August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I'm a sucker for phones, I think we've established that. In order to spread my disease, I'm trying to share photos of classic Nokia phones on my Instagram account - some from well over a decade ago - part of the #TBT  (Throwback Thursday, for those who are out of touch with this world) movement, to go with the flow and bring back some old memories of our favorite gadgets.

Today was just another #TBT and I changed my plans of sharing something about N-Gage to sharing a photo of the Nokia 9300i. And when I placed the phone on a green glass surface at the office, prepping it for the photo-shoot, I fell in love with it all over again.

I'll let the pictures do the talking. (click on photos for full resolution)

All three photos were taken with a Lumia 930.

To refresh your memory, this Nokia 9300i in the Communicator line was announced around the end of the 2005. It differed from the Nokia 9300 in that it added Wi-Fi while sacrificing the camera. The phone's internal memory is 80MB (yes, in MB!) expandable with MMC (MultiMediaCard).
The CPU speed? 150MHz :)
The battery? 1100mAh.
It also has Bluetooth and an Infrared port. The external screen resolution is 128 x 128 pixels, while the internal screen resolution is 640 x 200 px.

It ran Symbian OS series 80.

Still have one? Share your pics!

September 15, 2013

Blown away by the Lumia 1020

Call it a marketing stunt, bias, or maybe bring up the "reviewing their own product" bit, I don't care... I do work for Nokia but I'm still a consumer just like everyone else. I still heavily consume technology, I have my opinions and speak my mind about gadgets, especially smartphones. No mentions of competitor devices here because this is, obviously, a site dedicated to Nokia smartphones, so this will not be a head to head comparison with another decent shooter out there. While I tend to miss out on blogging opportunities all the time, I've decided to put together a small post to discuss the Nokia Lumia 1020.

I'll fast forward to August 2013 skipping the idea of the 1020 and how it came to life; let's talk post-announcement and the moment I got my hands on a retail unit because every other version before that does not matter.

I went for yellow. #TeamYellow FTW, right? Also got the black camera grip (PD-95G), and a black wireless charging cover (CC-3066). I might have thrown in a yellow wireless charging plate (DT-900) because you know, you just can't have too many of those and, well, you need all colors.

Long story short, I love the Lumia 1020, especially the camera. The 41-megapixel PureView ZEISS awesomeness on the back is just pure...awesomeness. And while daytime shots are nothing short of amazing, it's the night shots that make my jaw drop every time I snap a photo in darkness. I was decided to stick to the Lumia 925 because I loved the form and was convinced the camera is great on it, but the 1020's camera is just a beast.

Sure, the Nokia 808 PureView was (and still is) great, but it lacks a few cool tricks that make the Lumia 1020 the perfect imaging companion. I'll mention optical image stabilization and camera interface (Nokia Pro Cam) both of which I consider key elements in determining what your images will look like.

I have compiled a set of photos taken with the Lumia 1020, with a good number of shots in low-light conditions. Without further ado, here-below are a few photos + the link to the full album on Flickr.

December 22, 2012

App Review: SNUpload4WP

A very handy app that I've recently purchased from the Windows Phone Store is SNUpload4WP. It’s a very simple, easy to use application that lets you upload a photo to multiple social networks. While Windows Phone has native social network integration allowing you to update several networks with the same message via a single post, it does not offer that option for photos out of the box. Enter SNUpload4WP, which makes that possible for you.

Right now the supported networks are Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr but the developer promises more connections and features are coming soon such as Facebook pages as well as uploading multiple photos in one go.

Personally I found this app to be very useful and straightforward to use on my Lumia 820. It’s just missing one thing at the moment: auto-correct. It is also confirmed that the next update will include WP’s auto-correct, you know, for your embarrassing typos when posting on social media. I would also suggest including some visual feedback on the main view confirming which networks are ticked and chosen for sharing rather than swiping left to check that; and a trial option for the curious!

Grab the app from the Windows Phone Store here for $1.29 (works on both WP7.5 and WP8)

Happy sharing!

June 24, 2012

The Lumia Avengers

I am sure many of you out there are fans of Marvel’s The Avengers, and who wouldn’t love to have their favorite superhero on their lockscreen? My personal favorite is Iron Man; I like Anthony (Tony) Stark’s character and how he’s really not a “mutant” of any kind. He’s just quite smart and with a little help from technology, he was able to become a bad-ass superhero. He's also got some sarcastic super powers, which always come in handy ;) Anyway, I digress.

June 2, 2012


Black, grey, and most recently white have been the most commonly used colors for mobile phones and smartphones by many manufacturers, and I must say I was starting to get fed up with nothing but black slabs being produced lately. No jab at anyone ;)

Inspired by Michael Hell's R-rated gadget photo-shoots I decided to summon three of my current smarphones which I consider a bit more colorful than the rest and they were very pleased to pose for the camera.

