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Yes, I went there and used the ‘epic’ word – I don’t bust it out that often, it takes something really special for me to drag it out of the Nokia Connects cupboard, dust it off and use it, but this Nokia Lumia 800 review from Aliqudsi is well worth the effort.

He breaks down the review into handy sections, and I suggest taking a break between each to get your thoughts straight. First up is the unboxing (yes, it’s that kind of review – we like). His first impressions of the build quality stand out for me

‘Even though the 800 is made of polycarbonate…Nokia still have managed to make it feel amazing. I fail to understand how this feels sturdier than me Aluminum bodied N8 but it does, it feels more compact’

To get the nod over the N8 is saying something, and the comparisons and opinions continue from there. Sprinkled with videos and images, Ali continues through setting up the Nokia Lumia 800, and the difference between tiles and widgets. As with the rest of the post, he picks out where there’s room for improvement (like the fact that it’s hard to tell whether the phone is on once the screen is in standby mode) but does point out that

‘Windows Phone distinguishes itself from other OSes by bringing your contacts to life, on WP contacts stop being names on your phone and become ‘people’; hence the People Hub, which combines all your accounts from Google, Windows Live, Facebook and Twitter all in one place to keep you updated and constantly linked.’

And there’s more (so much more!). The camera is covered, the media playback, apps, gallery, ‘Miscellaneous’, it goes on…

Like I said at the start of this post (which is dangerously close to running as long as Ali’s review), it’s worth setting aside some time to read this, as well as the comments and observations that come afterwards.

I’ll wrap up by including this line from Ali

‘if you want to upgrade your phone to something more modern with an OS that’s silky smooth and a beautiful yet strange UI then THIS IS the phone for you.’

Enough said. If you want to join the conversation, leave us a comment, or drop us your thoughts @Nokia_Connects

Yo guys and girls, you know the routine by now. We have been inundated at Nokia Connects with entries this week and there are sooo many we feel bad only selecting one winner. But I must stand my ground and be strong, we have a favourite! 

via thetechworldblog

If you’ve not won this week then read to the bottom of this post to find out the FINAL THEME for week four. We asked you for your Amazing Hobbies this week, so what you love doing in your spare time. We received more videos this week and the creativity went through the roof which is great to see.

Some of the entries that caught our eye included Arun Lall playing the Nokia tune on his guitar, Mapstronaut winner Cristian Trohin creatively using his leisure time to express some N8 joy and adventurer Katrien De Mey using a time lapse app on her N8 whilst travelling.

But I decided to hand this week’s prize to a man with a bit of an amazing everyday hobby.

This week’s winner is: Raghav from the techworldblog

Well done Raghav, now according to your entry you love collecting ‘electronic stuff’ as a hobby. So we thought what better way to illustrate your hobby:

You even managed to make a Nokia Connects version which we have honoured at the top of this post. Well done! Let us know in the comments section below or @Nokia_Connects which colour Nokia Purity In-Ear Headset you would like.

A big thanks go to everyone else who took part, you really made the effort last week so why not try again this week for the final push in this competition!

Week #4 Amazing Everyday Challenge

This week’s theme is a simple one, but you can make it as amazing as you like! The theme is You Are Amazing. So we want to see what is so amazing about you as an individual. Here are some members of the Nokia Connects team with their own You Are Amazing entries as a guide.

Here is Tim being one with nature:

Here is Pierre, one of the newest members of our team, being amazing in the sea:

Here is Paul coming second in a paint balling competition with his friends (can you guess which one he is?):

All you need to do is post  the links  to your photos/video in either the comments section below or on Twitter @Nokia_Connects using the Hashtag #NokiaChallenge (we always love hearing about which Nokia handsets you use so please share which Nokia you’ve used to create your masterpiece with). The vote to decide on our overall winner is completely up to our community (yes, that means you!), but in our weekly challenges we’ll decide who has captured the best Amazing Everyday.

You have until midnight on Monday 7th February (London time) to enter the You Are Amazing theme for this week. Head to Nokia Connects on Tuesday 8th February when I will announce the winner and ask the community which has been their favourite winning entry across the whole of the competition.

