Friday, 30 January 2009

Joiku Pleases With Customer Service

Well I've just had a very positive experience with JoikuSpot Premium, I purchased a license on the 7th December 2008 and a couple of days ago I emailed them asking them to transfer my license from my old N95 to my new 5800 and they quickly responded saying I could use the same license key, however it didn't work, so I emailed them letting them know, they emailed back this morning apologising for the inconvenience and gave me a new license key which works, very pleased, well done Joiku!

JoikuSpot is an application that allows your Symbian S60 smartphone to share its 3G connection with another device, like a laptop or your iPod Touch, purchase it here.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A couple of things...

A drawing I did on Mobile Paint on my 5800:

And my new 16gb micro SD card arrived and works in my 5800!! :D

That's all for now!

Monday, 26 January 2009

iPhone Optimised Sites Play Nice on 5800XM

So I had an idea and tried it out, and lo and behold, the iPhone optimised version of worked nicely on my 5800! Take a look!

So I tried out some other iPhone optimised sites too, here's some screenshots:



Amazon: on the mobile browser


Fox News:


Unfortunately Apples iPhone Webapp page won't even load up on the built in S60 browser so no chance of using those. Some of these sites are good enough though! Let me know if you find any more worth adding.

5800 XpressMusic 1st and 2nd Impressions

So I've been using the phone for 2 full days now, here's a quick breakdown of what I think so far.


I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed with the startup time on this phone, with about 40mb free on the phone itself and just over a gigabyte free on the 8gb micro sd it starts up in 37 seconds including my pin and security code entry time! And it's ready to go by 38 seconds, no lag, no last second preparation! Ram at startup is around 53mb. Brilliant stuff.

Good: blazingly fast startup time with relatively low memory available.
Bad: Nothin!



There's been a few complaints here and there about inconsistency in the S60 5th touch implementation when it comes to navigation. I can understand the grumbles and mumbles but to be honest I don't find it so annoying.The single tap/double tap makes sense to me, and actually helps me to not choose the wrong option as often as I do on my iPod Touch, of course some might argue that it takes 2 clicks to enter a menu on the 5800 and 2 clicks to click a wrong menu on the iPhone/iPt and go back but hey, personally, it doesn't bother me. What does bother me though, is the method of scrolling long lists. When I go to my music list I have 722 songs, the scroll bar is tiny and it's really hard to accurately scroll to a song without missing it the first time round. A simple up and down arrow at the top and bottom of the scroll bar, respectively, would make homing in on that one song quite a lot easier.

Considering this is being branded as a music handset, not being able to find a track easily through a large music collection is a definate no no. This needs to be fixed asap. I'd also like to be able to hold down the up and down volume keys to change the track forward and backward respectively, ala Sony Ericsson 'W' series phones, this was one feature I liked about them. It would certainly help changing tracks when your phone is in your pocket and it's raining horribly outside.

The haptic feedback is very nice, I thought it would be kind of gimmicky and I'd switch it off after playing with it for 5 minutes but I've kept it on level 2 ever since I turned on the phone. It really makes typing on a touch screen much more easy.

Text entry:

As I'm sure most of you know, there are 4 methods of text entry, let me go through them all for you:

1. Handwriting recognition:

2. A mini qwerty:

3. A landscape fullscreen qwerty:

4. And an alphanumeric keypad, including T9:

Method 1: actually works quite well, as long as your handwriting is legible, it can read what you write quite fast.

Method 2: Don't even ask. It must be for ex Windows Mobile users to make them feel more at home after switching over to S60.

Method 3: Could be useful, but not for me, I'm sure for people with bigger hands than mine it would be quite comfortable.

Method 4: The best for me, I type considerably fast with t9 activated, coupled with the soft screen and haptic feedback, I'm typing much faster than I thought I would on a touchscreen device. There are a couple of missed keypresses here and there but it's probably because I start going too fast and/or don't lift my finger off the non multi-touch screen completely before pressing another key. But all in all, I really like the full keypad.


One gripe I have though is the fact that you can't scroll what you've already typed, I'm sure Nokia will sort this in the next firmware. Copy and paste is there as we know and love it. As has been mentioned, you can't select multiple items in one go, you have to go to menu, mark each time you want to select an item, quite inconvenient, I hope hope hope they fix this.

