 110 x 49 x 15mm
  • Weight: 97g
  • Battery: – Talk Time: 330 mins
    – Standby Time: 406 hrs
    – Music Playback: 29 hrs
    – Video Playback: 264 mins
    – Capacity: 1200 mAh
  • Display: – 240 x 320 pixels/2.4 inch (Main)
  • Network: – GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
    – WCDMA: 900/2100 HSDPA (Dual-Band)
  • Camera: – 5 mega-pixels (auto-focus) (Main)
    – 0.3 mega-pixels (Secondary)
    – 20 x Digital Zoom
    – Dual LED Flash
    – Red Eye Reduction
    – Geo Tagging
  • Video: – Hi-Resolution VGA Video Recording
    – 30fps Video Recording
    – 8 x Digital Zoom
    – Video Light
  • Music: – Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+ & WMA
    – FM Stereo Radio
    – Visual Radio
    – Nokia Music Store
    – Nokia Podcast Support
    – Nokia Music Manager Support
    – Windows Media Player Sync
    – 3D Effect Stereo Speakers
  • Ringtones: – Monophonic
    – Polyphonic (64)
    – MP3
    – AAC
    – Talking Ringtones
    – Video Ringtones
  • Messaging: – SMS
    – MMS (with video)
    – E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, MS Exchange)
  • Memory: – Phone Book (unlimited)
    – Dialled Calls (30)
    – Missed Calls (30)
    – Received Calls (30)
    – 50MB (internal)
    – microSDHC (external)
  • Connectivity: – microUSB
    – Nokia 3.5mm AV connector
    – Bluetooth (2.0)
    – Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11g)
    – GPRS Class 32
    – HSDPA (3.6 Mbits)
  • Navigation: – AGPS

 

Full specification can be found on the Nokia website.

 

General

On the front the N79 has the standard 12 key phone pad plus 7 function buttons and the Nokia NaviWheel.

n79_main

Nokia N79 front view

 

On the left side a mini Nokia charging socket and a cover protecting the memory card slot and MicroUSB socket.

n79_left

Nokia N79 left side

 

On the right side, speaker grills, volume control and camera button.

n79_right

Nokia N79 right side

 

On the top the power button, a manual slide to enable and disable the keyboard lock and a multifunction 3.5mm socket that accepts standard stereo headphones or Nokia’s remote control (supplied) or the Nokia TV Out cable (not supplied).

n79_top

Nokia N79 top view

 

On the back the 5Mpixel camera and the twin LED flash/video light. The whole back cover removes to change the battery and fit the Sim.

n79_back 

Nokia N79 back view

 

 

Which to choose?

It’s really personal preference here. Both phones are nicely made and look great. The N79 has different coloured back plates which also automatically change the colour of the display theme, so if you fit a green back cover, a little connection on the cover sets the phones display theme to a mostly green style to match, some people will love this, some people will just think it’s a nuisance to keep extra bits of phone around the house… I liked the red one, but it wasn’t supplied with our test phone. It is possible to buy a red or silver one separately from Nokia’s website.

The N85 certainly looks dark and impressive when closed and the extra few Media Player buttons helped when using it as a MP3 player, but despite the slick lines of the N85, personally I preferred the simplicity of the mono block N79 over the Dual Slide action.

Price difference? Web prices for the N79 are about £20 less than the N85, but the N79 has a smaller Memory card, a standard backlit screen rather than the N85’s OLED and doesn’t ship with a TV Out cable.

Review

These phones aren’t just pretty fashion items; they really are advanced pieces of engineering. The S60 Operating system is common to the N96 flagship model and even the N97 Communicator. So the GPS receiver is an Assisted Global Satellite Positioning receiver (AGPS) meaning it’s integrated with the phones internet connectivity to give faster response and more features to the Mapping software. The N-Gage games can network with other players over the internet. The phone itself and many of its applications can update with bug fixes and or new features directly from the Nokia website.

All very good! But for me, I was interested to see what it could do with email. I send and receive a lot of email, and these days most of it from my phone. In my computer support role I have seen many people moving to mobile email in one form or another. It’s clear, as devices improve and data charges fall that this trend will escalate in the coming months. Currently though I see comparatively few Nokia phones used for remote email, strange as years back it was Nokia that first wowed us with the early Communicators and their fold up QWERTY keyboards. I still have one somewhere.

The N79 (and N85) support POP and IMAP email which are the basic email account formats. They don’t (yet) support HTML email, like Hotmail and Yahoo. Though Yahoo may have a POP option for a few pounds a year. I couldn’t see a Blackberry client either; some non Blackberry phones have a software upgrade to allow use with the Blackberry email system. The other main email format is Microsoft’s Exchange Push Email which works like a Blackberry, keeping a synchronised copy of your work emails, contacts and calendar on your phone. When you update (or add) a contact on your phone it instantly and seamlessly updates your office Outlook address book. It works the other way around too and with your email and calendar entries. For people that work out of the office this quickly becomes an essential communication and management tool.