Time really does fly by, we are already a month into 2012! Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten anything, I’ve been collecting a few time flies in my net this month and now I’m willing to share them with you like a generous spider. It’s time to get reflective in the January web of everything Nokia Connects…

1. Here was one of our favourite Nokia stories this month (this list is in no particular order by the way!). Back at the start of Jan we witnessed Matjaz Klemencic putting his N8 through a challenge not fit for those scared of heights. He accidentally dropped his N8 from a 50 metre sky dive, along with his wallet.

Not only did he manage to find both of them in the 20km squared radius below (thanks to a little help), but the N8 was still working perfectly! Talk about durability. Some of you may remember Matjaz’s winning N8 producers entry? This guy is a sky dreamer….

via Matjaz

2. Those of you watching CES 2012 with bated breath would have noticed that not only was the Nokia Lumia 900 launched at the event but the phone also walked away with…..

  • CNet’s “Best of CES” smartphone.
  • Popular Mechanics editor’s choice award for CES.
  • Popular Science “Product of the Future”.

We took some of the community members on a whirl wind trip whilst we were there and captured the geeky fire in their eyes for several posts on Nokia Connects. They got to see the launch of the Lumia 900 at CES, went on the Flightlinez in the desert, hit up the rollercoaster at the New York New York Hotel and received some personalised gifts.

via Nokia

3. We’ve all been there, your mobile phone goes off at the wrong time and you sit there red faced scrambling to pick it up. We didn’t see the perpetrator in this isolated case, but we could certainly see the effects of not putting the phone on silent! What a fantastic response from the violist…

via  

4. We stumbled across a mammoth N9 review called ‘Nokia N9 takes over my soul and my heart’ this month from self-proclaimed technology addict and sports car driver Jerko. If you ever wanted to see a comprehensive dissection of the N9 then this is it.

5. Were you one of the lucky 50 competition winners to take part in the Nokia India Amazing Everyday party in the sky? Nokia India partnered up with Jet Airways and chartered a big Lumia branded Boeing 737-800 to fly 50 competition winners to Mumbai where they got the chance to meet Bollywood celebrities Tisca Chopra, Meiyang Chang, Rajat Barmecha and Manasvi Mamgain (who was Miss India World 2012). Also onboard was stand-up comedian Papa CJ. Here are tech bloggers Aatif Sumar, Clinton Jeff and Apurva aka Unitechy trying out a new look!

via worldofphones

6. Aptly at number six is the fact that we acquired 6 million Facebook likes this month! Here is a little image update we put together to say thank you.

Bring on 7 million, we are currently pretty close to locking down the next million – if you’ve not done so already why not drop in with a like?

7. Have you tried to film the moon through your phone yet? Props to Michael Ouzounian for this piece of N8 filming that can only be described as out of this world, because it really is from out of this world! The moon landing may have been a fake (Gasp…did I just say that!?) but there is no disputing how genuine this footage is, shot straight through his AP Starfire telescope. We found another moon/N8 video of a similar calibre a day later from theycallthislife and rightly favourited it on our global YouTube channel. To infinity and beyond guys…

8. This month we launched our new feature for Monday mornings, entitled - Make Me Smile Monday. I must say Tom.H has found some pretty cool stuff over the past few weeks so make sure you take time out of your busy lives to have a glance, or even an indulgent gander, it really depends how you are feeling. Here is one of my favourite finds from this weekly feature – a year in the life of a girl called Madeline – Tom this made me smile buddy:

via hey_rabbit 

9. We also launched the ‘Amazing Everyday Challenge’ this month on Nokia Connects.  We are giving you the chance to win Nokia Purity In-Ear Headsets each week during the four week challenge. The competition is now going into the final week so make sure you check out what the weekly theme will be later today. Here are our winners from week one and week two for you to check out. Our overall winner will have their photo/video published on global Facebook/YouTube. See all the entries in the posts above or search for #NokiaChallenge on Twitter.

10. Finally, we couldn’t sign off January without saying Happy Chinese New Year! The first day of the Chinese Year 4710 fell on Jan 23rd. As it is the year of the Water Dragon I expect to see dragon’s featuring heavily in everything coming out of China in 2012. Have you seen anyone using the imagery of a dragon for anything recently? Let us know @Nokia_Connects

Microsoft's Mteto Nyati tells Karen Bartlett how phones like the Nokia Lumia could transform a continent



GLOBAL – Africa needs enterprise and mobile technology as much as it needs aid, said South Africa’s Microsoft chief, Mteto Nyati.

