Tag Archives: Nokia

Stephen Elop Takes A Very Awkward Question, Aces It

At Nokia’s Lumia 1020 keynote, Stephen Elop had to take one of the most awkward public questions a CEO has had to take in a long time. It was a really public setting with the entire world’s tech press in attendance, and the event was also being live streamed across the world. Five minutes before the question, Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO-AT&T Mobility had been on stage, and Stephen Elop had just called AT&T a great partner.

Then comes the extremely awkward question. The lady from Forbes.com called AT&T a horrible partner, while praising Nokia’s Lumia devices. There is a lot of merit in that question, and you can see that everyone agreed with her by the cheers the question got, but what could Elop possibly say to go out of a high?

There are lots of ways that you can answer that question, after all most CEOs are also masters of saying a lot without saying anything, but I really liked how Elop tackled it.

Instead simply saying that they’ll working more closely, train more people and the usual press speak, he acknowledged a more fundamental issue. Making Lumia work is Nokia’s problem and not AT&T’s. While they might also want a third ecosystem at some level, there’s only so much they’ll do.

Elop’s answer is testament to the challenger mindset that he’s been talking about for the last few months, and it is refreshing to see a CEO being honest about a company’s challenges.

For once, Nokia had managed to knock this keynote right out of the park, and ending on such a tricky question could have taken from the experience just a little bit, but Elop handled it well, and for that he deserves credit.

Impressive Lumia 920 Optical Image Stabilisation Demo: Aircraft Landing

The Lumia 920 is first phone to pack optical image stabilisation, but what does it translate into in terms of real world usage? Simply put, the ability to whip the phone out of your pocket and take high quality shake free video that you would be proud to show off. Case in point is the video of an landing aircraft that I was able to capture.

The first part of the video is shot from a stationary car with the Lumia 920 panning around to follow the aircraft. It copes remarkably well with the handshake that comes from panning. However, things get even more interesting in the second part of the video where it is being filed from inside a moving car, so you can image the kind of hand shake that must have resulted in. But once again, the Lumia 920 handles the trying conditions with remarkable ease.

I will be following this post up with even more extensive tests, including comparisons with the Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 and the HTX 8X.

App Prices Hit A Ridiculous (Fantastic?) Low In Indian Nokia Store

In an incredible turn of events, the prices of apps in the Indian Nokia Store have hit rock bottom. This has happened because Nokia has reduced the levels at which developers can price their applications. Earlier Level 1 was Rs. 25 (about 50 US cents), now it is just Rs. 5. So for example 1 Euro app, which is say the lowest level in Europe, will cost just Rs. 5 in India. In terms of pure conversion Rs. 5 equals just 0.072 Euros.

App prices in India were already lower compared to the pricing in other parts of the world, this is something I’ve covered before, but the new rates really ring in a bonanza for Indian users. Its like having a fire sale all year long.

As you can see fantastic applications like Joikuspot which retail for about 8 Pounds in the UK, can be had for as little as Rs. 35 in India. That’s not even half a pound. However, it is important to realise that pure currency conversions do not work, and that Nokia strives to keep prices in tune with what consumers are willing to pay for apps in India and Rs. 35 is a great price for Joikuspot.

Similarly, quality games like Asphalt 6 and Angry Birds can be had for just Rs. 5 and 10 respectively. While this may sound like ‘are you freaking kidding me? That so awesome!’ for the consumer, the developers may well feel like ‘are you freaking kidding me? That’s bullshit!’.

Our friends at Unleash The Phones suggest that developers might even want to withdraw their apps from India, because of these exceedingly low prices. While I am not sure how the Nokia Store submission works, the impression I get from the post is that developers can only specify a level at which they want to sell their apps and Nokia automatically sets the prices in different countries. E.g. Level 1 could mean 1 USD in the US, .80 Pounds on the UK, .90 Euro in Europe, Rs. 5 in India and so on. A problem will arise if they can only set a level as a price for their app across the world and this cannot be changed based on country. (I’ll try and get some clarity on this aspect soon.)

