Category: S60


In this last part of the review of the 5233, let’s look at the Internet, Camera, Ovi Store and Accessories.

Internet:

As we all know that the 5233 has only connectivity up to EDGE there is no other way of connecting to the internet except for using the GPRS/EDGE connection by the operator. So you are dependent on the operator for internet. The browser on the 5233 is the same ‘Webkit’ based browser which is quite robust.

Surfing the net on the 5233 is not a problem as the moment you type in the link and hit ‘Go’ the browser starts loading the page and you get a full screen view by default. With the ability to view Flash objects in the webpage itself, the internet experience is further enhanced.

The ability of blocking pop ups is an added advantage for the device. Although this is a feature common to the browser, having it in a 7K phone makes it a big plus.

I’d rate the internet experience at 8/10. A full-fledged internet browser on a budget phone. The absence of tabbed browsing still continues to be a major drawback for the browser.

Camera:


The 5233 comes with a 2MP fixed focus camera. This means that you cannot focus on a particular object, but you can click incredibly quickly. The 2MP sensor is as good as or perhaps even better than what the N70 had. This is a pretty tall order for this device since the picture quality on the N70 was one of the best.  The 5233 also does not disappoint. In low light, however it is a letdown. One cannot use the 5233 for any picture taking in low light. The 5233 does not have any LED flash so the camera is rendered useless.

The 5233 has various modes & colour options along with brightness, contrast and ISO settings as well. These settings cannot be found in some of the other device in this segment, which gives it an edge over its competition. The absence of auto focus is a little bit of a drawback for this device and could have been included in my opinion.

Geo-tagging is also not available as there is not GPS chip in this device.

Overall, for the price, the 5233 offers an excellent camera easily getting a 8.5/10. A big view finder due to the 3.2 inch screen, lots of modes and settings and a dedicated camera button on the side allow for some fast camera action.

Ovi Store:


The Ovi Store on the phone is accessible only through the data connection on the 5233 and that makes it a bit of a pain, and it is not because of the store, but because of the connection. The other way to access the store is through a PC and then installing the apps using the Ovi Suite. Ovi Store, has over a period of time, really grown and has quite a few apps, and there are quite a few things you can get for free.

It is definitely a must to check it out pretty often just to see if there are any new additions. From downright silly apps to some very smart ones, they are all available. I’ll give the Ovi Store app and experience a 7/10. Why have i not ranked it up there. The reason for that is quite simple. The app and store has room for a lot of improvement and there are a lot of apps that can come on the S60 5th edition platform.

Accessories:


The Nokia 5233 comes with the following accessories in the box –

  • Nokia High Efficiency Charger (AC-8)
  • Nokia Battery (Bl-5J)
  • Nokia Stereo Headset (WH-102)
  • Plectrum Stylus CP-306
  • User guide

The battery of course has been covered in the last part of the review so I won’t go into the details of that. The charger is a regualr 2mm charger and not the Micro USB type, the 5233 does not support Micro USB charging so even if you have your own charger, you won’t be able to charge it. The stereo headset is the same that comes with the E63. It’s good, but if you are looking for a music experience, you will need to buy an even better set of headphones/earphones. These ones are good for taking calls and some occasional listening. The plectrum stylus is a good touch and it’s a nice thing to use. But, I did not use it that much, it’s all about personal choice really. The stylus in the phone was good enough for me.

I’d give the 5233 in terms of accessories a good 7/10. A better set of earphones could have done the trick.

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Nokia 5233 Review Part-3: Software, Music and Battery

The Nokia 5233 is essentially a stripped down version of the Nokia 5800. Well that is true up to a certain extent as some of the hardware has been downgraded for this device, while others remains as they are.

Let’s look at the software on the 5233 first before we jump to music and battery.

Software:

The Nokia 5233 runs on Symbian S60 5th edition. The version however has been tweaked for the 5233 as it does not have 3G, GPS and WiFi. This means that those modules are not available in the ‘Settings’ of the phone.

Apart from this the homescreen on the 5233 has certainly undergone change. The side scrolling contacts shortcut bar in Active Standby mode now supports up to 20 contacts, this means you can add up to 20 people who you call or interact with most often. Each contact card contains the last 6 interactions with that person. In addition to that you can directly SMS, call or check their website’s RSS feed. This makes the contacts shortcut a very handy and must have feature on this device.