Good: Many text entry methods to suit many varying preferences, t9 is effective, screen feels good to type on with haptics.
Bad: Long list scrolling is difficult when trying to accurately select a single item, multiple select can't be done in one go.


Still Images:

Ok let's be clear on one thing first, I used to have an N95 with its 5mp CZ lens, the photos on it were nice, but I never really took many because I take the majority of my photos with my Canon Powershot A640 which is with me 90% of the time. I'll be honest, the quality of photos on the 5800's 3.2mp CZ camera indoors is quite poor, huge amounts of noise are present. The macro mode is quite good though, here's a sample of it in action:

As you can see, huge amounts of noise in a relatively well lit room. Hopefully this can be fixed with a firmware update.

Video Mode:

I don't do too much video recording so I can't give you a real world example of me using the camera, from what I've seen so far, this device is not for any budding Spielbergs or Bays, the quality leaves much to be desired, again, lots of noise.

Nice interface, uses widescreen to its advantage
Bad: Poor camera quality in less than perfect lighting.


Like most Nokia S60 phones this one is about as well connected as you can get, it's got the works, Bluetooth, Wifi, 3.5G, 3.5mm headphone socket, and micro usb and a Micro SD slot. They all work as well as you'd expect, nothing really stands out here, which isn't a bad thing. I do like the new Destinations option, it allows you to choose certain access points for certain uses, i.e. ones you want just for internet, ones you want just for MMS etc, means it doesn't present you a list of 10 different access points everytime you want to connect. One thing I do still have a problem with is how much it askes for your permission to go online! I wish it would just connect and do what it needs to do when I have programs that are set to automatically update. I have unlimited data plans and that's why I've set everything to automatic!! Just connect and update, don't ask me! That's one thing I much prefer on my iPod Touch, that it automatically connects to recognised access points and does what it needs to without needing to have its hand held throughout the process. It's almost as irritating as Vista's warnings and requests!

Good: Multitude of connection options, all work well.
Bad: Not enough automation, destinations option is getting there, but still asks too much.

Media Playback:

I haven't had the time to encode and transfer a full quality movie yet so I need to do that at some point, BBC iPlayer works quite nicely in widescreen, the widget is supplied on the Menu when you get it new from Nokia UK, music is great, the speaker really does decimate your eardrums in a small room, not quite so loud as my N95 when headphones are plugged in though. Music is what this phone is meant to do well and it does it well, 320kbps mp3's sound great, I'm using Sony's MDR EX 85 headphones at the moment:

They're good quality so overall it's a great combination.


Here's a photo/screenshot of my homescreen:

I really do miss my wifi scanner from the active shortcuts :( at first I was upset that the application shortcuts had been cut down to four but then I realised the MediaBar button gives me four of the shortcuts I can't have anymore anyway! I'd like for there to be the usual 2 left and right softkey shortcuts as well as the wifi scanner. Other than that, homescreen's ok, custom wallpaper I made in Photoshop from a photo I took, everything's good.

Built Quality:

One of my favourite things about the 5800 XM is its physical dimensions, it feels great in the hand, it feels like a phone, not like a mobile computer! The plastic is smooth and high quality, and it's a nice change from my usual preference of shiny metal devices (iPod Touch, Nokia E71, Nokia N95). It feels solid yet light. The screen is a good size and has a nice resolution. The hardware buttons are sufficiently comfortable, and the lock switch is placed very ergonomically. Ergonomic. That's the keyword that would sum up my feelings for this phone, it succeeds in more places than it fails, with a few software tweaks here and there, Nokia can turn this unassuming mid range device into something really special. That's all for now!

Well that's all I can think of talking about for what was meant to be a first look!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Unbagging the Limited Edition Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

So here's what I was given when I went to the 5800 XpressMusic Launch:

What was in the bag:

Included were the Nokia WH-700 headphones

The hand warmer to keep our hands warm whilst waiting out in the cold!! Nice gesture Nokia!

The instructions on the hand warmer!!!

Fancy box design, graphite look with silvery etchings on top.

I like the design on this bit!

There it is!!!

Standard contents in the box, not that the standard contents aren't good, cos they are!

See what I think of the 5800 in my First and Second Impression.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Launch @ Regent Street!

