Other News

Nokia N85 – The Dual Slider… Matured

The N85 is the latest Nseries device to feature the dual-slide form factor, and unlike previous dual sliders (the N95 series and N96) the N85 takes this form factor and makes it a lot more functional and useful in different scenarios…

Read on for more thoughts and a video of the keys in action…

The first dual slider – the N95 gave you quick access wherever you were to media keys and allowed you to control the music player no matter what you were doing and also control videos.

The N96 – labelled as the successor to the N95 (and shares the same form factor) developed these media keys so that they could also be used for N-Gage gaming. The N96 was the first ‘flagship’ to have it’s design influenced by the N81, and because of this, the media keys were not labelled directly onto the buttons. Instead, the button labels lit up from under the key so that when whichever mode was activated, either the media keys or gaming keys were near enough invisble when either the one or the other were activated.

Another improvement with the buttons being labelled in this way is that the N96 looks much sleeker when slide downwards.

With the N85, the dual-slide has been developed further. Like the N96, the key labels light up from under the key and there are now label which enable ‘zooming’. This zoom keys (clearly indicated by magnifying glasses) become available when in camera mode, when viewing pictures in the photo gallery, when you view a web page in the browser and in the Maps application.

Here’s a quick video showing you them in action!!!

I think that it’s great that there is a lot more to the dual-slide form factor than there once was. It is now much more useful than it has been previously and has more than one purpose.

It’s really handy to have quick access to these keys when browsing photos as it makes the experience much more enjoyable in my opinion. The same goes for web browsing if you enjoy browsing pages in landscape mode and do not have access to the number pad for shortcuts to zoom.

Other factors that make the experience of using the N85 more enjoyable is the fantastic OLED display, the theme effects introduced with Feature Pack 2, the Navi Wheel (which I find very usable and use a lot) as well as other software enhancements – for example – only having certain lights lit if the key can be used (most notable with the volume and camera keys).

This and more make the N85 feel like a much more complete phone than any other device I have used before.

What do you think? Is there anything else you think I have missed?

Are you an N85 user that particulary enjoys a certain element or even agrees/disagrees with anything i’ve said? Let us know!!!

Nokia World 2008 – Nokia is Planning “Something Big”

Nokia World 2008 kicks off in Barcelona tomorrow, and it’s causing a bit of a stir around the web!!! Nokia are plugging the fact that ’something big’ is going to be showcased at this event, and rumour has it that it is going to be a brand new device – more specifically a new Nseries, one that hasn’t been leaked at all and even only a few of Nokia’s employees have seen…

Our poll is currently asking what you exect from Nseries in 2009, and maybe some of these wishes may become a reality tomorrow…

Read on for more!!!

Nokia have obviously done a great job of keeping the device a secret – each of the latest Nseries handsets (the N79, N85 and N96) were all leaked before their official announcement, and even the old flagship N95, so i’m hoping what will be revealed is something very special to compete with rivals – namely the Samsung i8510 – and will firmly place Nokia at the top in terms of features and spec!!!

Maybe we are going to see the true iPhone killer with the first ever Nseries touch device based on the new S60 5th Edition touch platform???

There may not necessarily be a phone that is announced, perhaps a new internet tablet like the N810 we reviewed is on the cards based on the Maemo Linux platform, or something completely different alltogether.

All we can do at the moment is guess, but Nokia obviously has something up its sleeves and there isn’t long to go now until we find out what that is!!!

Be sure to check out http://events.nokia.com/nokiaworld/home.htm December 2nd at 9.15 CET to watch the live feed straight from Nokia World, and check for updates at http://events.nokia.com/countdown/ for more information.

I will also update Talk About Nseries with the latest news as soon as I can!!!

What kind of device could it be and will it be the new flagship Nseries device? What are you expecting/would like Nokia to announce tomorrow? Tell us what you think!!!

Nokia World 2008 – Nseries Evolves with the N97

The mysterious device that we were all waiting for is the new Nseries flagship device – the Nokia N97!