Nokia also provide two other ways of managing and synchronising phone data, the first is Nokia PC Suite which allows transfers by USB cable or Bluetooth. This software’s good and integrates with Outlook well, the limitation is that your phone and PC must be relatively close to each other.

Recently Nokia have introduced OVI, again a system for personal users that synchronises email and contact information, but this time “Over The Air” (the mobile phone network) in a similar way to the Direct Push or Blackberry services.

I didn’t test the OVI system as it’s only a few weeks out of Beta testing, and when I spoke with Nokia engineers there were enough ums, errs and pauses to tell me to wait a while until it matures J

I didn’t test the POP or IMAP setup either as they are simple enough to expect them to work first time.

So Exchange support! The phone doesn’t ship with the Exchange Direct Push software; it’s a free download from Nokia. I downloaded mine directly through the phones web browser, and it was installed in minutes. No problem there. Then into the Exchange setup. You would need information from your business technical support department at this stage, or the hosting company if you are using a third party Hosted Exchange setup. Armed with this though a reasonably competent end use should be able to setup their own phone. You may also need to install a SSL Security Certificate (a small file), again not really difficult, your office tech support would supply it, then just copy to the phone by a USB connection or onto the MicroSD card, and double click from the phones file manager to install.

Once that’s all entered you should see all your Contacts start synchronising, followed by the last 3 days of emails and your Calendar entries.

I had a glitch at this point in that I had to manually allow the synchronisation each and every time it checked for emails. I had a quick chat with Nokia’s first line support, although they wouldn’t let me talk directly to the Exchange trained support team they did ask questions for me and then offer to check my Certificate settings if I cared to send it in. As this was for review purposes I declined. But that’s not bad response for free support these days.

Having got my phone syncing how did it fare? The phone remained responsive enough even with a few thousand Contacts downloaded into main memory. However it only brought the first few lines of the Notes fields over, other systems will bring half a page of text at least. And although the screen was very sharp and high definition, the text size remained so large that reading emails or even long email addresses was a tedious process of scrolling backwards and forwards.

Conclusion

Nice phone. Clever phone. If I didn’t use a lot of mobile email I would look seriously at one myself. Though the N85 seems slightly better value given the higher spec screen and the extras.

The phone and its Direct Push software did what is said on the label, but the text to screen ratio and absence of a QWERTY keyboard or touch screen made it too cumbersome for practical email use, in my opinion. Nokia’s N97 Communicator no doubt overcomes this problem, but is quite a lump compared to other offerings out there.

Dear Nokia Wish list: How about a N85 device with a slide out QWERTY?

 

Review by: Daniel des Baux

[ Post Tags: Nokia, N79, Symbian, smartphone news, reviews, unboxing video, tracyandmatt.co.uk ]

Posted in: Reviews
By January 25, 2009 Read More →

Nokia’s E75 is beautiful, probably coming soon

nokia-e75-and E71 Earlier in the week, a new side sliding phone from Nokia was first spotted when the XpressMusic 5730 was spotted on a Russian gadget site. Now we have some high quality shots of  the new side sliding E-Series phone, supposedly known as E75. The E75 takes its design cues from the E71, and the E66, it also appears to share a similarly slim form factor, and it’s coming soon. How do we know it’s coming soon?

Posted in: Phones
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

More updates for HTC Touch HD

As an HTC Touch HD user I am always interested the various updates for the device. There are various ROM releases for the HD and some interesting ‘cooked’ ROMS out there but HTC have also come up with several official hot fixes that resolve a number of annoying glitches.

The latest ones to appear on the HTC site are:

Hot Fix to enhance virtual viewfinder in the Camera on the HTC Touch HD
When you use the Camera function to take a picture in a dim environment with super fine quality, sometimes the image will display extraneous (noise) pixels in the viewfinder mode. It’s not a mechanical (LCD) fault but only an intermittent display problem in view finder mode. It does not have any impact on the picture quality or other display functions. If you encounter this problem, please download this hot fix to enhance the virtual viewfinder mode.

Hot fix for resolving a display flicker of the title bar in TouchFLO 3D
In some circumstances, you may experience a frequent flickering of the title bar in TouchFLO 3D. If this happens, please install this hot fix to resolve this problem.

Hot fix for improving the on-screen slider feature for answering calls
When trying to answer a phone call, sometimes it’s hard to answer the phone by using the on-screen slider. If you encounter this problem, please download this hot fix to solve this problem.