The 5233 is pretty much identical to the 5800 and works in the same manner as well. Typing an SMS in portrait mode brings up the number pad and tilt it to landscape mode will bring up the QWERTY mode. The two square icons below for contacts and telephone have been replaced by a shortcut menu bar which allows you to list 4 of the most used apps on your device. Below that are the dialing pad, labeled ‘Telephone’ and the ‘Contacts’ soft keys. This little change means that the homescreen layout is not only cleaner but also more usable. We wish that the application shortcuts would also be scrollable like the Contacts shortcut bar on top. We also wish the icons were a bit smaller, or atleast an option was available to make it smaller.

Since this is a Xpressmusic device, you will find a square on the top right side, above the screen. This is a soft touch button which lets you access some additional apps. This is the one place where the transitions on the device are great. Transitions on the device otherwise are slow and the lag is quite noticeable. We wish the device had been given more RAM, as it clealry seems to be gasping a bit at times.

The 5233 does not disappoint in terms of features, but the OS does seem to look dated and is missing some of the freshness that the other touchscreen phones have. I’d rate the OS at 7/10. A good OS and a lot of goodies in it, but unfortunately does not look youthful enough, even with the themes.

Music:

Music is what this device is meant to be used for. An Xpressmusic device is supposed to be one of the best in terms of music. This entry level touchscreen does not disappoint in the above department. Music is the USP of this device. With the launch of Ovi Music Store in India, a user can not only listen to his favourite songs but also download songs from the internet and that too legally. To get owners started, Nokia has bundled a 10 track voucher with this device. All you need to do is go to the Ovi Music Store, enter the PIN and start downloading your favorite track.

The music player on this device is that same that is found on all S60 5th edition devices. It’s simply too boring and urgently needs to look more modern. On the flip side, it is still one of the best in terms of customization when it comes to the equalizer. Nokia also put in a dedicated sound chip, this means that it will sound as good as that 5800 when it comes to music! The speaker takes a hit though, the 5233 has a mono speaker so don’t expect it to ‘rock’ you without earphones.

FM radio is available in case you want to tune into the radio station to listen to some music also. POD casting also is available, so you can download your podcast OTA and listen to them.

The music aspect is the cornerstone of the Xpressmusic series and the 5233 will not disappoint one bit when it comes to giving you great music output.

I’ll rate the music aspect at 8/10. Great music capabilities, 3.5mm audio jack, FM and Pod casting make this a great music device. The looks of the music player will however make you feel as if you are using your grandfather’s phone.

Battery:

The battery life on the 5233 is one of the best for a touchscreen phone in the price range. The Samsung Corby as really bad battery life in comparison to the 5233, which delivers exceptionally good battery life. One can easily look at getting 2 days out of the phone with moderate to heavy usage from the BL-5J, 3.7V 1320mAh battery. If you are a very heavy user – read as lots of internet browsing and downloading, music, applications and calls expect it to last a day and a half at max. Those might sound that good, but trust me it is great! if you are a light user and don’t do too many calls and listen to music for about 2-3 hours in a day and don’t use the internet too often, you can easily be looking at 3 days. Those according to me are very good figures and really make the 5233 is a very good performer in terms of battery life.

I’ll rate the 5233 a solid 9.5/10. Great battery life with good talk time and standby rating. S60 5th edition’s power management implementation by Nokia is at it’s best.

Stay tuned as I wrap up the 5233 review in my next post where we will cover the Internet experience, Camera, Ovi Store and Accessories. Stay tuned!!!

If you think I forgot something or if you wish to add more to this review or even ask something please feel free to get hold of me on twitter – @adityasinghvi

Or you can also leave your comments below!

Nokia E72 Review Part-3: Software, Music, Battery

Firstly I’d like to apologize for the delay in putting up a review for the E72. I’ve just shifted to a new city and it has been a hectic two weeks settling in the new city and beginning things afresh.

I’ve had the pleasure to ‘play’ with the E72 in between my shifting from Delhi to Mumbai. It had very much replaced my netbook as my window to the internet. I’ve used the phone to access my Facebook account, update statuses, chat with family and friends, click impromptu photos, Using Google Maps and what not…

This allowed me to really use the E72’s OS and some of the apps for a long time, consistently. Hence I think, this review makes more sense now. Please note, I have not updated the E72 to the new firmware (reasons – No internet, No need for it as it is stable and I don’t see a changelog) V22.007 which was released a few days ago. This review hence is centered around the older firmware.

Software:

The E72 ships with the trusty old S60 3rd edition (FP2). This means it does not have any touch functionality. After a bevy of touchscreen device launches, it is very refreshing to have a non-touchscreen phone. The E72 which is aimed for a mix of customer profiles seems to get the job done easily. A fashion phone with slim looks and the right amount of shine and metal. A business phone with the QWERTY, email, etc. since we have already looked at the design, it’s time to take a peek into the email and other things software on this device.