As you can see it is a full touch screen device which is based on S60 5th Edition (much like the highly anticipated 5800 ‘Tube’), only this time the front slides (and tilts) to reveal a QWERTY keyboard! The N97 features a large 3.5″ 360×640 resolution touch screen with haptic feedback, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Dual-LED flash, 32GB of inbuilt flash memory, as well as just about everything else Nseries has to offer!!!

Read on for more!!!

The N97 measures up at 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm and weighs 150g. In comparison, this makes it 5mm longer in length, 5.3mm wider and approximately 2mm thinner than a Nokia N82!!!

S60 5th Edition has been has been brought up to date with Nseries specifications to improve the user experience and aid media consumption. One of the enhancements made to the user interface is the inclusion of Widgets on the active standby screen.

These widgets are Internet-aware based on the web runtime technology. Some widgets that Nokia showcased was a weather forecast widget, status update widgets and social networking widgets for both Myspace, Facebook and Friendstar. These can be moved around by a drag and drop system into one of 5 locations on the homescreen so you can personalise this screen however you want! It would be great if 3rd Party applications would be able to create widgets that could be used on the homescreen as well and I look forward to finding out if this will be possible!

Unlike the 5800 ‘TUBE’ the N97 won’t ship with a stylus in some markets meaning that the interface will be a completely touchable experience which is great! If you are into music and videos, the N97 has that covered too with a massive 32GB of built-in memory AND a microSD card slot! This is supported by a 360×640 resolution display with a true 16:9 aspect ratio which should be nothing short of stunning!

As you would expect, the N97 offers full support with the Nokia Music Store and services like Share on Ovi. It is also reported that on release the N97 will support N-Gage!!! Finger’s crossed some specially developed games will be available to make use of the touch screen like Bounce Boing Voyage Touch that debuted on the 5800.

The N97 uses the BP-4L battery that has a capacity of 1500mAh so there should be plenty of power to keep this powerhouse going!!! It is quoted to provide about 400 hours of standby time, 320-400 (3G/GSM) hours of talk time, 4.5 hours of video playback and over 37 hours of audio playback.

Sadly we don’t have a specific release date for the N97 but it is supposed to become available in Q1 2009 for 550 before taxes and subsidies. I am really looking forward to the release of the N97 and can’t wait to be able to have go of one and see it for real! This device can really be considered as a true “multimedia computer”!!!

Also, allthough pictures that Nokia have published seem to be of a white/silver variant, it looks as though there is also a black version that will be available if white isn’t for you!!!

Here is are some more Press Pictures, some videos of the N97 in action as well as the official Data Sheet!!!

Nokia Maps 3.0 BETA Revealed and Launched!!!

Another announcement at Nokia World 2008 was the launch of Nokia Maps 3.0 BETA! This new version of the aplication introduces a host of new features and improvements over previous versions – best of all it is available to try now from the Nokia Beta Labs website on Feature Pack 2 devies (except for the N96 which still has issues), and support for devices with Feature Pack 1 will be available soon!!!

Read on for the changes and a video demonstrating some of the new features!!!

New features in version 3.0 of Nokia Maps:
Enhanced car navigation, Drive*, through lane assistance, speed limit warners, improved sign post design and new ‘Route overview’ mode during navigation,
Enhanced pedestrian navigation, Walk**, through shortcuts (virtual connections) in urban areas, straight line guidance for off-road terrain and beeps and vibrations before next turn,
Significantly improved map data quality and content,
3D landmarks for over 200 cities – can be displayed in 3D and 2D map modes,
New Terrain*** map mode,
Hi-res aerial images for Satellite*** and Hybrid*** map modes,
Nokia Maps Updater for PC, to update your Maps application and existing map data,
Synchronisation of Favourites and Collections with Maps Beta on Ovi and vice versa (use in online mode, enable Internet connection).

* Feature requires Drive & Walk licence.
**Feature requires Walk or Drive & Walk licence.
***To load Terrain/Satellite/Hybrid maps you need to enable Internet connection.

Features coming soon:
Safety spot warners in selected countries
Extended country coverage for Traffic info service
Weather information
Premium POI content for travel, selected events and cinemas

What I think is great about Nokia Maps 3.0 is that it is becoming a much more complete navigation product and is very convenient to have on your Nokia phone so that you can make the most of it wherever you are. With the features that have been added in version 3.0, the Maps application had the ability to compete with standalone satellite navigation systems with its lane guidance and speed limit warners.

