Category Archives: Headline

Nokia’s 41 Megapixel Windows Phone Is Official: The Lumia 1020 Pureview

A 41 Megapixel Windows Phone from Nokia has been on the cards ever since the PureView 808 was announced, and it took more than a few months, but the Lumia 1020 PureView is finally official. If a camera enthusiast could dream of the specs he or she would want in a device, this is what it would be. An incredible 41 MP sensor that lets you zoom without loosing quality, optical image stabilisation for great low light shots, pixel binning for even less noise, Xenon flash if you’re looking for even more light, a LED light if you’re shooting video in the dark, high amplitude capture mics so that you get great audio for your videos, Nokia’s Pro camera app to give you greater control over shooting modes, and finally a 6 part ZEISS lens.

In 2012 Nokia made a similar device, the Pureview 808, but that device ran Symbian, a dated operation system and it weighed 169 grams and measured 123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm. The Lumia 1020 PureView is 130.4×71.4×10.4 mm and weights 158 gramsNokia’s kept the huge 41 MP sensor AND the Xenon flash, yet has been able to bring down the thickness to just 10.4 mm from 13.9 mm. For comparison’s sake, the Lumia 920 is 10.7 mm thick. We might finally have a killer cameraphone that’s small enough for people to be happy about making it their daily driver.

Here is all you need to know about the Lumia 1020 PureView:

Key features

  • 41 megapixel sensor captures the sharpest images with details never thought possible from a smartphone
  • Nokia Pro Camera boosts creativity through simple and easy to use controls usually reserved for the expert photographer
  • Nokia Rich Recording delivers distortion free stereo audio in the loudest environments
  • Comes with the only fully integrated and true offline Global maps experience from the HERE location suite

Nokia's 41 Megapixel Windows Phone Is Official: The Lumia 1020 Pureview

Camera:

  • PureView 41MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
  • Backside-illuminated image sensor
  • 6-lens ZEISS optics
  • high resolution zoom 3x
  • autofocus, xenon Flash, LED for video, 1080p video at 30fps
  • Includes Nokia Pro Camera app and Nokia Smart Camera app
  • Secondary camera: HD 1.2 MP wide angle

Technical profile

  • Operating system: Windows Phone 8
  • Networks: GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, WCDMA: 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, LTE network bands: 1, 3, 7, 20, 8
  • Speed: HSPA+: DL Cat 24, dual carrier 42.1 Mbps/UL Cat6 5.76Mbps
  • HERE location and mapping service; free global HERE Maps and HERE Drive+, free HERE transit available in the store
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB internal user memory; 7GB SkyDrive cloud storage
  • Display: 4.5’’ AMOLED WXGA (1280×768), 2.5D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass 3, PureMotion HD+, Clear Black, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, Super Sensitive Touch for nail and glove usage, Nokia Glance Screen
  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
  • Size: 130.4×71.4×10.4 mm, Weight: 158 g
  • Connectivity: USB2.0, BT 3.0, NFC with SIM based security, WLAN a/b/g/n, A-GPS and Glonass, 3.5 mm audio connector
  • Battery: 2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via accessory cover
  • Audio: IHF speakers, 2 microphones, Nokia Rich Recording, HD voice compliant, 3.5mm AV connector

Nokia original accessories

  • Nokia Camera Grip PD-95G
  • Confidence to take the perfect shot
  • Built-in extra battery for longer usage,
  • Ergonomic grip with a two-stage camera key,
  • Universal tripod mount
  • Nokia Wireless Charging Cover CC-3066
  • Effortless charging just a snap away
  • Enable wireless charging with form fitting Qi compliant snap-on cover
  • JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia MD-100W
  • Nokia Purity Pro Stereo Headset by Monster (BH-940) • Nokia Wireless Charging Car Charger CR-200

Colours

  • Yellow, white, black

Operating times

  • Maximum talk time (3G): 13.3 h • Standby time: 16 Days
  • Video Playback time: 6.8 hours • Music Playback time: 63 hours

Nokia sales package accessories

  • Charger: AC-60
  • Cable: CA-190CD
  • Battery: Pre-installed (BV-5XW) • Headset: WH-208
  • Guides: User guide booklet
  • Other inbox content: SIM door opening key

The Promise Of Lumia: You Won’t Believe These Photos Were Taken On A Phone

I spent over a month with a Lumia 928 recently and I’m glad that I was carrying one while touring the Unites States. While I did take my trusty Canon 550D along, after seeing what the Lumia 928 was capable of, I didn’t bother lugging it around and it stayed at the hotel. The Lumia 928 packs the same camera module as the Lumia 920, but with a Xenon flash. The Lumia 925 on the other hand features a slightly different lens, and comes with next genration camera algorithms that are supposed to make these cameras even better. While the Lumia 928 didn’t enjoy those benefits (the Amber update isn’t available yet), it more than held its own. Infact, you won’t believe these photos were taken on a cameraphone if I didn’t tell you.

