Tag Archives: Nokia Lumia

Nokia Lumia 1320 Hands On

Lumia 1320

The Lumia 1320 is the second device to be announced at Nokia World 2013 and it along with the 1520 packs a 6″ display. Talking in terms of specs, the 720p ClearBlack screen is paired with LTE, an impressive 3,400mAh battery, a 5MP autofocus camera along with a front facing camera, 8GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion). It packs a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip along with 1GB of RAM.

Video: Detailed Lumia 1020 Hands On

At the India launch of the Lumia 1020, I spent some quality time with the new king of smartphone cameras and it is hard to come away without being thoroughly impressed with what Nokia has been able to cram into a ‘fairly’ slim device. Pricing concerns aside, the sheer power of the 41 megapixel sensor is felt the moment you pick the device up. Since the phone has a mechanical shutter, you can hear and feel the shutter open everytime you launch the camera. It is a very subtle sound, but one that manages to resonate power.

Lumia 1020 Hands On

Unlike the Lumia 920, the 1020 features a matt finish that looks and feels premium. I liked the glossy finish of the 920, so I wasn’t entirely convinced about how the matt finish would pan out, but Nokia’s somehow managed to make it feel even nicer. In the video below I go over the hardware, compare it to the Lumia 925, take a look at the Pro Camera application and play around with the camera grip accessory that Nokia will be selling alongside the 1020 – among other things.

Have any questions that you’d like answers to? Let me know in the comments section below.

Stop Buying The iPhone 4. Save Yourself Money & Get A Lumia 520 Instead

Apple has all sorts of schemes running in India to promote the iPhone 4. You can trade old devices, get it on EMI, make zero down payments and so on. But there are two facts that you cannot get away from, it costs close to 25,000 INR and it will soon be 3 years old. Three years is an eternity in the world of technology, you certainly do not want to be paying that kind of money for a device that will soon be a relic. Yes, it will get iOS 7 but that’s where Apple is so smart. A bland iPhone 4 to get iOS 7 statement doesn’t tell you that a bunch of iOS 7 features will not make it to the iPhone 4. Just as a bunch of iOS 6 features previously hadn’t. E.g. Like it was with iOS 6, you still won’t be able to take panoramas, you’ll get no filters in the camera app, and the real biggie – no AirDrop support. Plus most of the fancy animations and visuals that iOS 7 brings is a no-go too.

Further having recently used an iPhone 4 running iOS 6, I can tell you that you can immediately notice that you’re playing with old hardware. There are lags, the scrolling in apps isn’t smooth, the app launch times are slow and there are random stutters – all in all, its doesn’t feel very Apple anymore. On the other hand it still has its positivities, the 3.5″ retina display, the premium construction and for a lot of people the Apple brand name. But does it make sense to pay something like 25,000 INR for the pleasure of owning an ‘iPhone’? No.

Stop Buying The iPhone 4. Save Yourself Money & Get A Lumia 520 Instead

Here’s what you should do. Save yourself 15,000 INR and get a Lumia 520 instead. It costs about 9400 INR, comes in a bunch of colours – red and yellow being my favourites, but there are the more traditional black, white and cyan options too. The colour is an obvious talking point, and not for one second does the device look cheap, if that’s what you’re worried about. Put a 3 year old iPhone 4 on the table and a red Lumia 520 along side it, and guess which is the device that will draw more attention.

Despite having 512 MB of RAM, it is actually smoother than the iPhone. The dual-core processor helps and Windows Phone is very smooth in itself. There may be the odd app that takes a second more to resume, but overall the experience will be much better. Don’t worry too much about the apps. The basics are all there now. Facebook has a good app, so does Twitter, Foursquare, PVR, HDFC, Book My Show and Zomato – all apps I use on an everyday basis. Whats App was recently overhauled too.

Nokia’s Services = More value for money

Then, you get the Nokia goodies. Mix Radio for streaming curated playlists that are usually excellent, unlimited song downloads from a huge catalogue of songs (DRM free so you can send them via bluetooth, email them or listen to them on a PC), and finally you can even create your own stream based on artists you like. This is a big deal once you start using it, I have virtually stopped downloading music because of this.

Next there is Nokia’s mapping suit – HERE Drive, Maps, Public Transport, and City Lens. Owing to things like offline maps and great coverage, this is the best navigation solution on the phone – for most tasks it beats Google Maps as they are reliant on a data connection for everything. The Lumia 520 also has a decent camera, and comes with things like Smart Shoot and Cinemagram out of the box. With the Lumia 520 you also get a 4″ 800 x 480 screen, its no retina display (3.5″ 960×640 on the iPhone 4) but a lot of people seem to be willing to live with slightly lower pixel density in return for a bigger screen.

Thus, in the process you not only save a considerable amount of money, but you also get a device that’s pretty solid and packs a lot for its price. A friend of mine recently sold an old iPhone 4 and picked up the Lumia 520 instead; and this post is also partly a result of his experience.

My advice is this, if you don’t want to save money and get the Lumia 520, don’t. But under no circumstances should you buy the iPhone 4.

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!

Nokia India Launches The Switch To Lumia Hub On Facebook, Includes Videos Detailing All Of Lumia 920’s Features

In an effort to help answer questions that consumers might have about the Lumia 920, and to educate them on why a Lumia is better, Nokia India has just launched the ‘Switch To Lumia Hub‘ on their Facebook page. The hub includes tons of videos highlighting the device’s functionality, a section pertaining to what the people are saying about the device on Twitter and finally an area to guide consumers to their nearest Nokia store should they want to buy one.

Switch To Lumia Hub Facebook

Next, there’s also a ‘Ask Sid’ section on Nokia India’s website where you can type your queries in. However, instead of trying to manually answer each and every question, the software will try and make sense of what you want to know about the device, and match your question to a pre-existing one – and playback the relevant video as the answer. The experience may be a little hit and miss, but the good thing is that you can manually have a look at all the videos by selecting the appropriate subject. Thus making the space useful for people who already own a Lumia, and are trying of make sense of the all new Windows Phone 8 software.

Hit the Switch to Lumia Hub here.