Nyati, who has been Managing Director of the software giant for three years, spoke exclusively to Conversations in the run-up to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 in South Africa on February 7th.

 He is convinced the future of the continent depends upon technology that engages young people, and encourages enterprise and business, not charity. That technology includes the new Nokia Lumia:

Mteto Nyati“The opportunities for young people to come up with solutions that address our challenges, using a platform like this phone, are huge. That’s what we need to be doing in Africa, instead of looking for aid.”

And he should know. Nyati was born in 1964 and grew up under apartheid, supporting his mother as she struggled to run a small business selling groceries beside the road in the rural Eastern Cape. As a young boy, Mteto Nyati often got up at dawn to go out and buy her produce. It’s a habit he keeps up today, getting up hours earlier than everyone else to spend the first hours of the morning thinking and working.

“My mother trained as a teacher, but really she was an entrepreneur. She opened a series of trading stalls, and we helped her. I was her eldest child and I’d get up early to make sure there was bread for the customers, and so on…”  

 

All the details: Nokia Lumia 800

All about our stunning new smartphone.

The specs; the price; the facts

That work ethic, combined with a spirit of enterprise and customer service, is at the heart of what Nyati is doing today – and what he believes is the right  course for South Africa:

“My childhood taught me about serving customers, and respecting the people you work with – as well as knowing that you have to really work hard for whatever you get.”

It is the sense of connection, and liberation through technology, that excited him the most about the Nokia Lumia. He believes the key to the phone’s success will be enabling young South Africans to take up the challenge: 

“Africa and South Africa have a huge number of young people. Nearly a third of our population is under 14. And we have very high unemployment too, in some areas as high as 25%. That’s a time bomb.”

Mteto-Nyati“Look at the opportunities for this phone. This is a great phone – but for us to recognise its potential we need a lot of apps that are relevant to Africa and South Africa. People are separated and we need more apps to help them transfer money across regions and borders.”

“In healthcare, we have cameras and video conferencing. We could liberate the doctors we have to work across many more areas. We’re leapfrogging the desktop, and going straight to mobile – but we need our youth to develop apps and services to liberate this platform.”

“South Africa is mobile mad”

South Africa is, he admits, “mobile mad”, with more phones than people. It’s a country that’s embraced mobile technology, from Twitter to the social network MXit, which is wildly popular with teenagers. 

Now, finally, he believes, the launch of the Nokia Lumia brings together the kind of connection and services that he’s been waiting for in the South African market:

“As Microsoft we have seen the decline of our Windows Phone share in the South African market, and over the last two years we’ve seen a trickle of units being sold, much lower than what we used to see in the past…

“We’ve been looking for an alternative, we’ve been looking for something we can compete with. The new Windows Phone has great software, and we believe that joining that with great hardware from Nokia will be a winning combination.”

Nyati shows off his own Nokia Lumia 800. His favourite feature is the family tile he has pinned to his homescreen. Nyati has an extended family spread across several continents. He manages the family network online – and keeps up to date with everything that people are doing through their status updates.

Mteto and the Lumia “This phone puts people at the centre. It doesn’t just connect to social networks through a patchwork of add-ons. People are at the centre of this phone, and we believe that is unique. I love the fact that it goes away and does all the hard work behind the scenes, and then just tells me what I need to know.”

Mteto Nyati got to the top the hard way – working with his mother at her stall, taking advantage of a teenage science trip to the in UK – even though it meant singing the words of the old apartheid National Anthem through gritted teeth – training to be an engineer, and then working his way up through IBM for 12 years before taking the helm at Microsoft.

He’s focused on transforming education, tackling unemployment, and promoting innovation through the power of technology – and he believes the new Nokia Lumia is the next step in that direction.    