Another feature which I’m quite excited about is the fact that you wil be able to plan the route you before hand using Maps on Ovi and synchronising your route and/or favourite places straight to your device! Unfortunately this isn’t available at the moment but I am looking forward to giving it a go! Other features that we can expect in the next BETA release are Weather and Traffic information!

As well as a Map Loader, there is a new application called the Nokia Maps Updater. The Updater checks for new versions of Nokia Maps as well as detecting maps already installed on your device and automatically updates them to the latest versions. I hope this will be integrated within the Map Loader when the application is finalised!!!

If you would like to try the BETA out for yourself, head on over to http://www.nokia.com/betalabs/maps to get hold of it and the latest version of the Map Loader and Updater!!! Please bear in mind that the application is currently in BETA so there will be some bugs!!!

What do you think of the new version of Nokia Maps? Are you pleased with the developments so far!?

Unboxing a Little Surprise!!! – The 6210 Navigator and BH-602

An unexpected parcel arrived yesterday following the launch of the N97 and announcement of Nokia Maps 3.0 and I was excited to find out what it could be!!! Thanks to the guys at WomWorld, I found out that they had sent me a Nokia 6210 Navigator and BH-602 bluetooth headset!!!

For a period of two weeks I am lucky enough to trial the Navigator and with a license code for the BETA version of Maps 3.0, I could really put both the device and the new application through its paces and share my thoughts with you!!!

First of all, here’s an unboxing to show you what I have received and a little look around the handset!!!

The devices came in a really nice hinged box – about the size of a shoebox – covered with imagery of countries around the world. This isn’t a retail box that you would get by the way, but a special box promoting the new version of Nokia Maps.

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On opening the lid you are met by sketches of 3D buildings and lots of different mapsters, below the sketches you notice an image of the 6210 Navigator and links to the Nokia Maps website.

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Below two flaps, presented in a protective ‘tray’ you get to see the 6210 navigator and BH-602 bluetooth headset! In this area you also see the new features/benifits of Maps 3.0 on the reverse side of the flaps. Underneath this tray are all the accessories you would expect to find in a retail box – chargers for both the 6210 and BH-602, user guides for both and a CD with software you can use with the device. As well as this you will alsp find a microUSB cable to connect your phone to the computer and a Nokia Headset that makes use of the 2.5mm audio jack on the top of the device. Sadly, unlike some other headset adaptors, there isn’t a 3.5mm connector on the top of this adaptor and instead the earphones are wired to the answer/end call control ‘box’.

Another interesting addition is an unusual Share on Ovi ’sticker’. On it there is a link to the Share on Ovi website and a code that you can scan using the Nokia Barcode Scanner to retreive a link directly on the phone to the website. Strangely though, the barcode scanner isn’t preinstalled on the 6210 Navigator so you have to download this software to retreive the address. Also, unless you know, there is no way of telling what you are supposed to do with this code!

Let’s take a look at the 6210 Navigator! The 6210 is a slide phone and has a classic Nokia design. Like with recent Nseries devices, the 6210’s face and keypad make use of a glossy black plastic material which can be prone to fingerprints and smudges!!! What is different is that the rest of the phone makes use of matte black and silver/grey plastics. The back cover also feels more rough in comparison to the shiney finished devices I am used to. This helps make it feel like it won’t slip out of our hands and doesn’t attract moisture when in use. Even though both of these factors are plusses, I personally prefer the shinier patterned backs from Nseries.

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On the right hand side of the device you will find the volume rocker and camera key, and on the top a standard Nokia power port and a 2.5mm jack. On the left hand side, you will find access to the microUSB port and memory card slot. Another thing I found that is different in comparison to Nseries models is the fact that these ‘doors’ are actually hinged using plactic instead of having a flexible rubber hinge which make them feel much more sturdy.