The S60 flavour on this device comes with FP2 sprinkled all over. There are transitions and a smoothness in how S60 responds to your inputs. This smoothness is actually very commendable and really changes the game in terms of visuals.

The home screen has undergone a makeover, nothing has changed in terms of what is where, but there is definite improvement in how things appear visually. With icons being spaced clearly in transparent boxes and everything being so ‘clean’, it’s hard to not fall in love with the E72 homescreen. An interesting and very good addition is to have a digital clock placed at the bottom on the homescreen and inside the main menu. This makes it very comfortable to see the time across the device without having to jump to the homescreen.

Searching for contacts is done in a similar manner that was done on the E71 and other Qwerty devices from Eseries family. Hit the phonebook button on the keypad or simply type the name of the person on the homescreen and voila! This is not a new feature but it’s execution is wonderful. Once you have the name a plethora of options to communicate with it are available.

The calendar option is just as it was with the E71. No change there but yes with syncing now possible, the humble calendar is now even more powerful and better.

Now that you have clicked all those photos with the 5MP camera, I’m sure you want to view them. The Gallery icon opens the door to all those photos and videos you shot. Perusing through it is anything but boring, transitions make sure that you enjoy the experience of viewing your photos and videos, which have been listed separately.

Nokia Music Store on the phone is quite an experience. Using the music store on the phone is pretty easy, the problem lies in the lack of 3g in India. The music store worked like a charm and allowed me to browse through the latest hits and classics and download what I wanted (all of this is possible after registering on Nokia Music Store). Ovi Store was another successful app that has been embedded into the OS. The integration is tight and clicking on a link leading to Ovi store will automatically cause Ovi Store application to start and get you there, so you don’t need to fire up the browser. Nice indeed!

The phone comes with 4 preinstalled themes and also supports audio themes. Powersaver gets many options for standby too.  The browser on the phone is the standard affair Nokia phones come with. This is a very robust solution and works pretty well and has never crashed or frozen during operation.

E72 supports MySpace and Facebook along with Youtube. This means that you can access your Facebook and your Myspace profiles and also view your favourite videos on Youtube. All of this possible out of the box on the E72. Clearly it seems that Eseries people have been extremely busy at software side. The changes that have been affected on the E72’s OS is remarkable and worthy of praise. It seems like a progression from Windows 98 to Windows XP (I won’t say Vista since it pretty much went flop).

Let me go in a bit of detail with regard to Facebook since I am using it. Facebook on the E72 is a very tightly integrated app. I was able to change my status, comment on others’ status, upload photos, comment on them, pull out details of my friends and email and/or even call them. Though it may not sound like a lot, trust me, the manner in which it does it really good. I liked using Facebook and absolutely recommend you to start using it too.

Don’t worry Office support is not missing and has the regular apps to make this a perfect replacement to that bulky ‘road warrior laptop’. Quickoffice, Adobe Acrobat reader, Font magnifier, Intranet, Unzipping app, dictionary are some of the many apps to make this phone your office companion. Games and the ability to connect your media center server to the phone are some of the add ons which make it seem as if this is an Nseries device.

There are a couple of things that do disappoint me about the E72. The OS does tend to lock up momentarily at times, though it may be for a second only, it still is noticeable. Another flaw in the E72 and perhaps the biggest one is the number of contacts one can store on the E72. Surprised, you thought that it was practically unlimited? No, it is not! E72 can store ‘up to’ 1000 contacts. Why has Nokia done this? God alone knows, but it is nothing short of absolute stupidity!

Another flaw is the number of SMS that can be stored. Again ‘up to’ 1000 SMSes can be stored. Why is that so? Nobody but Nokia will be able to answer, if this is how things are going to be, I’ll probably have to consider another device which offers me nearly unlimited storage for the two. These restrictions did not exist on the earlier devices, so why now Nokia???

For software I give it 7/10. Two points short of what I was going to give had there been practically unlimited phonebook and SMS storage capacity.

Nokia Messaging, Internet, Maps will be covered in greater detail in subsequent posts.

Music:

Music on the E72 has been a revelation. Finally there is a business phone which does good music. A dedicated audio chip ensures that the quality of music is good. The 3.5mm audio jack means one can finally plug in headphones/earphones of his/her choice and enjoy some good music. I am not into music and will not be able to delve into intricate details, but I will tell you that there is a certain richness to the sound. The music player on this is the same that is employed in all smartphones. 8 presets (all configurable), ability to create your own, shuffle, repeat, automatic segregation of music as per artiste, album and genre amongst some more are the features in this business phone. I wonder, is this still a business phone? or a phone that also does business?

