Hi everyone! This is a place where I share my experiences with the devices I come across and use. Hopefully, you'll find the info here helpful in your search for geeky stuff...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apple iPhone vs the Symbians - Part 2: Beauty Contest

So is it really that good looking? Do we really need to ask?

Look at every Apple product and the answer's obvious. The iPhone easily fits into the family and emerges and one of the best looking siblibgs. Clean, industrial, minimalist design. It's a screen with a button. You can't get cleaner than that. An automotive equivalent would be an Audi RS4 wagon maybe?

But one man's meat is another man's shit, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.

iPhone vs N95

iPhone vs E61i

iPhone vs N91 8GB

iPhone vs E90

iPhone vs N93i

Tastes may vary, but hard facts like thickness can't be perceived differently. Out of all the phones above, only the E61i comes close. The rest are at least twice as thick.

I'll just mention that out of all the phones above, the iPhone's screen is easily the brightest. And it's brighter by a big margin. In the pictures above, the iPhone's screen is set to around 15% brightness and it's already brighter than the others set at 50 or 100%. At full brightness, the iPhone's screen actually hurts the eyes in a darker room.

I'll just do a couple of pics of the iPhone's screen set at 100% brightness versus the N95 8GB and E90 also set at 100%.

Apple iPhone vs the Symbians - Part 1: bringing it home

So why am I writing this? We all know that most Symbian phones will trounce the iPhone in terms of function. But is function everything? If you had one choice, would you rather be driving a slow convertible or a fast station wagon? Ultimately, it boils down to taste, needs and budget.

I'm the kinda guy who values the little details that make me go "damn, they thought of that?". So you can understand my fixation with the iPhone, or rather, Apple stuff.

Ever since I first saw iPhone on the internet when it was launched, I had a terrible itch to buy it. Because of it's old-ish technology, I managed to tame the itch for a while. Afterall I had almost every flagship Nokia phone at my disposal so it wasn't too much of a hardship.

Until, that is, I saw one in the flesh. When I saw it in my friend's hand, my knees literally went weak and I felt dizzy. My vision suddenly became like an over-exposed camera lens. Everything just whitened out except the iPhone. It felt like the the first crush I had on this girl when I was 8 years old. My blood pressure rose, I felt hot at the collar and I had an irresistible urge to want to hold it, despite that fact that it wasn't right to.

There's voodoo involved. There must be. How can a chunk of glass and metal bring out such irrational emotions in a human being? Apple stuff has always made me feel like that, which explains my need to own them:

Ok. So I have a problem. I need to see a shrink.

Or I could just spend more of my hard earned money to make Apple richer. I think that sounds like a better plan.

Back to the story. So I made a few calls and found out where to buy an unlocked one. I went to the shop, and made sure it was working and had the guy apply a screen protector. I couldn't help taking some shots with my Nokia N95 8GB at the shop.

Neat little package:


Stuff in the box:

What a way to welcome the user!

Shop guy applying the screen protector. He's got the bling factor:

After that, I drove home as quick as I could with the turbo in my car spooled all the way.

Part 2 coming soon...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nokia N76

Hi folks.

I've been getting some queries from some people about the N76, so here's a little writeup about it.

The Nokia N76 seems to be targeted at people who value a very slim form factor more than anything. But fortunately, it does so without sacrificing too much function.

To describe it, I'll use an N95 as a comparison since everyone should be familiar with it:

The N76 basically is an N95 packed inside a Moto RAZR chasis, but without GPS, 5 MP cam (2MP) and wifi.

Considering that it's so much smaller than the N95, I feel it's acceptable. Then, there are a few things that are better than the N95, like the screen (very sharp and vibrant!), the speakers (best quality I've heard on a phone so far). The interface is even prettier than the N95's with fonts that look gorgeous.

Ok. Let's move on to the pics.

4 shiny protoypes. 2 red 2 black.

I choose a black one for myself. Front view.

Right view.

Left view

Top view. Notice the 3.5mm earphone jack!

Back view

A thickness comparison. From left to right: N95, N76, N91 8GB, E61.

Peel off all the protective stickers. From this moment on, the phone is worth close to nothing.

Slide off the back cover. Oops, not enough Euro batteries, so they just put one meant for China inside this proto.

Insert the SIM card. A bit awkward. Never seen such a system before.

Insert the Micro SD card

Turn it on and see the front cover display comes to life. Beautiful!

Flip it open and reveal the inside. Wow!

So far, I'm really enjoying using it. The keypad feels better than even the N93i. The screen is simply breathtaking. The interface is very quick, faster than the N95 (as expected due to less stuff in this phone). Despite the 2 MP cam, the pic quality is pretty decent. I'll go take some pics outdoors with it later.

The speakers are just awesome. You can actually hear a little bit of bass on them and they're plenty loud. Music seems to be a big thing on this phone. There are dedicated buttons on the front of the phone to access the music library and all the music players functions. One doesn't expected to see a proper 3.5mm earphone jack on such a slim device, but the N76 gives you one!

Another thing I love about this phone is the cover display. You can choose to read SMS's through it without flipping the phone open. This saves a lot of time indeed. Not only that, you can even take pictures using the cover display as a screen! All the phone menus are even accessible through the buttons in front. That means you don't even have to flip open the phone to take pics, making it much quicker and easier to use as a camera.

Battery life should be pretty decent considering there's no wifi and GPS in this thing.

I took some pictures using the N76 camera during lunch yesterday. The sky was very overcast, so no real bright sunlight was involved.

All pictures are taken on auto mode. Point and shoot. The camera is a 2.0 megapixel one. Non Carl Zeiss, aka, el cheapo camera module. Let's see how it performs.

Outdoor shots:

Inside the car with roof blocking the sun

Placing the phone nearer to the subject (there is no close up mode on this cam)

Indoor shots

Night shots

Overall, I find that the camera has a greenish tint to it and is grainy, especially under low light conditions. For a quick point and shoot, I suppose it's ok. Can't expect too much from something that's so slim...

So if you're looking for a 3G phone that is sexy, does music excellently, and photos/videos not so well, this is your ticket...