All of the following photos are taken in extremely low light, and have been shot completely handheld. Yet, the level of detail and the lack of noise in these photos is really remarkable. These are the tips and tricks I used while taking these photos.

Lumia 928 -1

Lumia 928 -1

Lumia 928 -1

Lumia 928 -1

Lumia 928 -1

On July 11 Nokia is expected to announce the EOS, a 41 MP Windows Phone. We don’t know if it will feature optical image stabilisation in addition to the 41 MP sensor, but if the Lumia 928 can produce results like these without pixel binning, I cannot wait to see what that monster will be capable of.

How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

Nokia’s Lumia phones have some of the best cameras, and devices like the Lumia 925, 928 and the 920 also come with optical image stabilisation. While these devices do a reasonable job with the default settings, the cameras really come into their own if you are willing to play around the settings a little bit. On Nokia’s Lumia devices you cannot tap the screen to set the exposure, so if you are shooting against the sun or a bright light, things sometimes get a little challenging.

While there are lots of settings that you can change: ISO, Exposure, Scene Mode, White Balance, Aspect Ratio and Focus Assist Light – there are two that I want to concentrate on. Most people (including me) prefer shooting with the default options as its faster, and one couldn’t be bothered with fiddling around with the controls  everytime.

However, when you do have the extra second, I recommend you just keep two controls in mind while taking photos – Scene Mode and Exposure.

SCENE MODEBACKLIGHT

How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

While there are lots of screen modes, like close up, Night, Night Portrait, Sports and Backlight – in your everyday usage just keep ‘Backlight’ in mind. We all end up shooting against the light, sometimes its a bulb indoors, or the sun outdoors. If you shoot with the default settings, this is what you can expect.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

In this example there is no person present, so the photo doesn’t look so bad. However, if a person were standing you’d be hard pressed to make out his face. Enter the  backlight mode.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

As you can see, the difference is immense and the photos is much brighter overall.

EXPOSURE

How To Take Better Photos With Your Lumia

Moving onto exposure. If you have a OIS capable Lumia (eg. Lumia 920, 928), the device leaves the shutter open for longer when it senses that you’re shooting at night. This is usually a good thing, but when you are trying to photograph objects that have lights of their own, it can result it photos like this.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

But if you adjust the exposure manually, and drop it down by a notch or two (depending on the situation) you can get a much nicer looking result.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

This becomes even more important, when you’re trying to capture the Las Vegas skyline that’s packed with lights.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

A little tweaking of the exposure, and you get a photo that’s easily wallpaper material. There are very few non Nokia camera phones in the market (if any) that can give you a result as impressive as this.

Vaibhav Lumia 928_1

As you can see, just remembering to switch to the backlight scene mode and adjusting the exposure can make a big difference in the quality of photos. Both of these things take less than 5 seconds to change, and you’ll do well to remember these tweaks.

If you’re feelings slightly more adventurous, the ISO settings can help in low light situations – a higher ISO brings more light, but at the cost of noise. But since there is OIS in some models (shutter stays open for longer and brings more light), you can sometimes get away with using a low ISO (so as to reduce noise), to get that perfect zero noise low light shot.

The White Balance mode can usually be left at auto. Thus, the key to much better photos on your Lumias is two fold – remembering to use the backlight mode, and exposure control when shooting in low light.

Have any other tips? Let us know in the comments section!

Shazam Now Integrates With Nokia Music

Shazam is one of my favourite apps, and I always wondered why it didn’t integrate with Nokia Music, specially now that Windows Phone 8 lets apps talk to each other. I tweeted this to the Shazam team, they responded. Fast forward a few months, and the integration is live.

The brand new Shazam app for Windows Phone 8 now lets you simply tap on the Nokia Music button in the song you’ve tagged, and it takes you the music store where you can buy/download the song.

Shazam Nokia Music -1 Shazam Nokia Music -2

This Shazam + Nokia Music combo is even more awesome if you live in India, or another country where Nokia Music has a subscription model. You listen to a song, like it, tag it and download it, all for the grand cost of zero.

In addition to Nokia Music, Shazam also gives you options to view the song on YouTube or download it from Xbox Music or get the artist biography or Discography.

Shazam Now Integrates With Nokia Music

If you don’t already have it, get Shazam here.

Camera Shoot Out: iPhone 5 v. Lumia 928 v. Lumia 720

I have had the distinct pleasure of carrying three extremely capable camera phones with me, the iPhone 5, Nokia’s Verizon exclusive Lumia 928 and the Lumia 720. While the iPhone 5 and the Lumia 928 are flagship devices, the Lumia 720 is the surprise that keeps on delivering. For a mid range device, it has an exceptional camera capable of some amazing low light performance.