So yes, 4 am on Friday 23rd January and I'm getting up with an aching head (slightly unwell, didn't sleep more than an hour that night). I get ready and wait for my friend to come and pick me up, and by 5 o clock we're on our way. We drop off his car at his place and jump on a night bus to the Nokia Store. Just as we were walking up to it I started to see some people, started wondering how bad the queue would be at 5.52am. Surprisingly, there were only 11 people there! A huge grin crept onto my face as I looked at my friend and joined the short queue. One of the first 100 people, I definately am! 2 tickets to Benicassim, definately mine! Here's some shots of when we got there

About 4 of the people at the front had been camping there since 10.30 the night before, kudos to them. One guy who greeted us had travelled in from Slough and had been there since 2.30. The kind Nokia staff gave us some umbrellas!

Preparations inside, DJ's getting ready:

A short vid of the short queue when we got there:

And another video of some strangess, about 30 or so horses gallopped past while the 3 hired dancers were popping some... moves....? Sorry for my poor cameramanship, I'm a short guy and I was surrounded by much taller people!!!

So there was a countdown at 25 seconds to 8, we all joined in at the countdown from 10 to 0 and after a loud cheer from all of us nothing happened. And then they opened the doors!! They allowed in the first 5 or so people, and then the next 10 of us, I was number 12! As we walked in, we were applauded by the Nokia staff who had been lined up to greet us, I heard general exclaims of congratulations, hi, thanks for waiting! Eventually I got to the till and the lady took my payment and handed over the bag, but not before she opened the box to show me what was inside. I'm sure she had the best intentions of coming across as polite and helpful, but really, opening my box before I do?!?!?! OUTRAGEOUS!!! Well I got over it and we picked up the information about the Benicassim tickets, I was told they'd be posted to me later on, no hurry right, festival's in July (I think). So all was done and dusted by 8.30 am, and I left with my friend. I coldn't go home and play with it as I had to get to lesson at University.

See my unbagging of the Limited Edition 5800 XpressMusic.

What New Phone To Get?

Despite how you may have read my post title, English is in fact my first language. This post is my first but there will no exclaims of FIRST!!1 or zomg my 1st post!!! Let me just get straight to it.

I've heard about some people who queued up outside shops like Primark and Selfridges at 3 in the morning during the cold snap that was Christmas and Boxing Day 2008. "Insane people!", I thought, what on earth would possess them to get up *that* early in the morning, in the freezing cold, and queue up for hours just to buy a few bits of clothing?! Well fast forward almost a month and it's Friday the 23rd January 2009, it's 4 in the morning, and I'm getting out of bed to get ready and leave the house. Yes. Me, of all people, someone who's never really understood the masses of raving mad sale hunters.

What persuaded me to join their ranks you ask? Well let me explain.

It began a month or so ago when I started coming across reviews and unboxing videos (boring, yet fascinating things at the same time) of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. As someone who was an early adopter of the Nokia 3650, and who's owned a Symbian S60 phone of one sort or another ever since, the latest edition of S60 (5th) has been something of interest to me since it was first announced. For those of you who may be wondering what Symbian or S60 is, let me take a moment to explain.

Just like your computer, with operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS X or Linux, there are some operating systems for phones, the main ones are Symbian and Windows Mobile. Lately though, there's been a few new ones, one of them you've probably heard of is Apples iPhone OS, as well as Blackberry's OS and Palm's new WebOS. Phones with an operating system on them are called smartphones, one of the reasons being they allow you to install programs that companies and individuals write to be installed on a certain operating system (os), just like the programs you get on your PC or Mac, like Word, Photoshop, Winamp etc... But your Sony Ericsson W810i allows you to install Google Maps and Solitaire, so is it a smartphone too? No, because another main feature of smartphones is the ability to multi task. Multi task? Yes, multi task, in the context of mobile os's, this means being able to run more than one application at a time, such as having the web browser open, finding an address, opening maps, putting the address in (whilst listening to music maybe) and sending the directions to someone else by email or text whilst the other apps (web and maps) are still open in the background. Ok not very well explained but that's basically it. This is one of the reasons there's some disagreement on the iPhone's questionable status as a smartphone, as you can't switch between open apps, you have to return to the menu everytime to open another app.