Nokia India been really working hard to delight its customers over the past few months, first the brilliantly priced unlimited downloads from the Nokia Music Store and now these super cheap apps. As long as there is no developer backlash, its a very welcome sign for consumers. Nokia believes that what it is loosing on margins, it’ll make up in volume – while making its customers super happy.

[via: Unleash The Phones]

Hands On: Nokia DC-16 Portable Charger

In all the hype surrounding the high profile launch of the 41 Megapixel powered Nokia 808 and the Lumia 900 world edition, it was easy to miss out on another excellent addition to Nokia’s accessory lineup, the DC-16 portable charger. The great looking device comes in a bunch of colours, focuses on fast charging and packs a very decent 2200 mAh as battery capacity.

It can be charged via microUSB and ships with a USB cable that also houses a microUSB port in the front. However, if you plug your iPhone cable in, that should work just as well. It features 4 LED lights in the bottom to tell you how much of juice is left inside it.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 120 x 23,3 x 23,3 mm
  • Weight: 75g
  • Battery capacity: 2200 mAh
  • Output current: 950 mA
  • Stand-by time: After 3+ months stand-by time over 75% capacity left
  • Charging time: 5 hours maximum
  • Charging interface: micro-USB (in/out) and standard USB (out)
  • Battery cycle life: 500+ cycle

Here is a hands on video in which I give the device a quick once over. It will retail at about 25 Euros before taxes, which is about 1600 INR. It is expected to go on sale in the first quarter 2012, which translates to this month itself.

What I specially liked about the DC-16 was its design, the long cylindrical shape means that it will be easy to slide into the pocket along with the phone. Most other portable chargers are thick rectangular blocks that cause a huge bulge in the pocket if you attempt to carry them along with the phone.

The Definitive Nokia PureView 808 Video: Damian Dinning Interview

Like I mentioned in my PureView 808 hands-on post, I spent a good 15 minutes talking to Nokia’s imaging guru, Damian Dinning about the 41 Megapixel packing camera flagship, a device 5 years in the making. If there is one PureView 808 video that could get you info on everything from its conception, challenges, features and even the camera UI, then this is it.

Any questions? Let me know below.

Nokia PureView 808 Hands On

Nokia’s just made the sucessor to the widely regarded Nokia N8 official and it comes to us in the form if the Pureview 808. The number that shouts at everyone is its 41 Megapixel sensor. However, the real story is how Nokia uses that monstrous sensor to create the best camera phone on the planet. While the camera is the showstopper here, other noteworthy specs include a 4″ Clear Black display, a 1400 mAh battery, 16 GB of internal storage, HDMI out, a FM Transmitter, Secure NFC and Bluetooth 3.0.

I was able to track down Nokia’s imaging guru Damien Dinning for a definitive hands on with the Pureview 808. In the 12 minute video Damien takes us though what Nokia set out to achieve and how they made the decision to use  the Pureview technology. He then talks about the in and outs of the sensor and finally we get a look at the all new camera UI, which I must add is excellent. The interview with Damien is coming later here, but for now I’ll talk you through the device in full HD (YouTube link).

Camera Highlights:

  • 41 MP sensor with PureView imaging technology and Carl Zeiss optics
  • Video resolutions: Full HD (1920×1080) 30fps [Default], HD (1280×720) 30fps, nHD (640×360) 30fps
  • Lossless Zoom: 4x1080p [Default], 6x 720p, 12x360p
  • Frame rates supported: 15, 24, 25, 30fps
  • Stereo High Amplitude Audio Capture (HAAC)
  • Three shooting modes: Auto, Scenes, Creative
  • Integrated video editor for trimming video

More coming soon. Meanwhile I recommend you read the white paper on the PureView 808.

[Update: 16 minute hands on!]