Its not long before Nokia World 2010 kicks off in the morning, we’re pretty much bang next to the venue and raring to go. The live blog’s all set up waiting for 9AM London time when the keynote kicks off. Go here for all the latest #NokiaWorld posts.
If you think you’ll forget, bookmark this page and set a reminder below. I will also be live tweeting the highlights @TheHandheldBlog. For other things around Nokia World, you can follow my personal account at @v4ibhav.
The Nokia N8 has a dedicated graphics processor that takes the load off its other 680 MHz processor when you are playing games, showing off pictures and with other graphics related tasks. Till today, I hadn’t really seen it in action but at ‘An Evening With Ovi‘ I did some gaming on the N8, with Asphalt and NFS Shift and I have to say it was pretty nice.
We had the N8 hooked up via HDMI to a large screen television and here is what the experience was like.
(Play the video in HD to get a better idea of the crisp and pretty smooth experience)
NFS Shift will hit the Ovi Store once the N8 starts shipping and there will be a bunch of games that take advantage of its faster processing capabilities, looks like Symbian and great gaming will go hand in hand once again.
Today was all about the Nokia N8, but before we get to the details, some good news first. The PR 1.0 for the N8 is final and now its only a question of getting the device to the market, Nokia said Q3 and it looks like they will ship the N8 before the end of this month for sure.
I have just got back from ‘An Evening With Ovi’, a successor in spirit to an event called ‘An Evening With S60’ if you remember. It was basically an informal aggregation of Nokia people and some of the folks who have flown in for Nokia World tomorrow. There was a ton of N8 chatter, some demoes and even interviews. I also played with production software on the Nokia N8 and it feels pretty good from the brief time I spent with the device. The capacitive screen along with the new Symbian ^3 is makes the N8 a pleasure to use as compared to, say the N97 experience. A lot of people on first glance see the homescreen and say its the same old deal, but if you dig in deeper, its way better.
Anyway, back to bits from the evening. Here a few pictures to give a better idea of what was happening. You may recognize some Nokia people from the Ovi Blog, who all were taking about the various facets of the N8 and Ovi in general. We saw a clip of Tron playing in HD over HDMI, some beautiful photos the N8 took, some briallant video from concerts and so on. Stuff the keeping amazing you when you consider that its all coming from a tiny phone.
Kick starting with a general N8 talk.
Surya talking about Ovi Maps. (Looks like we’ll see something new with Ovi Maps tomorrow).
Chat about Music and how Nokia’s working with local people around the world to get the best music in. How music is social and finishing with a few music apps like Gig Finder, Shazaam and so on.
The Ovi Blog team, Saara and Pino.
Last, but certainly not the least – here’s a picture of the N8 homescreen on a large TV via HDMI and the good part is that it doesn’t look pixelated and horribly scaled up at all. It is pretty crisp, a far cry from the TV-out we’ve seen on older Nokia devices.
One more thing before I wrap up, I also caught some gaming action on the Nokia N8, its sweet. The video’s uploading to YouTube right now, check back soon for the post.
What is happening inside Nokia? First OPK has to make way for a new CEO two days before Nokia World, despite being listed to give the keynote (subsequently taken-off) at the event and now news that Anssi Vanjoki has resigned from Nokia is making the airwaves. To say that I am shocked is a huge understatement. Anssi was also keynoting at Nokia World and was the head of Nokia’s Mobile Solutions unit.
Why did he resign? May be he was gunning for the CEO’s post. May be wasn’t too happy with thing post OPK. The point is that the change in management was an obvious consideration and it would have probably have been best for Nokia to have let this out one week after Nokia World, not now, today. Just before Nokia World.
Espoo, Finland – Nokia announced today that Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President and a member of Nokia Group Executive Board has given notice of resignation from Nokia. Vanjoki, who currently heads Nokia’s Mobile Solutions unit, has six months notice period and he will continue in his current tasks for the time being.
“I felt the time has come to seek new opportunities in my life,” Anssi Vanjoki says. “At the same time, I am one hundred per cent committed to doing my best for Nokia until my very last working day. I am also really looking forward to this year’s Nokia World and sharing news about exciting new devices and solutions.”
Nokia World kicks off tomorrow and events.nokia.com page still lists him as a keynote speaker. Anssi Vanjoki was one person who I really admired inside of Nokia, tough, clear and honest. I am sure this will be a huge loss for Nokia.
At the time of writing this I am 35,000 ft in the air, flying over Asia and headed to London for the biggest Nokia event of the year, Nokia World. To say that, I am excited is putting it very mildly. There has been so much happening around Nokia in the past few months. They’ve just got a new CEO, there have been last minute reshuffles in the keynotes and there is a general air of ‘ I wonder what will happen’. Update: Anssi Vanjoki has just resigned!
Meanwhile there have been quite a few positive developments for Nokia. The Symbian ^3 OS should have matured by now thanks to the testing the N8 must have underwent, MeeGo already looks great of paper with its UI ready to wow. The services (Email and Maps) have improved considerably since the time they were launched and the Ovi Store v2 is waiting in the wings. With this in mind lets get to the hopes section of this post.
More than anything I want to see a powerful, aggressive and bold keynote. Take the competition head on, show off what you have in style and wow the pants of the world. People might say that doing is more important and words will only get you so far and that Nokia’s been all about words recently, but I differ. Words are powerful and really help Nokia in the mindshare department.
What I really wanted to see was a MeeGo tablet, perhaps even more than the MeeGo phone. Why? Because now is the time to capture the market. Apple has opened this segment up, cash in. Not when there are 100 Android tablets already present to give you competition. Sadly, I don’t think this is happening, there was even a statement to the effect if I recall correctly. What next, a rehash of the Booklet 3G, a more powerful variant? I don’t think so. Making a Windows 7 machine when you already have MeeGo brewing makes little sense.
Okay, time to move onto predictions.
Lets start with the givens. The E7, which is the E90’s successor in spirit. 4″ touch display, N97 like slide up design, full QWERTY. Symbian ^3, possibly with a 8MP camera (with an LED flash) and HD video capabilities.
Next up the C7. A cheaper N8 in spirit, without HDMI and a 12 MP camera. Might bring 8MP, Symbian ^3 and HD capture to the masses.
The N9. The phone everyone wants to see but one which Nokia might not announce till later this year. They said there will be a MeeGo phone in 2010 and there will be; the question is when? This Nokia World might be all be about Symbian ^3 and letting the N9 loose now might just hurt the other announcements. I don’t know if the management change will affect such decisions.
We will also see a few (two?) lower end devices launched in a press release. Nothing ground breaking, but at very attractive price points.
I also get the feeling that Nokia has been able to keep at least one announcement (device) completely under the wraps. That announcement is the one I will be specially looking out for!
Services. We will see a lot of re-branding, everything will come into the Ovi branding with some degree of consolidation. The Ovi Store refresh is a strong possibility, so is a new version of the Nokia Messaging which might become Ovi Messaging. With Ovi Music, an announcement to the effect that individual purchases are DRM-free will probably be made, we have already seen it happen a quite a few countries now – India, China, UK and so on. I also hope to see the pinch to zoom Ovi Maps demo on the N8.
A Nokia N8 for every Nokia World attendee? Heh! Nokia is not the sort of company which does that, but with the developer summit happening in connection with Nokia World, I think that becomes a possibility. Such a thing is not a huge expense for Nokia, but generates a ton of buzz for the company and for the product (N8), both which I’m sure they’d want. The 700 Euro entry fee for Nokia World might also help sway their minds.