Moving on to the back of the handset, here (as you’d expect) you find the camera. The 6210 has a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus as well as a dualLED flash. There is no Carl Zeiss lens here and unfortunately no camera cover to protect it. Luckily though, the camera itself is recessed so that it isn’t flush with the back cover. Because of this the camera will be protected from scratches, but dust etc. can still get to the lens. Also on the back (in the bottom right corner if you have the phone in your hand) is a mono speaker. I think that this is a poor position to be – especially as the 6210 is targeted as a navigation device. The speaker gets covered by your hand when in use so if you are using the Maps application for example in pedestrian mode holding the device, the speaker will get muffled and it will be more difficult to hear the commands. I think the speaker would have been much more suited on the top or even the side of the device as this would be a much better position.

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On the top half of the slide you’ll find the two selection keys, call and end keys as well as the S60 menu key and ‘C’ key. The buttons have plenty of space around them and if you have bigger fingers there shouldn’t be a problem!!! At first I thought that the menu and ‘C’ keys would be quite small and fiddly to use, but even though they aren’t large keys, they are raised and are on a higher level than the others which makes them just as easy to press and access. In the centre you will find a large and spacious D-Pad and underneath, a new button which gives quick access to the Nokia Maps application. This button also lights up and flashes when a GPS connection is being made.

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The numberpad has large keys and they provide good feedback. There isn’t much room to press numbers 1-3 however because the top slider seems to get in the way. The only other key to have a problem was the number 8 but I think that it is just a defect with my review unit – it seems to be stiffer than the others. Another thing to note is that the 6210 has a blue backlight to the keys instead of the usual Nseries white.

Here’s a quick rundown of the specs of the 6210 Navigator! It runs on S60 Feature Pack 2 and features a bright 2.4″ LCD display. You naturally get a built-in GPS receiver which supports A-GPS – but unfortunately it doesn’t support WiFi. :( Apart from that the 6210 is a capable device which supports all other types of connectivity including 3G for Europe and HSDPA. It is powerered by a BL-5F 950mAh battery!

I’ll be using the 6210 as my primary device to really put the device and the Maps application through it’s paces so stay tuned for my thoughts!!!

Last but by no means least is the BH-602 that came packaged in the box!!! The BH-602 is a a stylish, good looking headset constructed out of plastic with chrome accents and has a soft touch (what looks to be leather) face which is very nice. It is one of the longer headsets that I have tested measuring in at 70×10x10mm but nevertheless it is very comfortable to wear and at 18g it feels very light.

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On the left hand side/the top of the headset when worn is the volume rocker for ease of access during a call. Even though i’ve always had a good experience which touch based alternatives to the volume rocker, it’s nice to see a hardware rocker back on the headset because it will be easier for more people to get used to. I think Nokia’s rocking switch method is the best over traditional buttons to control the volume (like on a phone). The rocker springs back into the middle and you tilt it from side to side to control the volume.

On the right hand side/the bottom is a power key which is very easy to press and doesn’t require much force. On the top of the headset you will find a standard Nokia power port and at the bottom as you would expect is where the microphone is located. On the back you find the earpiece which has a flexible rubber cap over the end so that it will ‘mould’ to your earhole and fit comfortably and securely. What is different about the BH-602 in comparison to other Nokia headsets is the earloop. It is a rubber earloop which hooks over the back your ear and inside this rubber seems to be some kind of wire so u can shape the end if you need to so that it fits comfortably.

On the face of the headset you will see a long ’strip’. Here is where you will see different coloured LED notifications when the headset is in use making them clear and easy to see. Another good thing is that these LED lights are at the perfect brightness so that they are easy to see but not bright to light up a room!!! Because of this you won’t see them/look like a fool when driving in the dark!!! 😉 I will demonstrate the LED indicators in my next post about the headset!!!

So here is my look at the little surprise I received, once again a big thank you to WomWorld for sending them out to me and stay tuned for more posts on both devices!!!!

Poll Update: The Results Are In and a New Question!!!

Here are the results for our latest poll!!! This time we asked ‘What would you most like to see from Nseries in 2009?’!!!

Unfortunately we only has 37 participants, a big thank you goes out to everyone that submitted an answer!!!

Read on to find out the results!!!