Head over to the Touch HD page on the HTC site to find out more and to download the updates.

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: News
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

Samsung i780 Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade

image Samsung have finally officially released the Windows Mobile 6.1 update for the SGH i780. Currently the phone is running Windows Mobile 6.0 and this release has been a long time coming. We reviewed the Samsung SGH i780 last year and found it to be an excellent handset with obviously an outdated version or Windows Mobile. Now that the upgrade is officially available this handset could be a great option for the front facing qwerty keyboard  lovers. Available in UK, Italy and Nordic flavours form Samsung Mobile here.

Thanks to msmobiles for the heads up

Posted in: Phones
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

Microsoft launches MSN Mobile Music service in UK

image UK consumers can download more than one million tracks, 25,000 realtones and 10,000 music videos from artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Britney Spears and Pink across the world’s major record labels, including Sony Music and Warner Music.
The content licences and technical platform for MSN Mobile Music is being provided through a partnership with VidZone Digital Media and builds upon the existing relationship the companies have with Microsoft’s Xbox Live service and the MSN Video portal.

Posted in: Phones
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

HTC Sapphire is the G2

g2 We have discussed how the Dream G2 is actually the G2 that we expect to see Android running on. Phonereport has a little article regarding the HTC Sapphire, a phone touted to be the G2. Click on for the full story.

Posted in: Phones
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

Resco releases Resco Suite 2009 for Palm OS

The title says it all really! Resco have launched Resco Suite 2009 for Palm OS and are providing it as a free upgrade for existing Suite customers. The latest version has a number of key improvements over the previous version which the Resco press release details below:

intro

Jan Slodicka, Founder of J.S. Soft s.r.o has proudly introduced Resco Suite 2009:

“Resco Suite is a combination of award-winning products for the Palm OS. It allows users to get all our products at an amazingly low cost of just 60$ (compared to 125$ when purchased individually), and should be included on every Palm OS device!” – Jan Slodicka

Version 2009 of the Suite is a free upgrade for existing customers and contains the latest version of Resco Explorer, which has added a variety of highly useful features like file synchronization!

As already stated above, customers save over 60$ by purchasing the Suite compared to buying the apps one-by-one. Customers who currently own one or more Resco products can update for significantly less by emailing customer support.

 

By the way: Resco Suite consists of the following products:

Resco Explorer
Resco Explorer is a file manager, launcher, zipper and encryption tool. The program can connect to LAN/FTP/VPN networks, can access Bluetooth file shares and offers many other advanced features that allow you to regain control of your Palm.

Resco Backup
Resco Backup is the #1 Palm OS backup solution. No other backup solution for Palm OS can verify backup results – Resco Backup makes sure that all is safe that should be safe.

Resco Viewer
Resco Viewer excels in every area: supported formats, image editing, speed, image management and image editing. And let’s not forget the slideshow mode that gives most digital photo frames a run for their money!

IDGuard
IDGuard is what password managers should be. It not only stores your passwords, PINs etc. – It protects sensitive documents and files. Your encrypted files can be edited in place without having to decrypt them. Security has never been so comfortable before!

Resco Neeews
Resco Neeews is the best news reader for Palm OS. HTML rendering, images and a huge collection of predefined feeds make Neeews the only feed reader you’ll ever wish to use! Neeews furthermore allows you to stream podcasts and lets you access services like Google News, Windows Live or Flickr wirelessly.

Resco Sudoku
Many Sudoku freaks consider Resco Sudoku the best Sudoku ever released for a mobile device. We included Sudoku – in case you ever feel like taking a go, the app is ready for you!

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Apps & Games
By January 24, 2009 Read More →

Android Cupcake details

image More details have emerged about the upcoming Android Cupcake update. Still no details on when we can expect to see the update but a few screen shots to get everyone excited. A new notepad application has been added along with the on screen keyboard that we already knew about, Full list of updates after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By January 23, 2009 Read More →

HTC Touch Cruise updated, just

imagePress Release: HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile phone innovation and design, today announced its latest personal navigation handset with inbuilt GPS. The new HTC Touch Cruise, an update to 2008’s popular HTC GPS device of the same name, boasts a new, more compact design and a host of new capabilities to offer a richer and more intuitive experience in one powerful package.

Posted in: Phones
By January 23, 2009 Read More →

App stores and why they are important

app-store-appsApple Inc. was not the first computer company to use the idea of an app store, which they did for their iPhone. Other computer platforms have even more sophisticated software installation processes. On the IBM mainframe computer I work on, our systems programmers first run installation of software in “prelim mode” to make sure all necessary updates are in place before proceeding with a “final” systems software installation. Down time is unheard of for large 24/7 businesses these days.

Posted in: Phones