(The Nokia Lumia 800 was announced in South Africa last week with leading operator Vodacom. For more information, head to Nokia’s South African blog)

Photographed by Paul Hames

  

Twitter Art

PORTLAND, OR, United States – If there’s one thing that defines my phone activity, right after calling, messaging and Facebooking, it’s tweeting.  I love Twitter because the service contains all my little sub-communities around my hometown, my mobile geek friends and even my community management colleagues.

Looking around the Windows Marketplace, the Twitter client landscape is blooming. There are so many clients that offer so many different features, it’s hard to weed out the best of the best. Well, lucky for you, I’ve tried a load and I’m here to break down the Twitter Windows Phone landscape for you.

RowiRowi: My pal Ricky Cadden was the first to suggest Rowi to me. This full-featured Twitter app has one advantage that I really like – a Live Tile that updates with mentions and direct messages when they come in to my Twitter inbox.

Rowi supports only one Twitter account at a time. However, the app made a fan out of me because of its use of text and images in displaying text. There are three basic homescreens in Rowi, including timeline, mentions and messages. You can add other homescreens if you want, including others’ timelines and searches.

When you compose a message, you have the option to reveal your geolocation data. My only complaint about Rowi is that scrolling is slow when browsing a list of Tweets. Also, the app could benefit from pre-fetching before I switch timeline views.

I’ve been told by the developer that a new version is coming that will address these issues.  I look forward to seeing it.

BirdsongBirdsong. Birdsong is a popular client amongst Windows Phone users. This powerful app lets you sign in to multiple Twitter accounts and even configure your homescreen with up to five timelines including search  or even list results.

Birdsong also supports inline photo viewing for services such as TwitPic, yfrog, Flickr, Plixi and moby.

Direct Messages are shown in a very attractive threaded view along with Twitter conversations housed in @ reply messages. Bing Maps integration is also built in along with an inline browser, meaning you don’t have to exit the application to view links.

Overall, I found Birdsong to be a very capable Twitter client that scrolled quickly and kept up with my fast navigation between screens.  One gripe is that text was awfully big, meaning I had to do a lot of scrolling to see all my messages.

Twitter

Twitter

Official Twitter Application: The Twitter app is on a par with the official Twitter applications on other platforms. The official app goes against the minimalistic user experience of Rowi and Birdsong, opting for a bright blue and white look to the application.

There are four main home screens including timeline, mentions, messages and lists. Adding lists as a homescreen by default is a nice touch as some Twitter power-users depend on lists to keep their Twitter herd organized.

I found the Twitter app to be responsive and quick at all times. The official app doensn’t support Live Tiles or multiple Twitter accounts, but it covers the basics very well and with speed and responsiveness.

SeesmicSeesmic: If you’re looking for something different when it comes to Twitter clients on your Nokia Lumia, Seesmic should be on your list.

Seesmic is unique because not only does the app support Twitter, it can also be useful to SalesForce Chatter and Facebook users as well.

Looking at the Twitter integration, Seesmic has the obvious timeline, replies, messages and list views. However, on the launch page, Seesmic has a concept of Spaces, which can be defined as customized homescreens for your social dashboard. Very cool.

Live Tiles are supported with Seesmic and can be customized so you can see replies and direct messages as unique tiles.  This is very handy for power Twitter users. Seesmic is one of the few apps that supports fast app switching, meaning you can go in between apps and resume Seesmic quickly.

30 top apps for Lumia smartphones.

Which apps are you finding useful for tweeting?

image credit: dobrych

musical notation

CANNES, France – Everyone who’s anyone in the music industry is currently either at or watching the Midem music conference in the South of France. The yearly get-together sees the sages of the industry hold forth on the challenges and opportunities facing music makers.

Speaking on a panel devoted to new digital opportunities, Nokia’s global head of music Mike Bebel stressed that there are still plenty of new models to make money out of music, beyond the existing advertising or subscription models that exist today.

He held up the five-star rated Mix Radio experience on Nokia Lumia, which currently offers free music streaming in 38 countries, as a prime example:

“The Mix Radio experience starts with a very simple proposition: easy music discovery with no registration, no cost, no barriers to entry,” said Bebel. “We see this as a great way to put people on the music discovery trail. Now Nokia wants to explore how an ecosystem can be built off this initial experience that brings value for everyone – artists, labels, service providers, non-music brands and others.”

