Category Archives: Nokia

Dreaming Up Imaging Apps & Hacks Can Win You A Lumia 1020 & A Trip To Sweden

Interested in winning the just announced Lumia 1020 and a trip to Lund, Sweden? You might find this interesting. Nokia’s developer program has just announced the ‘Future Caption Competition‘ a competition inviting all the imaging apps and hacks that you can think of. Nokia wants you to ‘push the limits of imaging too, think outside the box, and create apps worthy of the phone’s unique capabilities’.

You can submit upto 3 ideas, and Nokia will be flying the the creators of the 10 best idea to a hackathon in Sweden, where you’ll code that idea into reality alongside Nokia’s imaging experts. While this suggests that you should know code, there is some hope for those of you with a bright idea but no coding skills. If your idea makes it to the top 10, you can take another developer to Sweden with you.

Dreaming Up Imaging Apps & Hacks Can Win You A Lumia 1020 & A Trip To Sweden

So its time to think of a bright idea, and find a developer friend who can do the heavy lifting for you. Then, there’s another competition called the ‘Nokia Imaging Wiki Competition‘. Here Nokia’s looking for ‘great original articles, tutorials and guides that showcase the opportunities in imaging and photography on Lumia, and in particular from the new SDK and Nokia Lumia 1020’. The prizes here also include the Lumia 1020, and membership of the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Lumia for up to four wiki contributors. Then Nokia will also pick one winner for the best feedback on the Nokia Imaging SDK.

Good luck.

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.

Nokia’s HERE Apps Updated, Upgrade To HERE Drive+ Will Cost €15.49

Nokia has announced that new versions of HERE Drive, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit will be available for download across all Windows Phone 8 devices by the end of this week. This includes non-Nokia devices as well, so those of you with HTC or Samsung devices will now have access to the Nokia mapping goodness. While HERE Maps is free for all, HERE Transit will be a 1.99 Euro download for non Lumia devices in certain countries.

Some of the lower cost Lumias (520, 521, 720) come with HERE Drive out of the box and if you wish to upgrade to the global navigation licence with HERE Drive+ (single country navigation v/s worldwide), that’ll cost 15.49 Euro. Non Lumia owners who have downloaded the app from the store will also need to shell out 15.49 Euro for the upgrade. Finally, if you live in a country where HERE Drive isn’t a free download, the HERE Drive+ app will cost 34.99 Euros. The infographic below should help clear things.

My Commute HERE Drive

The update for HERE Drive brings a more intuitive user interface and Nokia is also promising significant under the hood improvements. Nokia has introduced a new service that lets you get an overview of traffic conditions in and around your area. Plus there is also ‘My Commute’ which shows you the estimated travel time for your daily commute, so you know if you’ll need to leave for/from work early. It comes with a Live Tile and lets you know the best route to take. While driving it monitors your route and notifies you in case there are delays anticipated and suggests alternative routes. This service will be available in 26 countries for now, including India.

HERE Transit Update

Next, HERE Transit will get new UI, and the interface has been ‘significantly redesigned’ keeping the Windows Phone UI in mind. I was recently travelling around the United States, and the Transit app was invaluable – didn’t matter if I was in San Francisco, L.A., or New York City, it came though every single time.

HERE Drive Pricing

[via: Nokia Conversations]

Nokia & IE Launch Mix Party: A Social Playlist

At parties you are usually saddled with the host’s choice of music, so with an aim to change that, Nokia in collaboration with IE has launch a web app called Nokia Mix Party, a playlist based on the idea of collaboration. Guests at your party can vote on the artists they want to listen to, and the Mix Party keeps the music pumping based on whichever artist is winning. The idea is similar to how ‘make your own mix’ works inside the Mix Radio section of the Nokia Music Windows Phone app, but Mix Party takes it to a new level by making the process democratic.

Nokia Mix Party

The only requirement for using this service is that you need an Xbox to start the Mix Party, post that your friends can join using any smartphone of their choice, as everything is handled through the browser. Once you start the Mix Party a unique QR code is displayed on the screen, and your friends can just scan it to join in on the fun.

This video should give you an idea of how it works:

“This is Nokia MixParty, where making a playlist is a collaboration. Using any flavor of modern smartphone, you can influence the direction of a playlist in MixParty. No apps. No downloads. How you may ask? The internets. The web is evolving the way we interact with it. It’s becoming our companion, helping us do more with the internet like never before. This is the future, it’s the Companion Web.”

This certainly sounds like a terrific app, and should be loads of fun to use. If only Nokia would remove the Xbox only restriction. One can hope.

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!