Below you'll find shots of the white Lumia 800 with the Nokia Play 360° speaker, the cyan N9 with the matching Luna Bluetooth headset, and the red 808 PureView with the Monster Beats Solo HD headphones.

March 3, 2012

One Year of Nok-soft

It’s been just a bit over a year since Nokia and Microsoft shook hands and decided to build an ecosystem which would rival the ones that have been an attraction to both developers and users. I still remember the day like it was yesterday; I was up early, had no idea what was going to happen, I was just another spectator, a diehard fan, a consumer, and a power user that wanted to know how things were going to change after February 11, 2011. Fast forward to this year’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia has clearly “changed the clock speed”.

During the past year, Nokia has been able to deliver on many levels. Hand in hand with Microsoft, Nokia was able to provide not one, not two, but four Windows Phone devices that are very special; iconic designs, great features, and targeting multiple price segments, the Lumia range is definitely a successful first step in this joint venture. On the other hand, Nokia has been able to innovate in the feature phone segment and put forth a very strong offering of Dual-SIM and Touch&Type devices for very reasonable prices, taking S40 to new heights, crowned by the sale of the 1.5 Billionth device earlier this year. And last but not least, after rolling out Anna, Nokia was able to roll out Belle to all the existing Symbian^3 user-base, bringing the much anticipated changes to the interface and improving the experience on devices like the C7, E7, and N8 which recently stepped down as king of the cam-phones to make way to another very special smartphone which I shall briefly discuss, in a bit. In my opinion, the optimizations that were made to Nokia Belle were tremendous; this version of the OS runs smooth even on 680MHz processors with 256MB of RAM while still adding a lot of visual improvements. It’s a major step up in terms of UI/UX coupled with a boost in performance. Oh, and let’s not forget PR1.2 on N9; big changes there, making the fun experience of using the device more fun.
A worthy successor to the cam-phone throne was also launched during MWC 2012 – the Nokia 808 PureView – which in itself is a breakthrough in photography, let alone in smartphones realm. The Nokia 808 sports a 41-megapixel sensor capable of producing the best images yet taken with a smartphone. In fact, it could easily rival point-and-shot cameras and put most of them to shame. Using oversampling techniques, the Nokia 808 PureView is able to capture up to 8 times more detail in one pixel, producing crystal-clear images with almost no digital noise whatsoever. It’s a brilliant shooter in low-light too, taunting a Xenon flash that’s twice as powerful as the one on its predecessor – the N8.

But if you zoom out on all of this – I’m excited about the 808, mind you, hence the 300% zoom on things during the past year – if you do and you look at the bigger picture, there was a huge shift in Nokia’s strategy and a turnaround that has generated the kind of positive feedback I’ve been seeking for a while now. As someone who works in consumer engagement, I like to watch, listen to, and learn from what our consumers are doing in order to constantly keep improving the end-result. If you think that big companies do not listen to consumers – especially nowadays with the social media craze (did I just rhyme?) – then you’re probably still living under a rock and you do not deserve to even own a corded phone! We listen. But when you have a huge ship to sail, sometimes it takes quite a bit of time and a lot of effort and manpower to change its course. That said, I would like to call out all the fans, non-fans (let’s not use “haters” shall we? :) ) and all the people who are mere observers or industry enthusiasts to make themselves heard by telling me how they think this year has been for Nokia and Microsoft, and what they think the future will hold for this venture.

Was this a great idea or a really bad one? What thoughts do you have around Windows Phone and the partnership?

Make yourself heard - your insights are valuable. Let's get this conversation going!

March 31, 2011

Search for 7 back in Lebanon!

If you’re a fan of Nokia, you’ve surely heard of the super-fun "Searchfor7" campaigns that have been taking place around the world. If you haven’t, here’s a link for a summary of the competition.

Beirut had already been chosen among 7 cities to be the host for a Nokia E7 hunt last month, and due to popular demand and the big number of participants we’ve had the first time, we’ve decided to bring back the challenge and extend it over 7 weeks!

Yes, instead of one Nokia E7, the Nokia Levant team is giving away 7 Nokia E7 smartphones – the recently launched New Age Communicator – and this campaign will happen over 7 weeks starting this Saturday, April 2nd 2011.

Rules of the Game
Quite simple. Start by liking the Nokia Lebanon Facebook page. Then follow the clues that are going to be posted there.

Since the "Searchfor7" campaign is taking place over 7 weeks, you will be presented with 3 clues on the Nokia Lebanon Facebook page either on the day of the event, or the day that precedes it. You will be informed about the time of the hunt prior to the clues so you can make necessary amendments to your schedules.
The Nokia Lebanon Facebook page will be updated with a new clue every couple of hours. Each clue will get you closer to the place where the Nokia E7 will be found. 
The first person to find the Nokia E7 will win it, as simple as that :)
If you’re fast enough and pay attention to all the details, you will be able to “spot” it real quick. 