All the details: Nokia Lumia 800

All about our stunning new smartphone.

The specs; the price; the facts

Co-panelist CEO and Co-Founder of music consultancy Frukt (UK), Anthony Ackenhoff, discussed how non-music brands can become involved in new ways. “It’s not about pushing advertising down peoples’ throats,” said Ackenhoff. “It’s about trying to look at consumer passion points and then get specific brands involved to improve the consumer experience.” 

A case in point is Gig Finder on Nokia Music. Gig Finder suggests live concerts in your area and lets you click through to buy gig tickets directly from ticket agencies. You can also easily share gig information with your friends via email, SMS or social media. It’s useful for the user while simultaneously making money for all the various partners involved.

“In the music industry technology keeps redefining the rules of engagement and changing the value proposition pretty much every other year,” said another panelist, Umut Ozaydinli, Chief of Possibilities, Deviant Ventures (USA).

“While it is super hard for everyone involved to keep up … I still think this is the golden age of music. People are super engaged and they consume more music than ever before.”

How has mobile changed the way you use music? Any services you’d like to see that no-one seems to have thought of yet?

image creditLuz Adriana Villa A.

A post for all the audiophiles who read Nokia Connects now – a couple of ways to listen to the tunes that you’ve loaded onto your Nokia phone whether you’re in public or at home.


via Pocket Lint

First up, the Purity in-ear headphones from Monster that SomeAudioGuy picked up at CES – with their ‘clean and modern design’.

Some of the highlights from the video (in which he makes several comparisons with other headphones) include the ‘pretty great audio quality’, the ‘crystal clear mids and highs’ and the ‘open and even balanced sound’. He even ends with a shout out to the Nokia BH-905 headphones. Good stuff!

For a more complete unboxing, there’s this video from MyNokiaTek – awesome.

The Nokia Purity headphones are great for when you are out and about on the street or on the bus, but what about when you’re at home and want to listen a little bit louder?

How about the Nokia Play 360 speaker? This video is from our friends at Beste Product and yes, it’s in Dutch (I’m thinking some of you will be able to follow it), but hey, you get a great idea of what Paul Gersen is saying from how he handles the speaker, and you can hear the sound quality for yourself.

How do you listen to music on your Nokia? Let us know the best audio solution you have come across in the comments, or via @Nokia_Connects

There’s been a lot of support recently in the comment of various articles on these pages for the Nokia N9 – most recently in Paul’s ‘Big Debate’ Nokia Connects post yesterday – so I thought it was worth a closer look at what a couple of people think.


via Mobile Geek Bangladeseh (see below)

So what’s been said recently? Well Tony Robinson from Techfanatix has got his hands on the N9 for the first time, and shares his impressions in a well-structured review. He starts with the hardware, and the screen receives particular praise

‘I was very impressed by the 3.9-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen… Nokia’s ClearBlack polarizing system for improved contrast is a welcome addition to the Nokia N9…The colors were crisp and easily visible. Viewing angles were impressive to say the least. I expected this from Nokia and I wasn’t let down in the slightest.’

Meego also gets singled out for attention, especially the ‘swipe-based’ navigation that Tony found smooth

‘I did not encounter any lag in swiping whatsoever. Very impressed!’

There’s a lot more that he had to say, and for anyone who hasn’t had hands on with the N9 yet, or read much about it, this review is a great place to start.

For more on the N9, I turned to Tahsin Ahmed from Mobile Geek Bangladesh who starts his review with the phrase ‘Born to be different’. He goes on to back up this bold statement with opinions on the phone that continue in the same vein

‘[the] uni-body design of the N9 gives it godlike beauty and sexiness, which has captured eyes all around the world’

Like Tony (above), Tahsin is a fan of the UI with praise threaded throughout the post

‘The more you get to know the N9, you learn more about the Depth of the UI and the amazing amount of thinking and hard work put into the brilliant and easy OS’

Again, there is a lot to read and digest, a video to watch, a some great photos to look at so take some time and have a look.

I’m expecting a continuation of the overwhelming support for the N9 here, so let me know what you think of the phone – good or bad (suspect it might all be good) by leaving a comment, or tweeting us @Nokia_Connects