ANYWAYS! Symbian is a mobile operating system, and just to make it more confusing there are various versions of Symbian, known as S60 (Series 60) and the late UIQ. UIQ was used on famous devices such as the Sony Ericsson P800 and its various successors. S60 is perhaps more recognisable as the OS that was used on popular Nokia phones such as the 6600, 6630, N70, N95 and E71. More recently it's been used on the popular Samsung Innov8. The point is, that it's a useful and easy to use OS that the majority of its users probably don't even realise is there. It is easily identifiable from its menu structure and look:

There, you do recognise it!

I just really enjoy the simplicity, yet versatility of it, and there's a bunch of great apps for it. Back in 2003 when I had the 3650, there was no other mainstream phone that could record video, with a 3rd party add on, we had unlimited video recording (limited only by the memory card capapcity).Another app allowed mp3 playback straight from the phone, there were Nes, Snes and Gameboy emulators, on your phone!!! At the time it was amazing. I've just become accustomed to the os over time, and have consistently purchased S60 handsets. I have my reasons for not liking the other OS's, but this is not the post in which I'll get into that...

The iPhone is naturally an enticing device for anybody, even I was seduced by its slick interface and gorgeous hardware for a time (about 7.54 seconds) until I tried text entry. I commend their automatic word correction, it really is very useful, but for my primary device on which I heavily input text, it just wouldn't do, and I really couldn't compromise on that. I settled for an iPod Touch 32gb (the original), to pair with my old N95, a really amazing combination, the best of both worlds, it really allowed me to do a lot of things away from my laptop (which incidentally is a MacbookPro running Windows XP on Bootcamp (you can tell I really do believe in getting the best of both worlds)).

Alas, my N95 is dying and in pieces, so it was time for a new phone. I had my eye on the
Nokia N96 for a while, but then they announced the N85, a cheaper smaller version of the N96 with a gorgeous oled screen, it made sense. There I was saving up about £350 to get an unlocked N85 when they announced the UK release of the 5800, £250 for an unlocked S60 touch screen device with great ergonomics and one of the best music playing capabilities around (another important use of my phone, with a 3.5mm jack).

The reviews I'd read online were generally positive, so I hopped along to my nearby Nokia Flagship Store in Regent Street and asked one of the customer assistants if they had any dummies of it so I could get a feel of the phone in my hand. He then told me to follow him and he went to one of his colleagues and asked him if he had a 5800. I'm standing there getting very interested as my ears pick up to hear what he's saying. His colleague then pulls a black plastic slab out of his pocket and carefully hands it to him. My eyes widen and a choir sings in the background as he reveals to me, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic! In a hused voice he tells me I can play with it, constantly looking around to make sure nobody is hatching a nefarious scheme to grab it and run. It really felt so comfortable in my hand, highly ergonomic. Not so wide and sharp edged as the iPhone, not so heavy feeling as the N95, it felt, dare I say it, just right.

After playing with it for a while, testing out the main things I'd use it for, I decided this was the phone I wanted, I don't take as many photos with my N95 as I do with my Canon Powershot A640 so the reduction from 5 to 3.2 megapixels really didn't bother me. I asked him when the phone was being released and he told me sometime withing the next 2 weeks (this was about 2 weeks ago) so I said thanks and left.

I actually had the intention of buying it online unlocked within the next 2 days until I read an announcement that it would be released in the Flagship Store on the 23rd at 8am for £250. I was torn, until I realised nowhere else was doing it for that cheap! So I waited, and hoped my N95 would carry on functioning until I could replace it! I visited the Nokia Store again a week before the release just to find out if they were expecting queues. The lady there told me that many people had come in to ask about the 5800 and that they were expecting queues. She also told me the first 100 people would receive freebies and tickets to the Benicassi Festival in Spain, and the next 100 people would get various other freebies, sounded good to me so I pre-ordered and left.

After some discussion with a friend, we decided to get there earlier would be a good idea, I then grimaced and suggested we try and get there for 5.30am.... He agreed, we planned what time to meet up and how long it would take to get there. The only thing left to do was wait, and before we knew it, the morning of Friday the 23rd January 2009 was here, and I was getting up at 4am....

See my post about the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Launch at Regent Street.