Who can participate?
Everyone. Except for aliens

When does it all start?
Like I said, the competition kicks off on Saturday April 2nd, and will conclude in mid-May, 2011. If you have plans, cancel them. Any babies you have to deliver do it NOW. You cannot miss this. 

SO! Put your running shoes on, keep your eyes open, and watch out for BLUE BACKPACKS!

November 9, 2010

The Best Nokia of all-time

It’s been a heck of a ride on the Nokia bus since late 90s and up to this very last minute. The “Matrix Phone”, the Communicator, the internal antenna, the VGA cameras, 2-megapixel, GPS, Carl Zeiss, and the list goes on… I’ve probably used a couple of phones that were out on the market before my first 3210 but it was then that I realized this is a world I needed to explore. Thoroughly, that is. 

Today, I work for Nokia. I guess I can say “mission accomplished”. But it doesn’t end here; on the contrary, this is where it stars getting interesting. You see, on the outside it’s about speculation, anticipation, testing out devices, tricking them out with all kinds of themes and apps and cool stuff, showing them off to your peeps, and tweaking their phones so they look something similar to your little monster. On the inside, it’s all about making things better, studying the market needs, testing devices to improve their performance, listening to enthusiasts and learning what they’d like to see in a device, getting all the apps you can find to check for compatibility issues, and most importantly living with devices that are yet to be revealed to the public eye, making sure you don’t forget them in a bar ;)

To cut it short and get to the point, I’ve got love for Nokia. Too much love. And today, I’m eager to ask you a question which I always ask myself without getting the right answer. 

The question to which I’d hope you reply with the least words possible is:

What is the best Nokia phone of all-time and why?

So, in your own words and below in the comments section, please share your thoughts with everyone. BUT… make it concise, because I know too well that we can keep talking about a phone’s features for hours when maybe one or two features of it make all the difference.

To give you an example, check out the below:

-        - I’d say it’s the E71; it was and still is the classiest business phone Nokia has ever designed. Robust, fast, and it did it all for me.

-        - N95, no competition there. It was the only phone that did so much in such a small design 3 years ago.

-        - N900 because it’s simply a micro-computer.

Now I’m sure you can come up with a better explanation each time, I’m just trying to give you some guidance. It’ll make it easier for me to filter the answers and understand your thoughts.
To me it’s not just one phone. Each phone had an era and not the other way around. E71 was amazing for certain people while the N95 could do it all but without the QWERTY keyboard. So which one is better? I can’t say. Each one had fans, devoted users. This is where you guys come in. You are here to tell me which phone you think is the best and why. The N86 might be your favorite but it’s probably not the best, right? Maybe the N82 was the best. Maybe the N79 (I love that phone). Maybe the E71 was…or the E90. Maybe it’s the N8. It’s up to you to tell me what that phone was, while trying to be as objective as you can. If you’re in love with a pink 5530, it doesn’t make it the best phone ever, does it now? ;)

If you're asking yourself why I'm doing this, it's simply because I'm a blogger, I watch and "listen" to my Twitter timeline most of the day, and I love to interact with my readers. Call it analysis or call it Josh; I just like to hear what you have to say about this. 

So, are you ready?! Go ahead, tell me, what is the best Nokia phone of all-time and why?

September 14, 2010

The Symbian^3 Family

Finally! The N8 gets new family members.
First the C7-00. This baby is my current favorite in the monoblock segment. Although it doesn’t beat the N8 on specs – heck, nothing beats the N8 on specs! – but I’m loving the design. It’s just so sleek and stylish. At 10mm, it’s one hell of a slim touchscreen phone. The display on it is real glass, there’s metal used all over it, and the screen is just brilliant. Full capacitive 3.5” nHD AMOLED display, 8GB internal memory (+ microSD card slot under the battery – supports up to 32GB), Penta Band WCDMA, Quad Band GSM/EDGE, in addition to HSDPA (10.2 Mbps) and HSUPA (2 Mbps).

September 12, 2010

Nokia World 2010 in the eyes of the Bloggers

You are surely familiar with the fact that in a couple of days, the most awaited event for any Nokia lover is going to take place in London. Heck, even the haters are waiting for Nokia to make some announcements in order to see where their current devices would stand afterward.

So on the 14th and 15th of September, in London, Nokia World 2010 will bring... let me just say some cool stuff :)

If you're online and aren't fortunate enough to participate by flying over to London this week, you can always follow the bloggers who will be tweeting/blogging from there. And there's quite a few of 'em! I was surprised to see the list, it's a big one!

Here's the list on NokiaDNA that Micky Aldridge has compiled... you can follow the bloggers on Twitter or on their personal blogs. Special thanks to Micky for taking the time in preparing this.

It would be nice to see various reactions from the attendees, and this is one of the best things about Twitter.

You can also download the Ovi Blog app from the Ovi Store and follow Nokia Conversations, the Ovi Blog and all Nokia events on it.

Stay tuned for some cool articles next week ;)