But before we get into the nitty grittiness of which camera is better, or what advantages or disadvantages each brings, lets look at a few photos shot in varying lighting conditions. The first photo will be the iPhone 5, follow by the Lumia 720 and the Lumia 928 in the end. Clicking on each photo will get you the full resolution image.

iPhone 5

Lumia 720

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 02

Lumia 720

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 03

Lumia 720

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 04

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 05

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 06

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 07

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 08

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 09

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 10

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 11

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 12

Lumia 720

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 07

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 07

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 07

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Sample - 07

Lumia 720

Lumia 928

The iPhone 5, just like the iPhone 4S before it have long been hailed as some of the best camera phones on the planet, and it is for good reason. The iPhone rarely lets you down, and the ability to tap to adjust the exposure is a boon, like none other. That really comes in handy when the picture you’re trying to take has a bright light in the background. The pictures produced are generally sharp, but when it comes to low light photos despite the 808 PureView like compression that the iPhone 5 employs, there does tend to be a lot of noise. Leaving HDR on also helps as you get two photos, and get effectively choose between the better looking one in the end.

The Lumias on the other hand both work their magic in the low light. The Lumia 720 with its industry leading f1.9 aperture lets a lot of light in, while the Lumia 928 with its Xenon flash and Optical Image Stabilisation takes a slightly different approach. The OIS means that the shutter can stay open longer and let more light in, minus the camera shake. You cannot unfortunately force the Xenon to fire, it will only be used if the phone determines that there isn’t enough light. So you cannot use it like a fill-in flash when shooting against the sun for example. Fortunately there is a ‘Backlight’ mode in the Lumias that takes care of this problem, but you have to choose it everytime from the camera settings.

While I tried to keep the settings as default most of the time, due to the Lumia 928’s OIS some night pictures would turn up too bright. That means that you must play with the exposure to get that perfect shot.

So based on my experience with these three devices, here is what I think. The iPhone 5 is a great dependable camera that does most things well, the Lumia 720 despite the much cheaper price does an excellent job in keeping up, and at times even manages to beat the iPhone. The first two photos are a prime example of that. The Lumia 928 is the most capable camera of the 3, but not if you only use it in the default mode. However once you start playing around with the settings, it really comes into its own. Expect a much bigger gallery of Lumia 928 images soon.

Any questions, let me know!

Tizen: State of The Union

Going into the Tizen Developer Conference there were a few major questions that people wanted answers to. The developers wanted to know details about the Tizen App Store, everyone wanted to know when we’d see the first Tizen devices, which would be the carriers supporting them, and what about the big games apps?

The keynote did manage to answer a few of those questions, albeit in not complete detail. Tizen devices are coming this year, but Jong-Deok Choi, EVP, Samsung won’t be more specific. In terms of operator support, Roy Sugimura from NTT DOCOMO has stated that they will be carrying the first Tizen device in the second half of this year. Frederic Dufal, Devices Technical Director for Orange has also announced that they are committed to launching a Tizen project this year (end of summer, Europe only).

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • The big change from Tizen 1.0 to the current 2.1 release is the ability to run native apps. Samsung has folded Bada into the platform, although this was not specifically mentioned in the keynote.

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • The Tizen Store has been announced, and is open for app developers to submit their apps. Users cannot access it yet.

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • Tizen 2 also has an inbuilt security layer, McAfee has contributed to this. 

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • A Tizen App Challenge has been announced. Submissions will be accepted June 1 onwards, and a total of 4$ Million is up for grabs. 

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • Also big news for gaming enthusiasts, some of the top gaming engines like Unity, Havok, Game Salad are coming to Tizen. 

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • NTT DOCOMO will make a Tizen device available in the second half of the year.

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • So will Orange. They like Tizen because of its open nature, and HTML5 focus. The launch will be a part of the ‘back to school’ campaign that will start at the end of summer. Europe only for now.

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • We also got a look at the in vehicle application of Tizen, Jaguar | Land Rover wants to push the boundaries of what people expect from a in-car Linux based system. A competition to generate ideas, UI elements and functionality is also under way. 

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  • Finally, the next major release of Tizen will be the big 3.0. Expect this release in 2014 devices. The roadmap for the release isn’t complete yet, and the development will be done openly on Tizen.org. They encourage platform developers and other open source developers to contribute. 

Tizen: State of The Union (NTT DOCOMO Will Launch A Device in 2H '13)

  •  There is a tremendous amount of push to bring big name developers to Tizen. Facebook, Angry Birds were named in the keynote. I saw demoes of Gameloft’s Asphalt 7 and Real Golf running on a Tizen reference device, along with games based on the Unity engine, games from Sega, and Opera Mini.