The side buttons for volume make changing the volume as easy as pie.

I’ll rate the experience at a 9/10. It’s really very good at playing music!

Battery:

The battery on the E72 is the same 1500mAh that does duty on the N97, E71 and E90. How good or bad is the battery life? Well, let’s just say that it easily lasts me 3 and a half days with the phone constantly connected to the internet (flat rate plan and unlimited downloads and Nokia Messaging), Maps running pretty often and for about 2 hours atleast everyday, 10-15 minutes of conversations, Facebook app for about 15-20 minutes a day and a few pictures and SMSes oh and also WiFi usage of about 25-30 minutes everyday.Yet I’m looking at about 3 bars remaining on my phone. This is the kind of stuff legends are made of.

I think it shall easily last a person 3-4 days without much worry. That kind of battery life is really good for this phone. I think it is pretty much on par with the E71. That’s good because it is running a bigger processor inside – 600Mhz v/s 369Mhz on the E71.

I’ll rate this on par with the E71. A full 10/10! No issues whatsoever. Slim battery and very good numbers mean it’s the best hands down!!!

Stay tuned as we bring you more on the E72!

N97 V2.0 is out, do you have it?

nokia_n97_white_13a_lowresSo the N97 got the big firmware update that was being discussed as the savior of the N97’s woes. But, you can’t get it to install on your phone. You tried everything and are absolutely frustrated and are thinking of visiting the Nokia Care Center to get that update.

That’s exactly what I had going with me until last night, when I thought of doing a little bit of cleaning and some brainstorming on my own. What I describe below should allow you to get that update on your N97 without having to visit the Care Center. The update is still not available on FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) in case you are thinking of firing the OTA feature.

  1. Download the latest Nokia PC Suite from the Nokia website (here) and install it. This will bring your Nokia PC Suite to the latest version V7.1.30.9
  2. After the above, download the installer file for Nokia Software Updater – NSU and install it (I know this is not the latest version but the NSU will get updated without a hitch with this method). Once you start the installation, make sure you are connected to the internet, The NSU will search for an update for itself and will automatically download the latest version (this is where the internet connection is needed) and it will not hang up or a give a ‘Internet Connection Lost’ error. Download it from here.
  3. Restart your PC now.
  4. Once your computer is rebooted, start Nokia PC Suite and take a backup of your contact and whatever necessary onto your PC.
  5. This step is optional, but I would recommend you to go ahead with it. Do a hard reset of your phone. you need to type this code (in bold) in the dialer – *#7370# This will clean the phone of anything that could potentially cause an error and give you an incomplete experience.
  6. With the phone now being ‘clean’ of any data, fire away NSU. The update should now work without a hitch and without giving any errors, provided you have a stable internet connection and electricity supply.

Now once your phone is updated, you will actually get a feel of how amazing the V20 firmware is. After playing with it in this form will you actually know how much better the N97 suddenly feels. I found the touchscreen to be much more sensitive and easier to use and the scrolling changes have made life with the N97 an absolute blessing.

The system feels much more responsive. I formatted my Micro SD card also just to be on the safe side before I restored the data I had backed up earlier.  After following these steps you will find the difference in your N97. Now you can reinstall the apps which you lost or are not working due to the formatting done earlier. This is a slightly more complicated way, but will ensure that your N97 works just as good as a brand new N97 with v20.0.019

Nokia to go the Android way!

Android running on a Nokia N810

Android running on a Nokia N810

We have just learnt through our friends at Nokia Mobile Talk, that Nokia is going to be launching an Android powered smartphone this September. This is a huge change in strategy for Nokia and could possibly be a big game changer.

How it will redefine the everchaning mobile OS landscape, we don’t quite know yet. What we do know is that Symbian is sure to have competition and a lot of it too from Android, the very OS which resulted in it’s separation from Nokia and its formation as a foundation.

Our friends at Nokia Mobile Talk have also given their wishlist of what the Nokia-Android smartphone will be having underneath. They also go on to add in another article what according to them will be the future of S60 within Nokia’s portfolio.

The Guardian, an English newspaper delves into some more details on why this deal has been inked between Nokia and Google. I must say it makes for a very compelling argument.

This news also comes close on the heels of Nokia’s entry into the netbook market with an Android based netbook.

It however makes me ask one question, What of Maemo now?

A few months back Nokia had hired a lot of people for its Maemo platform and now with this Android deal, I am left wondering what is going to happen to Maemo…

What are your thoughts? Let us know.