The poll started out with 5 different options – one being ‘ I’ll Tell You What I Think’ in which 3 people had selected but unfortunatelydidn’t leave any feedback so we chose to remove this option from the poll!

The feature that received 37.84% of the votes and what people would most like to see from Nseries in 2009 was 8+ Megapixel Cameras!


No 8+ megapixel cameras have yet surfaced from Nokia and with competition for the megapixel ’status’ is high with the likes of the Samsung i8510 and Sony Ericsson C905. It would be great to see an 8 megapixel device from Nokia to ‘compete’ in this section of the market – preferably with a Xenon flash AND video light… please!!!!! 😉

Coming in second place with 32.43% of the votes was ‘A New Revolutionary Design’!!! Perhaps this has been answered now by the N97? Until the announcement of the N97 this week, no ‘new’ form factors have been released since the N95. What sort of form factor would you like to see on a device!?

In third place with 24.32% of the votes is ‘Improved Build Quality’. Some lucky journalists had access to a Nokia Test Centre in the UK where devices were tested in some extreme conditions. It was amazing how much Nokia devices are put through in order to improve their designs and survive all different types of conditions. What is a shame though is that people still receive some devices that have loose/wobbly sliders (for example, the N95) which is not really acceptable for a high end device. I hope that build ‘issues’ will be resolved in 2009 and that more attention will be made while assembling our multimedia computers.

Finally with 5.41% was ‘Devices With Less In Common’. We have seen a range of new Nseries released lately that have very similar specifications and designs. It would be great to see devices with more innovative features in 2009 and with elements that seperated models within the range!!!


A New Question!!!

The next poll that was launched today is:

Which Form Factor Do You Prefer?

Are you someone that prefers the traditional candybar style form factor, or perhaps you are a fan of the dual slide form factor introduced by the N95…

Maybe you prefer a flip phone the the N71/N76 or have been wowed by the flip and swivel design of the N93… Let us know and we’ll find out which form factor you prefer next week!!!

Nokia N96 v12.043 Firmware Confirmed and will be Released!!!

There seems to be a wave of device updates at the moment and the N96 is the latest device to get some attention!!!

The firmware v12.043 can be downloaded over-the-air from the device (Type *#0000# on the standby screen and then press ‘Options’, ‘Check For Updates’) as well as through the Nokia Software Updater!!!

It is recommended as usual to back up all of your data before updating just incase anything is lost, but UDP (User Data Prevention) is activated on the N96 so you shouldn’t loose a thing!!! Once again, Apoc’ from Symbian-Freak has managed to get hold of the changelog so that we can see what has been added/improved!!!

Read on for the changelog!!!

As usual the firmware is currently available for non-branded devices on generic product codes – branded versions of this firmware will be available at a later date!!!

New Features:

Switch 4.0 – improved Switch application to transfer user data from/to other devices


Still Image Quality is improved, with fixes for color haziness and motion blur that appeared under certain conditions
Many fixes for conditions that can lead to application crashes/instabilities
Improved overall Bluetooth interoperability
Now compatible with the Nokia Email Service (application available as a seperate download here)
If user sets the display brightness to its maximum the display now turns back on after screensaver mode
The device autolock no longer locks the device while viewing or recording videos
SMS no longer gets converted to an MMS message if there are more than 20 recipients
Music Player “Refresh Library” no longer hangs if General Settings Separator is set to “:”
Now only one message alert tone is played per syncronization with Mail For Exchange instead of one per message.
Fix for issue with alarm snoozing when the alarm was set and the device was powered off
Theme no longer jumps back to default theme after using USB Mass Storage Mode
CSHelp texts have now been updated to resolve several identified issues

One thing that is strange is that a small Known Issues list has also been released with this changelog…

Known Issues in this Release:

During boot we recommend to wait for battery bar to show up prior to using media keys to ensure that they are responsive
N-Gage pre-selects wrong access point in certain operator networks, in these instances the user needs to configure the access points manually from within the N-Gage settings menu

All in all it seems that it is worth updating your N96 so that it becomes more stable than it currently is but hopefully there will be another update in the near future!!!

Have you updated your N96 to this firmware version? What improvements have you noticed and would you recommend updating???